Hot 20 – If Sweetness and Loveliness is What you are After, Texas Might not be the Place to Find It

So, Danica Patrick is not all sweetness and loveliness. Okay, she is the latter, but the fact she is a little ticked or not going along with the company line, has some folks talking. She is upset with Joey Logano, she had a bit of a run in with Martin Truex Jr. at Martinsville and she thinks qualifying at Talladega stinks after her boyfriend got left in the cold. She even is not a fan of NASCAR’s diversity program.

To start with, if we were talking about Kurt Busch here, nobody would care less. Okay, his having a boyfriend might come as a surprise, but that is about it. As for the diversity program, it either works or it does not. To be honest, graduates such as Darrell “Bubba” Wallace and Kyle Larson might have gotten there based on their talent, looks, character and some marketing in the same fashion Patrick emerged. Did the program remove any barriers that would have prevented them from otherwise rising to the top? I know many would say so, whether that be true or not. My reaction to her questioning its validity would be the same whether Danica said it, or Richard Petty, or Dale Earnhardt Jr. Then again, I am one of those guys who sees nothing wrong in questioning even sacred cows. It causes conversation and that is never a bad thing.

As Danica and the boys head to Texas, the only thing critical I have in regards to her is that she is the 28th best driver in Cup. She is the dividing line between those who matter and those who continue to strive for respectability each week. What she says or does should carry about as much weight as, say, Aric Almirola or Casey Mears. However, that is not the reality of things.

What is real is that Jeff Gordon remains the best driver so far this season, though Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski are right there, according to these standings. However, after the issues last week Keselowski’s Chase dreams are about to go the way of the dodo, or the Earnhardt and the Johnson, unless fortune smiles down in Texas. It won’t. Matt Kenseth goes in as the race favorite and Matt loves everybody.

Except Keselowski, but everybody loves Matt. Except Kevin Harvick. Something tells me these boys are not exactly all sweetness and loveliness either.

*Drivers awarded a 25 (rather than a 3) point winner’s bonus
BOLD = Currently in the Chase

Hot 20

1 – Jeff Gordon – 4 Wins – 1247 POINTS
2 – Joey Logano – 5 – 1227
3 – Brad Keselowski – 5 – 1188
4 – Dale Earnhardt Jr – 4 – 1158
5 – Kevin Harvick – 3 – 1088
6 – Jimmie Johnson – 3 – 1045
7 – Matt Kenseth – 0 – 1032
8 – Ryan Newman – 0 – 1031
9 – Carl Edwards – 2 – 1029
10 – Kyle Larson – 0 – 981
11 – Kyle Busch – 1 – 969
12 – Greg Biffle – 0 – 931
13 – Kasey Kahne – 1 – 927
14 – Clint Bowyer – 0 – 923
15 – Austin Dillon – 0 – 910
16 – Jamie McMurray – 0 – 906
17 – Denny Hamlin – 1 – 896
18 – Paul Menard – 0 – 856
19 – Brian Vickers – 0 – 847
20 – A.J. Allmendinger – 1 – 828

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


  1. I wish the “journalists” who write about what Danica said about the diversity program would actually listen to the interview and use over 50% of their brain.
    Danica did not question the diversity program. Danica did not say she was against it.
    For those whose IQ is high enough to comprehend what Danica said, it is obvious that when questioned whether she was a role model, she made sure to let the questioner know that she does not consciously go out and promote herself as a “role model” for girls… she is happy being a role model for everyone in the sense that she thinks that everyone should find out what they love to do and go for it.
    I am glad she is not attaching herself to the diversity program because as she said so plainly…. Danica did not benefit from a diversity program, the diversity program never gave her any money to further her chances and she made it all on her own. Yes, she said, being a female had a part in it, but she has always said she wants to be known as a racer, not a female racer.
    Somehow, her telling the absolute truth about her own experience is not being twisted by some “journalists” into her putting down the diversity program. Watch the whole interview and if that is what you thinks she said, your brain is not operating very well.

    One thing that I laugh at is the simple fact that everyone dances around…. that NASCAR was so racist and sexist that they required a diversity program to try to get at least some non-whites and females into NASCAR. I don’t see any “journalist” writing about that because they all know that if they did, the reception in the garage would be extremely cold and anyone that did would probably be looking for another sport to write about.

    As for the Danica haters, if there was a better female race car driver out there, then where are they? And, if Danica consistently is running in the top 20 each week, then the other 23 plus male drivers who are worse must be so bad that they should all leave NASCAR… right?


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