To a lot of race fans Milka Duno is nothing less than a pox upon racing. Despite being possibly the most fan-friendly driver around today, Milkalicious isn't thought of too highly as a driver by people who like to make loud proclamations about who they think of as worthy or unworthy to get behind the wheel and drive 220 miles per hour.
Personally, I don't think she's any more of an impending death threat to her fellow drivers than her ridiculously-dressed character was to Speed Racer, but I do recognize the fact that she's clearly one of the lesser-skilled racers. Not only is she not going to win a race anytime soon, she's not even going to break the Top 10. In fact, in 2008 she was the only driver with at least 10 starts to not break the Top 15 of any race she entered.
Even Marty Roth got a 13th at Nashville.
But this isn't about picking on Milka, at least not directly. We're just going to establish her as the barometer for futility in 2008 since, well, her driving was quite futile. So in an effort to make shinola out of her season let's take a look at those who failed to reach "the Milka standard" by finishing behind her in the final standings most often.
You see, as bad as Ms Duno was she never actually finished last in any race because on various days someone (actually, several someones) inevitably had a worse day. In fact, of all series regulars only two managed to never finish behind Milka. Go ahead and guess...OK, don't think too hard because its Mr Dixon and Mr Castroneves. As for the rest of you, you got some 'splaining to do.
3 times behind Milka: Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Vitor Meira, Will Power, Graham Rahal, EJ Viso. What's wrong with this picture? You'd think if someone spotted you a team with any two of these drivers you'd at least have a shot at a podium finish, right? Maybe so, but apparently you'd also have as good a shot at some bent equipment.
4 times behind Milka: Bruno Junqueira, Mario Moraes, Tomas Scheckter. Junky and Eminem were driving for Dale Coyne, a low-budget operation that inexplicably has failed to get a "Dollar Tree" sponsorship, but it's Schecketer's horrendous performance for "Other Team Penske" that left folks shaking their heads and Tomas collecting unemployment this year.
5 times behind Milka: Enrique Bernoldi, Jamie Camara. I'm sure the folks at Conquest Racing are thrilled beyond words that the two guys here were BOTH their drivers. Somewher Dale Coyne employees are silently chuckling. Meanwhile, it's no wonder Alex Tagliani - who barely finished ahead of Milka both times he faced her - is slated to drive in place of these two in '09.
6 times behind Milka: Justin Wilson. What the...? It's as if Milka is some kind of kryptonite to the poor guy. Aside from Surfers, Wilson finished in the Top 10 in every non-Milka ICS points race this year. With Milka on the track he made the Top 10 just once, although that once was his win at Detroit. Go figure.
And the winner is: Marty Roth, finishing behind Milka 8 times. Even though two of them he didn't start because of, uhh, parts shortage (yeah, that's it) let the record show that Marty not only stunk, but did so with unprecedented regularity. Please consider this an award of some sort, Marty, so that you might console yourself with winning something in 2008.
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