Thursday was NASCAR's official media day, leading up to the Daytona 500 a week from Sunday, so of course the main topic of discussion, being that Daytona is NASCAR's Super Bowl and Opening Day rolled into one, was … the romance between Danica Patrick and fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Somewhere, Richard Petty facepalmed himself.
I'm not sure how long to give the young lovers, based on their comments Thursday. Patrick, talking about Stenhouse, spoke of how dueling drivers in love reminds her of the Montagues and Capulets from "Romeo and Juliet." Stenhouse, talking about Patrick, said: "She's hot!"
Bet the under.
It's all good gossip, and NASCAR has never been shy about shaking what it's got to get publicity. But there are two small issues.
One, Patrick and Stenhouse have a total of 15 starts, and zero wins, in the Sprint Cup – NASCAR's major-league circuit. So basically, we're talking about a couple of utility infielders.
And two, their coupling has lapped the field in the race for NASCAR's most interesting story.
It takes a lot of work to be boring when your sport involves drivers hurtling three-wide down the stretch of a superspeedway at 200 mph. But NASCAR has managed to make stock-car racing boring.