Danica Patrick says that the “luck of the Irish” must have been with her during the NASCAR Sprint Cup practice on Sunday, when she crashed and was forced to use a backup car for the duration of the race. The accident caused her to lose valuable practice time, but things could have been much worse, she acknowledged.
“I only had fourth gear, so that’s why I hit Clint (Bowyer) in the pits,” Patrick said. “I hit Clint in the pits. It wouldn’t go. I dipped the clutch and it got sideways, and when it caught it went straight and it wouldn’t stop.”
The 31-year old tipped her hat to her Irish ancestors on Twitter, saying she had some luck on her side.
Luck of the Irish was with me last night after getting wrecked early and only having 4th gear a lot of the race. happy St. Patricks day!
— Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) March 17, 2014
Patrick has had her share of detractors, namely Richard Petty, who has not minced words when it comes to his feelings about her talent on the course. Just because she can go fast, he sayd, doesn’t mean she’s a good driver.
“That’s where I have a problem,” he said on SPEED’s “Race Hub” last year. “Where fans have bought into the hype of the marketing, to think she’s a race car driver. She can go fast, and I’ve seen her go fast. She drives the wheels off it when she goes fast…she’s not a race car driver. There’s a difference. The King always had that stupid saying, but it’s true, ‘Lots of drivers can drive fast, but very few drivers can race.’ Danica has been the perfect example of somebody who can qualify better than what she runs. She can go fast, but she can’t race.”
It hasn’t affected Patrick’s ability to garner fans, however; she recently became the first NASCAR driver to surpass 1 million followers on Twitter, a feat even Dale Earnhardt Jr. hasn’t accomplished.
“It just shows what incredible and loyal fans I have,” she said. “It’s pretty humbling that 1 million people are curious about what I have to say and what I’m doing. I really can’t thank everyone enough for their passion and interest.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons