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Motorsports Commentary - The Amazingly Angry Smurf Helmet: Episode 10

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by Rick Carlton - Senior Motorsports Editor

Ah yes, the wages of instant Karma. In a era where the current President of the United States wants us to believe that his pissing on our leg is really nothing more than a hard rain, even Danica Patrick has gotten into the act.

Granted, I ain't a fan of this woman's acumen as a professional athlete, and certainly not after she took her desperate career from IndyCar to NASCAR in an attempt to win something substantive on the racetrack before the Racing Gods finally decide to put her out of her misery. But this last set to with Landon Cassell at Kansas yesterday has to be seen as well beyond the pale, even for the most devoted Panica zombie.

Here we have a woman who has been touted as being 'seasoned,' 'experienced,' and (dare I say it without turning to stone) 'talented.' Along the way she has been gifted by a number of obviously porn-starved sponsors who are willing to sell their Mother's to the Taliban, rather than walk away from 'the most important female athlete of the decade,' the host of strip-bar media regulars that populate motorsports TV who are willing to deflect anything like the truth in terms of Patrick's competitive competance, and a sanctioning body that in its 'ethical wisdom', managed to suspend AJ Allmendinger because he simply took an unapproved energy suppliment, but won't suspend or even have a 'conversation' with Divanica about her repeated, and purposeful wrecking of other competitors at 180 mph. Perhaps Dinger would have done better by donning a Speedo on the cover of SI before doing his Mea Culpa, but then we'll never know will we.

Finally, in a perverse illustration of why the sport should ban for all time the business of 'rent-a-riding,' quality teams like Stewart-Haas will have to put up with Patrick's very expensive snits next season simply because the team needed the money. Granted the economy sucks, but really guys? As Micheal Andretti suggested after Patrick left IndyCar, ' get alot from her involvement, but then you get other stuff too,' and in this case, the 'stuff' typically stinks to high heaven. That said, if you don't believe me look at what AA did with a Patrick-less campaign in IndyCar this year. RHR's result had to have come from somewhere, and my guess is that the effort had more to do with group chemistry as opposed to fat cat sponsor dollars alone.

For SHR, however, the best they can hope for is that Patrick will finally 'frustrate' herself into oblivion after a single 37 event season repleat with new crashes, more TV rants about looking to gain 'respect,' and assertions of entirely faux 'appreciation' for her racetrack colleagues, then miss the Chase with another 'celebrated' mid/rear-pack finish in 2013. On the other hand, however, we're not holding our collective breaths either, since Patrick's typically distorted post-crash comments usually produce a couple of good back-handed snickers on Sportscenter each weekend. Hey, like the saying goes, "If you can't fix it, feature it....'