As I'm sure you have heard, Danica Patrick has won the pole for Sunday's Daytona 500. I'm just waking up, and I've ALREADY heard more about it than I care to! While winning the pole for any race is nice, it's not the same as winning. Qualifying well allows you to pick your pit box and stuff like that, but no one remembers who won the pole; folks only remember who WON the race, and you'd best remember that, Miss Patrick.
I'm already getting annoyed at Miss Patrick in her interviews. One dipshit reporter asked her what winning the pole for the Daytona 500 meant, and Miss Patrick waxed on about being able to do whatever you set your mind too, blah blah blah. She was asked about what it meant being the first woman to do so (keep in mind that over fifty MEN have done so, and they've never gotten this kind of press). Patrick went on to say it was awesome, yadda yadda yadda.
What she SHOULD have said that, while it was nice to take the pole, it didn't matter; what matter was who WON the race. People don't remember the pole sitter; they remember the race winner. She should have thanked Tony Stewart (part owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, the team for whom Patrick drives) for giving her the opportunity and a good car. Also, please remember that Stewart-Haas Racing is a de facto satellite team for Hendrick Motorsports, one of the best teams in all of NASCAR.
Miss Patrick should have also tempered her response because, depending on what happens in the Budweiser Duels later this week, she may have to start in the back like she did last year. For example, if Danica Patrick wrecks the race car and has to start the main race in a backup car, she'll have to start the race from the back, per NASCAR rules; according to NASCAR rules, if you change an engine or car, you go to the back-end of story.
Finally, Miss Patrick should get off her high horse because when you qualify can often determine how you do. Depending on how the car is set up will determine how you do when you run. That is to say if Patrick had started earlier or later, then she may not have gotten the pole. For example, if she'd gone later, the track may have been too slick for her car setup to win the pole.
What's really going to matter is if Danica Patrick can get any good drafting partners to help her out. Since she's a rookie (a status that'll be denoted by the two yellow stripes on her rear bumper), guys will be reluctant to draft with her. Since guys will be reluctant to draft with her, she's not going to finish well; my prediction is that she'll finish in the bottom half of the field.
In closing, I'm already sick of hearing that Danica Patrick won the race pole. Sitting on the pole is nice, but what matters is who WINS the race. Keep in mind that the last Daytona 500 pole sitter to win the race was Dale Jarrett, who won in 2000. If one of the guys had won the pole, we would have heard who it was and that would have been the end of it. I'll be so glad when this Danicamania is over-enough already! Until next time...