Well, Kyle Busch’s non-announcement Friday that he was starting his own truck team in the NASCAR Camping World Series was overshadowed anyway by the announcement that Milka Duno will try to steal Danica Patrick’s thunder when the ARCA stock cars hold a test session at Daytona next week.
Busch, you will recall, booked a press conference to make what was touted to be a pretty momentous announcement about his involvement in the sport from 2010 forward and with advance billing like that you kind of expected a little more than – well – a truck team.
A Cup team maybe? Or at least a Nationwide. Face it, the truck series these days is just about an anybody-can-drive deal so what’s the big deal there?
I’d really hoped Busch was going to give another form of racing (F1, maybe?) a shot. He’s absolutely the best young American racing talent around and he’s at a time in his life when he could accept a challenge like F1. The longer he waits, though, the tougher it will be.
In any event, Danica’s announcement earlier in the week that she would drive a limited number of Nationwide Series races with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team and warm up in the ARCA stock cars was trumped Friday when Milka Duno – who has marginal talent but gobs of Venezuelan oil money – announced that she, too, will take part in the ARCA test at Daytona Dec. 18-20 and then drive in the first ARCA race of the 2010 season at Daytona in February, which was to have been Danica’s big coming-out party.
This is actually turning out to be pretty good. Danica’s semi-move to NASCAR, in which the fans are expected to either love her or hate her with a passion (thus generating great publicity for NASCAR, which needs all the help it can get these days, trust me), has now turned into a WWE-type grudge match.
I betcha that Milka, who should really be the villain, turns out to be the fan favourite in this little set-to.
One other thing about it, too. Baseball has traditionally been the only major-league sport in which the media are on the job 365 days a year. Watch any sportscast, or pick up any newspaper, and there is always a baseball story, even in the dead of winter.
Not football. Once the Grey Cup or Super Bowl are over, that’s it till next season. Same with the NHL and NBA. But baseball has had it down to a science.
Now auto racing is like baseball. It’s a 12-month-a-year industry, with stories every day.
So next week, look forward to:
– Will Milka get in Danica’s way at the Daytona test and throw a towel in her face when she goes to complain? (It's happened before, remember?)
– Will Michael Schumacher officially sign his contract at Mercedes GP? (The suspense is killing us!)
– Will Formula Atlantic star Simona de Silvestro sign a contract to run Indy cars with HVM Racing, making her potentially the fourth woman in that league (with Danica, Milka and Sarah Fisher)?