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.