Woman On Pole

Danica Patrick

Original Image

Well, it’s happened again, a woman driver has “Pole position” at NASCAR.

I guess I don’t follow it that well, since I’d thought maybe this was a first. Turns out it is a second.


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the first time in her NASCAR career, Danica Patrick was the fastest driver in Nationwide Series qualifying Friday.

That also meant she was the fastest female and only the second woman to capture a pole position in the three major touring series in NASCAR’s 64-year history.

For Patrick, though, the former was much more important than the latter in becoming the first female pole-sitter since Shawna Robinson at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March, 10 1994.

I’ve frequently mentioned that in Karate class there were a couple of women who could “point” on me any time they wanted to. ( In sparring a gently landed strike, punch, or kick counts as a ‘point’ if not countered or blocked ) Women simply have faster hands. Men have more power, but also more mass. That added mass slows down speed of response. So while I could punch more effectively than the women, it would only happen just after having been smacked… Being in ‘reactive mode’ is not the best strategy for combat…

At any rate, Danica has won “pole position” (the favored front position for starting the race – basically she starts out in the lead). this isn’t “unfair”, it improves safety as you don’t have good drivers needing to work their way up past all the less good and taking risks in the process. You put drivers in position roughly proportional to skill in the test runs and then you find out if any of them can reach closer to the front. Less crashes and a more rapid sorting of winners from losers.

Now for the second time we have a woman on pole position, and all the guys eating dust.

Go Danika, Go!

Official Site: http://www.danicaracing.com/

Photo Gallery: http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/Danica-Patrick-in-pictures/G2652,A10013

Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danica_Patrick

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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24 Responses to Woman On Pole

  1. adrianvance says:

    This was bound to happen after we gave women the vote. Big mistake.

  2. Zeke says:

    This doesn’t disprove that women and machinery don’t mix. ;) :D

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    Didn’t see a smiley….

    IMHO, it is a breath of fresh air. Then again, I’m culturally Celtic. We like women who do challenging things; even raising and leading armies into battle and leading countries… (Heck, ‘The Vote’ is small potatoes compared to Warrior Celtic Women… “give them the vote”? Give? You kidding? They have a sword, know how to use it, and take what is theirs.)

    Germans and Latins may like weak submissive women, and Moslims clearly do; but Celts like a little spice and spunk in life… It’s a redhead thing ;-)

    (Frankly, had I a nice broad sword and was face to face with a Celtic woman with an epee or rapier, I’d just surrender on the spot. Between the lighter faster weapon and the faster hands and eye, vs my slower hand and heavy slow sword, I’d be skewered in any case – and possibly even twice before I could get a decent swing going… )

    NASCAR grew out of moonshiners and rum runners – that was popular in the Celtic dominated areas of the south east… This is a Celtic sport at it’s cultural core. Women Warriors and Drivers welcome, IMHO. (And if you don’t like that expect to be run over, whacked, and left in the dust with nothing to see but a pony tale fading in the distance… ) Yes, as America was culturally dominated by Germans and English for a while we had our “time of troubles” with them pushing a male dominated culture. But the Celtic core of American culture keeps resurfacing…

    As I said above: “Go Danica Go!”

    For the first time in a couple of decades I’m likely to watch a NASCAR race. You know for whom I will be cheering…


    Some of the news is saying this is the first time a woman had pole position for a high ranked race. A major race. So that may be where I picked up the “first” notion. First time it is a ‘big time’ race. She has the fastest car, so now it is just up to her.

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    NEVER go up against a woman fighter pilot.

    Faster reflexes. More precise hand / eye coordination. Shorter blood column, so less tendency to black out. You will just be toast.

    On my “Old College Roomies” robot building team, the women do just fine, thank you very much… Often doing better programming, btw.

    When teaching programming I always had the women “light up” when I’d point out that many of them already knew the basic methods of programming. I ask how many have knitted or seen a book of knitting patterns? Then point out that they have already learned a programming language complete with “do loops” and subroutines. (About then I mention that the first programmers were women – Ada Lovelace and Dr. Grace Hopper also with a Navy Commission…)


    As she grew up, Grace’s parents encouraged her to pursue her educational ambitions. At Vassar College, she obtained a B.A. in mathematics and physics. She continued her education at Yale University by completing a masters and Ph.D. in mathematics. She then returned to Vassar to teach.

