After securing the coveted “ pole position” in the world famous Daytona 500, which is also known as “The Great American Race”, Danica Patrick would have to settle for an 8th place finish at the drop of the checkered flag. This was by no means a small feat, placing in the top ten in one of the world’s premier racing events is a feat that is an accomplishment regardless of gender.
Danica Patrick – Racing Backstory
Danica Sue Patrick was born in Beloit Wisconsin on March 25, 1982. Her earliest “Racing” activity consisted of racing go-karts with her sister at the age of 10. Seriously interested in racing, she took her talents and interest across the pond to England where she placed second at the Ford Formula Festival. Highest ever for a woman and American in this event, eventually her talents would lead her to sign a deal with racing legend Bobby Rahal and partner David Letterman.
She would go on to consistently place in Indy car events and made history in 2008 winning her first Indy car race. The following year she would come in third at the World famous Indianapolis Motor speedway as a participant in the Indianapolis 500.
Switching gears and cars Danica decided to go with NASCAR and In February 2013 she made history again becoming the first woman driver to secure pole position for the Daytona 500.
She managed to lead for five laps during the 200 lap race and came in 8th place in one of the most famous races in all of motor sports. Beset with slow pit times one can only hope that her pit crew can pull it together and bring in a win for her next time around. Jimmy Johnson managed to take the checkered flag for the first place finish, edging out perennial favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In what has been a historically male dominated sport, Danica has set the standard for others to follow. She has managed to win and gain recognition from her peers and racing car fans. She has managed to do so while also tongue and cheek poking fun at the heavily “macho” NASCAR crowd through satirized ads for hosting service provider GoDaddy.
Today might not be a first place finish for Danica but it is hard not to believe that someday that checkered flag will wave her across the finish line with nothing ahead of her but the wind and the sky above.