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Danica Patrick’s Not The Only Female Racer

March 23, 2012 by staff 

Danica Patrick’s Not The Only Female Racer, When you shake Danica Patrick’s hand, it doesn’t feel like you’re shaking the hand of a 5-2, 100-pound girl.

It’s quick, assertive and strong. “Sometimes I grab too quick and then I have to say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry,’” she says.

Patrick’s handshake is like her approach on the race track. It’s aggressive, determined and leaves a lasting impression.

“I was taught from a young age by my dad to shake like you mean it and to not give a wimpy handshake,” Patrick says. “I’m even going to call it a ‘girl handshake’ because there are plenty of guys out there with a wimpy handshake.”

Her intent is clear. “Just to make an impression and to know you are there and be strong,” she said.

Patrick, 29, is looking to make a strong impression Monday as she embarks on the greatest challenge of her storied racing career. After dabbling in the Nationwide Series the past two seasons, she will make her Sprint Cup debut in NASCAR’s biggest race-the 54th Daytona 500.

The former IndyCar star is the most accomplished female driver in American motorsports. She is the only female to win an IndyCar race and her fourth-place finish in the Nationwide race at Las Vegas last year was the best finish ever for a female driver in one of NASCAR’s national touring series.

On Saturday, she became the first female driver since 1994 to start on the pole for a Nationwide race. She will be the third female driver to start the Daytona 500-the first since 2002-when she starts 29th in the 43-car field.

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