The NASCAR world as we know it is coming to an end.
Indycar diva Danica Patrick has teamed up with Dale Earnhardt Jr’s NASCAR Nationwide Series team and will drive a partial Nationwide schedule for JR Motorsports in 2010. She has signed with the team through 2011, and will drive the #7 Godaddy.com Chevrolet.
Patrick’s NASCAR schedule will not interfere with her IRL schedule.
So is Patrick’s move good or bad for NASCAR?
Well, for one thing, it will likely bring more money in for the sport. But NASCAR as a sport is swimming in sponsorship dollars, and has been for several years. It seems that, the more sponsorship dollars the sport brings in, the less pleasing it becomes for the fans, which results in lower attendance and lower TV ratings.
Also, Patrick’s partnership with JR Motorsports, combined with JR Motorsports’ partnership with Sprint Cup team Hendrick Motorsports, likely means that Patrick will end up in a Hendrick Chevrolet eventually. That means Hendrick Motorsports, who already sits atop the NASCAR world, will also get a good share of the royalties from Danica’s merchandise, if and when she winds up driving for them. As the old saying goes, “The rich get richer.” Unfortunately, the competition probably won’t get any better.
On top of that, NASCAR already has a couple of Danicas in Jeff Gordon(the whiny diva), and Dale Earnhardt Jr.(the driver who can outsell anybody but can’t out-drive Scott Speed). Now we get them both together in a nightmarish package deal. Trust me, I’ve seen Danica drive an Indy car, and it isn’t pretty. The only difference between her and, say, Gordon or Earnhardt, is the fact that they are, how shall we say, built differently.
So is Danica coming to NASCAR a good thing or a bad thing for the sport? You decide.