I know I’m from the South, and usually that means I would know every Nascar Driver’s name, car # and who their sponsors are, but honestly, I can’t say that I have ever actually watched a full race from start to finish. I just don’t really enjoy watching things or cars or people going round and round in circles. That being said, I do appreciate the sport- its roots are buried in the Appalachian mountains, as are mine, and well, I like to go fast too. Plus watching her lead her first lap was so exciting, I was clapping the whole time.
However, this past weekend gave me a totally new and (shocking to many people) reason to watch Nascar-a woman. Danica Patrick made history on a couple different levels.
1- She became the first woman to win a pole in the Sprint Cup Series, placing her in the top starting spot in the Daytona 500.
2- She became the first woman to lead a lap (in above video) in the 500. She actually went on to lead the race twice for 5 laps.
3- Driving in the top 10 all day, she finished 8th, which while not her goal, is still the best a woman has finished in the Daytona 500, and pretty damn impressive too.
Danica Patrick and I share a special bond, although she doesn’t know it. It’s the bond that is created when having an unusual first name, and then someone famous having that same name. I have to admit this relationship she doesn’t actually know about has really made me not like her at times. When I was waiting tables, I can’t even count the number of people that asked me for her stats, or asked me if I had heard how she did in (fill in the blank) race. I’ve even had people ask-wait for it- if I’m RELATED to her! My only response to that is “yes, actually we’re cousins on the Danica side of the family”. But honestly, I am proud to share a first name with such a badass woman, who not only lives in a dudes world, but drives in it, and does it well.
Congratulations on making history Danica. You’ve given me a reason to watch Nascar, and you inspire women everywhere by doing it.
See you at the family reunion!