Left Charlotte for Daytona Beach at about 3 p.m. Tuesday, and by the time I hit the Georgia line I had heard three separate Danica Patrick interviews on ESPN. And I spent most of the drive listening to music.
She was even on an ESPN show I'd never heard of, Captain & somebody, Tennille maybe. The shows changed but Patrick didn't. She was always clever and quick, courteous and engaged, and a great emmissary for her sport.
I keep hearing and reading that other Sprint Cup drivers might resent her, and they might. But they shouldn't.
The sport needs a boost, a jumpstart, a reminder to mainstream media and peripheral and non-fans that despite declining attendance and TV ratings NASCAR is back -- with Danica Patrick starting first in the biggest race of the season and slick new cars and Dale Earnhardt Jr. confident and coming off a fine season and Jeff Gordon excited and...
Patrick did about 3 1/2 hours worth of interviews after qualifying and 4 1/2 hours Tuesday and she's doing more interviews Wednesday afternoon.
You might tire of the hype. But watch how many new viewers tune into the Daytona 500 Sunday simply because she's in it.