Lipstick and the pit crew

Danica Patrick: the Sarah Palin of NASCAR?

There’s little in the way of middle ground when it comes to Danica. People either love her for her gumption in taking on the boys, dislike her for her sometimes surly persona and penchant for self-promotion, or really really REALLY can’t stand her. A large percentage of the latter devote an even larger amount of time to expressing this sentiment, be it in assorted sordid columns for various publication channels or in the comments area of same.

Never seen Sarah surly, but that makes sense. And besides:

Both Danica Patrick and Sarah Palin have a lot of fans who adore them regardless of how media elements tell them otherwise. There are throngs of people waiting for Palin at every stop in her book promotion tour not to jeer but cheer, fueled by political and personal admiration. Patrick also has her group of followers, young girls invariably decked out in #7 gear in attendance at every IRL race. They’re there because their heroine is there, the girl who takes on, holds her own against and sometimes bests the boys.

On the other hand, Sarah’s never done this:

Danica Patrick in SI Swimsuit Issue 2009

Not for Sports Illustrated, anyway.


  1. Joan of Argghh! »

    21 December 2009 · 8:45 am

    They let those high-heels touch the paint job on that Cobra??!!!11!!

  2. CGHill »

    21 December 2009 · 8:55 am

    These are professional photographers who live in New York City. The only things they know about cars is that they’re yellow and cost $2.50 plus forty cents a “unit.”

  3. Jeffro »

    21 December 2009 · 11:52 am

    As a NASCAR fan, I’ve got mixed emotions about Danica and all the hoopla surrounding her. She’s undoubtedly a talented driver, but she hasn’t much of a record of winning. In her defense, she hasn’t had the very best equipment, either. She’s coming to NASCAR on a part time basis. For contrast, it’s taken Juan Pablo Montoya about three years of total immersion in NASCAR racing before he could be considered a success. And his record in open wheel (F1, anyone?) is a bit more stellar than Danica’s. Other open wheelers haven’t made a successful transition.

    So, I’ll pass judgment in four or five years – the present is just too soon. If she starts winning right off the bat, then I’ll be cheering for her. Expecting that from her is unrealistic, IMHO.

  4. Jeff Brokaw »

    21 December 2009 · 1:27 pm

    The naked hostility towards women like Palin and Patrick just amazes me.

    And yes, I used “naked” above on purpose, and in this context, I’m OK with it. Very much so.

    Carry on.

  5. Kirk »

    21 December 2009 · 3:48 pm

    I dunno, Jethro, from the pic on the post, her equipment looks pretty darn good to me.

  6. unimpressed »

    22 December 2009 · 1:59 am

    Sleek, sporty, hot, smooth.

    Car looks good, too.

  7. Bill Peschel »

    22 December 2009 · 2:45 pm

    Be prepared for more. This past weekend, Danica wasn’t the only woman testing cars on the NASCAR track at Daytona. According to the AP:

    “Patrick was one of a record nine women at the first day of the three-day test. Part-time IndyCar driver Milka Duno, twins Amber and Angela Cope, Alli Owens and Leilani Munter were among the others. But none of them received the attention Patrick got.”

  8. CGHill »

    22 December 2009 · 3:12 pm

    I figure, the glass headliner was broken many years ago. (Think, oh, Denise McCluggage, now in her 80s.)

    And there’s this:

    “[A] driver is primarily a person, not a man or a woman, and a great deal of driving is mental. You can not afford to get angry behind the wheel. A good driver needs emotional detachment, concentration, good judgment, and desire.”

           — Janet Guthrie, first woman to drive both Indy and Daytona.

  9. Lindsay’s No Mystery (and neither is inflation) »

    27 December 2009 · 10:30 am

    […] AC/DC   Lipstick and the pit crew   An issue inadequately […]

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