Posted: Tuesday December 28, 2010 11:20PM ; Updated: Wednesday December 29, 2010 11:32AM
Tom Bowles
Tom Bowles>INSIDE NASCAR

Readers discuss Danica, the Chase and more in final mailbag of 2010

Story Highlights

Danica Patrick's constant use of "you know" in interviews bothers some e-mailers

Should NASCAR ditch the Cot? Fans are tired of seeing a field of identical cars

Also, readers discuss the year's best quote, Jimmie Johnson bashing and more

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It's Like, You Know: Some readers think Danica Patrick's use of "you know" in interviews is a bad habit.
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

The official end of 2010 also brings with it an important anniversary for this column. It was at this time one year ago the SI.com Mailbag was born, created off a couple of old e-mails I'd been keeping in the Hoarders episode that served as my inbox.

It was an idea based on building a fan following, the strength of your opinions making or breaking its lifespan. So 12 months later I thank you, the fans, for building this column up when so much in racing has been torn down by declining attendance, TV ratings and criticism of decisions on and off the track.

What began as a trickle of e-mails each week is now a borderline flood. Finding the best opinions among those e-mails once took a couple of minutes; now it takes me hours. It's because of you this idea has not only survived, but thrived, and I appreciate it more than you know.

In honor of the end of 2010, I went back over 100 pages of close, but no cigar e-mails to come up with some of the one-liners, quirkier ideas, crazy talk and general themes that defined the year of racing. This time around, I kept my responses to a minimum while letting you, the fans do the talking. As crazy as some of these e-mails are, that is what this column is all about, right?

We'll return to the normal format after the New Year, so don't stop sending your thoughts and questions to tbowles81@yahoo.com or Twitter on @NASCARBowles.

Until then ...

I have always been a supporter of equal rights and work opportunities for women, and Danica Patrick entering the IRL fray really caught my attention. But she has one problem that someone needs to talk to her about, the one quirk or shortcoming in her behavior that could actually end up being her undoing -- her habit of saying "you know" about every three words. You would be amazed by the number of people that comment on this, I feel that the day is coming when she is going to become a role model for young girls around the world; she needs to lose this habit and become the clear speaking, articulate young lady that I know exists.
-- John L. Wesley

If we could only get Danica to not say "you know" every other word. It drives me crazy and makes her look dumber than she really is.
--Linda, South Bend, Ind.

You know, John and Linda ... I totally don't see what you're talking about.

After the Brad Keselowski--Carl Edwards flip in Atlanta, my NASCAR favorite is still Carl Edwards, but I do have this to say to him -- let the duck drive.
-- Robert Fahlfeder

I always thought Carl was the real deal, but after the BK deal, Carl is the lowest of low. We now have NASCAR's approval of attempted murder, and everyone is smiling.
-- Russ Sylvia

Carl, love your style and thought processes about racing. Keselowski, it's about time someone put him in his place... and who else but Carl Edwards. Way to go, Carl! Be safe and keep the wheels on the ground.
-- Rousch Fan

On Joey Logano, I still think the best quote (and counterattack) of the year was the line about Kevin Harvick's wife wearing the fire suit in the family! Hard to come back, eh, Kev...
-- Bart Bogy, Whittier, Calif.

I'm 43, and I have been watching NASCAR since the early 1990's. I was a Dale Earnhardt fan, and I must admit that after his death, it just hasn't been the same for me, because now I find it hard to pull for anyone. Either they are too vanilla (Jimmie Johnson) or they just plain suck (Dale Earnhardt Jr.).
-- Walt Craig

It bothered me that NASCAR allowed Jimmie Johnson's crew chief Chad Knaus to switch pit crews at the end of the season. My thinking is this shouldn't be allowed; the crew you start the season with must be the team to finish with. Would this have changed the outcome? We will never know.
-- Fred, Perry, Ga.

Why the incessant Jimmie bashing from fans? So what if he wins all the time? Is it his fault that no one will step up to the plate and be man enough to beat him?
-- David Harding

I laughed out loud when you compared Denny Hamlin to Tom Brady. Did you actually think that was a valid comparison? By your own admission, Hamlin could barely walk. Would he be taking snaps under center in that condition? I think not. But thankfully, he was brave enough to drive a car. I have to tell you, I had my ACL repaired a few years ago and was driving the very next day. I know that comparing my jaunt to the doctor and Hamlin's race in Arizona is quite a stretch, but at least the mechanics are similar. We both wore braces on our knees. We both hit the gas and went through the gears. We both steered. Luckily, neither of us had to run from a defensive end trying to smash us to the ground. In my mind, the fact that Hamlin could race with a bad knee and finish in the top 30 simply reinforces the perception that race car drivers are about as athletic as golfers or bowlers.
-- Tucker Thudpucker

Good thing you didn't leave your cell phone number, Tucker. There's a couple million fans of this sport who beg to differ.

NASCAR got back to its roots when it started allowing drivers to wreck each other. "Boys, have at it" is fantastic. The problem now is the autos are too similar. There is no separation between the cars.
-- T.J. O'Keefe, Columbus, Ohio

 
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