Ricky Vs. Danica: Who's On Top After Kentucky Speedway?
Suffice to say it was an interesting week for NASCAR's young, hottie power couple.
When last we left Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse, they were both struggling on the road course at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California.
Worse yet, Danica was spied committing the grievous sin of being a dutiful GF. The GoDaddy girl, a Chevrolet driver, was caught on camera at Sonoma parking a Ford Fusion passenger car, which set off a big debate on Twitter.
The best line - or word, actually - came from Kurt Busch, who Tweeted simply, "Rookie." The Fusion, of course, was Stenhouse's and he was late getting to a meeting, so Patrick was trying to do a solid for him. Instead, a brouhaha ensued.
But that was nothing compared to the firestorm set off by Kyle Petty, who nearly blew up the entire Interwebs when he said, "I've said it from the very beginning; she's just a marketing machine. That's a fact, Jack. ... . She can go fast, but she can't race. I think she's come a long way, but she's still not a racecar driver. And I don't think she's ever going to be a racecar driver."
Petty's words were debated, defended, derided, denied and discussed ad naseum.
Danica said it was no big deal, Darrell Waltrip jumped in to defend her and Twitter exploded.
The funniest Tweet? Well, that came from Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage, a man never known to shy away from controversy.
And then Sunday's race took place. Ricky finished 17th in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, while Danica was 23rd. This was a shockingly normal result: In 17 races so far this year, Ricky has finished between 10th and 20th a total of 12 times. Danica, meanwhile, has finished between 20th and 30th 11 times.
This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup traveling circus heads back to Daytona International Speedway where Danica won the pole for the Daytona 500 and scored a career-best eighth-place finish in February.
Can she do it again?
But unless and until she does, Danica will be serving Ricky his favorite delicacy - livermush - in the motorhome compound.
Scoreboard after 17 races:
Ricky - 19th in points, 0 top fives or top 10s, best finish of 11th.
Danica - 27th in points, 0 top fives, 1 top 10, best finish of 8th.
Better race finish - Ricky 13-4 over Danica.