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 statement...it 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.