Danica Patrick: Did Indy 500 Loss Clinch Move to NASCAR?
Danica Patrick Leads Indy 500 Late Only To Fall
With 20 laps remaining in the 2011 Indianapolis 500, Danica Patrick took the lead, but with her fuel tank dwindling down to empty she had no choice but to pit and refill. Naturally the stop cost her the lead--there were only 10 laps remaining--and she finished a pretty disappointing 10th overall.
That made for a complicated end to a complicated week for the queen of racing.
In addition to much speculation, Bob Parsons the CEO and founder of Patrick's main sponsor, GoDaddy.com, openly stated that he thought Patrick would leave IndyCar racing for NASCAR.
"She hasn't told me she will, but I believe she will and we'll be ready...Here's the fact: She loves [NASCAR], it's much more exciting than IndyCar, with all due respect, and the TV audience for NASCAR is off the hook."
Forget for a moment how much the move would (likely) benefit her and her sponsors from a prestige, exposure, and financial standpoint.
Wouldn't it be huge for her legacy as well?
Lets face it, Patrick really only gets one opportunity each year, the Indy 500, to prove she's more than just a pretty face and win on her sports greatest stage. And she hasn't yet.
But a move to NASCAR would afford her several more opportunities to win nationally acclaimed races and events as well as the Sprint Cup.
I'm not saying that NASCAR racing is "better" or "worse" than Indy racing. But it is more mainstream. And although she has a victory and has performed well, she doesn't have much of a reputation as a winner.
A switch over to the NASCAR circuit would afford her more opportunities to dispel that stigma, one she only made stronger with her failure at the end of yesterday's Indy 500.
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