Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Danica Patrick: “On the Track Gettin' Tipsy?”

Say whatever you want about NASCAR, laugh that some people call it a sport, turn your nose up in disgust that others watch purely for a chance to witness carnage, or be intrigued by the the masses that to gather on the hot pavement of Daytona. However, before you choose to disrespect NASCAR, (or perhaps you too enjoy high speed wrecks) you should be aware that this is a billion dollar a year industry. Like any billion dollar a year industry NASCAR is two things 1) full of conspiracies 2) a boys club, this article deals with both. I’m reluctant to use the word conspiracy here, because people often associate it with delusional lunatics and pure fantasy; however what I am about to right is simply drawn from the cold hard facts.

In 2009 Danica Patrick stunned the world by appearing in a “remake” of the 1980’s film Weird Science for’s highly sexualized Superbowl Ads in nothing but a towel (and at other times nothing at all). Although she had also appeared in a 2007 Superbowl Ad, in that one she appeared as a very professional race car driver who only attracted attention for her bad puns. While this may have been her introduction to the World, in 2005 she was introduced to a much closer nit universe, the racing world. She did so by becoming only the fourth women in history to compete in the Indy 500, finishing an unprecedented 4rth place. In 2006 and 2007 she proved herself once again finishing in the top ten along with a third place finish in 2009. From here Danica made another surprising jump, one you likely didn’t hear about; here move to NASCAR (as opposed to the rocket shaped Indy car circuit). While you may be saying to yourself, “of course I didn’t hear about it, it’s NASCAR and I live in the North”, however you would only be partially correct. The real culprit: The Boys Club running NASCAR. Unfortunately for Danica, I found out about her debut a few weeks before it was set to take place. I saw unfortunately not because I want her to fail, but because once word got out that women could be capable drivers, NASCAR panicked and so the conspiracy begins. Now that the world had learned that Danica had penetrated the phalanx (innuendo!) like defense system NASCAR had set up, they only had one option left to retain their “pride”; embarrass Danica. In order to do so NASCAR sought to reinforce the old stereotype that women don’t know how to drive. While this could have been done in a number of ways (most obviously some sort of rouge computer chip), the men of NASCAR went with old reliable. And so on February 13th at the NASCAR Nationwide Series, a yet to be determined number of men collaborated to take out Danica. First up at bat was Trevor Bayne, turning into a wall to make it appear as if his attempts at taking out Danica (who was right behind him) were inadvertent. However Danica escaped and instead Trevor took out six other cars. Next up was Colin Braun who on lap 68 (of 120) turned into John Wise, once again ocnce again this accident occurred immediately before Danica. Sadly this time it worked, with the duo taking out not only Danica but nine other racers in the process, for a total of 19 cars wrecked due to project sabotage. One success wasn’t enough for NASCAR though, so they went at it again at Dancia’s next race, at the Febuary 20th Sam’s Town 300 race. It was lap 83 and Danica had just previously ran a lap in third place. At this point Michael McDowell slowed and turned down into Danica.

Notice how the announcers blame everything on Danica. While some find my arguments utterly insane, I find it entirely unbelievable that a world class racer could be involved in three accidents when she has only been in three races. Luckily NASCAR has until June (Danica’s next NASCAR race) to clean up their act, although I am doubtful and fully except to see McDowell and company sporting some bling and a new set of wheels in the coming weeks as per their (assumed) corporate payoffs.


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