Throwing in the towel

Posted by Iannucci | 7/21/2008 | 13 comments »
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Well, here it is in all of it’s glory so you can watch it over and over. And personally I have, because no matter what you think of anyone in the video the fact is this is quite the display of personality by everyone involve (including the stoic members of the Dreyer & Reinbold crew). Sportsmanship? No. Tact? Absolutely not. Entertainment? You betcha, and don’t ever forget that auto racing is an entertainment product no matter how deeply attached we are to those involved.

On the broadcast yesterday Scott Goodyear said Danica Patrick had every right to be upset at Milka Duno but that Danicker shouldn’t have approached Milkalicious publicly. Color me contrarian but I couldn’t disagree more with him. Patrick had really no reason to be so upset at Duno because practice issues happen all the time, and considering no one broke any equipment it should have been one of those moments where the drivers just let it go.

But, since Danica was so infuriated at this minor transgression, taking it up publicly was a brilliant idea, especially since there was a video camera rolling nearby. Danica is in the business of Danica, and the Danica brand is, according to her GoDaddy sponsor, “edgy, innovative and fun!” And what could be more fun that two women conversing about the benefits of gender equality in motorsports?

Come on, this is a race track, not a chapel. Cheer her for being feisty or mock her for being petulant, but don’t get too bothered by Danica either way. Not when this story is making the headlines at major news sites and getting played every hour on SportsCenter. If it was up to me the next race broadcast needs to start with Danica bellowing out “Are you not entertained? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? Is this not why you are here?” This needs to happen, just for the sake of clarity.

So high points to Danica for remaining calm throughout the towel throwing exercise. She has inadvertently answered the question about what would have happened had she reached Ryan Briscoe at Indy, and we now know it would not have involved punches. It would however have included many F-bombs. Also, kudos for her exasperated declaration of “It’s not my fault that you’re slow”, which would have been an infinitely better exit line than spouting something about complaining to Daddy, err, Brian Barnhart.

Unfortunately, Danica gets points deducted for not only for unnecessarily flipping off one of the D&R crew members – that’s weak – but also for saying afterwards she just wanted to have a “conversation” with Milka. Danica, who’s less than chipper demeanor is more and more resembling Wednesday Addams, entered the #23 pit saying “you have no f***ing idea what you’re doing out there”. Miss Manners strongly disapproves of that introduction.

And don’t worry Milka fans, because your driver did you proud. Throwing a towel in the face of (Romper Stomper? Grumbelina? Little Miss Sunshine?) was a savvy career move, as now Duno is officially known worldwide as “the other female driver”. Unfortunately no one could understand her through the thick accent, so in the future Milka should consider turning this to her advantage by simply reciting relevant quotes from “Scarface”.

• “Hey baby what is your problem? Huh, you got a problem? You're good looking, you got a beautiful body, beautiful legs, beautiful face, all these guys in love with you. Only you got a look in your eye like you haven't been f***** in a year! “

• “You think you can take me? You need a f****** army if you gonna take me! “

• “Why don't you try sticking your head up your ass? See if it fits.”

But that’s just my view. Here are some others to enjoy.

Let's be clear here — we'd call it a "cat fight" even if the two drivers screaming at each other were men rather than the twin female towers o' power of IndyCar. - Jalopnik

While the fact that she merely threw a towel at her only further serves to prove just how classy Milka is (I will be sure to go out of my way to tell her so next weekend) part of me wishes she had thrown a punch and knocked that petulant little bitch on her ass on behalf of all the guys she has confronted, as she is the only one who would actually be able to get away with it without legal/social ramifications. - meesh

Later Milka told The Media basically that if Danica wants to GO she knows where to find her and that she won't have to restrain herself like a man would when confronted by the Spark Plug. Dude, Danica-Milka cage match undercard would guarantee a sell-out at Texas Motor Speedway. After the race they could just go at it. Track dude Eddie Gossage is working on a plan right now. - pressdog

I hate the modern world of keeping people calm and respectful. I want an on-track incident tomorrow and a full blown cat fight in front of national television … I don’t particularly care who wins, but as the old saying goes, "any publicity is good publicity". People may hate Danica’s attitude and confrontations, but they draw attention. - Is It May Yet?

