Danica Patrick: “One difference I feel is that you have to get a team behind you, to believe in you. Maybe it’s a little harder because women have not proved themselves at much as men.”
Danica Patrick has spent the last 6 years in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. For five of them, she ran full-time in the premier division of the NASCAR ladder.
On her 7th season in the sport, she’s running the first race which will then be followed by retirement. The 2018 Daytona 500 will be her final NASCAR Cup Series start.
How do you feel about your contribution to women in NASCAR? Maybe down the road we’ll see more women in the sport, with regularity. Have you set the foundation for that?
Danica Patrick on women in NASCAR
“I don’t know,” Patrick responds in the media center to the questions from Mike Hembree of USA Today. “That depends on if they’re interested.”
“One difference I feel is that you have to get a team behind you, to believe in you. Maybe it’s a little harder because women have not proved themselves at much as men.”
“But, every driver has to prove themselves to their teams. There’s still that responsibility and that challenge, for every single driver. To find a group that believes in them and gives them what they need.”
“Perhaps it’s a little bit harder for me. Just based on history. But, I’ve had great opportunities as a driver. Sometimes I think it’s been better than others. But, that could probably be said for every single driver out there.”
Do you feel like that’s extra pressure? Because there are people who feel like they need to carry the banner for their gender?
“Only if they feel like they do. I’ve never felt like that.”
“My own banner is bigger than any other banner. For what I want to accomplish, for myself. No one expects more, than me.”
As a former Daytona 500 pole sitter, Danica Patrick is eligible for The Clash at Daytona. However, Danica Patrick does not have a car entered in that race.
“It was really just to do Daytona and Indy,” Danica Patrick refers to the sponsorship package that was sold to GoDaddy.
“The Clash wasn’t a priority. It was really just a matter of getting everything else going. If everything would have come together sooner I’m sure we would have been able to put something together for The Clash.”
“But, I’m sure it would have been extra. It’s not free. Turning the wheel, turning the engine on, it’s never free. It just didn’t come together fast enough.”
Danica Patrick also stated that it was important to focus on the Daytona 500 car. It was a lot of work to get that together with the new Hawk-eye inspection system.
“Their was no time to worry about anything other than the primary.”