NASCAR girls hot on and off track

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:31 PM ET

TORONTO - Ever since Janet Guthrie first attempted a NASCAR racing start back in the 1970s there have been gearhead girls who have aspired to big time stock car careers.

But this year there are four who could be as comfortable on a fashion week glass runway in New York as on the black pavement at Daytona International Speedway.

And each, in her own way, has the chops for either job.

Danica Patrick has graced the pages of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition; Maryeve Dufault is a former Miss Hawaiian Tropic; Milka Duno modeled extensively in her native Venezuela and Jennifer Jo Cobb has her own designer clothing line called Driver Boutique.

All four will be racing this season in either the ARCA Series, the NASCAR Camping World Truck series or in the NASCAR Nationwide series.

In fact all four could very well start in Canada’s lone Nationwide date in August at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the NAPA 200.

CANADA’S HOPE

When the green flag drops Saturday to start the NASCAR Nationwide DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, J.R. Fitzpatrick will be carrying Canada’s only hope for victory.

The 2010 second place finisher in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will be behind the wheel of the No. 27 Baker Curb Racing Ford Mustang with backing from Schick Canada, promoting the Schick Hydro brand, as well as associate support for the first time from Energizer Canada Inc.

It won’t be Fitzpatrick’s first time at the dance, as he drove a part-time NNS schedule last season in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

He had a pair of top 10 results with JRM and hopes to build on that this season.

“I can’t think of a better race to start the new season with,” Fitzpatrick said. “Daytona boasts an atmosphere like no other and to be in a race with the opportunity to compete against guys like Dale Earnhardt Jr and Tony Stewart is fantastic.”

RANT OF THE WEEK

That NASCAR Nationwide driver Michael Annett got only probation from the sanctioning body as a result his DUI charges last week is bad enough, but for his team owner Rusty Wallace to say there is “no problem” here is disgraceful.

You don’t have to trot out the stats about the thousands of innocent people killed by drunk drivers to realize Annett’s actions went way beyond any youthful indiscretion defence Wallace may come up with for Annett.

The 24-year old Annett blew .32 — four times the legal limit in North Carolina — the night he was pulled over.

That folks, is not just a couple of beers with the boys. That is a full-blown drunken escapade.

Wallace’s defence of Annett is that the youngster’s career supports some 65 employees at his Rusty Wallace Racing shop, and by firing him those workers would be out of jobs.

So it’s alright to drive drunk as long as you have people who work for you?

Try telling that to families who have lost loved ones to DUI drivers.

Shame on you Rusty.


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