From the Marbles - NASCAR

There are certain epochal moments in every race fan's life. The first time they visit a track. The moment their driver wins a championship. And now, a new one: the chance to see Danica Patrick in her birthday suit.

Sports By Brooks (link most likely NSFW) is reporting that two sources based in Bristol -- the ESPN HQ, not the track -- have indicated that in October, ESPN The Magazine will publish its own "nude" swimsuit issue to compete with Sports Illustrated's own bestseller. (Wait -- if they're nude, is it really a "swimsuit" issue?) Sports Illustrated's swimsuit covers have trended from granny-esque to girl-next-door to skank chic, but ESPN appears ready to raise -- or lower -- the bar by an order of magnitude. And, really, who'd complain?

If you're still even reading this and aren't lost in the galleries above, here's the deal: ESPN will apparently feature various athletes, including the estimable Ms. Patrick, in various "tasteful nude" poses -- you know, hands in strategic places, hips turned just so, drapes blowing in at careful angles, that kind of thing. So those of you hoping to see Danica ... um ... you know, I can't even think of a joke here that won't earn me an email from the higher-ups, so how about you just check out this vid of Danica's banned Super Bowl commercial and build your own?

Crass? Opportunistic? Absolutely. We'd heard along the ol' world wide grapevine that Danica wasn't doing the SI Swimsuit Issue this year, and this news appears to bear that out. Just one last question before I leave you with your imaginations: who's going to be the first sweaty, creepy race fan to ask her to sign one of these? Will it be you?

Danica to bare it all for ESPN Mag's nude issue [Sports By Brooks]

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