Blogs > Nascar: Beyond the Track

Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. dating announcement is a ridiculous situation all around -- and the media is partly to blame

First things first, with the Daytona 500 just weeks away, I'm as pumped up as ever about the new racing season.
I'm very curious to see whether Brad Keselowski can pull off another championship season in a new car make, or if Jimmie Johnson will return to his dominance of the past. Or will Clint Bowyer or another newcomer take the crown?
There's bound to be lots of drama and excitement along the way, and I'll be there through it all with the rest of you enjoying it all.

But for now, it's still the offseason, and with the offseason comes silliness in bunches (remember Kasey Kahne's breastfeeding comments last year?). This week, with the media tour, silliness was everywhere, most notably in the form of Danica Patrick's dating announcement.

In case you missed it, Danica Patrick -- who is competing for Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year in 2013 driving for Stewart-Haas Racing -- announced she is dating Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -- who is also competing for Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year, driving for Jack Roush.
This news comes on the heels of Danica announcing her divorce last November from husband Paul Hospenthal. In the divorce filing, she said her marriage was "irretrievably broken".

Apparently there were rumors of this new relationship with Ricky, and Danica decided to let the cat out of the bag this week.

"I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard," she said, confirming the speculation.

Stenhouse also confirmed that the two racers are dating, and that sets up the first time -- and probably last time  -- that two ROTY competitors in the Sprint Cup series are also in a relationship.

I think it's safe to say that NASCAR has officially entered "As the World Turns" territory with this announcement. Call me old-fashioned, but I honestly don't care who any of the drivers -- male or female -- are dating. The fact that the media was even interested in this topic is quite annoying to me as a journalist.

Also annoying is the decision made by Patrick (and presumably Stenhouse too) to go ahead and make the announcement.

NASCAR fans aren't the type that run around in sewing circles. We don't care who Kim Kardashian is dating (well, we shouldn't), and we shouldn't care who Danica Patrick is dating. Bringing this kind of silly storyline into the national discussion is so unnecessary, it's beyond words. Date who you want, but don't waste my time by announcing it.

Danica said her rationale for announcing the relationship was as follows: "As opposed to speculation and people making up their own stories or talking amongst themselves or us feeling uncomfortable walking into each other's (motorhomes) moving forward, or around our teams or anything, it's just easier to be up front and get it out of the way then to have any kind of awkward speculation."

Maybe that's true to some extent, but I also think she doesn't mind the publicity it brings her.  And realistically, if they didn't answer the questions, no legitimate NASCAR writer would ever write that they were dating. 
Keep in mind that I'm not judging anyone involved here. Quite the opposite actually: I don't care if Danica is married or divorced; if she's dating or not dating; She could be dating Lady Gaga and I wouldn't care.

What annoys me about this story is how NASCAR is starting to fall in the trap other sports have -- where the people writing about the sport actually care about his type of off-track nonsense. This isn't Entertainment Tonight; we should not care who's dating who. Period. Maybe if she was dating a member of the France family it would be relevant, as that could lead to favoritism. But otherwise, I don't need to know.

So bottom line: Everyone here is acting silly. First the media is silly for asking about this sort of topic in the first place. And Patrick and Stenhouse are silly for announcing it under the guise of avoiding speculation during the season.

All it does is bring a three-ring circus/soap opera feel to the sport, and that's just lame in my opinion. Anytime Danica and Ricky race near each other this season, announcers will make silly remarks regarding their relationship. For all of our sakes, I hope they're never near each other on track (realistically, most often Stenhouse will be lapping Danica, if history is any indication).

So congrats media; congrats Danica and Ricky; you're brought NASCAR to the level of a cheezy soap opera or reality TV show. 

I hope you are proud of yourselves. 


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home