I fully believe that NASCAR is the greatest sport on earth. It can be a spectacle at times and you never know what to expect. I have always said that a NASCAR race is not measured in miles or laps but in inches, even hundredths of inches. Big, big things happen in the blink of any eye.
Before this week, the only time that I was aware of a romantic scandal taking place in NASCAR was when Ray Evernham divorced his wife over his relationship and eventual marriage to Erin Crocker, his onetime driver. Prior to the romance, it had looked as if Erin might become the first female star in NACAR. Most would be fans did not approve of the relationship, especially considering the fact that the racing community had witnessed and sympathized as Ray Evernham's family had dealt with his son's battle against leukemia.
This week’s announcement of a relationship between Danica Patrick and fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. caught everyone off guard. When the news broke, I could not wait to call my husband to tell him about. We have been playing a guessing game of "who is the cause of the Danica Patrick's divorce?" I won't name the names that we placed our bets on but I can surely say that neither of us would have guessed Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
Ricky has shown himself to be a fierce competitor. After winning two Nationwide championships in a row, he was chosen to replace Matt Kenseth in the #17 Ford for Roush-Fenway Racing in 2013. He has presented himself to be a young man with both a fire inside and a great deal of faith. The thing that stands out the most is the intensity in his eyes. He can have a playful grin on his face but the eyes tell another story. He is driven.
Danica Patrick has enjoyed incredible popularity since joining NASCAR. She was voted most popular driver in the Nationwide Series in 2012. This will be her first full season in Sprint Cup, driving for Stewart-Haas Racing. She will be running for Rookie of the Year, going up against...Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
We all know how tempers can flair during a race. Rarely does a week go by without a new on-track battle, most will overflow and impact the off-track relationships between the drivers and their teams. Danica has made it clear that she is not one to be disrespected. She has confronted other drivers both on-track and off. It will be interesting to see what might transpire if it comes down to Danica racing Ricky for points or for a win or even for that next position. We can only hope that the racer's mentality will take over and that sparks will fly, on the track as well as off.