Scott Fowler

Say one thing for Danica Patrick: She’s consistent

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick has started 103 Cup races in her career and has yet to have a top-5 finish.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick has started 103 Cup races in her career and has yet to have a top-5 finish. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Each weekend I check the NASCAR results and, among other things, look to see where Danica Patrick finished.

It’s never hard to find her. Just look somewhere between 20th and 30th and you’ve usually got it nailed. I wrote a column in February about Patrick being destined for a middle-of-the-pack Sprint Cup career at best, and in return was digitally bombarded by lots of Patrick fans who used lots of different excuses as to why she has not had better results.

She’s not a terrible driver. She’s just kinda there. Middle of the pack. Interesting off the track; boring on it.

If you need help sleeping tonight, just repeat the following numbers: 21, 16, 27, 26, 19, 7, 16, 9, 25, 21, 27, 22, 15, 37, 16, 24, 35, 34, 24, 27 and 16. No, those are not the number of Republican candidates in upcoming debates; those are Patrick’s finishes in 2015.

In 103 races at NASCAR’s highest level, she has yet to have a top-5 finish and her average finish (in 43-car fields) is 24.6. Patrick has a lot of good qualities. Being a great racecar driver is not one of them.

▪  BRADY VS. MANNING: An email written by Tom Brady and published last week shows Brady corresponding with a friend and theorizing that while he has “7 or 8” more years to play in the NFL, his longtime rival Peyton Manning only has two.

Brady is 38; Manning is 39. Brady has certainly had far fewer health problems in his career. But by his theory, he would play until he is at least 45 and Manning would be done by the end of the 2016 season. I buy the Manning part of that. I don’t see Brady playing until age 45, though. His mind may be willing, but I doubt his body will be.

▪  MAKE A SPLASH: If you are interested at all in swimming, it will be worth tuning into NBC at 1:30 p.m on Sunday. A 60-minute special on USA Swimming will feature Charlotte’s own SwimMAC Carolina program in addition to a separate feature on gold medalist Cullen Jones and his efforts to promote swim lessons as a skill for life, especially in the African-American community.

That show is followed by NBC’s coverage of the 2015 World Championships in Russia, which have already featured an individual gold medal from SwimMAC’s Ryan Lochte and silver medals from the club’s Micah Lawrence and Cammile Adams.

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