Thank you Danica

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 16: Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)

I can only imagine what the scene was like at the Daytona International Speedway this weekend when Danica Patrick crossed the finish line making history.  I unfortunately was not able to be there; but her accomplishment affected me all the same.

Danica won the Daytona 500 pole Sunday making her the first woman to secure the top spot for any race in NASCAR’s premier circuit.

When I heard the news, I instantly got this feeling of gratitude. My heart swelled with pride. What Danica did was an incredible achievement for her, but I couldn’t help feeling it was also an unbelievable accomplishment for all women of the world.

For decades women have been trying to prove they’re equals to men. We have come so far, but there are still many who do not take us seriously; who do not believe we are worthy adversaries. Some of those people are women just like us.

Now I believe Danica is just doing what she loves. I also believe that is how many accomplishments are made. One cannot be successful without passion, determination and ambition. None-the-less, I want to say thank you to Danica Patrick.

Thank you for being a strong, ambitious and independent woman. Thank you for showing men and women that we can win. That we can do and play like men, and be a threat. Thank you for showing every little girl out in the world, she can be whatever she wants to be. Thank you, because even though as women we have come so far, there is still farther for us to go. I don’t believe our job will be done until every person in this world recognizes our strength as women, and believes in it.

“I was brought up to be the fastest driver, not the fastest girl. That was instilled in me from very young, from the beginning,” Danica Patrick said Sunday.

We are worthy adversaries.

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About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.