Danica Patrick made a name for herself as one of the more successful female racers to ever race in NASCAR and IndyCar. Patrick hasn't raced since 2018, but that hasn't stopped her from being involved in the racing world.
Patrick currently works for Sky Sports as a commentator, and since moving into that role, she has seen plenty of things across all of motorsport that she believes need some work.
She is well aware of an issue that NASCAR has had for years—its television ratings have really struggled. Patrick recently talked about how the sport needs to do something different, and she believes one of the biggest reasons NASCAR struggles is due because its races are too long.
Patrick referenced this during a recent interview while working the Sky Sports coverage of Formula One's United States Grand Prix in Austin.
"I sat down actually with one really important person within NASCAR... one of the things I said was, 'the races are way, way too long,'" Patrick said. "People's consuming habits change... because people can't keep their attention span long enough. So, when you're asking them to sit in front of a television for five or six hours, with pre-race and the race and everything, that's a lot of time to expect someone to be attentive."
The length of the races isn't the only issue for NASCAR, according to Patrick, as the rise of Formula One's popularity in the United States, along with marketing issues, have impacted the amount of NASCAR viewership.
"Sports all have their ebbs and flows. Formula One is on the rise, but NASCAR is struggling a little bit more. And there was a time when Formula One wasn't really a blip on the radar here in the States and NASCAR drivers were everything," Patrick said.
Other members of the NASCAR world generally agree, including Denny Hamlin who thinks the lack of developed stars who raise attention is stunting the sport. Will a new generation of star drivers who aren't afraid to speak their minds and ruffle a few feathers along the way persuade television viewers to spend their entire Sunday afternoons watching NASCAR? It can't hurt.
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