    During World War II, Hopper joined the Navy and was sworn into the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1943. After training, she was commissioned as a lieutenant and assigned to the Bureau of Ordinance Computation Project at Harvard University. She became the third person to program the Harvard Mark I computer. Much like her clocks, disassembling it and figuring out its operating processes was a challenge that she really enjoyed.

    Yeah, you had a smiley face on it, but it is still worth pointing out that any “women and machinery” stereotype is more about opportunity / interest than capacity. (Or maybe just that it is a lot easier to just say “Oh Dear, do you know some nice strong man who could change that flat tire? ….” than to do it yourself…. )

    Did I mention that women are more crafty than men too? ;-)

    BTW, Russian woman sniper with the most kills had 309… so the “machinery” of a sniper rifle and scope wasn’t a problem…

    Hmmmm…. Slavics tend to be R1a and Celts R1b haplogroup, but were both just “R1” about 9000 to 15,000 years ago (IIRC) so were once one tribe… Wonder how closely related Slavic and Celtic cultures were a few thousand years back… Come to think of it, the Slavic reputation for “spunky” women spies and women warriors is an interesting parallel… The Rus from which Russia got it’s name, means ‘The Red’ from the red hair and beards of some of the tribe…

    At any rate, there is also evidence for Neanderthal women going on hunts (some of the bones have similar injury patterns) and doing “guy stuff”, so it may reach all the way back that far.

    At any rate, don’t be at the wrong end of “machinery” in the hands of Celtic, Slavic, or Neaderthal women. They know what the “pointy end” does and which end makes the BANG… and are not bashful at all about demonstrating that knowledge on your ass… ;-)

  5. Zeke says:

    Your point is well taken about being at the wrong end of “machinery” in the hands of a skilled woman. Or at the wrong end of machinery in the feet of a skilled woman, I might usefully add:

    (h/t DB Stealy WUWT)

    But the secret of success is not with one sex or the other; it is with those who have found what the two become and do in genuine union. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. This is our Western heritage also.

  6. DirkH says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    18 February 2013 at 7:34 pm
    “Germans and Latins may like weak submissive women,”

    I might not be the most typical German then.

  7. Speed says:

    Shawna Robinson, former NASCAR driver, is the creator and owner of Happy Chair, and also loves interior and event design.

    It’s Monday — Top Gear.

    In December 2004, [Sabine] Schmitz gained further recognition in the United Kingdom after appearing in the BBC television show Top Gear with presenter Jeremy Clarkson. After Clarkson (under her tutelage) set a lap time of 9 minutes 59 seconds around the Nürburgring in a Jaguar S-Type diesel (Season 5, Episode 5), she castigated his best lap with the comment “I tell you something, I do that lap time in a van”. She did a lap in the Jaguar S-Type, and set a time of 9 minutes 12 seconds, beating him by 47 seconds. When trying to film Schmitz as she drove the S-Type, the film team were unable to keep up so used Jaguar test driver Wolfgang Schubauer to drive the Jaguar S-Type R chase car …


  8. Jerry says:

    196.434 mph – that is fast on 4 wheels. Don’t forget she is also a winner in Indy cars and has only been on the NASCAR circuit for a few years. Jeff Gorden placed second at 196+ and was joking that ‘Hey, I am the fastest Guy’ I hope she does well! Here is an article on why this is a ‘FIRST’.

  9. w.w.wygart says:

    For Danica Patrick it’s quite an accomplishment, no doubt, only one ‘person’ out of what?? twenty?? highly skilled and competitive drivers make the pole. The fact that one woman makes it to the pole in one race every twenty years or so does say something about how far the bell curves of the required aptitudes in the population are shifted. Still, I do appreciate the fact that the Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s of this world get to watch some woman’s tail lights over their own hood, does do my heart good.

