LINKIts easy to say Danica Patrick will fail in NASCAR, because odds are she will. That is why she deserves credit for trying.
On Tuesday, Patrick, the wonder woman of the Indy Racing League and her sponsors racy spokeswoman, will formally announce what has been speculated about ever since she burst on the motor sports scene after finishing fourth in the 2005 Indianapolis 500 she will give NASCAR a try.
Its a bold move considering where Patrick sits now the unquestioned face of a sport who commands the attention of sponsors ranging from a domain name registration website to a private jet service provider. Where she is now, shes making millions, placed atop a high pedestal with no one in sight to knock her off.
That is what makes this move so gutsy.
If she were broke with no other opportunities on the horizon, making the switch would be a no-brainer. But because shes already loaded, Patrick actually has something to lose. Monetarily, shes putting her brand in jeopardy. Career wise, shes going from a top-five driver to toiling in the minor leagues.
Thats right, Patrick isnt going straight to NASCARs premier Sprint Cup Series to compete against Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. No, shell start in the ARCA Series, known best for its copious wrecks and anonymity. From there, shell try to earn a license that will allow her to compete in the Nationwide Series NASCARs Triple-A beginning in February at Daytona.
If theres big money to be made driving in NASCARs minor leagues, Patrick, who has reportedly signed with Dale Earnhardt Jr.s team, will be the only one earning it. Her bonus the one making it worth her while to abandon her comfort zone wont come until she makes it to the Cup Series, assuming she gets there, because the path from the IRL to Cup is littered with the road kill of her contemporaries.
I'm not a Nascar fan, but this is quite an interesting career move.