More from The Q&A: Danica Patrick
What could be better than Danica Patrick in “The Q&A”?
How about Danica Patrick talking about pedicures in “The Q&A”?
Here’s the uncut version of my conversation with the IndyCar star:
Jenni Carlson: Fess up — how sick were you of the all the no-wins talk before this season?
Danica Patrick: On a scale of one to 10, I was an 11. But what am I going to do about it? It’s not like I could push a button and make it happen, so I definitely had to ride that out. You just have to know what you can do. You have to believe in your own abilities. Then, the rest of it is just talk.
JC: You got kind of emotional after you scored that first win earlier this season in Japan.
DP: It was necessarily just from winning a race; that’s the sort of thing I expect to do. But I don’t want to cry. You don’t see guys going to victory lane and crying, but I don’t think many people have had to deal with the sort of questions, the repetitive questions. The emotion was really tied to how long that haul was to get there and not just for the win but because of what the win meant and what led up to it.
JC: Do you feel like you’ve faced more scrutiny because of your gender?
DP: You know, the microscope is a little bit bigger. You do well, people notice, and when you don’t do well, people notice. I was always so flattered that people kept asking me when I was going to win. I was frustrated, don’t get me wrong, but the bright side I saw to it was that the still believed I could or they wouldn’t be asking.
JC: Who are the people you think about in those moments after getting that checkered flag on your first win?
DP: The most common denominator in everything has always been my family, so you think about them and you think about how long the haul was. Then you think about your team and how much faith they’ve had in you. I remember seeing Mike (Andretti) afterwards, and he looked like he had a little tear in his eye. I know that’s something he really wanted to happen. He believed in his team, and he believed in me, and he thought, “You put those two together, and we will make some history. We will get to victory lane.” To see that follow through, to see that come true, it was a rewarding feeling.
JC: Tell me about your role models, those people who you looked up to along the way.
DP: I didn’t really have idols or anything like that. I had people that I learned from, but I think always subconsciously I knew I was different. I always wanted to be the first Danica, not the next whoever else. I never really wanted to be like anybody else. I wanted to achieve a lot as some people had, but I just never really had a mold for what I wanted.
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