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Wednesday's question of the day: Will Danica Patrick be successful on NASCAR's Nationwide circuit?

December 9, 2009 |  1:15 pm

Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.

Jim Peltz, Los Angeles Times

Depends on your definition of “successful.” Will she beat Kyle Busch in a Nationwide race? No. Will she finish in the top five in her first few starts? Unlikely. But will Patrick be the talk of NASCAR and the Nationwide Series at the season’s start? Definitely. Will that translate into more “Danicamania” and the attendant publicity and endorsement deals that could further enrich her? Yes. In that vein, she’ll be “successful” even if she’s a back-marker in races and, if she moves toward the front, her “success” only grows. Patrick has traits that work in her favor: She’s a strong-willed and supremely confident driver, which will help her climb what she acknowledged will be a “steep learning curve” in stock cars. And she’s an expert at parlaying her sex appeal into added fortune. Patrick has only one win in five years on the IndyCar circuit, but she’s the series’ most popular driver and a sports figure recognized well beyond hardcore race fans. Enough said.