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Class Act

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hboyle

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Post Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:01 am

Class Act

Here's a really great article I just read. Thought I would share:


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jamie Dodge is a 64-year-old die-hard Danica Patrick fan who made the trek from Huntington Beach, Calif., to watch her favorite driver in the Daytona 500.

Richard Petty stands by Patrick remarks The Associated Press
NASCAR's Patrick reacts to Petty's criticism The Associated Press
Tony Stewart rips Richard Petty, defends Danica Patrick SB Nation
Tony Stewart: Let’s see a race between Danica Patrick and Richard Petty NBC Sports
Danica Patrick brushes off Richard Petty criticism SB Nation
Dodge says she's battling cancer and uses Patrick as an inspiration to continue her fight.

"I was in an all-male profession for 25 years, so I know what she goes through every day," the former police officer said from the Fan Zone of the Daytona International Speedway. "To me, Danica inspires me to not give up."

So Dodge was absolutely incensed when Hall of Famer Richard Petty recently created a stir by claiming the only way Patrick could win a Sprint Cup race was if "everybody else stayed home."

Patrick's fans were outraged. Her boss, Tony Stewart, came to her defense and said he'd field a car for the 76-year-old so Petty and Patrick could settle the score on the track.

Patrick, as she almost always does, turned the other cheek and took the high road.

She responded politely when reporters asked repeatedly for her reaction, but she never bit back. She ignored Petty's comments much the same way she did last season when his son, Kyle, said she was a marketing machine and not a driver.

She ignored it the way she ignores the horrible tweets she receives daily. And she ignored it the way she's ignored the critical comments she's received since she was a little girl trying to make it in racing.

"I always have because I really don't care," she said in an interview with The Associated Press. "When somebody says something like that, how can I really take it seriously? So, I really just don't care.

"It's partly being conditioned for so long and people saying so many things like that. It comes from being confident in what I can do. Where I'm at, having the support of the people around me, it's them believing in me. It's all those little side things.

View galleryDanica Patrick prepares for the NASCAR Nationwide series&nbsp;&hellip;
Danica Patrick prepares for the NASCAR Nationwide series auto race at Daytona International Speedway …
"And I've had plenty of people over the last week come up to me and tell me 'You are great, you are awesome, you go get 'em girl. Don't listen to what anybody says about you.' I actually hear more positive than I do negative about these things."

Patrick said she can't remember a time in her life when hateful comments bothered her, and believes that mental toughness and inner strength comes both naturally and from how a person is raised.

She credits her father's determination and her mother's strength for helping her learn early how to handle adversity that's only sharpened in her move to NASCAR and the accessibility people have to her through social media.

"People are really mean on Twitter, people say things like 'I wish you would die,' because people can be cowardly behind their keyboard and they don't have to have a face. They don't have to have human contact with the words they say," she said.

"But I work hard and if I didn't, maybe I would feel bad. If my parents weren't strong and confident with me along the way then I'm sure it would make me insecure. If I wasn't born to a tough determined guy like my dad, and someone strong like my mom, then I probably wouldn't be like this.

"But I am who I am, and I don't care what people think about me. I just don't."

It's a strength three-time champion Stewart envies.

As Teflon as Stewart can often seem, he can be incredibly sensitive to criticism and he's marveled at the way Patrick handles brutal attacks from fans, media and her peers.

"I couldn't do it. I couldn't get beat up that bad. At some point I would put my foot down," he told AP. "I think probably her whole career she's had to fight that, unfairly, but she's had to fight it. That's a power, a super power I think. How she does it amazes me. I can't do what she does. She focuses on what's important to her.

"She has a great ability to tune out stuff that just doesn't matter. She fights the fights that are worth fighting. She doesn't worry about the ones that aren't and that's hard to do. I've made a career of fighting that. I wish 15 years ago I had the ability to do it the way she does it."

Now it's up to Patrick to prove Petty wrong, and her first chance comes Sunday in the Daytona 500.

A year ago she became the first woman to start from the pole and lead laps in the race, and went on to finish eighth as a rookie. No one should have expected anything less because that's what Patrick does — she performs on the biggest stages. She was fourth as a rookie in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, and finished third four years later.

The rest of the races? Ehh. They don't go as well.

She doesn't know why she rises when the lights are brightest.

"It's been a pattern. I feel like that I do better when there is more pressure. I hope that continues," she said. "I don't know if certain adrenaline and hormones get going in the right direction as a result of nervousness and anxiety. The more potential to do well that I have, the more nervous I get."

The goal, though, this year is to show improvement at all the races and to prove she can compete at places besides Daytona and Talladega. Maybe then the criticism will stop.

NASCAR veteran Jeff Burton doesn't think Patrick will ever escape the scrutiny.

