Everyone has been wondering what will happen to NASCAR since it’s most popular driver is retiring at the end of the current Monster Energy Cup season. Chiming in with advice for his fans that might be left undecided on what to do, Danica Patrick issued her advice to the entirety of “Jr. Nation”.
Stopping by FOX Sports’ NASCAR Race Hub, Patrick along with the four racing correspondents, Shannon Spake, Jeff Hammond, and Adam Alexander, discussed the future of NASCAR without Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel.
Dale Jr. who had been voted the racing organization’s most popular driver for 14 years running, recently announced his retirement and shocked the world of racing with the news. Many people have stated that ratings, viewership, and fan participation at events is likely to plummet since Dale Jr.’s fans will have nowhere to turn, but according to Patrick – there is a way around this.
“I think that when you cheer for somebody you cheer for their personality somewhat. So I think that it wouldn’t surprise me if whoever Dale was friends with – that might be who they cheer for,” She said. “There’s just so much that feels, like, old school, so I feel like they might just still watch. You don’t have to have a favorite to watch!”
The correspondents then chimed in echoing her sentiment and comparing it to watching the NBA Finals without having a specific favorite player that you’re rooting for. Basically saying that regardless of choice in drivers, fans often love the sport for what it is and choose to watch based solely on that.
Jeff Hammond responded to Patrick and suggested that he expects Dale Jr. to possibly “take the baton” from The King, Richard Petty, and follow in his footsteps somewhat. He also shared that just because his favorite baseball player, Mickey Mantle, wasn’t on the Yankees didn’t mean he stopped watching. “I’m still a Yankees fan,” He exclaimed.
What do you think will happen to NASCAR after Dale Jr.’s departure? Do you agree with what Danica Patrick had to say about it?
Watch their full NASCAR Race Hub conversation below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.