Danica Patrick: Not just a pretty face

BY KYLE MCQUILLEN

The Daytona 500 kicks off the NASCAR Sprint Cup season every year and, unlike most sports, it has the biggest event of the year as its first.

Every year there are good storylines coming into the race, such as drivers changing teams and new rule changes. However, this year was like no other as, for the first time, a woman sat on the pole for the historic race.

Danica Patrick has often been criticized for receiving a ride based on things other than her driving ability and her results to date have been shaky at best. That criticism, however, has slowed down some after Patrick not only won the pole, but also had a strong showing in the “Great American Race”.

Patrick finished eighth, but ran in the top five for much of the race. She became the highest finishing female in the Daytona 500 history with her eight place run.

Prior to the race I, for one, thought too much attention was being paid to Patrick. I understand the historical implications of the situation, but she had not proven herself to deserve as much attention as she was getting.

Watching the race, some may have thought, “OK, she has run well, but when is she going to crash? She always crashes.” That has been her downfall.

But on Sunday, she proved her critics wrong by not crashing and finishing well.

She also proved she’s not just a pretty face and she can run with the men.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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