    As for your karate example. You’ve probably never fought a real boxer, tremendous combination of speed and power which you do not find in most karate classes. For most karateka under 2nd or 3rd degree black-belt it is tremendous surprise to find themselves matched up against someone who really knows how to land, and take, a full force punch. I remember taking the ‘course’ at the old Mott Lake Compound back in the mid ’80’s, one of the guys on my team was, I forget, what degrees in this and that he was ranked [it was 1986], was completely taken apart by the combatives instructor who was a boxer and ‘off the block’ as we used to say. He was also the knife fighting instructor, and the number of ugly keloids on his arms, face and shoulders suggested that he really knew what he was teaching. Maybe some of the rest of you out there remember him too. Nice guy.


  10. adrianvance says:

    EM: If you are talking about Boudica then I’ve got you because she could not control her men well enough to just wait and dry out the 1,000 man Roman Legion she cornered , but her own 100,000 man force bolted and the Roman formation just ate them like potato chips.

    I say our politics have been feminized to the point of destruction and we would not be where we are today it if were not for women’s “political correctness” and men who can cry, BS.

    Sorry, truth hurts.

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    My Karate instructor was, IIRC, 4th Dan. He was also a street Sgt. in the PD (Motorcycles). He used Karate (and Aikido) on a daily basis on the street… We had to learn “defense techniques” that were mostly Aikido and some ‘street smarts’, but not Karate. Things that worked, quickly and well, and sometimes without damaging your ‘opponent’.

    Unlike most classes, this was a very small one. (On campus at Apple). Maybe a dozen folks some times. We all got to spar with Sensei… His speed was spectacular, and with power.

    My Dad taught me to box. He was a “Golden Gloves” regional (in weight class) champion.

    I think I know what “real power” and “real speed” is all about.

    In preparation for “Kumite” and a competition, as a 7th Kyu, I was paired up with a black belt. In that practice, I managed to get ONE point. (Via a ‘mutual slaying’… I pointed at the same time he pointed, both with what would have been lethal if full power movements…) I could never come close to pointing on Sensei…

    With all that said:

    There was a lady Brown Belt who could point on me any time she wanted. Just so damn fast. In a real fight I’d be blind in under 10 seconds. Yes, her power in the punch was nothing to be feared. OTOH, being blind, and with a broken throat, is, um, “not good”… She could also kick like a mule…

    One of the things I learned was that you needed to know what YOU could do well, and what THEY could do well, and work for what kept them unable to use their best while letting you use your best. ( I got really good at ‘catching kicks’ ;-)

    On one occasion I made the mistake of asking Sensei “How would I take down someone from behind? If, for example, they had a gun on a group of folks and I was behind them?” He used me to demonstrate. I saw nothing. I heard nothing. I was on the floor looking up, my ‘gun hand’ somewhere strange, and ‘something’ on the throat… ( I think it was a foot…) He was using “minimal power” and it felt like a sack of cement hit me…

    So yes, I’ve been faced with “a real boxer”. Starting with Dad… ending with Sensei.

    FWIW, holding the bag for Sensei was “a challenge”. His full power kicks were hard to absorb, even with the bag; and I was about 100 kilos then… Never could catch one of his kicks, but I came close once… and he proceeded to whack me on the open side with a strike to remind me that catching was a cute trick but…

    Per the number of women drivers: I think it has a whole lot more to do with level of interest and opportunity than to native ability. Women pilots have done just fine, for example, and that’s a whole lot harder.


    There were many Celtic women leaders and warriors. Boudica was only one (though the most famous). Per the battle where they lost:

    IMHO that was because they closed off the exit with wagons. When the Roman ‘turtle’ advanced, the larger force backed up and most of the deaths were due to ‘crowd crushing’ against the blocked retreat than actual swords.

    Basically,. a broken strategic move. They had a great advantage in mobility and threw it away with a constrained field of battle. Not the first time that has let a smaller force destroy a larger.

    Per your assertion that she could not control “her men”: Her force was a MIX of men and women (the Roman in charge exhorted his men with the cry that ‘her force is 1/2 just women’). The Celts had no real ‘order of battle’. It was considered a trial of wills and you were expected to just wade into it and wail on the other guys. That was a common Celt failure and had nothing to do with women vs men. There are many Celt battles where they lost due to the “lots of energy and don’t worry about strategy”. In the battles leading up to the final failure, Boudica and the Celts won great victories. Largely as they were using mobility tactics and didn’t let the Roman Turtle form up against them.

