Five Reasons Why Johnanna Long Will be More Successful than Danica Patrick
Johanna Long vs. Danica Patrick: Which Female NASCAR Driver will be More Successful?
They say that women don't make the best of race car drivers. Well, Danica Patrick and Johanna Long are just two of the numerous women attempting to make it in motor racing. As a matter of fact, they're doing pretty well too and they're beating the men in more ways than one.
These two drivers are breaking NASCAR records each week. Patrick won the pole for the Daytona 500, even though most people agree that it was because of her weight differential compared to most of the male drivers. However, even though both of these women are trying to break barriers for those who want to be just like them, it's safe to say that they're doing it in completely different ways.
Patrick came over to NASCAR from the IZOD Indy Car Series, where she realized that it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She signed on with JR Motorsports and ran a lone ARCA Series race in 2010 as well as a lone NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. Even Juan Pablo Montoya, who came over to NASCAR from Formula 1, ran more races before making his national series debut.
Patrick was simply rushed up through the ranks while Johanna Long has taken a different route. Long ran late models in her teen years and won the 2010 Snowball Derby, beating Landon Cassil, former Roush-Fenway Racing "gong show" competitor Travis Kittleson, Mike Garvey, David Stremme, Casey Roderick, Chase Elliott, Ross Kenseth, Grant Enfinger, Cale Gale, Ryan Seig, David Ragan and Augie Grill, each of whom have their fair share of success across stock car racing's largest stages.
Long now drives for an underfunded team and runs a part-time schedule in the Nationwide Series at the age of 21. Meanwhile, Patrick drives for the powerhouse team of Stewart-Haas Racing and struggles even with such a large team. Though Long is still young and it's unknown where she'll end up in NASCAR, it's likely that she's going to be more successful than Patrick for several reasons.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR and can be reached via e-mail at Joseph.Wolkin@gmail.com.
Johanna Long may wreck a few cars, but not like Danica Patrick does
Long has been involved in her fair share of accidents, but not like the amount that Patrick has been involved in. While working with ML Motorsports, Long has learned to not tear up her equipment considering that the team can't afford to fix wrecked cars so frequently. Meanwhile, Patrick's blessed to have a team with the amount of resources where she can have a wreck like she did at Phoenix and come back the next week with a car that's been through testing, dyno, etc.
Johanna Long doesn't have the pressure of the media every week
When the media is in a driver's face every week, it can certainly get to them. Being a driver like Patrick is takes her away from focusing on her car for the weekend and creates easy distractions. Long gets attention once in a while, certainly not the amount that she deserves, but it enables her to focus more than Patrick does. However, if and when Long makes it to the Sprint Cup Series, the attention she'll receive will be a lot different from Patrick because Long has grown up racing stock cars, went through the ranks like any other male driver and is doing it with smaller teams.
Johanna Long may not moonlight as a bikini model, but she has the body and smile to contend with Danica Patrick for NASCAR's best looking driver
Danica Patrick is pretty hot. She has a petite body and there's a reason why guys stare at her when they buy their Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition magazines. However, Long has the looks too, but she just doesn't get the attention that Patrick does and doesn't really reveal her body. If she makes it to the top, maybe she'll become a model too.
Johanna Long's taking her career step-by-step, unlike Danica Patrick, who was rushed up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Every moderate NASCAR fan knows that becoming a top driver takes a lot of time and patience. It takes years of trying to win at the lower ranks. Patrick ran a total of 25 races in her first two years in the sport and then ran a full Nationwide Series season along with a part-time Sprint Cup Series schedule at the same time. Even the best of the best couldn't handle all of that pressure piled up in one year. There's a reason why drivers plan out the steps it takes to get to the top. Patrick definitely didn't do it the right way and it's going to hurt her in the future.
Meanwhile back in Florida, Long was starting her racing career in the most traditional of ways. She ran late models, which landed her a ride with Panhandle Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for two years and even drove for Billy Ballew Racing a few times. Though she didn't have any immediate success, Long dedicated herself to the sport and eventually ran consistently inside of the top-20. That landed her a part-time gig with ML Motorsports as she continues to work her way through the racing ranks.
Johanna Long may not have the best equipment, yet she's always in the top-20 unlike Danica Patrick
Patrick was in equipment that was clearly capable of running inside of the top-10 when she was in the Nationwide Series. Long, on the other hand, is in a car that ran outside of the top-20 with its previous drivers. ML Motorsports has been in the sport for a while now, but has never succeeded like it should have because they don't have the funding. Through her first 25 races, Patrick finished in the top-20 just nine times. Yeah, that's with a multi-million dollar sponsor. Through her only 24 career Nationwide Series races, Long has finished inside of the top-20 nine times as well. Yeah, that's with a limited schedule on a team that can't even afford to run the full schedule if they wanted to. The numbers speak for themselves.