Stewart-Haas It Goin’?

Danica and Little GirlVery well thank you!
Dale Earnhardt Junior’s Daytona 500 win was a major headline, but if you are looking for gross racing news tonnage, give the early season nod to Stewart-Haas Racing!
This actually started last season with news occasional bad-boy and former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and front-runner Kevin Harvick were heading over to join Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick at Stewart-Haas Racing.
All these personalities and ego’s on one team was a news bonanza waiting to happen!
Things started to boil right before the season-launching Daytona 500, when our friends and partners at The Canadian Motorsports Expo decided bringing in NASCAR “King” Richard Petty would be a good idea.
How right they were!
In the media scrum with Richard, The Toronto Star’s Norris McDonald asked Petty if he thought Danica Patrick would ever win a NASCAR race.
Richard, with that patented Petty grin drawled, “Ya… as long as everybody else stays home! If she was a male, nobody would pay any attention to her!”
Petty’s answer created an over-blown fire-storm of media coverage that extended far beyond the boundaries of the racing world.
Even NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams ran the story! Was Petty sexist? Was the 7-time champ and 7-time Daytona 500 winner out of bounds with his rebuke of Patrick?
Danica and I took the same stance. The King is entitled to his opinion and his NASCAR royalty status means the man can say pretty much what he wants, understanding this was all marvelous publicity for Danica, Petty and NASCAR on the eve of their biggest race.
It was also invaluable coverage for Stewart-Haas. Smoke’s driver stable was already making waves, and the season hadn’t even started.
Danica does need to get a lot more competitive before she can challenge for wins, but as the photo shows, this is where Miss Patrick wins, and where NASCAR and the sport wins. She’s a role model for countless young ladies to strive for their goals and dreams.
This little girl and her big Hello-Kitty bag is not only a Patrick fan, she’s now a racing fan and that’s the key to our future. Danica knows that and stops to make sure she gets an autograph.
Even Petty admits she’s fabulous for NASCAR’s image. And no goofy The King Vs Danica one-on-one gimmick race is ever going to change that.
So the Patrick Vs Petty tussle got it started.
Then Kevin Harvick goes to work and wins the second race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, dominating at Phoenix, making the move from Richard Childress look like pure gold!
Less than a week later Kurt Busch generates even more headlines for the team, confirming he will attempt “The Double”, The Indy 500 for Michael Andretti, and the NASCAR Coke 600 at Charlotte later that same day for Stewart-Haas, a grand total of eleven hundred miles of racing and media attention, in two vastly different forms of machinery.
Of the three drivers who have attempted “The Double”, Robby Gordon, John Andretti and Tony Stewart, Smoke is the only one who’s completed the entire total distance.
His results in 2001 were also outstanding that day: a 6th in The Indy 500 on the lead lap after leading 13 laps, and a 3rd at Charlotte after starting dead last and recovering from an early race spin.
Tony’s feat comes full circle again with team mate and employee Kurt Busch attempting to at least match his boss’ numbers, to say nothing about the value it brings IndyCar to have a NASCAR star cross over to the open-wheel world.
In essence, Stewart-Haas Racing is currently the darling of two major sanctioning bodies at the same time!
If the team was paid by their sponsors per word of media coverage, Smoke and Company would have enough cash flow to race the next decade free and clear!
Tale Wags:
We are thrilled to announce News 95.7 Halifax has re-joined the Raceline Radio Network. That brings us to 16 Network affiliates across Canada, and 21 airings a week… Canadian Motor Speedway works through the winter interviewing architects to take Jeff Gordon’s track design to blueprints. Work on the Fort Erie site resumes when the ground thaws in the spring.
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