Auto racing does nothing for me – in fact, I think it’s a stretch to even classify it as a sport – but I will check out the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday, and I urge you to do likewise.
We could see history. Several auto-racing experts suspect a female -- 26-year-old Danica Patrick of Wisconsin -- could emerge victorious. And, if she does, we’re told the world will be changed.
“She will change it by becoming an agent of reform, by using her victory to convince men to start measuring a woman by her skill instead of her bra size,” says Ian O’Connor of Fox Sports.
“It will be a hell of a story if Patrick pulls it off, and an inspiration to young female athletes who have little use for the word can't.”
Patrick already has won a significant race this year – the Japan 300 – but her Indy opposition will be more formidable. And yet, oddsmakers favour only five drivers ahead of her.
“Clearly,” U.S. motorsports guru Bill Center says, “Patrick is fast enough. She has the equipment. This is her kind of track. She is a smooth driver. She has the ability to bleed every lap possible out of a tank of ethanol. She regularly outdistances rivals on a full tank, partly because, at 100 pounds, she’s the lightest driver in the field.”
Patrick has her critics, who say she’s abrasive and a tireless self-promoter.
But on those smelly race tracks, where rancid fumes can cause irreparable damage to respiratory systems, Danica Patrick is a welcome breath of fresh air. Here’s hoping she records history Sunday.
• The Detroit Red Wings suspect too many of their seats will be empty for their home games in the Stanley Cup championship series, which begins Saturday.
They cite the economy, but they should also mention the Detroit Pistons, who’ll be facing the Boston Celtics in the NBA’s Eastern Conference final at precisely the same time as the Wings play their home games against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
• In the CFL, training camps open soon and, when they do, Buffalo Bills bossman Marv Levy will serve as a guest coach for the Montreal Alouettes while ex-CFL superstar Allen Pitts will do the same for the B.C. Lions. . .In the NBA, the New York Knicks need a point guard and sources tell me they’ve approached the Raptors with trade proposals for T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon... also, be sure to check my latest MLB Report which contains juicy new information about Barry Bonds and lots more.