by Diecast Dude, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and CharlieFebruary 18, 2010 1:53 pm UTC 1 Comment
While waiting for a flat tire to be fixed, a few thoughts on the driver of the #7 Go Daddy/Hot Wheels Chevrolet Impala in the Nationwide Series, next scheduled appearance this Saturday at Auto Club Speedway.
Earlier this week, your intrepid blogger lent his dulcet tones to On Pit Row — you were listening, right? — discussing this past weekend’s season-opening races at Daytona International Speedway. One of the weekend highlights, if not the highlight, at least to the casual observer was the appearance of Danica Patrick in her first NASCAR event. Unfortunately, her day was cut short when she was caught up in a wreck she had no part in creating. Such are the fortunes of racing.
To say that Danica’s appearance generated far more attention than is the norm for the race in question is a severe understatement. Television ratings were through the roof; the race was far better attended than is usually the case, and her souvenir merchandise trailer at the track was far and away the busiest of all the drivers. For at least one day, Daytona became Danicatona. This weekend she’ll be at Fondanica… er, Fontana.
The frenzied frenetic falderal following Mrs. Hospenthal’s every move and curve, occasionally noticing her driving a car around the curves on the track as opposed to her individual ones, irritated a good portion of the NASCAR Nation. Then again, what doesn’t? Some elements of NN kvetch so much you’d think they were political bloggers crying that unless every politician on their side of the aisle does every little everything their way they’re immediately going from boffo to Beelzebub. But I digress.
While Danica has garnered more than a little criticism for flaunting her looks as a means of gaining attention, there are other aspects of her life and work that warrant praise from all sides. One is how she has inspired more than a handful of young woman the past few years into believing they can pursue their dreams, even in fields traditionally considered off-limits such as auto racing. Yes, there’s also how she’s inspired more than a few boys to enter puberty, but that’s for some other blog; back to racing. She is a gifted, skilled race car driver more than able to compete at any level. Great? Not really. Good enough? Yes. Given a choice between her and Chrissy Wallace in a stock car I’d take Chrissy. But Danica’s not going to embarrass herself.
Finally, Danica is using her position as a public figure known by even those who have no interest whatsoever in motorsports to bring attention to an issue dear to her own heart. Namely, the pursuit of a cure for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), also known as emphysema.
Long story short: image and reality often have little in common.
A further illustration coupled with some shameless promotion of my employer from which I borrowed the bulk of this post (hey, I wrote it; I can steal my own material) if you don’t mind.
Last week, I spoke on the phone with one of our customers. Several months ago she had been in a bad car accident. Her auto insurance was through us. During the conversation, she marveled time and again at how the Claims adjuster who handled her case answered her phone calls, took care of every issue, and even recovered, then sent to her, a music CD that was in the insured’s car stereo at the time of the accident. It was a pleasant conversation to say the least!A
Sometimes, in a world where seemingly every bit of news about anyone and anything connected with insurance focuses on the negative, it’s good to know there are acknowledgments when we do what we’re supposed to do; namely, take care of our customers when they need us. It won’t change everyone’s perception of us as an industry, for some will choose to believe the bad no matter what. However, as in the case of Danica Patrick, image and reality often have little in common.