Danica Patrick is a female in what many would consider a man’s sport. Patrick is a race car driver and a very successful one. Being a woman in a man’s world has not been all bad for Danica Patrick.
Her good looks and driving skill have made her millions in endorsements. From Go Daddy to Honda Motor Company, she is advertising gold. While Patrick can be found in some advertisements and men’s magazines like FHM wearing a bikini and heels’ she is taking offense to being referred to as “sexy.”
In a press conference she commented on the fact that attractive female athletes are referred to as sexy. She seemed genuinely offended.
Fox 5 San Diego sports anchor Ross Shimabuku found Patrick’s comments absurd and went on to say she has a “chip on her shoulder.” Good ol’ Ross Shimabuku went a step further and in a clever turn of phrase got himself suspended. Shimabuku said he has a word for Danica Patrick that starts with a “B” and is not “beautiful.” I think Ross is fortunate he made this comment behind Danica’s back, I think she could take him… C’mon she is a NASCAR driver.
I am sure you have gathered that I have a healthy respect for women who chose to hone their driving skill and humiliate those who refer to racing as a man’s sport. Drag racing is my first love. There is something about fighting it out with one other competitor over the 1320. So naturally I must give the nod to the first-lady of drag racing, Shirley Muldowney. Shirley was the first woman to receive an NHRA license to drive a top fuel dragster. Top Fuel dragsters are 1,000 plus horsepower drag cars capable of 200 mph over a quarter mile - definitely not for sissies. Shirley Muldowney’s road to success in drag racing was not an easy one. Muldowney once commented, "NHRA fought me every inch of the way, but when they saw how a girl could fill the stands; they saw I was good for the sport." Even the “Big Daddy” of drag racing, Don Garlits, said that drag racing or motorsports in general were no place for women. Hollywood made a movie about Muldowney’s road to motorsports stardom called “Heart like a Wheel”.
Race car legend, Jackie Stewart, nicknamed the Nurburgring in Germany "The Green Hell" for its torturous bends and lush green surroundings. It has clamed many lives and is where most serious performance cars are honed. While I am sure yours truly would tear through The Green Hell like a madman, I would surely be lapped by a little blonde girl… Sabine Schmitz. Sabine Schmitz aka “ Nurburgring Queen” grew up in Nurburg and frequented the publicly accessible race track becoming very familiar with it. After some success as a professional racer for BMW, Sabine landed gigs as a host on German televisions “D Motor” and has had several appearances on BBC’s “Top Gear.” Not a bad resume…for a girl.
I’ve watched in confusion as silly gents point to poorly parked cars and mutter…women drivers. That assumption among most males is foolish. Mastering the IndyCar and the NASCAR like Danica Patrick is no small feat. Is winning the NHRA Winston Points championship three times like Shirly Muldowney an easy thing to do? Because I am a dude, can I pass Sabine Schmitz on a blast through the Nurburgring? Not likely.
Ross Shimabuku get a clue…girl racers rule.