Skip to comments.NASCAR Driver Says Female Phenom Has Unfair Edge(Danica Patrick)
Posted on 05/28/2005 8:03:38 PM PDT by freepatriot32
Robby Gordon accused Danica Patrick of having an unfair advantage in the Indianapolis 500 and said Saturday he will not compete in the race again unless the field is equalized.
Gordon, a former open-wheel driver now in NASCAR, contends that Patrick is at an advantage over the rest of the competitors because she only weighs 100 pounds. Because all the cars weigh the same, Patrick's is lighter on the race track.
"The lighter the car, the faster it goes," Gordon said. "Do the math. Put her in the car at her weight, then put me or Tony Stewart in the car at 200 pounds and our car is at least 100 pounds heavier.
"I won't race against her until the IRL does something to take that advantage away."
The Indy Racing League does not consider the weight of the driver in its race specifications. The car has to weigh at least 1,525 pounds before the fuel and driver are added, and teams in Indy have estimated that Patrick will gain close to 1 mph in speed because of her small stature.
Although her rivals in Sunday's race have said she doesn't have a huge advantage, pole-sitter Tony Kanaan told reporters he would like the Indy Racing League to look into the issue.
"Right off the bat, a guy my size is spotting her 105 pounds," Gordon said. "That's the reason she's so much faster."
Patrick has been among the quickest drivers since rookie orientation began on the famed 2 1/2-mile oval on May 5. Only a bobble on the first lap of her qualifying effort kept her from winning the pole, and she will take the green flag from fourth on Sunday, the best starting position for a woman at Indy.
Patrick was fastest with a lap of 225.997 mph to lead the one-hour "Carb Day" practice on Friday, the only time the cars got on the track during the week between the end of time trials and the start of the race.
She follows Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James and Sarah Fisher to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, needing only to finish eighth or better to improve on the best previous finish by a female - ninth by Guthrie in 1978.
Patrick, however, is not focused on simply finishing in the top 10 or just staying out of trouble.
"I think I have a great chance of winning this race," the confident Patrick said.
Driving the 650-horsepower IndyCars for the first time this year, Patrick has improved in each of the first four IRL races, culminating in an impressive fourth place last month in Japan.
At Indy, she has been nothing less than a phenomenon.
Patrick would not be the first rookie to win here, although certainly among the least experienced.
Juan Montoya was the defending champion of the rival CART series when he won here in 2000, and Helio Castroneves was a two-year regular in CART and winner of three races before he took the checkered flag as an Indy rookie in 2001.
Still, Castroneves, who also won the next year, said he has no doubt Patrick could win on Sunday, particularly since she is driving a Honda-powered Panoz for the powerful Rahal Letterman Racing team that won here last year with Buddy Rice.
"She is driving for a great team and she has been fast every day since she got here," Castroneves said. "If she can keep her nose clean, she'll be OK. The only thing that might be a problem is you have to have patience and, sometimes, rookies don't have much patience."
Castroneves, starting fifth, and Marlboro Team Penske teammate Sam Hornish Jr., a two-time IRL champion and starting in the middle of the first row, also will be among the favorites Sunday as they try to give Roger Penske a record 14th Indy win.
Others to watch include all four members of Andretti Green Racing, including Kanaan, current IRL points leader Dan Wheldon, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta.
If one of them can manage to get to Victory Lane, it would be a very big day indeed for team co-owner Michael Andretti, who led more laps than any other nonwinner at Indy. His father, Mario, won the race in 1969, then spent 25 frustrating years trying and failing to win it again.
The two had so many things go wrong here that the term "Andretti Luck" became part of the Indy lexicon. "We've done everything in our power to put ourselves in a good position," Michael said. "Of course, this feeling doesn't mean anything. I've been here before in this position. We'll see what fate has in store."
And don't forget perhaps the most heartwarming story of the month: Kenny Brack. The 1999 Indy winner, nearly killed in a devastating crash at Texas Motor Speedway in October 2003, was called upon just last week to replace Rice, injured in a crash here on May 10.
Brack responded by posting the fastest qualifying speed of the month, 227.598 mph. Since it came on the second week of time trials, though, he will start 23rd. Nobody has won from that far back since Johnny Rutherford started 25th in 1974 and charged to the second of his three victories.
Still, Brack is confident he can be competitive in basically the same Honda-powered Panoz in which Rice won last year.
"Maybe I'll be a little rusty in traffic, but it's a long race," said Brack, who hasn't raced an IndyCar since his crash. "I think we'll be just fine after the first pit stop."
The third Rahal Letterman entry, Vitor Meira, making his fourth Indy start - from seventh - could be the dark horse in the race.
"Vitor also has great equipment and he's been flying all month," Kanaan said. "I think maybe he's a little under the radar."
Hornish has been perhaps the IRL's biggest star since winning his first series title in 2001, but he has struggled mightily at Indy. In five starts here, he has yet to finish better than 14th or even complete all 200 laps.
"The big thing is to make it to the end, which I have not done yet," Hornish said. "But we have a great team and two great cars and we've got as good a shot as anybody.
"If I do win here, it would be my 14th (career) win and it would be Roger's 14th at Indy," he added. "I think that would be very nice."
The big question going into Sunday, though, remains: What will Danica do?