    But none of that ‘order of battle’ analysis matters to the point here: You do not “have me”, as my point was only that Celts had women warriors (they did) and women leaders (they did). That they also won many battles, and lost the war, is not relevant to those points.

    The Celts were NOT about “feminizing” nor about “Political Correctness”. In fact, the exact opposite. Those behaviours, too, are orthogonal to my point. Women can be feminine and STILL be lethal warriors, and Real Men ™ can be quite comfortable with that and LIKE it. The Celtic tradition of the “Hero’s Portion” comes to mind. The tribe would go to the large common building where the big animal from the hunt would be roasting. ANYONE could “claim the hero’s portion”. That was the first and best cut of meat… OK, not a big deal… unless…

    IF someone else did not agree with their story of why they deserved The Hero’s Portion, they could contest it. Jumping to the end: Either you agreed as to who deserved The Hero’s Portion, or a fight to the death followed. Anyone on anyone… The men did not always win… (though yes, the way to bet would be the biggest gnarliest meanest warrior guy, most of the time…) So not exactly PC… (And why the Romans were a bit circumspect about inviting Celts to dinner…)

    So I have trouble with the notion that it is ‘feminizing’ to allow that a women might just deserve the Hero’s Portion nor to appreciate that with that light sword on her belt she has a very high probability of slicing my throat while I’m still on the back swing with mine… that’s just simple physics…

    Truth may hurt, but there was little of it in what you put in your comment… Recognizing that women have some particular skills and advantages that men do not have, and that men have some they do not have; and that combat requires you recognize that;… well I just don’t see how that is “feminizing”. Then again, I would rather stay alive in a fight and “know my limitations”. I also like women wearing weapons and think “His and Hers matching 45s” is a nice fashion statement. (Then again, my sister and her husband do competitive shooting… so maybe it’s a family thing… She likes a 45 Long Colt, IIRC. “Western Action” shooting.) How a women with a .45 who knows how to use it is “feminizing” is beyond me. I also got to watch a lady in college who was skilled with the epee practice. (Lived in the same dorm). No way I’d want to go against her. I’m just too slow. (Maybe in armor… but I’d rather use a bow at distance ;-) She had speed and precision. I had power. I might have been able to land one blow after being skewered, maybe… Not my idea of winning…

    Hydraulic controls in airplanes have eliminated the male advantage there. It is not about native strength so much as ability to squeeze the blood back up into your brain (where women have been tested and found better able to take g’s) and have speed with precision. Expect to see women Aces. Oh, wait, we already have them…


    As the Battle of Stalingrad raged on, replacement male combat pilots were becoming hard to come by and the 586th under the command of Major Tamara Kazarinova saw its first combat action in the spring of 1942. Seeing the skill of these women, the Soviet High Command began dispersing the several female pilots to existing male units.

    Three of the original 586th fighter pilots, Lilya Litvak, her best friend Yekaterina Budanova and Olga Yamshchikova became “aces.” The White Rose of Stalingrad was actually Lidiya Vladimirovna Litvak. Her nickname to fellow Soviet pilots was “Lilya” (Lily) and it was because of this nickname she painted not a rose but a white lily on her aircrafts.

    The exact number of victories these two women had is not known. Lilya Litvak is credited with twelve confirmed but is said to have had as high as twenty. Olga Yamshchkova is rumored to have had seventeen and Yekaterina Budanova totaled eleven confirmed victories.

    So contrary to ‘having me’, I point to existence proofs.

    Women, in combat, are deadly. Especially in any field that takes speed and precision instead of raw power. THAT is not “feminizing”. Get over it. (Or take a plane up against a woman fighter pilot, or a broad sword against a rapier, or… Note that those W.W.II airplanes were not easy to fly with advanced hydraulics…)


    Yeah, just a tiny bit shy of 200 MPH… and that with the restriction plate in place for qualifying…


    Nice to know where she ended up.


    I had “may” in my statement. Don’t know for sure…


    OMG, that’s amazing…

    There are some interesting Asian fighting forms that were designed specifically for women. One used those pretty little hand fans to chop you up… ( I think they used specially made ones, and speed rather than power…)

    But yes, what happens when blending complementary skills is better than either alone.

