CNHI News Service

Sports

February 21, 2013

Patrick's Daytona pole win not getting enough praise

—  

This is something that is very difficult for me to imagine.

But there is a NASCAR event involving Danica Patrick that is being underplayed.

Patrick winning the pole for the Daytona 500 is the biggest thing that’s happened in NASCAR for at least 10 years, or perhaps 12.

I write this on the morning after my esteemed colleague Ken de la Bastide undervalued her achievement in his column for us. This was not a surprise.

His dislike for Patrick is well documented, so when she accomplished something spectacular, he buried it deep into his column and then only used mention of it to predict her failure this coming Sunday in the race.

It seems to me that Patrick is headed for a big Sunday and a big season. This is her best opportunity ever to show off her immense skills. She never had that chance in open-wheel racing. Anyone who believes she was given the same chance to win as any driver in Michael Andretti’s stable has been sniffing too many fuel fumes.

It seems to me that Andretti liked the attention his team received when Patrick was part of it, but he had little desire to see her finish higher than the men on his team.

But now she has equipment at least as good as some of the best and most experienced drivers in NASCAR. She has that thanks to the confidence shown in her by Tony Stewart and his race group.

That’s where a lot of my confidence in what Patrick will accomplish this year is based. It makes no sense for Stewart to give her this chance if he didn’t think she was ready. He already has one of the top profile teams in the sport so it isn’t a publicity gimmick. In this financial climate when virtually every team is more likely to drop a car than add one, Stewart has gone the other direction. For a while all three cars were in the top three on the qualifying board last Sunday.

Now all that is left is for Patrick to go racing. I always root for Stewart and his other drivers and the Daytona 500 will be no exception. Let’s go racing, boys ... oops ... let’s just go racing.

---

Rick Teverbaughis a sports columnist for The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Ind.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg What will happen in NFL draft? No one really knows

    Despite the hours spent interviewing coaches, watching film and developing well-reasoned mock draft lists, the truth about the 2014 NFL draft remains a mystery, well-guarded by teams that have nothing to gain by publicly sharing their innermost thoughts.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mfp Hoffner's return 1.jpg Players relent, agree to play for reinstated football coach

    The boycott lasted one day, but the players who refused to practice for the college football coach from Minnesota who was reinstated to the job recently after a 20-month absence said they got their point across: better communication and a continuing significant role for their interim head coach who led the team to one of its best seasons ever in 2013.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • mfp Hoffner's return 1.jpg Players protest return of fired Minnesota coach

    The University of Minnesota-Mankato football refused to practice Wednesday afternoon, boycotting the return of Todd Hoffner as head foot ball coach. Players said in a prepared statement that they preferred interim coach Aaron Keen, who led the team to an 11-1 record last season and the second round of the NCAA Division II tournament.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Wildcats aren't champs but we're all still watching Calipari

    Kentucky coach John Calipari is a college basketball phenom for his ability to knit together championship-caliber teams of freshmen. How long will Calipari's success last as other coaches catch on?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Too much of a good thing at UConn?

    The Connecticut Huskies dominate women's college basketball - which makes for a boring game.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 5.06.43 PM.png Spartans mourn passing of 'Princess Lacey'

    Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old cancer patient from Michigan who befriended Michigan State forward Adreian Payne and established a bond with his teammates before and during the Spartans’ run to the Elite Eight, died at her home late Tuesday night, her family said.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Taking someone out to the ballgame gets expensive

    Families in big-league cities like Boston and New York pay steep prices to catch a baseball game. It's not so expensive everywhere - especially if you're frugal.
     

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • hank_aaron_display_image.jpg VIDEO: Aaron's historic homer

    On the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th career home run, take a look at the historic moment as it happened.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

News

Features

Opinion