Its no secret that Danica Patrick’s NASCAR career fell well short of expectations.
Whether that had to do with the fact that she entered the sport at a huge disadvantage due to her open wheel background or because of how other drivers raced her is impossible to determine, but its pretty safe to say that she didn’t exactly have the impact that fans and pundits alike would have hoped she had. In the end though, she was a very positive force for woman in NASCAR and accomplished a few things along the way as well.
Unfortunately for Patrick, who first entered The NASCAR scene in 2012 when she raced in The Xfinity Series , all her accomplishments have been vastly overshadowed by her continued lackluster performance week after week and her hardened demeanor towards fans. In fact, her actions throughout the last couple of years have only soured more and more fans on the positives that Patrick originally brought to the table for NASCAR and their female fans.
With that being said, her incident with fans at Pocono and her cold and callous words towards Aric Almirola after a multi car incident at Kansas last year had to be the last straws for fans when it came to Danica Patrick being a star in NASCAR. Not only that, this was around the time that her finishes continued to get worse and worse week after week, which probably only made it easier for fans to realize that The Patrick experiment was a complete failure.
There is another side of all this though and while most fans probably don’t really care about what Patrick has to say about her time struggling in The Xifnity and Monster Energy Cup Series level, Patrick revealed during a recent interview that she was just as miserable on the track as the fans were watching here. In fact, she also revealed that she had soured on the sport of NASCAR a long time ago, which begs the question of why didnt she get out earlier?
“A lot of negativity to some degree, and it feels like a grind a little bit,” she told Joe Rogan on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, when asked about her feelings on the 2017 Monster Energy Cup Series season, “I felt like it wasn’t a space I wanted to be in anymore. “I wanted to be in a happy space, doing things that bring me joy. I was noticing I was missing that – or wanting it more.”
While those statements alone would be enough to anger any long time racing fan, especially with the number of drivers that fight and claw their way up the ranks in order to one day have a ride at NASCAR’s top level of competition, she also claimed during the interview that her agent was receiving multiple offers for Patrick to continue racing, but she apparently told her agent to turn them all down.
,”I’m okay with transitioning out and there were a lot of things that were kind of pointing me in this direction in 2017, stuff that had never happened to me before to kind of, yeah, head towards the exit a little bit. But I’m good with it. I’m a very decisive person. This was one of them that I thought about a little bit how to be done or if to be done, I guess, but the how was the hardest part. My agent kept calling and asking me ‘what about this or what if you did that’ and I said no, no and no. You all have to be ready for me to be done, please.”
What’s sad here is that NASCAR wasted their time on Danica Patrick and trying to transition her into the sport. While not everyone was on board with The Patrick train and she did have her critics from beginning to end, it was at least a sign that the sport was ready for the future and was becoming more and more OK with a woman racing up the ranks in the sports.
Unfortunately for NASCAR, they wasted their time on a commodity that wasn’t proven and was sub par at every level of racing at best. Sure, she has The Daytona 500 pole, she has one of the best finishes for a woman in Daytona 500 history and even led a lap in The Great American Race, but for her to have all of those accomplishments and then talk about how miserable she was in this opportunity is just a slap to the face.
“In the last year, as far as an energetic space, it’s just so sad and negative a lot of the time,” Patrick told Rogan, “Racing in general, most of the time it’s miserable. You have some days that are good, but most of time it’s not happy.You’re not satisfied, you wish somebody would have treated you better out there, there’s so many things to be negative about, and just the grind of it.
Believe it or not, that wasn’t even the worst part of the interview she had with Rogan, as the former Stewart Haas Racing driver took things a step further by telling the podcaster about how much she didn’t like racing in general. That honestly has to feel amazing for NASCAR to know that they wasted their time on a driver that didn’t really want to be their, especially with how horribly she failed throughout her tenure in The Cup Series.
“I think everyone would expect with what I do, at the level I do it, that racing is the only thing I do, I love it so much I’ll do anything, I’ll drive every day – and the truth is, no,” Patrick told Rogan.. “I like racing, but there’s a lot of things I don’t like about it, too.“I’m grateful for everything it’s given me, but if you were to ask me what I do outside of racing, I don’t go to the racetrack, I don’t watch races.”
You know what? Good riddance then! There are drivers out there that are way more deserving of the spot you held for years and while i wish you all the best in your future endeavors, i hope you realize just how little of an impact you had on the sport . It was mediocrity at best most of the time and you coming out and saying you were miserable most of the time only adds to the bad taste fans will have in their mouths when they think of you.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!