It would be a massive pressure for a woman to compete at the Daytona 500. But Danica Patrick took a risk and competed against 42 other equally deserving and good drivers.
Danica Patrick made history when she won a Sprint Cup pole and be able to lead a lap in the Daytona 500. But unfortunately for Danica, she only managed to snag the eighth place at the Daytona 500 earlier on Sunday.
Danica Patrick lost to Jimmie Johnson. And for the third time in four years, he edged out Dale Earnhardt Jr. who finished with a close second. Johnson who is a second time winner led 17 laps on the track. With perhaps a little bit of luck, he won first place in NASCAR's season opening, which is also considered the most prestigious race of the season.
Although Danica only won the eighth spot on Sunday, she did run in the top 10 for most of the day. She was also running a close third towards the end of the race but encountered some problems and failed in her attempt to pass on Johnson.
Drawing crowds and cheers before she gets into her car and before the race starts, Danica is definitely considered a crowd favorite. Even young daughters of veteran drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards all wanted to meet Patrick.
"Carl was saying that it's good that she sees me in real life and in person because he's like, 'Because to her, you are like some mythical creature that doesn't exist,'" Patrick said. "After qualifying, Jimmie Johnson brought his little girl over because she wanted to meet me."
"I mean, that's is three pretty big drivers that have little girls that wanted to meet me. That is very flattering," Danica added.
Before the race on Sunday, Danica admits that she is still a "rookie" if you compare her to other drivers competing. But her team is determined to bring her to victory and eventually make her to be the first woman to lead lap in the Daytona 500.
"I know I'm inexperienced. I know that I'm a rookie out there. I will do the best job I can. I believe I do have a chance to win. I do believe experience would help, but it doesn't mean that I don't have a chance to win," Patrick said.