Right in the middle of a war of words between NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and his colleague, one of the most visible drivers in the sport takes a stand against accusations that Dale has been stealing fans.
Danica Patrick, who hasn’t been one of the top-performing drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series, has always been a well-known and top-notch personality within the sport – a fact that has riled some other drivers and fans, alike.
Coupled with Dale Jr., Patrick and he lead the charge in most-valuable names for marketing, but they don’t lead with their driving stats. For this reason, racing competitor Kevin Harvick directly called out Dale Jr., accusing him of “fan stealing”.
Harvick expressed in a recent interview that he feels Dale Jr. has “stunted” NASCAR’s growth by underperforming, yet maintaining his status as the most-popular driver in the series.
Now, Patrick is coming to Dale Jr.’s defense, and pushing back against critics that say she and Dale Jr. detract from the sport by being popular, yet not winning.
“I think Dale did (raise the bar),” Patrick said in a new interview with Popular Speed. “I’m a little bit defensive of situations like that, because I am more popular than my results. And it’s not my fault — if that’s the right way to say it. It’s not as though I’ve done something to steal something, you know what I mean?”
While it’s clear that Dale Jr. and Danica Patrick aren’t outwardly seeking to steal fans away from any part of the sport – and include their connection to NASCAR in almost every facet of their lives, Patrick says that the fact they haven’t been winning races isn’t something they’re aiming for.
“The fact is, Dale would have loved to have won every race he entered into, just like I would,” Patrick continued. “But that’s not the way it goes, so then it goes beyond that to a personality.”
What do y’all think about Harvick’s accusations and Danica Patrick’s response? Who do you agree with? Let us know in the comments.
Check out the video below where Danica Patrick talks about a situation involving some unhappy fans that happened recently.