Just when you were expecting a recap of the Sprint Cup series awards banquet, along comes the announcement that Patrick, IndyCar's most popular driver, will join forces with NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., to hop into one of the cars Earnhardt owns and drive a part-time schedule next year in the Nationwide series.
No, I won't review banquet host Frank Caliendo's jokes. I won't write about the Brooks & Dunn reunion that opened the show. And my only comment on that white dress worn by Mrs. Jimmie Johnson is "Wow." On the other hand, I was pleased that NASCAR replaced the female announcer who in past years was the voice of the evening, introducing the driver segments. She made the simplest introduction sound ridiculously stupid, and her replacement made for a much more dignified evening.
But some silliness still prevailed, with Escala, billed as "a female electric string quartet," sawing on their violins while dancing like robots in their matching red mini-dresses. Their claim to fame came from the "Britain's Got Talent" television show, which I suppose explains a lot.
And while most of us enjoy seeing our favorite drivers and their significant others all dressed up, it's painfully apparent that some of them are much more comfortable in a race car going 200 mph than they are in formal wear in front of a teleprompter.
But I digress.
It's not a big surprise that Patrick is making the move to NASCAR.
Patrick plans to run her first-ever stock car race, an ARCA event in Daytona, on Feb. 6 -- the day before the Super Bowl. That makes for great timing, since Patrick's latest Go Daddy commercials will debut during the Super Bowl. But it is those commercials that make me wonder what is going on -- if anything -- in Patrick's head.
If you've never seen the Go Daddy ads, they aim for humor, which I have no problem with. Unfortunately, however, the humor is sophomoric and juvenile, and it doesn't help Patrick to be taken seriously in racing, whether it's NASCAR, IndyCar, or any other series. Call me a prude, but I don't think Patrick should cater to that kind of thing. She has already appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and now her sponsor calls her "The Go Daddy Girl." Will she be selling lollipops soon?
I don't think anyone would ever have called the late Dale Earnhardt "The Goodwrench Boy" and lived to tell about it.
But then, Dale Earnhardt was nowhere near as pretty as Danica Patrick is.
Ellen Siska writes about NASCAR for the Dispatch. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.