Filed by Lindsey Young
With the lack of up-and-coming talent in the stock car ranks, NASCAR owners are looking elsewhere to bring in new talent. With that in mind, who would be the top open-wheel drivers who could make such a transition?
Forget Forumla One, those guys make way too much money to switch, so the focus goes to the Indy cars. Sam Hornish Jr. has said he isn’t considering a move, but he would be a hot target if he wanted to. Others would be Dario Franchitti, Dan Wheldon, and, yes, Danica Patrick.
What would one of the fledgling Toyota teams be willing to pay Patrick to drive one of their new teams next year? As popular as she is in Indy cars, just imagine what her Q-rating would be in NASCAR. How about young Marco Andretti? He made a huge splash in the Indy 500 by finishing second. He’s got great bloodlines and instant name recognition.
Making the transition is tough. In fact, only Tony Stewart and Robbie Gordon have made the move with any degree of success. Yates has said he has a “big name” driver in mind to repalce Dale Jarrett. Will he go the open-wheel route?
E-mail Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org