10 Reasons Danica Patrick Would Benefit from a Full-Time NASCAR Ride

Melissa Bauer-Herzog@mbauerherzogCorrespondent IAugust 9, 2011

10 Reasons Danica Patrick Would Benefit from a Full-Time NASCAR Ride

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    As speculation intensifies around Danica Patrick's 2012 driving plans, some are wondering why she should take a full-time ride in a series that seems to be a step down from what she drives in now due to Nationwide's "minor league" status in NASCAR.

    But what are 10 reasons Patrick would benefit from giving up Indy and coming over to NASCAR full-time, at least for a season?

    Let's take a look.

Less Pressure

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    While this probably seems a little backwards because she'd be racing full-time, so people would expect her to do better, running full-time would mean less pressure on Danica Patrick.

    Instead of being expected to perform every time she hit the track, if she had an off week (or even a few), people would just chalk it up to a bad race and not because she was splitting her time between two series.

    This may even help her perform better because the big burden on her shoulders she has right now racing only a few times a year in Nationwide would be split between the whole season.

Less Press

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    We've already seen this at work, as she is losing her "newness" in NASCAR, and the press is stepping back from recording her every word and move.

    However, the press does still hound her when she comes to races, which really can't help her focus. If she runs full-time, the press will find something new and shiny to latch on to, and Danica Patrick can become just another driver in the garage (unless she starts performing really well).

More Experience

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    This is a given—more time in the car equals more experience.

    Her limited schedule makes it so she can't get a lot of wheel time and works against her while she's learning. Running full-time will help her remember a lot what she has to constantly relearn and even help burn it into her memory so she won't have to think about some of the movements she's making while on the track.

No Conflicts

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    Danica Patrick currently has to balance two different racing schedules right now, which has to be hard. By going to NASCAR full-time, she won't have any racing conflicts to worry about and can finally put her full attention on NASCAR.

    Many people have pointed to her double schedule as a blow to her NASCAR learning curve. With a full-time NASCAR schedule, she wouldn't have to worry about that anymore.

More Respect

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    It seems that both fans and people in the garage give more respect to those that show up every week to run instead of going in and out of the series throughout the season.

    The garage respect factor can help her build bridges that will be useful later on in her career if she needs help from someone. In addition, having respect from the fans also helps her career by bringing in more sponsor interest and even new teams.

More Connections

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    This goes back a little bit to the respect idea, but by being in the garage all the time, Danica Patrick can make more connections both on her team and with others.

    Right now she is only in the NASCAR garage sparingly because she isn't running all the time. Because of this, she can't make the connections and bonds that she would make if she spent all her time there. It's just like anything else: The more people see you around, the more they accept and even befriend you.

    This really helps on the track too, as you gain friends in other drivers who will be more willing to help you out than if you are on the "outside looking in" when it comes to the driver fraternity.

Better Teamwork

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    Right now Danica is kind of like the shortstop that shows up for a game and then disappears to play for another league for a while before coming back again. That's definitely not a good way to build a good, strong team bond with your crew.

    By being the shortstop that is playing for the team every single game, she builds a good bond and makes it worth it for her crew to work with her.

    There are some teams out there that just work because it's their job and others that work because they love working with their driver. By being in NASCAR full-time, Patrick has a better chance of being in the second scenario.

More Consistent

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    Almost everyone has heard some variation of the "practice makes perfect" saying. By running full-time in NASCAR, Patrick gets more practice to try to be "perfect." This will help make her more consistent when it comes to final placings.

    While some drivers are all over the chart all the time, you can usually group most drivers into the same area areas on the chart (for example, in Cup, your consistent "Chasers," etc.) every week barring a bad race. By driving full-time, Patrick can finally have a real chance to find out which "group" she is in.

More Focus

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    This one goes back to quite a few of the other slides. With less press presence around her and no driving conflict, plus getting over the learning bump, Danica Patrick should develop more focus.

    There's always something to learn in NASCAR, but Patrick will get a chance to get past those basics and actually focus on her driving and being competitive.

    Focus on the big goals (winning races and maybe even a championship one day) will definitely be a benefit to her. This really can't be achieved when she's split so many different ways to do different things, like she would be if she continued the schedule she has now.

Time to Prove Herself

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    While Danica Patrick technically could prove herself on a limited schedule, a full-time schedule helps prove that she is serious about the sport and even that she may have a knack for driving stock cars.

    Proving herself to be a good driver, or at least a competitive one, definitely takes off the pressure of "can I do it or can I not," which is no doubt a benefit for both her and her team.

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