At least that's how most mainstream media outlets are reporting it.
Believe me, I'm no "Danica Defender" and I've had enough of the over hype the last few years, and the soft touch the announcers always use when doing the play by play on incidents she is involved in - seems it's always everybody else's fault.... But I'm just saying.... that there's something about human nature that we like to root for an underdog, for someone who had been in the spotlight... and for whatever reason lost it... and is now is at the point where they are either going to fade away, or somehow re-emerge.
I read somewhere a long time ago, when it comes to sports, and maybe even TV/Movie personalities, that Americans love to create stars... then eventually grow tired of seeing their success... then actually enjoy seeing them struggle for a while... and then when they feel they've been down for long enough, enjoy cheering the former star back to the level they once were, or better yet, to exceed their former level of success.
I remember watching her at Indy a few years ago, where she was leading in the late going and thinking that it would be pretty cool if she won. (Anyone who drives an Indy car at 220 mph+ gets my respect without question.) Then when she went to Nascar, and they kept jamming the whole package down our throat... week after week... and all the TV commercials where she's right in there side by side with Nascar racers that have actually won... And then seeing some really bonehead moves on track - (Like when she pulled in from the Daytona 300 running top 5 because - straight to the garage, because as she said, "it blew up... "only to find later that the ignition had cut out, and she never tried the back up.... Or like when she tried to do a payback move on Cole Whitt or Landon Castle and badly wrecked herself in the process) well... I'll admit, I enjoyed watching the lack of success. (I also am not a fan of the Danica strut where she marches after someone like she's going to kick their ass... Kind of reminds me when a dog chases a car... What do they plan on doing when they catch it?)
I'm just saying that if she ends up with a ride in 2018... and if somehow, she starts actually contending for wins... I'm the first to say that I would be a classic example of one of those Americans that enjoyed watching her rise to popularity in Indy Car, and thought she was very talented at Indy... Then thought she got too big for herself the entire time she's been in Nascar, and eventually, was no longer excited to see her succeed.... (we can blame Nascar, but she didn't have to do all those commercials... she could have had insisted on maintaining a much lower profile until the results started warranting the exposure, but she seemed to have no issue with going along with all the hype.) And as the example says, I'm at that point now where if she does not have a steady ride for 2018... and has to bump along for a while with all of the other racers who are trying to prove themselves... and if she does get a ride... and starts running up front... and maybe even gets a win... I'm just saying that I think she'd win over a lot of those who right now, have had their fill of Danicamania, and would have sworn earlier this year/last year, that they'd never be fans.
I don't thnk it'll happen, but it'll make a new story line for Nascar.