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NASCAR Nervous Nellies

INDIANAPOLIS -- Danica Patrick's fourth place finish at this year's Indianapolis 500 -- the highest finish ever for a female driver -- has curdled more than testosterone in the high octane sport of auto racing and is making for some strange bedfellows.

While NASCAR was initially pleased with the 5% television ratings increase this year for the flag ship race of their Nextel Cup series, the Daytona 500, shock waves felt in the marketing department were off the Richter Scale when it was learned that this year's Indianapolis 500 experienced an astounding 59% boost over 2004 viewership, but it didn't take long for the NASCAR publicity juggernaut to shift into high gear.

"I won't race against her until the IRL does something to take that advantage away," whined Nextel Cup driver Robbie Gordon, referring to Patrick's 100 pound weight advantage over his own 200+ pound frame. "The lighter the car the faster it goes. Maybe the Arabs got it right -- driving by women leads to evil and creates situations for sinful temptations."

In Saudi Arabia, a country of 25 million, women are banned by fatwas from driving automobiles.

Whispers around the garage at Lowe's Motor Speedway before the Coca-Cola 500, purported to be planted by NASCAR psyops specialists, called into question everything from a female's lack of upper body muscle mass and strength to hold a steering wheel steady in 180 mile an hour turns to their utter lack of "willful stupidity," that manly combination of macho physical courage with a pronounced blind spot with regards to self preservation, required to dominate on the track.

"These guys have a much bigger problem than Danica's weight or driving skill," commented renowned Hollywood Make-up Artist Jeni Lee, whose clients include Cindy Crawford, Denise Richards and Tea Leoni. "And that's the bubba factor. Just ain't enough cosmetics in the world to make most of them good ol' boys into pretty boys."

The Ford Modeling Agency has denied rumors that they are in discussions with NASCAR President Mike Helton to help search for new drivers.

Several Nextel Cup drivers have been seen recently purchasing exercise equipment or joining heath clubs to slim down their rather pronounced A.J. Foyt-like figures.




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