More on Danica, Flatheads and Formula 1 racing
Our article on Danica Patrick attracted lots of mail, and this week we have some odds of her winning this year. Our author feels she will win a NASCAR race, notably at Talladega or Daytona with odds of 10-1, but it may not happen until 2014 or later.
Q: Greg, nice article on the old throwbacks to the Ford Flathead in our Metro West newspaper. Growing up in the mid to late 1950s and early 1960s, I was looking for my first car and my friend had a '40 Ford flathead with three two barrel carbs in his family garage. For some reason it would not run.
I tried to buy it but my dad wouldn't let me have a car that did not run.
Long story short, it got sold. Back then, a '40 Ford flathead was a very popular car to have as every town around Hopkinton, Mass. had someone who had either a 1932 or a 1940 Ford or Chevy.
I would like to throw my comments in on Danica Patrick. She's a lovely young lady for sure and a good racer. As you mention, she's no doubt an advertiser's dream that puts money in the bank. And, isn't it money that drives racing these days?
I wondered why she left IndyCar racing and know she did well on ovals. But the road courses were tough on her physique thanks to quick lateral loads.
While I understand NASCAR, to me it's all about revenue and sponsor dollars. But then again, that's the way it is in most racing...its revenue. To me F1 is the pinnacle of racing but it has its own little fraternity. No doubt you have seen the trailers for the new Ron Howard film about F1 racing? Keep up the good work, and how about some odds on Danica winning this year? Jeff F., Hopkinton, Mass.
A: Jeff, thanks for your very interesting letter and reply. You hit the nail on the head on all your points and I look forward to Howard's film.
As for Danica (I received lots of mail) she was good on IndyCar ovals but not as competitive on road courses. Her lone win in Japan was well deserved and her other good runs warranted praise.
As for the NASCAR move, (where I feel she joined strictly in consideration of potential monies in her pocket and for the team owner) it was just too appetizing to pass up.
Here's my breakdown on a possible Danica win in 2013:
Odds to win at Daytona or Talladega : 10-1
Odds at Bristol or Martinsville : 50-1
Odds at a 1.5 track: 75-1
Odds to win a road race: 100-1
Odds at Pocono 40-1
With more experience, these odds will improve.
As for F1, I'm also a big, dating back to the early years when at the age of eight in 1957, I already knew who Juan Fangio was thanks to Road & Track and Speed Age magazines. F1 is indeed the pinnacle of racing.
Thanks for your input.
Greg Zyla is a syndicated auto writer and welcomes reader questions on racing, collector cars and auto nostalgia at 116 Main St., Towanda, PA 18848 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.