Has there ever been a bigger bust than Danica Patrick?
That is a very hard to say in terms of NASCAR for being the biggest bust.
The problem here is the the racing media has been dishonest about her from the beginning even before she entered NASCAR. The racing media was hyping her on not on talent, but by gender. I feel woman have the right to race like men do, but Danica wasn't worthy of all the coverage she got.
From a hype standpoint, she's biggest biggest bust in NASCAR. When you compare her accolades before going into NASCAR, I can name a bunch drivers that were busts that had better accolades than her. To me, Dario Franchitti is the biggest bust in NASCAR. Dario actually had a way better career than Danica Patrick in Indycar, but Dario wasn't able to last an entire season in NASCAR.
Top race teams were after Danica in NASCAR because she brought sponsor with a lot of money, not because of potential. The other reason Danica stayed so long in NASCAR was due to her marketability. After Godaddy changed management, that was her downfall because she needed performance.
The problem is the reality in her Indycar days was she was given too much exposure by the media considering how good she really was. Danica was a top 10 Indycar driver, but usually not a threat to win. Danica got a top 3 finish once in a while in Indycar including a fuel mileage win.
I've read in the past that her sponsor Godaddy dot com wanted her in NASCAR because NASCAR has a bigger fanbase than Indycar.
Based on what I mentioned about her before going into NASCAR, she really didn't have a shot to be successful in the cup series. Not all great Indycar drivers managed a successful career in NASCAR including the already mentioned Dario Franchitti. Dario was 3 time Indy 500 champ and a 4 time Indycar champion. Dario won races in Indycar before going to NASCAR and winning races after going back to Indycar after he left NASCAR.
The cause of successful drivers in Indycar not automatically being successful in NASCAR is caused by how different a stockcar and an Indycar is for how to drive. Tony Stewart was able to become a NASCAR legend because of natural talent of a driver. What I mentioned about Indycar to NASCAR also is very similar to the transitions from USAC to NASCAR, and Offroad racing to NASCAR, and Motorcross to NASCAR.