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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

As a female race fan, Danica did us proud


FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 05:  Danica Patrick,...
Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, climbs out of her car for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
How about that Danica Patrick?

I really enjoyed watching Danica Patrick run at Road America in the Nationwide Series last Saturday. She performed well, despite a little shove at the end by Jacques Villeneuve. If it hadn't been for that bump at the end of the race, Danica would have had a finish worthy of how she ran all day.

Villeneuve's being a "road course ringer," a non-regular NASCAR driver who only runs the road courses, made Danica's finish even more disappointing.

Danica was aggressive when she needed to be. Her car was fast and she wheeled it like the pro she is. She stood her ground, passing when she could, and didn't let any of the other drivers get the best of her.

Despite her obvious disappointment at the end of the race, Danica showed real class in how she responded to reporters questioning her about the incident. She expressed how much fun she had driving the uncharacteristic twisted, turning track. She mentioned her disappointment with a twelfth-place finish instead of fifth where she had been running. While she clearly could have blamed Villeneuve for spinning her, she didn't dwell on it. Instead she noted the positives, like taking the lead after a pit stop.

That wasn't the case with her crew chief, Tony Eury, Sr., who spoke to Villeneuve after the race. Villeneuve explained that he wasn't even racing with Danica. The incident was about his racing Max Papis.

Villeneuve said he thinks Papis wanted to cross over to the inside of Danica and probably didn't know he was there. Villeneuve was pushed into the grass. When he came back onto the track, that is when he hit Patrick from behind.

Villeneuve has a reputation of punting drivers out of the way.

For those of us female NASCAR fans, Danica really did us proud this week. I look forward to her continued success.