How is Danica Patrick Hitting Pit Crew Member News?

I was scratching my head trying to figure this one out on Friday afternoon. All of a sudden this story about Danica Patrick hitting an opposing pit crew member during Indy 500 practice started surging up the headline chart on all the major sports sites. ESPN, FOX, Sporting News, SI, pretty much all of them had this story way up at the top as being a “newsworthy” item. I really would like someone to explain to me why that is the case. I’ll give you my reasoning why it’s not.

First of all, it happened in practice, not a race — it has zero impact on her place in the standings or the actual race. Secondly, Danica herself didn’t get hurt. No disrespect to Mr. No-Name pit crew worker, but nobody gives a rats ass what happened to him, so long as he doesn’t keel over and kick the bucket. Lastly, this is by no means a representation of Danica’s lack of skill as a driver; she operates finely tuned automobiles at ridiculously high speeds for a living — she’s a better driver than any of us. She also proved that she can compete on this level winning her first race a few weeks ago. And to compound this fact, the crew member was where he wasn’t supposed to be, so it was on him.

Again, I’m still uncertain as to why this story has garnered any coverage, unless it’s the media’s way at trying to strike back at Danica Patrick and make her seem incompetent. Maybe that’s it. But let me ask you this: if Albert Pujols hit the Brewers bench coach with a ball in batting practice, would that make headlines? Exactly. Neither should this.

Danica Patrick Wins, Gets Airplane Day

For some reason there’s always been this stigma attached to Danica, Anna Kournikova, and a few other hot female athletes. Like people were always trying to bring them down for being good looking and world-class at what they did. As if just being hot weren’t enough — which it clearly is in my book — ugly chicks had to try and make us men feel bad about turning them into a big deal. If you think about it, what separates them from any other good looking girl is the fact that they are/were amongst the world best in their fields, and that’s how they gained notice. So to me, all this crap about “Danica needing to win a race to legitimize her publicity” was meaningless. But anyway, to satisfy the haters, Danica went out there and won an IRL race, but as luck would have it, it was in Japan.

So now you’re going to hear all this stuff about Danica being legitimate, and now we’re going to have all these new Danica-marketed products. Just think about how much you’ve already seen Danica in magazines, commercials, and hawking this or that product, and that was all without winning. You’ll certainly get your Danica fill whether or not you wanted it. And perhaps the biggest sign of this absurdity is AirTran Airways which has already declared Monday April 21st AirTranica Day and painted her picture on one of their planes. That’s right, if you’re flying from Orlando to Pittsburgh on flight 994 or from Pittsburgh to Atlanta on flight 993, you’ll be aboard AirTranica Won. Hopefully they can fly as well as she drives. You have been warned: brace yourself for Danica overload.

Nascar Driver Aaron Fike Raced on Heroin

Talk about an eye-catching headline. I didn’t even need to know who Aaron Fike was to be drawn to that story. ESPN the Magazine tells the tale of NASCAR truck series driver Aaron Fike — a dude I never had heard of — who is currently battling a drug problem. Really, all you need to know about this dude is that he raced extremely high speed automobiles while tripping on one of the more exotic drugs around. That in itself is insane, though not surprising for someone willing to put his life on the line each time he steps into a truck to race at those speeds. Check out some of the details:

On July 7, 2007, Fike and fiancée Cassandra Davidson were arrested in the parking lot of Kings Island amusement park outside of Cincinnati. Security guards knocked on the window of Fike’s Toyota SUV after realizing that a black sheet was preventing anyone from seeing into the back seat. At first the couple attempted to flee, but a search of the vehicle turned up a haul of drug paraphernalia, including a 100-count box of syringes, bloody napkins and black tar heroin.

Only seven days earlier Fike had posted a career-best fifth-place finish in the O’Reilly 200 at the .75-mile Memphis Motorsports Park. The run boosted the rookie of the year favorite to eighth in the NCTS championship standings. He said he used heroin earlier that day.

Talk about some nice, quality, family bonding. But honestly, I’ve seen Pulp Fiction, I know what happened to Jules, how the heck did this dude handle that type of machinery on that type of drug? Was he just immune to it? Ordinarily this is the type of fella with whom I would never get into a vehicle. But on second thought, with that type of skill, I might have to reconsider my position. Oh yeah, and that’s one heck of a drug policy you’ve got going there, too.

