Danica Patrick has a lot at stake for the Daytona 500.
Constant rain Sunday pushed the 54th Daytona 500 NASCAR race to today for the first delay in the event’s history.
Patrick stayed mostly to herself Sunday afternoon during the rain and was particularly frusted because of the up-and-down nature of her introduction to the top level of stock-car racing.
“I’m nervous, to be honest,” she said Sunday to USA Today from her motor home in the infield at Daytona International Speedway. “There’s a lot on the line. I want to have a good day.”
See Our Article: Danica Patrick Quits Racing After Dan Wheldon Death
Patrick’s admisstion to anxiety over her NASCAR Sprint Cup debut was rare for drivers.
The 29-year-old Roscoe, IL native has competed against men as a professional racer since she was in high school, but NASCAR is America’s most popular form of motor sports.
“I didn’t sleep fully through the night,” she said. “Last night was nerves. The night before, it was jackhammers. I feel we’ve been here a week and a half. I’m ready to go.”
Patrick had crashed twice in the previous three days at Daytona. Neither accident was her fault.
What Danica is fighting the most is making sure she has a good performance in the Daytona 500 so she will be accepted by the NASCAR audience.
During Speedweeks on Saturday, her every word was watched, and a radio transmission laced with profanities directed at a teammate became the popular racing story of the day.
The argument happened after Patrick’s No. 7 Chevrolet was spun out by JR Motorsports teammate Cole Whitt’s No. 88 Chevy during a race in the Nationwide Series, NASCAR’s second-level series that features many drivers and teams that compete in Sprint Cup.
Patrick screamed on the radio: “The f***ing 88 hit me while we were in a big pack! What the f***?”
Her crew chief, Tony Eury Jr., answered: “Yeah, he wrecked the f*** out of you.”
Patrick answered: “What the f*** is he thinking?”
ESPN caught Patrick’s profanities before they aired by using a delay censor.
NASCAR does not fine drivers for on-air language, but Patrick indicated she was frustrated because she had a good car and thought she had a chance to contend for victory after earning the pole position in Friday’s qualifying race.
“There are so many other days where your car isn’t perfect, or isn’t great, or isn’t super fast, and nothing happens to you,” Danica said. “You think, ‘Why, on the days when I have a really fast car, does it have to happen today?’ But it did, and we’ll move on.”
Patrick has sworn and screamed many times before. Her radio transmissions while racing in the Izod IndyCar Series became legendary for their anger and content.
Crew chief Tony Eury Jr. indicated he was not upset by the crash and said the teammates would sort things out.
“She was angry. I was fine,” Eury said. “It’s very unfortunate. But I ain’t never set on the pole here. I’m tickled to death. I told the guys that was a successful weekend for me. I would love to win this race and run better. That’s just part of racing. You’re going to have good days and bad days. We had a half a good weekend.”
Saturday’s crash happened less than 48 hours after a far more violent crash during a Daytona 500 qualifying race. In the moment before her car slammed into the SAFER barrier, Patrick took her hands off the wheel — a familiar practice in IndyCar and sprint-car racing to prevent hand injuries.
“The medical guy said if I’d hung on to wheel, I could have broken a bone,” Patrick said. “There’s not much downside (to letting go of the wheel). It’s very much a natural response.”
These races are not Patrick’s first NASCAR races – she has been transitioning to stock cars since 2010.
Also, she is not NASCAR’s first female driver. Johanna Long finished 21st Saturday — 17 positions ahead of Patrick — in near anonymity.
No female racer has captured Patrick’s level of attention – not only for racing but also for her beauty. None has ever won a pole at NASCAR’s signature track until Danica too.
“It’s a lot to take on,” Patrick said Sunday. “But I’ve got to get started.”
Filed under: Entertainment, Sports · Tags: Bathing Suit, Bikini, Car, Car Crash, Cole Whitt, Danica Patrick, Daytona 500, Dead, Death, IndyCar, Johanna Long, NASCAR, Nevada, Ocean, Racing, Shirtless, Sports, Sports Illustrated, Tattoo
Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.
Does the sun have the power to transform humankind?
In Solar (R)evolution, world-renowned German biophysicist Dieter Broers makes a compelling case, pointing to a wealth of scientific evidence that shows a remarkable correlation between increases in solar activity and advances in our creative, mental, and spiritual abilities.
We are in the midst of a dramatic rise in solar disturbances, which have the capability of disrupting the Earth’s geomagnetic field and, as a result, our global ecology. Broers, however, sees this not as an impending apocalypse but as the dawn of a new era.
Drawing on research from a variety of disciplines, he shows how erupting solar activity carries the potential to boost our brain capacity and expand our minds in ways we never imagined possible. Abilities now seen as extraordinary or supernatural—telepathy, extrasensory perception, and off-the-charts intelligence quotients—may soon become ordinary and natural and could very well help us solve the mounting global crises we are facing.
Humankind is going through an evolutionary leap, says Broers, and the process has already begun.
Featuring: DIETER BROERS, RUPERT SHELDRAKE, MICHAEL PERSINGER, ERNST SENKOWSKI, MICHAEL KONIG, ILLOBRAND VON LUDWIGER, ELIZABETH RAUSCHER, ROLLIN MCCRATY, FRANZ HALBERG, GIULIANA CONFORTO, JJ & DESIREE HURTAK, FRANCINE BLAKE, and RICK STRASSMAN.