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SBD/August 10, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Danica's Likely Departure Will Impact IndyCar, But Will It Be That Big A Loss?
Published August 10, 2011
MIXED REACTION: SI.com’s Bruce Martin noted IndyCar drivers and execs “have mixed thoughts” about how Patrick leaving would impact the series. IndyCar in some ways “may actually benefit if Patrick leaves because many of its top drivers and great storylines have been overshadowed by her presence.” With just one career IndyCar win, Patrick's “actual accomplishments ... fall considerably short of her level of fame.” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said, "Danica means a great deal because she draws the spotlight and she is clearly the most popular driver in IndyCar racing so she is vitally important to IndyCars. But I can tell you we had the first race after her big breakthrough at Indy in 2005 and we didn't see ticket sales improve. One driver doesn't sell tickets; it takes all of them.” Driver Scott Dixon said, “I don't think it's a devastating blow but it is somewhat of a setback. Straight up, if the series had the option of her staying or going, they would want her to stay. I definitely wouldn't say it is a good thing.” Former driver Mario Andretti: "She is going to be missed, but if the series depended on one individual the series would be in trouble.” Bernard contends that IndyCar “will continue to grow with or without Patrick.” Bernard: "If you look at Michael Jordan -- the greatest of the greats -- it didn't bring the NBA down when he left. But the difference is a person like Wayne Gretzky or Michael Jordan was winning every single week. Danica's exposure has been built by GoDaddy ... but she has won one race. We need to remember (that is) what made Danica” (SI.com, 8/9).