Pyne pushing Danica to NASCAR?

June 18, 2009
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patrickThere’s only one thing for sure when it comes to Danica Patrick’s career future. She isn’t showing any (or at least many) of her cards. Yes, she’s hinted (again, remember 2006) she might like to try NASCAR. And yes, word has leaked that Chip Ganassi is interested in hiring the 27-year-old race car driver when her contract expires with Andretti Green Racing at the end of this year.

George Pyne is likely to become a central figure in all of this. Pyne, who you may remember as NASCAR’s chief operating officer, is now president of IMG Sports and Entertainment, the mega-firm representing Patrick in all things business and marketing. Patrick wouldn't bite when reporters asked her Tuesday if Pyne is pushing her toward a future in NASCAR.

Instead, at Tuesday’s weekly Indy Racing League teleconference, Patrick said she’s focused on winning open-wheel races now and won’t talk further about her future until the season ends Oct. 10. In the immediate future, that means Patrick is focused on Iowa, where the IRL races Sunday.

Patrick did admit that she and IMG officials, were “collecting information” in preparation for a decision on her future. Her assessment of NASCAR certainly was glowing.

“NASCAR has so many viewers and so many partners,” Patrick said. “There are lots of options inside and outside the car. So there’s reasons [why drivers make the move]. And it looks like fun.

“It’s kind of like the Indy 500 every weekend,” Patrick added. “That’s a lot of fun as a driver to be part of something important, and something people want to watch.”

What exactly is Danica saying? I’ll leave the interpretation up to our viewing audience.

Thank goodness, though, Patrick still puts winning first.

“The most important thing is to put myself in a situation where I can win as many races as possible and run up front and be in that competitive situation,” Patrick said. “After that, there has to be thoughts to the brand side and being able to make the most of myself as an athlete and as an endorser of products and ... gaining exposure so that in due time I’m able to explore other things outside of racing.”
  • It Looks Like Fun. - Danica Patrick

    What a load of stink. Flush that stuff Danica before it odors up the room.

    She is nothing but a marginally talented brand. A cartoon. She'll end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.

    Down Goes Bernie!

    Anyone think the new FOTA teams that split off from F1 yesterday will try to come back to Indy?
  • FOTA teams headed for Indy. Mergefication II. 2010.

    IRL runs some Europe. Some Iowa. Some Brazil. Some Canada. Some Forth Worth.

    You ain't never seen nothin' like you are fixing to see.
  • You wouldn't be saying that, Count, if she were your daughter or if you had an interest in her as a promoter or a team member. It seems that the type of person you really are is showing through loud and clear.
  • While I think Danica has more talent than most here give her credit for, it is funny how many drivers there are on the NASCAR circuit with marginal talent yet they are starts. Jr. comes to mind right off the bat. For that matter, most sports have that player/driver with flash but not substance.

    Danica will do what is best for Danica. If she feels NASCAR is best, then she will end up there. Speculation now is just that, speculation.
  • Well, some people have called Danica the female version of Dale Jr., so point taken Indyman.
  • Although this would be a great promotional tool for NASCAR, the question is how long will the novelty last if she doesn't win a race? Winning one race in the IRL doesn't mean instant stardom in this series. Ask Sam Hornish Jr. how that winning streak is comming along. (PS..Sam come back to the IRL!) Dario's season only lasted one year and he had just won INDY.

    Is it all about the money?? Sure it is. At least the lawyer on the TV add says so. So Danica, enjoy your stay at NASCAR, Sarah Fisher would really like to get your seat at AGR.
  • I guess Mark has trouble reading or at least selective comprehension.
  • Yeah, Indyman, he got distracted by the S/I photos of Danica that he was looking at while he was responding. Those photos can be quite a distraction you know.
  • You are right.

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