  12. adrianvance says:

    My, so many words, so little logic. The point is that Boudica could have won by starving, or dehydrating, said Romans in three days if she could maintain discipline in her corps. (Please note, Mr. Obama the “p” is silent.) But, she could not. It is just that simple.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Vance:

    You keep saying that, and it is entirely orthogonal both to the posting, and to my points.

    Yes, Celts were a bit lousy at overall strategy. Frequently. Men. Women. All of them. They were an impatient and emotional lot who did not do “high strategy” in battle. None of that has anything to do with Boudica or “her corps” other than that they were Celts with Celtic attitudes. It certainly has nothing to do with women’s competency in battle vs men’s competency as men Celtic leaders did very similar things in battle (and also lost).

    So you bring up an orthogonal point as somehow counter to the notion that women can be competent in battle or as drivers or… (frankly, it is a bit hazy WHY you brought it up, being as it is orthogonal…). I then point out why it is orthogonal (i.e. it’s a Celt lack of strategy thing not a gender thing… since you seemed to be saying it was a gender thing…) and now you come back at me with a complaint that I presented too much, you didn’t follow the logic in it, and again assert that Boudica “couldn’t maintain discipline in her corps” as though it was up to her and she failed. Celts never had a disciplined approach in that era. It was all just “rush in and whack”. That is WHY we don’t speak Gaelic now.

    So yes, I fully agree and concede and endorse and shout from the rooftops: “IFF Celts had Roman discipline they would have won many more battles and the war and Boudica would have won.” But it is a Celt thing, not a Woman thing. So irrelevant. Her troops followed her all over Britain. They attacked when she said attack. She said attack in that particular last battle too, and they did what she told them to do. Attack.

    The “stupid bit” was blocking off their own mobility with wagons and letting the Romans form up their “Turtle” (that darned near nobody managed to defeat with infantry) on a battle ground of Roman choosing. BTW, the Romans had far more than 1,000 (though the exact numbers on both sides are unknown). The wiki looks like it’s reasonably accurate on this:

    “While Boudica’s army continued their assault in Verulamium (St. Albans), Suetonius regrouped his forces. According to Tacitus, he amassed a force including his own Legio XIV Gemina, some vexillationes (detachments) of the XX Valeria Victrix, and any available auxiliaries. The prefect of Legio II Augusta, Poenius Postumus, stationed near Exeter, ignored the call, and a fourth legion, IX Hispana, had been routed trying to relieve Camulodunum, but nonetheless the governor was able to call on almost ten thousand men.”

    “Boudica exhorted her troops from her chariot, her daughters beside her. Tacitus gives her a short speech in which she presents herself not as an aristocrat avenging her lost wealth, but as an ordinary person, avenging her lost freedom, her battered body, and the abused chastity of her daughters. She said their cause was just, and the deities were on their side; the one legion that had dared to face them had been destroyed. She, a woman, was resolved to win or die; if the men wanted to live in slavery, that was their choice.

    However, the lack of manoeuvrability of the British forces, combined with lack of open-field tactics to command these numbers, put them at a disadvantage to the Romans,
    who were skilled at open combat due to their superior equipment and discipline. Also, the narrowness of the field meant that Boudica could put forth only as many troops as the Romans could at a given time.

    In other words, no lack of the troops doing what they were ordered to do. No failure of courage nor of orders. A large failure of letting the Romans choose the field of battle to their advantage and a large failure of Celts in general to have “open field tactics”. NOTHING to do with gender. (Which seemed to be your original point…)

    So IFF your original point was NOT gender related: I fully agree that Celts had poor open field tactics, that Boudica did as ALL Celt commanders of the era did, and that it was foolish to send naked troops in mass against Armored Roman legions that had been allowed to choose the field of battle and form up in to “Turtles”. IFF your original point was, as it seemed to be, that somehow Boudica was not “commanding” enough or failed due to being a woman; well that is just simply wrong and the facts do not bear that out.

