Race Weekend Central

Voices From the Heartland: A Perfect Antidote for Danica-Mania

So I’ve been sitting here thinking and guess what happened… I thought of Barenaked Ladies! While that may be no surprise to many who know me, for those who don’t, I will be a bit more precise. I was thinking about money and suddenly the song “If I Had A Million Dollars” (sung by Barenaked Ladies) sprang into my head along with a genius marketing plan. One that involves NASCAR, of course.

OK, I admit, for my plan to work I probably would need more than a million dollars but for a few million, I’m sure I could make it happen. Better yet, it’s the perfect answer for the next relentless round of “Danica-Mania” that is poised to strike the nation in Feb. 2012.

As has been “officially announced” by ESPN, Danica Patrick will be racing full time in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports beginning in 2012. Not only will she be a surefire contender for the Nationwide championship, she will also be running a limited schedule of Cup events in cars that will be prepared by Stewart-Haas Racing, preserving her rookie status with the intent to race for SHR full-time in 2013. (Part of this paragraph contains heavy sarcasm… can you guess which part?)

Now, before I go forward, I want everyone to be perfectly clear on what I think of Patrick and her foray into NASCAR. I have nothing personal against Danica, but she is one of the most overrated drivers to come through the ranks in a long time. The only reason she gets the attention she does is simply because of her looks, her sponsor and the fact that she is a woman. There are plenty of more deserving and talented drivers out there that will never get the chances she has been given simply because they are male or sponsorless (or both, as is usually the case). Let’s face it, if she wasn’t “Danica,” would there really be all the hoopla, past and future? I doubt it.

Be that as it may, if we have to have Danica, we need a rival for her as well and that is where my plan is genius in its simplicity. If I had a few million dollars, I’d sponsor Jennifer Jo Cobb and put her in equipment that equals anything Danica is driving. (Are you listening, teams such as KHI or even RWR?)

As I said, Patrick needs a rival. I mean, seriously; no matter how mad she may make a fellow competitor out on the track, one of the guys would never take a swing at her or even make snide remarks in an interview about her. How could they? Any male who did would instantly be labeled, branded, scorned, deemed sexist or any number of other things that PC wackos could dream up.

But Cobb, now that’s a different story altogether! Imagine the two of them head to head, equal equipment, woman to woman! Imagine what would happen when the two should happen to get tangled up together on the track! A NASCAR catfight… who wouldn’t love to see that!?

The marketing potential of a girl on girl racing rivalry in the big leagues is limitless for all involved. From the girls themselves to the teams and, given Brian France’s proclivity for sensationalized self-promotion, NASCAR itself could literally spin the heck out of it! You already know Danica won’t play nice; “remember her little spat with Milka Duno over in open wheel.

Yes, there is room at the top levels of NASCAR for more females other than Danica Patrick, and “If I had a (few) million dollars,” I’d buy Cobb an equal shot. Besides, Jennifer Jo Cobb is much prettier anyway!

Stay off the wall (but keep on dreaming!)

Jeff Meyer

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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