The Official Danica Patrick Fan Site
Have at it.
Wow.... just to show you how this whole NASCAR game is more about the car than the driver... Kenny Wallace gets into the 56 to run laps and he goes 133 mph and is in 7th in practice at this moment... Kenny Wallace in a car he has not run in before and a CUP car that he is not familiar with. He runs 9th deep into the practice.
Just how good would Jimmie Johnson be without Chad giving him fantastic cars? Yes, I know there are better drivers than others in NASCAR, but think of how Kenny does in a car not run by a top team... Danica usually beats him. Yet, he can run in top 10 in practice in a Cup car because it is the CAR and the SETUP more than any driver. The driver is the difference when you get down to the inches and thousandths of seconds in a race... not in the feet and 10ths.
Danica qualifies 21st, 11 spots better than last time here in July.
Watching Danica on her second lap, boy... she went for it through the corners... she said she was paying more attention to the other drivers and their lines and picking up little things... she is getting better all the time. Hopefully she will not be around Travis and Ricky much in the race... :)
Yesterday, after watching the Nationwide race and seeing Blaney win in the #22.... it was finally crystal clear to me that NASCAR is just the same as IndyCar and F1. There are a few teams that have the best cars and then there are all the rest.
When Danica was driving IndyCar, there were two teams (4 cars) that won almost all the races - Ganassi and Penske - where no matter how well Danica drove, it was tough to win a race. Most of the time those 4 drivers were at the front and then it was a battle amongst the remaining 30+ drivers. She was 2nd or 3rd a few times and in her best year she came in 5th in points. I consider that a huge accomplishment when you think of the circumstances so I ignore the idiots who complain she did not win more than 1 race. When you have a lot of other good drivers competing for the few race those two top teams did not win, its tuff.
So, when I see a Ryan Blaney, a new but good driver, jump into a Nationwide car from one of the top teams and win... and better drivers losing to him in what are supposed to be competitive cars, I laugh. Remember how all we heard at the beginning of the season in Nationwide was how Earnhardt Racing was going for the championship this year by dropping Whitt and getting Ragan. And for the first few races it looked like they might have a chance... now look at it... its the top teams rising to the top.... it almost seems that anyone could drive the #22 and win or come in top 3. If so, what does that tell you about how good a driver really is? And I saw yesterday how well Kenny Wallace ran in the #55 in practice (did not push it in qualifying as did not want to wreck car and going to back anyway).... first time in new CUP car and did great, even though he had not run CUP car for a few years.
IT IS 90% THE CAR... pure and simple.
Boy, with RaceBuddy, you really see how crappy her car is in the corners... she tries to turn and the car, even when not under much power, just drifts up and she can not get into it.... versus the 15, which drove below her (under yellow line) and passed her and she tried to follow him but higher up on the right of the yellow line and she still lost it up the track. There is no way she can move forward if the car will not turn in the corner.... she has to wait so long to get into the gas and has to swing wide so as not to drift up... and how would she ever pass anyone without drifting up into them? If the car stays the same, she is screwed.
Man her car is HORRID.
I turned RaceBuddy off... watching the leaderboard now...its painful watching even a crashed car - #1 easily pass her... she is so tentative in the throttle and whether it is her or the car being so crappy about turning down into the corner and staying there without drifting up... who knows. But it sure is painful to watch. Look, if Newmans crew can figure something out so that he can run up front, why is it not translated over to Danica? does not have to be everything, but his car obviousl turns into the corner a heck of a lot better... why not hers?
Tony G.... Danica fans everywhere say "Throw the kitchen sink at the car" because its obvious listening to her throttle on RaceBuddy that the car is CRAP right now and she is at the end of the field and will be laps down soon if it were not for yellows. We do not want to watch Danica race as we pray for lots of yellows to keep her on the lead lap. CAR IS CRAP right now. Fix it on this yellow please. Give her a chance at least.
Now all she needs is a least 1 mph more to be competitive and be able to actually move up. It seems they have at least stopped the bleeding.... more Tony... get her at least .5 mph more preferably 1 mph and she can try to pass some cars.
The die is cast. The 10 team has just rolled the dice and she stayed out long enough to not have to pit any more. And you know what was so weird about that run.... she was going faster at the end of that run than she did with new tires... I am giving up trying to figure this out. She ran just a little slower than Newman in her last laps before they caught her and she pitted.... around 126.5 mph versus the top guys at around 127 - 128.... and these were her best laps... maybe they need to give her worn tires for her to go faster.... its nuts.... and no, it was not about traffic as she was 1.5 seconds behind the guy in front of her before all the pit stops.Aaargh.
Wave-around this time for Danica.
Caution, now she can pit with the rest of the field and hopefully move forward.