Fluke? I don’t think so. Danica’s been strong all week in practice, winning final practice as well. It’s no joke, and neither is she. This will have to be her breakout year, but it looks quite possible. She might be adjusting better/more quickly to the new Gen 6 cars than others; also, she’s running a Stewart-Hass car. Still, none of that matters. Either way, what she’s accomplished today is no fluke. She beat ’em all, fair and square.
It’s time to consider the larger implications. Patrick has broken a barrier few people ever thought a woman would be able to break, and not that long ago. It’s impossible to oversell the importance of this. Only a few decades ago, women weren’t even allowed into the pits at most tracks; women were considered a distraction, and bad luck. And now?
Patrick demonstrates, not that it should’ve needed to be proven, that racing is for everyone—men, women, minorities….that what matters is how much you want to compete, and win. The faces of American auto racing are changing, and it cannot happen too quickly. I’m happy for the sport today. Danica Patrick has changed the sport. She’s the real deal, folks.