ADDENDUM: Upon further review, it appears Mrs Hospenthal can be absolved of throwing the bird. Though the angle makes it appear improper, her simultaneous words "happened three times this weekend" indicate she's probably holding up three fingers. You just can't see the other two.


  1. Anonymous // July 21, 2008 11:28 AM  

    "Can't we all just get along?" Driving fast, confrontations, people Video taping; I don't feel good about this. It reminds me of a bad situation I once had.
    The "verbal cat fight" totally superseded the entire race. But, I guess news is news. People are always gonna make a big deal out of anything she does. So, I guess we need to get used to it.
    R. King

  2. Anonymous // July 21, 2008 11:52 AM  

    D.P. DID say she was going to tell the principal (BB) on her; right at the end of the tape.

  3. Anonymous // July 21, 2008 12:07 PM  

    This is exactly why I love Indycar! This stuff is great!! =) This clip is everywhere! I Love it!

  4. Anonymous // July 21, 2008 1:42 PM  

    Danica,Danica,stay home and bake cookies!!!

  5. Anonymous // July 21, 2008 3:36 PM  

    At whom is Danica flipping the finger after the second towel toss? Looks to me like a crew member is the intended, not MD.

  6. Anonymous // July 21, 2008 3:36 PM  

    That was cringe video, Danica looked like she was in a one of those idiotic Youtube video podcasts, and Milka is simply unintelligible.

  7. Demond Sanders // July 21, 2008 4:05 PM  

    I'm sorry, but I don't see the bird flip anywhere. She throws up the pinky, ring, middle to make the "3" sign when she says "three times."

    That's it.

  8. Unknown // July 21, 2008 5:16 PM  

    I don't know which is funnier: The fight or the fact that Danica had to point out Milka's a rolling chicane!

    Somewhere, Sarah Fisher's laughing about not being a part of this.

    Really, Robbie. As a fellow Lakewooder, WTF, man? I mean, Townsend Bell was bad enough. But Milka? Hugo Chavez's pet? You are killing me, brother!

  9. pressdog // July 22, 2008 4:56 AM  

    It's beyond me what Danica's goal for this conversation was. Like Milka's going to say "You're right. I cannot drive. I'm going to quit now." I guess she just wanted to raise her leg on Milka or something. Dramica should proceed with caution because Milker has exactly zero to lose here. The IRL needs to give the videographer who captured the moment a firm handshake of congratulations for generating about a billion times more buzz than the actual snorefest of a race did.

  10. Carrie // July 22, 2008 6:00 AM  

    I'm still somewhat confused why anyone thinks the fact that Drama Queen's antics are bringing more attention to the league than the actual races are is a good thing.

    It's an embarrassment.

  11. Anonymous // July 22, 2008 11:31 AM  

    Bob mc said:
    "Somewhere, Sarah Fisher's laughing about not being a part of this."

    bwahahaha! How true is that?!

    Carrie said:
    "I'm still somewhat confused why anyone thinks the fact that Drama Queen's antics are bringing more attention to the league than the actual races are is a good thing.

    It's an embarrassment.

    Thank you. I was beginning to think I was the only one who didn't see the "value" in her bs.

  12. Anonymous // July 23, 2008 1:30 PM  

    Uh, because Meesh the actual racing can be kind of boring at times. I don't think anyone will disagree. I guarantee you they won't be pimping the hot 13-turn action of Mid-Ohio on CNN or the O'Reilly factor any time soon. . .

    The girl on girl action is NEVER boring. Quit player hating on Danica and start enjoying it. The attention puts money in everyone's pocket. With the possible exception of the bloggers :)

  13. mikebdot // July 24, 2008 1:40 PM  

    Vitor acts far more indignant to other drivers that get in his way. Why aren't we talking about that? Oh, because it isn't a big fucking deal.

    What is with everyone being all concerned with the f-bomb. You'd think they had just seen someone whip out their penis or something, or in DP's case other anatomic parts. I like how Milka's crew react thusly: "oh, that's where we draw the line, when you say the f-word". Good times.

    Our culture will tolerate all sorts of disgusting acts of indignation and insult, but when someone drops the f-bomb, that's when the line has been crossed. So goofy.