    In any case, the last battle of Boudica, while very interesting to me and while I’ve read about it for years, is just not relevant to this posting, nor to the demonstrated abilities of women in battle and in competition. (Including the several battles prior to that one when Boudica destroyed a Roman Legion and burnt Londonium to the ground…)

    So you can play your “What If” and complain that the Celts didn’t win because they were more prone to attack than sly strategy. That is all true. But has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with Celt tactics and strategy (or more accurately, the lack of them…)

    BTW, the Germanics did the same kind of mass attack until after one of them was in a Roman army for a while and brought the whole strategy & tactics package back to his folks… so even that failing was not uniquely Celt. Rather it was a Roman improvement over the prior state of the art of war that took a while to get adopted elsewhere.


    There is a similar failure of Vercingetorix (a Gaulish Celt) with a similar end. Large force defeated by Roman discipline and strategy:


    So frankly, the only “lack of logic” I see is your attempt to tie any of that “failure of strategy” to gender. It just isn’t.

    Or if you were trying to make some other point, it just doesn’t show in your words.

    There was no failure of ability to command. There was no lack of spirit in the attack. There was a common Celtic (and early Germanic) failure to put strategic emphasis on selecting the field of battle and failure to employ tactics in battle rather than just do mass attacks. In other words, failure to use ‘Roman Strategy, Tactics, and Discipline’ which was common to everyone non-Roman at the time (which is WHY there was a Roman Empire… as they kept winning…)

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    On “Top Gear” tonight, Amy Mcdonald came in just 2/10 second behind Tom Cruise in the top quadrant of the lap board. ( Looked like top 20% to me, but they didn’t show it for long). Commentary was that she did a very very good lap…

    Folks who don’t regularly watch may not know that Tom Cruise was very aggressive on his lap and made a very hot time. Large numbers of men do not make it to that place on the board…

  15. adrianvance says:

    So many words; so little substance.

    Boudica could not control her men when victory was in hand with no more than waiting because she was “she.” It is just that simple.

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Vance:

    You, sirah, are being an obtuse bigot. It’s that simple. The history is clear. She ordered an attack, and the troops attacked. It was not a question of lack of control. It had nothing to do with her being a “she”.

    The Celt culture believed that “if your cause was just you would win”. It’s that simple. Really. They valued and believed in the “Gods” and also believed that death was just a passage to the next life and didn’t mind much dying in battle. Your knowledge of Celt traditions and ancient culture is clearly lacking. To die in battle a “noble death” was more valued than winning. The Gods would determine who won based on the virtue of the combatants. There was no inducement to conservation of life for victory. Those were all cultural attributes.

    Also, that you seem incapable of understanding my words does not speak well of your capacities. I suggest dropping the “insult lines” along those lines. They mostly make you look stupid and cause me to “be the mirror”. I can put it in “small words” if you like, and if it will help you, but I fear you are well beyond help.

    1) Boudica had full compliance from her troops. They followed her orders.

    2) Their culture did not value tactics and guile, but noble and just cause. They believed in fates and virtue as determination of victory.

    3) They did not bother to select the field of battle nor do tactical command in battles (see #2)

    4) Had nothing to do with their Queen being a woman. She had led them in a long series of battles that were victorious. The took and followed her orders.

    5) Had everything to do with Roman Tactics and Roman selection of field of battle for their benefit.

    6) To “wait and starve them out” or any other delay tactic would be seen as cowardly and unworthy (see #2). It was not culturally acceptable.

    7) The other citations that you ignored (such as the Russian women ACE pilots) were clear examples of female superiority in some kinds of battle. (Killing a dozen plus prime German Men Fighter Pilots in “mano a mano” combat is somewhat definitive…).

    8) You clearly have not studied the history of the battles in question very much as your basic facts are wrong. Demonstrably so. (Roman troops off by factor of 10. Not knowing Celts moved when Boudica gave the order to attack. Unaware of Celtic cultural norms. etc.)

    9) Waving your sexism and bigotry around is doing you no service. Please stop.

    10) I’m sorry if you can’t handle that many words. Some things don’t fit in a dozen or less. Especially true things and historical narrative. Certainly not cultural norms and beliefs.

    Is that clear enough for you to follow the logic?

  17. Speed says:

    Cameron Diaz was on Top Gear with Tom Cruise and posted a lap (from memory) very close to his. Afterwards she demonstrated to Jeremy how to do donuts in a Jag (or an Aston?).