"She has a wonderful opportunity in front of her because of her situation," Burton said. "But her situation, the price of that, is that she's under tons of scrutiny. But that's life. There's no free ride. You can't have this wonderful opportunity, but then not have something you've got to pay back for it. She's going to be scrutinized because of the opportunity she has. That's just the way it is."
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racer1

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Post Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:30 pm

Re: Class Act

"NASCAR veteran Jeff Burton doesn't think Patrick will ever escape the scrutiny."

Thanks-good article & that comments says it all--nice. Nascar & its lame redneck attitude towards female drivers now targeting her more then ever on Fox and other media only prove this series doesn't want female drivers. the fact as mentioned many times that Fox nor other media NEVER target a male driver even close to how they have done Danica only proves what kind of womanizing series this really is?

Someone look up all the male drivers who have never won in comparison and the first one currently is Amirola--Pettys own driver who he just gave another 3yr contract. That alone says it all with his negative attitude hes had his entire career towards woman drivers of the past and now Danica when he doesn't have the balls to look in his own backyard--says it all? :roll:
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Schmoopy1000

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Post Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:19 pm

Re: Class Act

Amirola is much like Danica. Doesn't run in the top 10 often but doesn't tear up equipment. Which is a good thing for small teams that don't have as much money (like RPM)
However what people don't realize is he does cause many others to wreck. He is constantly slow to react to things in front of him. Which means he hits cars in front of him when everyone checks up & those drivers end up in the wreck. If I was a team wanting to compete, I wouldn't sign Almirola. If I was a small team trying to put money in the bank to get to the next tier. then I would.

To be fair to Petty though. Petty did say he would sign Danica & her sponsors. Money in cup trumps all. he would take her in a heart beat.
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racer1

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Post Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:07 pm

Re: Class Act

"To be fair to Petty though. Petty did say he would sign Danica & her sponsors. Money in cup trumps all. he would take her in a heart beat."

Really --as I hadn't heard that one from all this Petty crap so I guess he does know what pays the bills in todays world of racing, whether he likes saying it or not as so different from his world? :roll:
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Schmoopy1000

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Post Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:52 pm

Re: Class Act

racer1 wrote:"To be fair to Petty though. Petty did say he would sign Danica & her sponsors. Money in cup trumps all. he would take her in a heart beat."

Really --as I hadn't heard that one from all this Petty crap so I guess he does know what pays the bills in todays world of racing, whether he likes saying it or not as so different from his world? :roll:

yeah he said it during the part where he was saying she is good for the sport yada yada yada.
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smokieonefour

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Post Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:09 pm

Re: Class Act

When I finally grow up ... I want to be as cool & classy as Danica, in dealing with haters. :-)
Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!

Sh*t happens... but don't worry, it usually happens to me.
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wolfgang

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Post Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:30 pm

Re: Class Act

I don't wanna grow up, so there for I am! ;) :mrgreen:
WHEN THE GREEN FLAG DROPS, THE B.S. STOPS !
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ndunn

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Post Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:15 pm

Re: Class Act

Danica doesn't have to worry about the battles as she wants to win the WAR. Alot of people don't understand that. That is why she doesn't take on every remark made against her.
The Military Thanks You For Standing Behind Them. If You Can't Do that You Can Always Stand In Front Of Them.....Think About It.....

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loominator20

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Post Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:13 pm

Re: Class Act

Danica is a very intelligent women. She us a fast learner, she has a built in hard drive in her brain. She can race. She can drive .Danica has a lot of confidence.she's happy. That's all that counts. I am a die hard fan of danica too. I think she is great. So, Go Danica!
I hope you have a great year with SHR.
Your faithful fan, tom Loomis.
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racer1

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Post Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:42 pm

Re: Class Act

"I hope you have a great year with SHR"

Thanks for those wishes but shes 41st in owners points now but not sure how that's right with a 40th and a 36th finish? Her only chance to do well is IF they give her another CC. Otherwise if everything stays on course, lousy qualifying & cars in the race, major pit road mistakes and bad luck with wrecks--& IF Vegas turns bad for her--she wont have enough owners points to fall back on for Bristol qualifying tough as it is? Even with say a 20th result at Vegas --big IF--she still wont have but maybe 34-35th in owners points and with all these low funded teams entering races this yr and some with better drivers who CAN at least qualify for the top 36, she may be in serious trouble without enough points if she has qualifying issues?? :roll:

Either someone at SHR wakes up or she wont have much of a chance this season--thanks for that deep hole TG put her in at Phx sending her out after initial repairs but with an obvious tire rub and now I hear she even radioed in about that and TG did nothing but left her out to blow the tire?? C'mon Zippy--step in--as someone at SHR surely cant help but see the problem? :roll:

The other argument is yes I'll say it--IF she cant qualify in the top 36 now with 100+ overall races, only starting her 2nd FT yr in Cup, coming from open wheel, some will say she doesn't belong in Nascar? I guess only time will tell but with any more major problems--maybe shorter then we think? The rednecks & naysayers will throw a party for sure but it will be Nascars loss. SHR may be hyped as a top team but not really, esp not the #10 team & its CC---Ask Ryan. :roll:

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