Those poor guys (and other gals) in the IndyCar series. They just don’t get no respect.
There they were all those years, the real stars of the IndyCar series – Dario, Scott, Tony, Simona, Marco, Graham, E.J., Takuma – and all the damn media ever wrote or talked about was that damn Danica.
All anybody ever heard was Danica, Danica, Danica.
It was enough to make ya spittin' mad.
But now she’s gone to NASCAR. Hallelujah!! Now Dario and Scott and Tony and Simona are going to get the attention they properly deserve – and that they deserved all along - if it hadn’t been for that, that, that bikini-wearing, no talent, spotlight-hoggin' hussy.
Michael Andretti set the record straight the other day. Now that that woman's gone, he says it’s going to help the series because the media can pay attention to all the real racers in that series, particularly his son Marco and the other two drivers on his team, Ryan and James. (He didn't say that last bit about Marco and Ryan and James; I just made that up.)
But here is a direct quote from Michael:
"It became all about her," he said. "Even our racing was secondary. I mean, to talk about her finishing 12th in the field, it was taking away from our real stars that we have that really were not getting the billing they should get."
And then there was this zinger.
"We've got major-league talent that has been sort of in the shadow. Now they're going to be back out again."
Earth to Michael. Earth to Michael.
No they’re not. They're not going to be out of the shadow. Not by a long shot. You know why? Because Danica’s replacement as the only star in IndyCar is already in the series and his name is Rubens Barrichello.
You must remember 1993, Michael. That was the year the world champion, Nigel Mansell, left Formula One to race in CART, where you were a driver. All the guys, including you, were P-O'd because all the media cared about that entire season was Nigel Mansell. If Nigel won, they wrote about him. If he lost, they wrote about him. Kinda like the way it's been with Danica, eh?
Remember at Indy, when Ross Bentley's car caught fire up in Turn Four, and they took him to the infield hospital and about 50 reporters were hanging around outside, awaiting news of poor Bentley's condition, and Eddie Cheever rode by on his bike and stopped to ask if Nigel was inside?
That's how bad it was then and that's how bad it's going to be now.
So, when the IndyCar Series goes to St. Petersburg in a few weeks, who do you think the media are going to write and talk about? Marco, Dario? Simona? Nope. It’ll be all Rubens, all the time.
When the IndyCar Series goes anywhere this year, particularly Indianapolis, who do you think the media are going to want to talk to? Ryan? Pippa? Tony? Sorry. It’ll be Rubens.
The non-stars who take up the vast majority of seats in IndyCar are going to be as browned off this year as they’ve been every year Danica’s been in the series because all it’s going to be in 2012 is Rubens, Rubens, Rubens.
I guarantee that by the time the season is half over, even Tony Kanaan is going to be furious about all the attention being paid to his teammate and not to him.
Actually, IndyCar is lucky that Rubens came along when he did because Danica left a huge, huge hole. She was the star because there were no other stars in that series.
Except maybe for James Hinchcliffe, who has the makings, and Rubens, there still aren’t.