A couple of weeks ago, Danica Patrick cast her net on the Twitter grounds trying to reel in some ideas for a new nickname.
Apparently, racing's #1 diva felt that she needed a moniker that her crew could call her that was amusing without being insulting. "DP" was too simple, and I'm pretty sure that her other nicknames - the ones she accumulated involuntarily from her IndyCar career - were not what she had in mind.
It then occurred to me that some of the newer drivers in IndyCar probably feel the same way. New to the paddock, they might benefit from having a nickname like some of the more established drivers (i.e., Briscoe Inferno, The Iceman, Shoe Boy, etc.).
Well, Pop Off Valve is only a couple of months old so it's not like we're paddock fixtures yet either - but since we want to be as helpful as possible to the folks we cover, here are a few of our suggestions for you drivers out there.Simona de Silvestro - "My Simona" The Knack wrote exactly one good song in their entire careers. I think, therefore, they wouldn't mind if we optioned it, since by doing so we will remind people that they existed in the first place:
Oh my little pretty one, pretty one
When you gonna give me some time, Simona?
When you make my motor run, my motor run
Gun it coming off the line, Simona!
Pippa Mann - "Pippa Longstocking" Astrid Lindgren's immortal children's book character has superhuman strength (she can lift her horse with one hand), doesn't take any guff from pompous adults, and can always be relied upon to make her friends' lives fun and entertaining. Tell me that doesn't describe Pippa Mann. I dare you. (Except for the horse part.)
Mario Romancini - "Romancini the Stone" I don't know Mario Romancini virtually at all, but it was either this pun or some sort of vague allusion to pasta.
Jay Howard - "The Fisher King" Sarah might not like that one - unless Jay ends up winning a race.
Takuma Sato - "Takuma Matata" Ain't no passing phase!
Sebastien Saavedra - "Saavedra Night Live" ...or, the Not-Ready-For-Primetime Player? Give him a season or two...
Jan Heylen - "5150" Of course, if he gets in a wreck, I give the announcers one race - two at the most - before one of them makes a "Driver Down" pun.
Rodrigo Barbosa - "The Pirate" Come on now, what else could it be?
Gustavo Yacaman - "The Big Yac Attack" Or, if we want to go really retro, "Yac Man." Yes, we all have Yac Man Fever.
Ana Beatriz - "The 'Triz Surgeon" Yeah, booooooo. Not all of them can be winners, eh?
And last but not least, here's one for Danica - 'Tricky D. She's done swimsuits, leather plumber's pants, and evening gowns - this one will let her get all gangsta up in your grill, yo.