"This relationship in no way violates any rules or regulations of the sport," was the opinion of NASCAR
spokesman David Higdon. "We have zero concerns, particularly since we're talking about two fiercely competitive individuals who both want to win NASCAR
races and be the best at what they do."
Many fellow Sprint Cup drivers didn't want to respond to questions about the Danica/Ricky situation, but former Cup champion Jeff Gordon did tweet with an implied pained sigh: "We live in a world today where drama, controversy & who's dating who is what people want to read."
Inevitably, once the season gets under way next month at Daytona, Patrick and Stenhouse can expect to take a lot of ribbing from their fellow drivers up and down pit lane now that the news is in the public domain.
Brad Keselowski was by no means the first when he said tongue-in-cheek that he was concerned that the relationship might violate NASCAR's testing policy. "NASCAR needs to step in, because there's a testing rule in NASCAR
where you can't test," he quipped. "I'm a little concerned about this extra time Danica and Ricky have bump-drafting."
"The bump drafting jokes are cracking me up! Let the fun begin," Danica herself tweeted during the day; and among those re-tweeting the message was a certain Richard Lynn Stenhouse Jr., his only other visible reaction during the day to the news going public.
Keeping a low profile won't be an option for him for much longer, though. And for anyone not completely fascinated in all things Danica and Ricky, 2013 might be an awfully long and frustrating NASCAR
experience in which the action on the track is firmly relegated to the back seat compared to the latest updates from the relationship front.