Tony Stewart Hates Goodyear Tires

This is nothing new for Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 20 car. Despite finishing second in the Spring Cup race Sunday, the solid run did nothing to change his horrible opinion of the tires he was running on — Goodyears — the provider for NASCAR. Check out the comments made by the irritable Stewart following the race, and let’s just say he won’t be signing any Goodyear endorsement checks anytime soon:

It’s just a shame that the teams work so hard and spend so much money to compete and it’s all dictated by a tire company that’s building tires that aren’t not worthy of a street car. The first thing I’m doing when I go home is dismounting anything I got that’s got Goodyears on it.

We don’t want to have to race on tires like we raced on today, every week. There wasn’t anything about today’s race that was fun — I don’t think for anybody.

Stewart wasn’t the only driver to complain about the tires after the race in Atlanta — Dale Jr. got into the act as well. He pleaded to NASCAR not to use the same tires again “at Darlington because that will definitely top how horrible [Sunday] was.” Man, I have to say, I just love Tony Stewart. Dude is such a loose cannon. Gotta love the guys who never say the right thing and have that “I don’t give a ****” attitude. Does he give a crap how much money Goodyear is paying to be the exclusive tire provider of NASCAR? Heck no. He’ll rip anyone, anytime, any place. Gotta love that.

NASCAR Crapped on Race Fans Sunday

I’m not sure how many of you are race fans and know exactly what happened Sunday night. For those of you who aren’t, let me fill you in. The Auto Club 500 was set to start Sunday afternoon in Fontana but was delayed over an hour because of rain. They finally got on the track while it was still slick, resulting in two incidents that saw the race come to an end for a few drivers. Then after 87 laps, the rain really started to come down so the red flag was dropped, and the tarps were thrown over the cars. At this point it was well into the evening on the East Coast, and certainly in the evening on the West Coast, where the race was being held — I’d say around 6pm PT. What ensued over the following five hours was maddening, if not downright embarrassing.

Scrambling to decide what would happen, FOX began airing re-runs of shows like the Simpsons and Family Guy on my local affiliate as they presumably tried to dry the track off in Fontana. At 9pm — midnight on the East Coast mind you — there was a cut in to the FOX studio at the track where they announced the race would resume in an hour, at 10pm PT, since the weather reports indicated the sky was clearing up. Great. With nearly two-thirds of the race incomplete, they would try to finish it up at 1am on the East Coast. A nice kick in the nuts for the die-hard fans out in the Carolinas and whatnot. Anyway, the news continued to get worse for the soldiers who braved the hour of anticipation.

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Danica Patrick Wants to Shake Anna Kournikova Comparisons

Truthfully, I never thought there was anything wrong with Anna Kournikova comparisons. Chick is extremely beautiful, better looking than most models, so I thought it was a smart idea for her to switch professions. And when she played, she was pretty outstanding. She was a Top 10 player in the world. That’s pretty commendable where I come from. So just why Danica wants to end the Anna K comparisons, I’m not quite sure.

“I see the parallels,” the American told Reuters. “But you know what, it’s surface stuff.

“For one, I’m competing against guys so right off the bat it’s different.

“I’m not so worried about that first win, I want it to come, I want it to be over with but I’ve been racing up front every weekend and that’s a big relief for me because the wins will come.

“Hey and let’s not forget she (Kournikova) was pretty darn good too.”

See, she’s right — they both are pretty darn good. Patrick’s still getting Top 10 finishes in IRL, and Kournikova was a Top 10 player in the world. On top of being attractive? What’s wrong with that? And as far as Danica’s concerned, I guess until she wins the stigma will be there. She might need to grab a snickers, but at least she’s in good company as far as I’m concerned.

Who’s Hotter: Ashley Force, or Danica Patrick?

I’ve been working on this little project for AOL Sports where I handicap some of the matchups in their hottest female athlete tournament. It’s pretty cool, though probably not the first time you’ve seen something like that. Well, we’re down to the semi finals, and one of the Final Four matchups is between two starlets of the racing world — Ashley Force, and Danica Patrick. While Patrick carries the name recognition, I’m not so sure she’s the hottest. Let’s go to the tale of the tape.

According to her wiki, Force is a 24-year-old funny car drag racer. She’s a So. Cal girl, having gone to Esperanza High School in Anaheim where she was a cheerleader. From high school, Ashley went onto Cal St. Fullerton where she graduated with a communications degree. Ashley comes from a family of race car drivers, with her father, John Force, being a funny car division champion and head of John Force Racing. Ashley is not the lone female racer in the family. She also has two younger sisters who are racers, and quite attractive at that. More pics after the jump.

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