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ABOUT THE BOOK
Danica Patrick has learned to survive in a man’s world. Since she was 16 years old, when she moved from Illinois to England to compete in various British national car racing series events, it seemed inevitable that she would be going toe to toe with the best (male) race car drivers in the world.
Patrick is, by most accounts, very successful at what she does. She is currently racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. She finished in third place at the 2009 Indianapolis 500, which is still the highest finish for a woman in the race’s history.
If Patrick had her way the phrase “for a woman” would not be be a qualifier listed next to any of her accomplishments. However, it remains highly likely that for the rest of her career Patrick will be “the female race car driver,” not just “the race car driver.” This is due to no fault of her own, but is something she has had to deal with and will have to deal with for years to come.
Patrick is by no means a weak race car driver. In addition to her 2009 finish in Indianapolis she finished in 10th place in the 2011 IndyCar Series. She picked up her first career victory in the Indy Japan 300 in April 2008.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
By most accounts, Patrick is already shown to have a successful racing career. She has had the highest finish of any female racer in the history of the Indianapolis 500 (3rd place in 2009). She is also the only female racer to win in the IndyCar series when on April 20, 2008 she won at Twin Ring Motegi in the Indy Japan 300. She has finished as high as fourth place in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, which she accomplished in the Sam’s Town 300 in 2011.
Yet at the same time, so far her career, which is certainly far from over, has given the feeling that she hasn’t yet been able to reach her full potential. Fair or not, her self-promoting ways and appearances in somewhat racy commercials for godaddy.com have led to some believing that she does not focus enough of her time on racing. While that perception is driven in large part by a gender bias that is still apparent throughout a male-dominated sport, it will continue to ring true with some racing fans until Patrick is able to put a few more racing wins under her name.
That being said, by the age of 30 Patrick has already put together a racing career that most aspiring drivers would be happy to accomplish over their entire career. Beginning at the young age of 16 Patrick spent a few years in England fine-tuning her racing skills. At the age of 20 in 2002, Patrick moved back to the States and raced in both the Barber Dodge Pro Series and the Toyota Atlantic Championship.
A couple of years later in 2005 Patrick truly began to make a name for herself in the racing world when she became just the fourth female driver ever to compete in the Indianapolis 500. Patrick was not just out to have a good time in the race, either. Before ultimately finishing in 4th place Patrick had actually led a total of 19 laps in various stages of the race. Later that year she was named Rookie of the Year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season.
For the most casual of racing fans there are only a few races over the course of the racing season that truly grab the attention of racing viewers, and the Indianapolis 500 is one of those times. Fans who fall into this category may find it a bit surprising that Patrick has not been able to build upon her success in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, as she has not yet been able to drink milk in victory lane per one of the Indianapolis 500 customs.
In the same race the following year she finished a respectable 8th, the same place she finished in 2007 as well. In 2008 she finished in the disappointing 22nd position...
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