It seems as though most of the NASCAR world is welcoming Danica Patrick with open arms.
The Indycar diva is receiving much media hype, as well as support and a few votes of confidence from some of the other drivers.
But a pair of converts from other racing series still aren’t sold. Those guys being ex-Formula 1 star, Scott Speed, and the other being former Champ Car driver, Max Papis.
In two seperate interviews, the drivers gave their opinions on Patrick.
“She’ll have the same exact [awakening] that Dario Franchitti got and I’m getting. I want to compare everything to Dario because he’s the champion of that [IndyCar] series that she’s racing in, and what he’s experienced coming over is probably going to be very similar — minus all of the media attention that’s going to come with her that doesn’t come with most people.”
“Doing it [racing in NASCAR] part-time, I don’t think, that’s the right way [of] doing it. NASCAR is a lifestyle and you need to live and breathe this kind of work, to be able to be competitive. My suggestion to Danica would be: If you really want to do it, just dedicate yourself to that.”
For all intents and purposes, neither Speed nor Papis is a talent scout, by any stretch of the imagination. Especially Speed, who despite being locked into the first 5 races of the 2009 season, finished his rookie campaign outside the top 35 in points while driving for a team whose other driver made the Chase.
But if anybody knows how difficult the transition to stock cars can be, it’s these guys. Speed is right in the sense the Franchitti, a far more accomplished driver, failed to make a good transition into the sport. And Papis is right in the sense that she really does need to dedicate herself to the sport if she wants to make it work.
While other drivers are giving her support, Scott Speed and Max Papis are not sold on Danica Patrick. Are they just envious, or are they right?