According to an article on ESPN.com, Danica to try NASCAR in ’10, Ms. Patrick will attempt to follow in Tony Stewart’s shoes by running a full-time IndyCar schedule while also running a significant number of NASCAR Nationwide and ARCA Series races for Tony Stewart’s team. In fact, it looks like she’s be running more races in the taxis than in proper race cars. As I see it, this is very unfortunate. The additional workload will certainly not help her racecraft in an open-wheel car, rather I’d say it will hurt it significantly. The driving styles needed for the two types of cars are so extremely different, that as she gains in one, she will lose skill in the other. There have been a few drivers that have been able to do both simultaneously and do them well. Tony Stewart is a prime example, and her partnering with Tony in this venture does give her the best opportunity for success. However, when she starts to show serious aptitude with the stock cars, I expect to see her attention and performance in IndyCar plummet. All in all, this is bad news for a series that is struggling to find teams, sponsors, manufactuer participation, and who has recently lost a significant number of potential viewers due to the DirecTV-Versus debacle. I think the only way she stays in IndyCar for 2011 is if she does poorly in ARCA and Nationwide and does ok in IndyCar. If she has a great year in IndyCar and wins some races, or even wins the 500, I believe she’d be gone in 2011 having, like Stewart and Franchitti, accomplished her perceived goals in open-wheel racing, even if she has a mediocre 2010 season in stock cars. This is shaping up to be a long, dark winter for the IndyCar series.
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