Five Reasons Why Danica Patrick Won’t Succeed at Phoenix Or Any Other Speedway
Tony Gibson is her crew chief and is used to veteran drivers
Having a new crew chief is always hard as a driver. However, having a new driver is harder than having a new crew chief. The crew chief needs to know the driver's style and what they like and don't like. Tony Gibson has worked with some of the best drivers in the business, but each of them were veteran drivers. They knew what they wanted in a race car because of their experience and Patrick simply doesn't have the experience to diagnose issues with the car like his previous drivers have.
Similar expectations to Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Danica Patrick has similar problems to Dale Earnhardt Jr. A driver with as much funding as each of them have creates higher expectations. However, they don't have the talent to perform at those expectations, which evidently kills their confidence in the long haul.
She's racing the competition and not the racetrack
Patrick continues to judge herself based on how her competitors and teammates at Stewart-Haas Racing are doing. It doesn't help that the media does the same thing, which puts pressure on her more than she already has. The spotlight is always around her. However, when she's on the track, she needs to adjust the car based on how the track is changing, not so much how her competition is beating her. We've seen new drivers do the same thing in the past and they aren't around today. Just ask Casey Atwood about that.
She's dating her competitor for Rookie of the Year, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Dating someone you're competing with isn't the best idea. Yet, Patrick and her new partner, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. feel like they have something going and probably will until they get into a wreck with each other. There will be a day that they wreck each other and it's going to get the worst of them, sadly. The drama has already begun. Do you think Stenhouse, the reigning two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, wants to be defeated by his girlfriend for rookie of the year? Yeah, probably not.
She has a history of wrecking a bunch of cars
My gosh, has Danica Patrick lost a ton of equipment over the past few years. Patrick has wrecked cars in 19 of her 70 combined starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series. They say drivers learn from experience, but since she's a rookie, she's probably going to wreck a few cars along the way just like most others. Patrick doesn't know how to handle her equipment during long races and doesn't know how hard to push the car and when to do so. Hopefully she won't get in the way of Landon Cassill again, because he may be jealous of Stenhouse.
Usually, drivers with multi-million dollar sponsorship packages tend to run upfront. Well, at least those who have earned it after being involved in NASCAR for quite some time.
Danica Patrick is one of a select amount of NASCAR drivers with a sponsor backing her for the majority of the season. It’s fair to say that it isn’t right for Patrick to have a sponsor with such a high value when she hasn’t even finished inside of the top 10 in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race besides last weekend’s Daytona 500.
Patrick’s super speedway skill set is rather respectable, the only type of track where her skills are actually competitive compared to her competition. Yeah, the guys who have been working their bottoms off for their entire lives just to earn a spot in NASCAR’s elite series with an elite team. Patrick’s already earned that spot in just a few years because of her days moonlighting as a bikini model and her days in the IZOD Indy Car Series, where she made headlines each year at the Indianapolis 500. However, she only won one race.
Since Patrick entered NASCAR in 2010, she hasn’t even come close to winning a race and probably won’t do so for a while. Well, at least until she recognizes that she isn’t as good as she presumably is. Of course she’s a good driver. A bad driver wouldn’t be in NASCAR, it’s that simple. She brings along the attention that the sport needs.
There’s one fault in Patrick’s style of racing, though. She isn’t as aggressive as she should be. It’s going to hurt her this weekend and it’s going to continue to hurt her throughout the NASCAR season. Qualifying 40th with a multi-million dollar sponsor isn’t acceptable. If she ran well in practice, it would’ve probably made her efforts look a tad better. However, she ran 35th and 34th respectively in the final two practices for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. Patrick was also 22nd of 24 cars that ran at least 10 consecutive laps in practice which is usually used to tell how a driver will do during the race. With that, here’s five reasons why she won’t do so well this season.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.