Danica Patrick Still Not Committed To NASCAR

As it turns out, Danica Patrick isn’t committed to NASCAR after all.

Following a struggling part-time NASCAR Nationwide Series campaign in 2010, it still seemed as though Patrick was in it for the long haul. With another part-time Nationwide season planned for 2011, a full-time campaign in 2012 seemed very much in the realm of possibility.

But during an interview in Mobile, Alabama as part of the GoDaddy.com Bowl festivities, Danica was asked whether or not there was a timeline set for when she would wind up in NASCAR’s premier series.

That’s when she tipped her hand:

“Unless I plan on doing NASCAR there is less of a point of doing Cup. I have a long way to go to establish whether or not if this (NASCAR) is what I want to do. I suppose at some point in time I’ll have to choose but I don’t have to yet.”

By the sounds of it, Patrick does not plan on being in NASCAR for the long haul. At least, not right now.

It seems to me that Danica’s interest in NASCAR is actually regressing. Before last season, Patrick made it sound as though NASCAR was something she was really committed to. And, as evidenced by her vast marketing campaign and slew of Nationwide races at the end of last season, most of which were actually decent, she really did seem like she was.

But something apparently has changed. Whether she’s decided that the schedule is too long, or that the cars are too hard to handle, or that her competitors don’t like her, something has been tripped in her mind that makes her unsure about sticking with it.

Patrick is right about the part where she says she doesn’t have to decide just yet, but she’d better start thinking about it. While JR Motorsports certainly enjoys raking in the dough Danica’s merchandise is bringing in, you have to wonder how long that team, or any team, will stay committed to somebody who isn’t committed to the sport.

Especially somebody who brings in mediocre results.

Tags: Danica Patrick

  • BR

    I think she is just as committed as she was last year…she simply can’t express that commitment due to the politics involved in racing in two series. Especially when those two series are thought of by many as competitors. She caught an extreme amount of heat from the IndyCar faithful last year for her NASCAR foray.

    Also, need to remember she is in a contract year so she has to be a bit more circumspect in what she says to keep all options open. The sponsors will follow her to whichever series she ultimately decides on but I’m betting they all prefer NASCAR at this point in time.

  • Damon

    Good post, BR

    It’s crazy that people are making a big deal out her comments about her committment to Nascar for 2012 when she hasn’t even started her 2011 season yet.

    Patience, Nascar folks…..patience.

  • BT

    I agree with BR & Damon.

    Ben, I think you are reading to much in to that statement from Danica. To me, she is saying that if she decides to pursue NASCAR full-time, she probably realizes she would need to put in a full season in Nationwide before pursuing Cup. Just opinion.

  • Ben Montedonico

    You guys make good points. It’s just, last season it seemed that she was committed for the long haul and now she’s saying “Unless I plan on doing NASCAR…”. I don’t know, it just seems kinda curious to me. But that’s my opinion. I appreciate yours and I’d love to hear more of them!