It's a shame that the International Race of Champions is no more, and our post last week about the hypothetical IROC car for 2011 got us thinking. What if there was an IROC-style race for women drivers?
Any female that's participated in a major American racing series in the last three years (Sprint Cup, Nationwide, Trucks and IndyCar) would be eligible, and to keep it fair, we could run two oval races and a road course race at tracks that don't currently host a major series race. (We're thinking Texas World Speedway, Laguna Seca and Mansfield Motorsports Park. Eldora was seriously considered but do you really want to see Milka Duno race on a dirt track?)
And yes, all you haters, Danica Patrick would be the presumptive favorite, but it shouldn't be a runaway. Her toughest competition may be Simona de Silvestro, a rookie in the Izod IndyCar Series in 2010. de Silvestro held her own in inferior equipment on the Series' road courses and finished third in the Atlantic Championship open wheel series in 2009.
Ana Beatriz and Sarah Fisher would also be eligible from the IndyCar Series, as well as the moving chicane known as Duno. Fisher could be a sleeper candidate, and it would be interesting to see who could finish behind Duno. (No starting and parking allowed)
Amber and Angela Cope would be eligible by virtue of their start at Martinsville, as would Johanna Long and Jennifer Jo Cobb. Caitlin Shaw, Michelle Theriault and Gabi DiCarlo, who have all run Camping World Truck Series races.
Who you got? We're taking Patrick, then de Silvestro and Fisher. We wouldn't be surprised if Long ended up being the highest finishing NASCAR-only driver because of her short-track success. But we're going to be honest, the highlight of the three races would probably be how well -- or poorly -- Duno would attempt to not get run over.