Sunday, March 30, 2008

Slim, Hot Women Need Not Race

I simply must tackle the "Danica Rule". Now, I know that the Indy Racing League (IRL) is hoping that the Danica Rule label does not stick, but good luck on that as far as I'm concerned.

The short version of the Danica Rule is this: the IRL has instituted a new rule designed to equalize the weights of the car. There was already weight limit in racing as far as the car itself goes, but the IRL has added in the rule that takes the driver's weight into account. The IRL is playing with the idea of establishing several weight categories that will either add or subtract weight from the total amount of the car/person. The reasoning here is apparently, "10 pounds equals one-tenth of a second, so if you're 100 pounds heavier than somebody it's a second a lap you're giving away."

I can obviously not debate the physics behind that fact. What I do find intriguing is the timing of this rule. Danica Patrick began her IRL career in 2005. She has never won a race. What she has done is garner more attention to the sport than it has received in a very long time, save for the Indy 500, which I was forced to watch with my father each year. Now, Danica weighs 100 pounds. Apparently, the heaviest man weighs 165 and the lightest man weighs 125. I have not heard much moaning and groaning about that 40 pound difference between the men. No weight adjustment had been called for them. Oh, but put an incredibly hot woman in a car who manages to race well (but remember...still she has never won) and *now* there is a problem.

I like the following sums up my frustration here, "...I began to wonder whether sports, which typically has been a stage for change in America, is lurching backward just as the rest of the nation slowly – and almost historically – moves ahead."

Allow me a short summation here. I have no problem with including a driver's weight in the total car weight to equalize the driving field. I get it. However, it took until 2008 for the IRL to decide upon such a rule? Please. The rule is the Danica Rule...I can see no way around that conclusion.


La Pobre Habladora said...

Since I know nothing about the sport, I'm not sure I understand. Are they trying to keep her from racing by inventing a weight category in which only she could compete? Will fatter racers be given a fraction of a second head start, since their extra mass puts them at a disadvantage?

Mächtige Maus said...

They aren't trying to keep her from racing. They are trying to eliminate her "advantage". If I am finding the correct information, there will three weight classifications where the heaviest drivers would have weight reduced from the car while the lightest would have a maximum 35 pounds added to the car.

La Pobre Habladora said...

Wow - that does smack of sexism. It also seems like this rule would be bad for the sport on less moral, more financial grounds. Maybe it's just me, but I would think that having a woman among the top talent would be good for attracting viewers - Danica's is a great underdog story since racing has traditionally been male-dominated - and people love to cheer for the underdog.

Mächtige Maus said...

Sexism! *That* is the label I was missing when I posted. I knew there was something. certainly seems to be the case. It just feels like the men are pouting. Boo hoo. Look at all the attention Danica gets and she isn't even winning. Maybe if we institute this weight rule now she will place even lower and then Sports Illustrated wont want her to be in their swim suit edition and then people will quit focusing on her instead of us. Ah...then the planets will return to their proper alignment. Not that I know what that alignment is. I do not understand the allure of IRL, or NASCAR for that matter.

La Pobre Habladora said...

Woooo - hoooo! Yeah!