  18. Richard Ilfeld says:

    She is a good technical driver who has traditionally qualified better then she raced …. and has been narrowing the gap for several years. Suggest that as in many sports, the absolute ability (reflexes, etc.) is less important that the skill to concentrate for the entire event, make few mistakes, and capitalize on those of others. 500 laps, 2000 corners, a few tiny not always obvious on TV fumbles. Hockey, 82 games (normally),about 3000 scoring chances a year. convert 10 you are a pro, 30 you are a star. Baseball, 500 AB, 3500 pitches. Hit 140, make a living. Hit 175, you are rich. hit 200, everybody knows your name.
    As Yogi might have said, 50% of the game is 90% mental.

  19. Tim Clark says:

    Unfortunately, setting the pole only means she had the fastest car in qualifying. They are allowed to make a few changes to the car for qualifying to increase speed and put up fast numbers for the audience, but the cars must be returned to the normal race rule set when the actual race is run. Daytona being a restricter plate race, is more about “drafting” than overall speed and/or engine power. If her teammates will line up with her on the track and “push” she has a chance. However, most of the time they don’t “hook-up” with a rookie. I give her less than a 10% chance of winning. Yeah, I watch Nascar a lot, and obviously, you guys don’t. It’s an hereditary inbred redneck kind of thing. Go Dale Junior.

  20. Tim Clark says:

    Well that was predictable. Danica definitely had the fastest car, Earnhart couldn’t keep on her tail there at the end. But as she said after it was over, she couldn’t count on pushers and she didn’t want to get freighttrained so she got the best finish she could. Poor Earnhart, 2nd 3 out of the last four races.

  21. Jerry says:

    Well, 8th place – not bad at all considering the level of competition. Jeff Gordon, the fastest guy on pole day, finished 20th.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    I’m a bit disappointing, but not surprised. When so much depends on ‘the rest of the pack’, it isn’t easy being ‘not one of the pack’… All in all, a pretty good showing, IMHO.

  23. adrianvance says:

    [Reply: SNIP! I’m tired of the rampant sexism. Clean up your act or be binned. -E.M.Smith]

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    @Tim Clark:

    “Freighttrained” is a new word for me. Tried looking it up, ran into a long discussion of how the restrictor plates had screwed things up. That no car could really pass others without “pushers” and that you had a ’35 car freight train’ most of the time.

    The NASCAR I remember (which gives you an idea when I watched it…) was pre-restrictor. A guy with a fast car could just run it right and win. I also vaguely remember when the restrictors came in and there were more ‘tight groups’ and more playing games. That’s when I lost interest, really.

    From the write ups I found, it looks like it is even worse now. It takes more than one ‘pusher’ to make a pass. ( Last I was watching, one or two drafting was enough to make a pass work).

    They’ve turned it into a game of Bridge, with artificial rules and folks playing a social game to win. It ought to be more about the quality of the car and the skill of the driver; not so much who is willing to push whom.

    Oh well… guess that’s part of why I lost interest.

    Danica had me fired up again. Seeing something new and having a good story to go with it. Some drama. Looks like “The good ol’ boy” business that NASCAR has become didn’t see the merit in it. I’ve tried running a race like that on a simulator (a decent one). It’s incredibly hard. ( I tended to crash a lot, even when not making times of merit. It would be even harder if it took the courage to face real crashes instead of simulated ones. ) Watching a ‘hot chick’ get some good numbers and place well up would have brought more people in to watch the show. But ‘the pack’ wasn’t interested in that.

    Rather like back when they had that one race with a turbine engine car. Was lined up for a pretty easy win and lost a bearing in the transmission IIRC. Next year the rules where changed to prevent it. (Restrictor plate again… turbines MUST breath, and it killed the turbine option). I really wanted to see a piston vs turbine competition develop over a couple of years… but not to be.

    That was when my interests went elsewhere. That was the moment that I realized it was NOT a competition, but a rigged game. So everybody has to have about the same level of gear, and the race goes more to those who can bid “2 no trump” against the other guy. Nobody has enough extra ‘juice’ at 190ish to pass anybody else as they are all restricted to the same level and V^3 drag is a bitch at those levels of V.

    At least drag races still let you push the machinery to the wall ;-) (Sometimes literally…)

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