Castroneves was asked if it bothers him that most of the questions he and other veterans have fielded this month have been about Patrick.
"It's good for the series, it's good for the sport," he replied. "When I came here they gave me the nickname 'Spider Man.' Maybe they should call her 'Wonder Woman."
he wont compete in the race again until team car owners are confeident that he has enough skill to drive the car without crashing it into the wall at turn one wich could be years down the road maybe he should take driving lessons from a woman instead of sitting around bitching like one
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I hope she wins just to piss this guy off.
Give her a box of TDU weights and call it affirmative action.
Quit your whining
So, if I put a jockey in one of these cars he will automatically win. Why not put a weight requirement of inverse the weight of your brain to join these races?
"Right off the bat, a guy my size is spotting her 105 pounds," Gordon said. "That's the reason she's so much faster."
Sounds like he's conceding defeat. My suggestion: Give up and become a housewife. Make your spouse bring home the bacon.
Wait until the 105 pound transvestites/transgenders start playing the field !
Most athletes complain about women competitors because they aren't big and strong enough. Now they complain because they're too small?
Robby ain't doin' so hot on the NASCAR circuit. Maybe he should pipe down and race a little harder.
That's what I'm thinking, either jockeys or midgets or chimps.
What a whiner. He's making himself look really petty and foolish.
So should there be weight classes in auto-racing?
It's as unfair as male-against-female in any other sport. He's right.
In my own opinion- so what? If a woman wants to box Mike Tyson, she should be free to try.
I'm on the verge of equating the name "Gordon" in racing to the name "Kennedy" in politics - don't wanna hear it, don't wanna see it, wouldn't EVER vote for it.
Sounds like Robby Gordon's just found something to whine about since he hasn't got a ride. Blame it on somebody else.
"If you're not a race driver, stay the hell home. Don't come here and grumble about going too fast. Get the hell out of the race car if you've got feathers on your legs or butt. Put a kerosene rag around your ankles so the ants won't climb up and eat that candy ass."
Driving lessons from a woman?
YOu might be interested over here ping...
He's right about the physics......stated alternatively, she has a handicap of more than 1 1/2 laps.
Races are won and lost by fractions of a car-length.
SHUT THE F*** up Robby
First of all rack her she doing good so far I don't think she win entire race she has a shot
SHUT F*** UP
Robby needs to remember his extra weight gives him an advantage - more "down" force.
What a big, fat 200-pound-plus whiner!!! If she were 50 pounds heavier and not a babe, he'd have to find something else to whine about!!
I don't understand all the venom against Gordon. He has a point. Patrick is quickly becoming a media darling in large measure because she is female. Indeed she does have a built in advantage. So maybe before the media gets carried away with her being the Billie Jean King of racing they could honestly discuss the weight issue. People root for her as an underdog and are willing to provide her with what may be an unfair advantage. The point is, if NASCAR is going to open up then the rules should change as well to address these issues. It's called fair play and sportsmanship.
Yeah, she's one of the lighter drivers on the track. She's also one of the younger and less experienced drivers on the track. Things even out.
But she has the crippling disadvantage of being a woman driver... she needs every edge she can get!
You are quite correct on the physics.
I'm sorry that all those blinded by her gender/beauty can't recognize that he has a point.
But in a racing league where the cars are almost identical, Gordon should stop his whining and adapt his racing strategy.
what a pansy.
I can see raising the subject of handicapping - like in horse-racing - but refusing to compete is just lame.
Too many whiners. If you aren't the fastest driver, then you don't deserve to win. If that means that only midget females will win, then so be it.
Let the fastest driver win, however, rather than force handicaps that amount to Affirmative Action for poor White male drivers.
Thanks for proving my initial point....
Robby Robby,, so she won't date ya.. cool it.
Heck, how about they just let the cars and drivers speak for themselves on the track..
A race finish , at all, would be excellent for Danica, if she avoids trouble and traffic, she could be Top 20 or better.
It's a long race tho .
Wah. What's next...heavy jockeys complaining about skinny jockeys?
Sorenstam was a media darling before she played golf with the guys. She got her butt kicked and everyone forgot about it. Same thing here. This lady will wilt under the conditions and that will be that.
hey gordon: starve yourself.
Question to all: who's got more track time / experience / completed races - Sarah Fisher or Patrick?
Saying an extra 100 lbs in a race car is unfair is like saying a tic-tac in a whale will fill it up.
Oh no, thank you for proving mine.
For a second there I thought I had stumbled on the wrong forum..
You don't know much about racing, do you?
I agree with hoping she wins.
Lose weight, sissy boy. (This from a fat grandma. I'm not, however, expecting others to level my playing field for me!)
I didn't know you had one...
Why is he complaining? She`s a woman driver. She will start the race by going in reverse, then hit the gas instead of the brake, then hit the cars as they lap her, then blame it on the other cars for getting her way, then complain that this is making her late for shopping.
You should try reading, then. It's more than just a useful skill, after all.
But to recap, my point was that there were too many whiners complaining about the little girl's unfair advantage...begging for Affirmative Action for poor White Male Drivers in order to "level" the playing field for them.
And yes, Robby Gordon is just whining.
If Patick's car meets the specs, tough cookies to Gordon.
If Patrick wins without wiping out half the field, great.