Almirola Introduced as Patrick’s Replacement

This is how it ends for Danica Patrick. Her iconic first name doesn’t even get to make the headline, as the biggest superstar in sports is being pushed out by NASCAR [1].  Fans can’t wait to read about Junior’s “final ride” @ Phoenix this week, which has been a weekly ESPN piece, sanctioned (insisted upon) by NASCAR. It has generated very few (often no) comments– week after week, in celebration of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s last season. For the record, I like Dale Jr. and think he deserves a respectful send-off, but things clearly aren’t being treated equally here.

Danica Patrick is a pioneer in sports, but this goes largely unmentioned in NASCAR reporting, even as she’s being retired. This is as far as she’s allowed to go. Women drivers are now accepted in Indycar, NHRA, and other top-competitive racing series– just not in NASCAR. This had to be reinforced in every way, including her garbage team year-after-year, with no speed in her car– week-after-week. Richard Petty couldn’t do anything with that, so spare her fans the numbers & “statistical analysis,” as everyone who follows understands NASCAR is fixed anyways.

On top of that, Danica was intentionally wrecked, spun-out, and generally treated with unsportsmanlike conduct from her “peers” her entire career in NASCAR [2]. The racing standards in NASCAR can best be described as reckless & unprofessional. That’s how millions & millions of young Danica-fans feel. The fact she won even one race (2008 Indy Japan 300) in her career, is a testament to her driving skill & fierce determination, in the face of obstacles (and media scrutiny) which no other driver has ever had to endure.

Plus– the fact she’s gorgeous, so everyone has an opinion, right?  When Danica talks about having babies, that gets people excited I’ve noticed.  No one else in racing lights up social media faster than Danica. That’s why people use only her first name in reference, because everyone knows. That’s marketing gold, and NASCAR wasted it because they hate her.

Tough to get sponsorship with that kind of industry & team “support,” much less run competitively. NASCAR blew the best chance it ever had to save itself from declining ratings, by modernizing. But seeing how Danica Patrick was treated (almost killed– repeatedly) by such ignorance & hatred, makes it hard to imagine any woman wanting to follow her in her NASCAR tire tracks.

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