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Is Danica ready?

Is Danica Patrick ready for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? Whether or not NASCAR’s latest media darling is ready for NASCAR’s premier stage, she’s coming, and soon. Yes, she did run a partial Cup schedule in 2012 while also completing her first and, apparently, last full-time Nationwide Series season, but 2013 is going to be her first foray into full-time Sprint Cup competition. Is she ready?

Her critics are probably saying she’s not ready while her fans and supporters point to her top-10 finish in the Nationwide Series championship points standings in 2012. Also consider that Patrick holds the record for highest race finish in NASCAR national level competition.

Is she ready? Not to step on any toes, but I’m kind of leaning toward no. Yes, as I mentioned above, she does hold the record for top race finish, but that finish still wasn’t a win, and shouldn’t you be able to win at one level before moving to the next?

Then there’s her top-10 points finish. That statement, alone, looks pretty darn impressive, that is, until you look a little more than surface deep. Only 13 drivers competed in all 33 races in 2012. Add in Joe Nemechek, who ran all but one race, and that just boosts the number to 14. So basically, Patrick finished a blistering 10th out of 13 or 14 drivers.

Of course, Nationwide success, or lack thereof, doesn’t necessarily predict future Sprint Cup results. Case in point — Jimmie Johnson. Johnson just managed one victory in a mediocre, ate best, Nationwide (then-Busch) Series career prior to the jump to Cup. Anyone who would say he hasn’t found Sprint Cup success should probably have their head examined. Tony Stewart, anyone? What about Jeff Gordon? Neither of those drivers set the world on fire before a jump to Cup.

Still, it seems like she should have a lot more to prove before this upcoming jump. Maybe that’s just me. Just kind of wonder, would she have this opportunity without her popularity and GoDaddy deep pockets? Probably not. I’m guessing it probably doesn’t seem fair to the likes of Jennifer Jo Cobb and Johanna Long. I guess it’s true what they say, “Life’s not fair.”

Just my two cents.

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Be sure to follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Twitter. Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner

Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

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Posted by on December 15, 2012. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

12 Responses to Is Danica ready?

  1. Pingback: THE NASCAR NEWS . INFO » CUP: Young Stars Making Their Marks - Fox News

  2. Pingback: THE NASCAR NEWS . INFO » NASCAR: 5 Reasons Why We’ll See Danica Patrick in the Chase in 3 to 5 Years - Bleacher Report

  3. Michael Sanders

    December 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Absolutely she isn’t ready for a full season of Cup Series-level racing. But NASCAR wants to take advantage of the cash cow they see in her before the allure wears off (which won’t take long). If wanted to hitch their wagon to a rising start and truly be part of something historic, they would sponsor Johanna Long, who has proven herself to be a real racer and not a publicity stunt. With real sponsorship money behind her, Johanna could have posted some real good finishes (if not a win or even two) in Nationwide and would be a legitimate finisher in Cup. Bur no, shows they are more interested in style over substance.

  4. Michael Sanders

    December 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Oops… that should have read “rising star”.

  5. Sue Rarick

    December 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I was just reading that there may be 27 drivers in Sprint that will drive all 36 races that won’t start n park. of those 4 don’t have the quality of car to even make the top 20. So that leaves only 23 cars that Danica will compete with to finish in the top 20.

    All the Brad K hype aside, Danica is far and away the most popular social media driver and close to Jr in overall popularity. (BTW Danica has around twice as many twitter followers as Brad- sad but true)

  6. Dante Paganucci

    December 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I also do not believe that she is ready. it has nothing to due with gender, but with the lack of performance. Name me another driver (in this era) that has run over 60 races in the Nationwide series, have the record she has and then got a full ride in the cup.

  7. Ray Miller

    December 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Beleive you should get “change” for your 2 cents worth. In the entertainment field,popularity means box office results. Am not downplaying the importance of results and standings. However that is superceded by sponsor attraction,fans, and getting media time.
    As an owner,sponsor,NASCAR, or a fan, Danica has much more appeal than than approximately 50% of current Cup drivers.
    With 43 men on track each race with vast experience, only 15 managed a win. She can do that!
    Only 26 had at least 1 top 5. Will she have 1? Who cares.
    With so many start and parks,about 8 every week,where will here finishing spot be in the standings? Again,who cares. Exactly, what position is necessary to be considered adequate. Who determines that? The answer to the question is she ready,is an emphatic yes,hell yes. Bye the way,she brings Go Daddy with her,while so many others fret sponsorsip money. That makes her ready.

  8. Pingback: Chauffeurs à temps plein - Jennifer Jo Cobb Dernière Nouvelles - Chauffeurs à temps plein

  9. Overra88ted

    December 17, 2012 at 12:31 am


  10. Pingback: NASCAR: 5 Reasons Why We’ll See Danica Patrick in the Chase in 3 to 5 Years – Bleacher Report | Sports News Cast

  11. Tony

    December 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    If winning were a requirement for moving to the next level, Danica would still be racing in the entry level Formula Ford series in England. In here ENTIRE CAREER, she has only won 1 race. Bottom line, Danica is about marketing, not winning.

  12. carl

    December 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    no one cares. Just like no one cares about NASCRAP


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