Sarah Fisher should change her name to Danica Patrick. If she did, her latest problem might be solved in a jiffy.
Fisher used to be a racing driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series (they called it the IRL back then) and, in fact, was the first woman to win a pole in that series. She was always voted most popular driver. Although she came close a few times, she didn’t win a race and eventually retired to raise a family and become a team owner.
Last season, her driver, Ed Carpenter, won the race at Kentucky, making her the first woman owner in Indy car racing history to make it to Victory Lane. During the off-season, she acquired a moneyed partner, Willis Hartman, built a team headquarters near the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, got one of the new Dallara chassis for 2012 and contracted to have young American Josef Newgarden, the 2011 Indy Lights champion, drive for her.
Everything looked rosy until the last week or so. Then she found out her application for inclusion in the league’s Leader Circle subsidy program had been rejected and now she’s found out that she can’t get an engine in time for the start of the season, which is scheduled for late March in St. Petersburg, Fla.
IndyCar, after years of being a one-make series, opened up competition in the engine area for 2012. Chevrolet and Lotus were selected to join long-time partner Honda in providing power for series entrants. Fisher tried for a Chevy engine but was turned down. Honda has offered to supply one for Indianapolis. There are suggestions that she could have had one from Lotus but opted not to apply.
It’s easy to point the finger of scorn at times like these. It’s IndyCar’s fault, or it’s Chevrolet’s fault, or it’s Lotus’s fault, or it’s somebody else’s fault. I would venture to suggest it might be Sarah Fisher’s fault, in that her team has never been able to run a car for a full season and everybody in the Leader Circle and supplied-engine programs has a track record in that area. Promises of future participation only go so far when there is no history.
But be that as it may, I guarantee the situation would be resolved lickety-split if her name was Danica Patrick and not Sarah Fisher.
Patrick’s name turns heads and opens doors. She’s everybody’s favourite. There are big reasons why NASCAR laid out the red carpet for her and they go far beyond the bikini pictures (which are ancient history anyway).
She is forceful, cooperative, cheerful, optimistic, happy, pretty, jovial, ambitious, intense and focused. She never takes her eye off the ball, regardless of the situation or circumstance. She is all business, all the time.
I’m sure Fisher has many of these attributes. But something’s missing or she wouldn’t be in the fix she’s in.
I suggest she take a serious look at what Patrick has done to build on her abilities to drive a racing car really fast and then at herself to determine her future course.
I’m only kidding when I say Fisher should change her name. On the other hand, it might be a good start to adopting some of Patrick’s persona.