Danica Patrick: I Am Here To Drive a Sprint Cup Car in the Sprint Cup Series

David YeazellSenior Analyst IFebruary 5, 2010

Kyle Petty has made it clear that Danica Patrick, at this point, is all hype. His recent comments have drawn a bag of mixed reactions from Patrick supporters.

When a reporter referred to Saturday, Patrick’s debut in the Arca race, as the most anticipated day in racing, Petty’s response was quick and sharp.

"What makes it the most anticipated day in racing? It’s the same basic weekend packed into one day because the NFL took away Sunday," said Petty.

Saturday’s schedule has Daytona 500 qualifying at 1pm, practice at 2pm and 4pm, the Arca race immediately after practice, and the Bud Shootout at 8pm.

This is in fact a jam packed day of racing events at Daytona. What the reporter was trying to convey to Petty again was the fact that anticipation was because of Danica’s debut.

Once again Petty questioned the reporter’s motives.

"So hold on, hold on. I guess my question is; your saying that just because Danica is coming over here, that totally changes our sport and it’s the most anticipated day in the history of the sport at Daytona. Is that what you’re asking?"

Maybe the interviewer worded his question wrong, or in a way that struck a nerve with Kyle. What ever the reason for his comments, Kyle is making it clear; he’s not a Danica fan.

After a bit more jousting, Petty did say it was a big day for racing, and it was mainly because of all the hype surrounding Patrick.

Switching to racing, Petty said that a good race was one where the competitors stayed and watched.

"When it’s a good race, the competitors stay and watch, when it’s not, the garage is empty. The Bud Shootout is a good race, a fun race; the competitors will stay and watch."

Once again the direction turned to the Arca race. Is it a good race? Will the competitors stick around?

"You know, I don’t know if people will stay and watch the Arca race or not. It depends. I think people are going to be interested. Once again, it’s because of all the pre-hype."

Answering questions later, Danica Patrick would once again make her end results known.

"I am here to drive a Sprint Cup car in the Sprint Cup Series."

This is a solid statement and carries a lot of weight behind it, if it were being stated by someone other than Danica Patrick.

Every move Danica makes is well publicized and well documented. Careful and calculating was how she described her recently publicized Nationwide schedule.

Danica’s 12 race schedule does, as she said, offer a variety of venues. It doesn’t however offer a huge variety of track differential.

Heavily lopsided with the cookie cutter mile and half ovals, Patrick’s calculative schedule is most notably missing the tougher tracks: Bristol, Darlington and Talladega.

Each one of these tracks would have easily fit into her IRL schedule.

"I am here to drive a Sprint Cup car in the Sprint Cup Series."

Signing a two year extension to drive in the IRL guarantees to delay Patrick’s full time entrance into the Sprint Cup series another two years.

" I am here to drive a Sprint Cup car in the Sprint Cup Series."

Patrick said today there will be an announcement on Monday about her participation in the Nationwide race. She stopped short of saying whether that decision would be based on her performance in the Arca race, a race a driver of her abilities has no business being in.

"I am here to drive a Sprint Cup car in the Sprint Cup Series."

Maybe so, but Danica’s comments and reasoning about not participating in the Nationwide race at Daytona were because of the unbalanced field of Sprint Cup regulars.

Racing in the Sprint Cup series requires participation against Sprint Cup regulars.  


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