Danica 500 – 2013
Daytona 500 – Feb. 24th, 2013
But then, it wasn’t necessarily motivated solely by a passion for balanced coverage: Fox also has to sell lots of ad time to sponsors of other drivers — who might not be thrilled if the network had turned Sunday’s race into the Danica 500 or Go Daddy 500.
When Waltrip mentioned that Patrick hadn’t lost race positions during a green-flag pit stop — when she actually had — it seemed more like an honest slip-up rather than some sort of effort at cheerleading for the biggest celebrity in the sport.
The only real Fox glitch with Patrick came after the race, when she wasn’t asked about something even casual fans might have wondered: After hanging onto third place for most of the last 10 laps, did she sort of pull up in the last lap because cars had crashed and she anticipated a caution flag?
ESPN, of course, got in on the act — as it does at every event whether it happens to be airing the action or not. Only minutes after Fox went off the air, ESPN had Patrick live in its on-site NASCAR Now studio. There Rusty Wallace asked this probing question: “Do you have any idea how good you looked today?”