Danica Patrick: Drive Fast, Live Well, Have Fun
I cannot really say that I was ever much of a racing fan until Danica Patrick starting making the news. This was probably when she raced for the first time in the Indianapolis 500 in 2005. It just seemed so cool that a girl was driving a car at those kinds of speeds racing a bunch of men. I thought she must be one tough cookie and maybe even kind of manly. I admit I was really surprised to learn she was actually very petite, awfully pretty and a darling of the motorway. Well, maybe some of those men she was racing didn't really see the darling side of her...
I guess if I am honest, I would have to say I am still not all that much of a racing fan. I have only watched a few races and always to see Danica compete. I am glad she is now concentrating on NASCAR because I find this more interesting than Indy car racing, though I am not sure why. Maybe it is because those cars look more like what I drive everyday so it is easier to live vicariously through the NASCAR drivers than the Indy racers! Of course, for a petite girl like me, it is easiest to live vicariously through Danica when she is driving a car that looks at least a little like mine.
These days, racing is not all that Danica is known for. She is also a spokesperson for Go Daddy who is now her primary racing sponsor. She also has done some modelling and photo layouts for magazines such as Sports Illustrated and FHM . It is these often very provocative images as well as her sometimes risque Go Daddy ads that draw her some criticism, though I think they are outstanding. Danica is sexy, hot and beautiful, so why shouldn't she take advantage of this? and it is not like there are not thousands of fans out there ready to eat it all up.
It is not like she is just taking every offer that is thrown at her either. She has turned down an offer from Playboy and while she did appear in a 4-page spread for the Sports Illustrated 2008 swimsuit issue, the photos were tasteful and stimulating while still being sexy and exciting. Unfortunately some people just have trouble accepting that a girl can have talent and skill yet still be a vibrant, sexual woman.
Danica has really been taking a lot of heat from people because of some of the ads she has done for Go Daddy. They seem to feel that if she wants to be respected as a race car driver then she cannot exploit her sexuality. Personally I think that is ridiculous. The only thing that should determine how much respect she gets as a racer is what she does on the race track. Period. If she can run a respectable race, then she should be respected as a driver. If she cannot, then she should get off the track. I think it is clear from her performances that she will not be getting off the track anytime soon.
Of course, you can always find someone who would probably say Danica does need to get off the track. She has not won very many races, but she has finished in the top ten at the Indianapolis 500 six out of the last seven years. And she always puts in a respectable run. With the exception of the occasional oddball that wants to complain that Danica's petite size gives her a weight advantage, other drivers have also been unanimous in their praise for her. There is no doubt that Danica is popular with fans and colleagues alike.
Regarding Danica's burgeoning NASCAR career, popular driver Tony Stewart has said, "I think obviously she's got talent. She's been successful in every form of racing she's been in so far and I don't see why she wouldn't be successful here." It would seem she has already begun down the path to success in NASCAR and things are certain to only get better from here.
Danica finished 43rd in points for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series running in 13 races with her highest finishing position at 19th. She is off to a much better start in 2011, already having a 4th place finish at the Sam's Town 300 and currently at 25th in the point standings. Hopefully the year will just get better and better and Danica can show those NASCAR boys how it's done!
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