Didn't we have this "discussion" before???
If you really want to argue over the terminology, thats fine, we can do that. My point is, unless you're winning, or consistently challenging for wins, you're pretty much thought of as a "back marker", "mid pack", "also ran", etc., and therefore not very prominent in the minds of fans or sponsors.
You can't avoid the fact that a major reason she is even relevent still, are her looks, and basing that against her on track performance, her looks are a bigger asset to her and sponsors than what she does on the track.
There are a few drivers, who get more recognition from their name, looks, and fan popularity than what they do on the track, ie; Dale Jr., and Danica is another fine example.
As for the new car in 2012, and it improving her performance, I wouldn't bet on it.
Originally Posted by Captain Vlad
Inaccurate. She's had a very weak year compared to 2009 (where she was 5th in the points and the top non-Penske, non-CG driver), but she's still been running midpack with occasional glimpses of her previous year's performance, which doesn't qualify her as a 'back marker' by any reasonable analysis of her results.
This in no way rules out people not liking her, of course. I just wish people would separate their opinion from her points results. If you wanna talk back-markers, IRL has plenty of drivers who the term fits much, much better.
I do agree that she needs to be more aggressive. She's often plenty fast enough to challenge for the top-five or the lead, but as another poster said, she seems skittish about mixing it up. Every once in a while she'll race when she's pissed off and boy can you tell the difference (Texas, this year, probably her best...and 'meanest' drive).
Anyway, to me, she (along with her teammates, actually) is a great symbol of some of what's wrong with the IRL, and I ain't talking about her publicity. That's no worse than Tony Stewart and his Whoppers, in my opinion.
What I mean is the fact that there are a LOT of talented driver's in the IRL who only rarely have a realistic shot at a win due to Penske's and CG's dominance. It happens, but not often enough.
Maybe the new car in 2012 will shake things up a little. I sorta doubt it though.