How about a little credit?

Danica Patrick Wins

That’s probably just a plastic trophy

Last spring we had the opportunity to go to the Indianapolis 500 courtesy of some good friends with tickets for great seats that they couldn’t use. My wife was pulling for Danica Patrick, (probably) mostly due to the fact that she was a woman in a male-dominated sport. I asked just how “competitive” could she be if she had never won a race?

This, of course, led to all sorts of enjoyable discussion. I wasn’t really trying to knock Patrick. I just wanted a little honest perspective.

Yesterday in Japan, finally, Patrick won an Indy race. It was her 50th race start.

Predictably, if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor, racing’s goal posts have suddenly shifted.

Bob Margolis writes:

Putting Patrick’s victory in perspective

Danica Patrick’s first IndyCar win in the Japan 300 was more a triumph in public relations than auto racing.

It didn’t happen as the result of a final lap, wheel-to-wheel battle, one that many close observers of the sport feel she will never win.

It instead was more a battle between the race engineer’s computers on the Andretti Green team and that of her rival Helio Castroneves’ Penske Racing team. It was a matter of who would get the best fuel mileage in the final handful of laps of the 200-lap race.

Whoa, there, Bob.

What a jackass. Suddenly it doesn’t really count if you only win because you out-mileaged the other driver? Is Bob ‘Jackass’ Margolis suggesting that everyone who’s won a race on fuel strategy didn’t really win a competitive race? Of course he isn’t. He’s only suggesting that the women who have done it didn’t really win a competitive race.

What a jackass. (Is there an echo in here? -Ed.)

It’s certainly fine to be critical of professional race car drivers. But this isn’t the way to do it.

Jackass Margolis needs to make a list of criteria for a ‘real’ win right now and put it on the record so that he can’t jackass his way around to discrediting any future wins. Make a list, check it twice, and stick to it.

I have no idea what his motivation is, and it’s not my responsibility to find out. He does sounds like a whining sexist, though, to be honest.

In 2006 he said

“I still don’t think Danica Patrick will ever win a race in the Indy car series.

She’s just not a good enough driver.”

So I guess he’s got to find a way to not have been wrong. What a guy.

Today he writes:

Patrick’s victory may temporarily quiet her critics

but apparently not the jackasses.

Comments

  1. Bah. She only won because her hair whipping in the wind caused some kind of quantum power boost in her engine. That’s cheating.

  2. Who cares what Danica Patrick does? She’s a total media creation and a perfect example of the notion of the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations.’ So she won an Indy car race. So what? 50 races and she only wins one, in JAPAN no less, and we’re supposed to be impressed. All because she’s a woman! Imagine if Danica Patrick were Dan Patrick. Would this then matter? No, because you’d rightly assume Dan Patrick was a loser. And that’s what Danica Patrick is. A total LOSER. If this is the best that women have to offer, we’d be doing them a favor by banning them from competing in IndyCar. Hell, at least then we wouldn’t have to hear all this media B.S. about women somehow being competitive, since they AREN’T. As for Danica Patrick, why doesn’t she just go pose half-naked for Maxim or FHM or Stuff again. She’s certainly more capable of doing that than winning races it seems. In fact, I’d lay odds she poses for Playboy before she does anything of real significance in IndyCar again, outside of losing. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

  3. While I’m not a big IRL fan (Huge NASCAR fan though) a win is a win. You have to have a good car/driver/crew to even be in that position at the end of the race. I’ve read quite a bit of Margolis’s columns relating to NASCAR, and he never ceases to amaze me in his stupidity. I think he just writes crap like that to get a reaction from us motor sports fans. (at least I hope so) fj44dash1

  4. I see no reason why a woman cannot be a good NASCAR driver aside from the fact that it has been historically a male sport. A win is a win. Of course, my total knnowlege about NASCAR could maybe fill a thimble, but I assume that there were other drivers out there as well.

  5. periphery: A ‘total LOSER’ just, um, won. Some jackasses don’t seem to be coping very well. The fact that they’re going to such great lengths to make sure they tell everyone that it doesn’t matter actually makes it end up mattering.

  6. Wow, it’s funny to see how unbelievably touch some folks get around this sort of subject! To froth the mouth so publicly (as periphery did above), and make something that WASN’T a big deal into something even bigger… Man, that’s funny! Luckily, misogynistic tendencies in folks like that tend to have a self-limiting effect on their, um, impact to our future population. 🙂

  7. NASCAR went through the same thing a few years ago with Jeff Gordon. She eventually silenced her critics, though. Well, most of ’em–..

  8. To paraphrase Eric Stratton from Animal House: ‘A total loser? Well, let me tell you about another loser…’ That would be A.J. Foyt IV, who in 66 starts has ZERO wins. I would imagine he’s had at least as many opportunites as Patrick, probably more, and comes from a legendary pedigree in auto racing. Yet, he strugges. That’s racing. Good drivers don’t always win, victories are few and far between. Patrick is a good driver, been training for her career since she was very young. In fact, she has many advantages over the male drivers, not the least of which is her weight. And besides, she’s hot.

  9. I never really cared much about auto racing. Seemed repetitive and boring to me. Just the same, if someone can get out there and hold the turns at high speeds and compete, they have some skill, I don’t give a durn what they have between their legs. I don’t know this woman’s history. The fellow that said she is a media creation could expound on that a bit. Brittany Spears is a media creation. Backstreet Boys are a media creation. Unless she was found by a corporate talent agent, given some courses in driving by said corporation then thrown into the fray to garner media and money, I’d say she has as much right to be there as everyone else. This woman sure seemed to have what it took when it mattered. I wonder if she was a media creation too.

  10. She earned it as much as anyone else. How many drivers (probably all male) didn’t win a race because they were banging wheels the entire time, but crossed the finish line first, because the drivers ahead of them crashed out near the end. Yea! They ain’t REAL drivers! Because they only won when the REAL drivers crashed!