APPRECIATE, DON’T DENIGRATE, DANICA PATRICK FOR HER RACING CAREER
USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Hembree discusses what’s next for Danica Patrick after she announced she won’t be back with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018. USA TODAY Sports
If Danica Patrick is indeed driving in her last races, if she really is taking her considerable talents into other business ventures, she will leave NASCAR as she entered it, a figure surrounded by controversy and derision, but also hope and aspiration.
Some will choose to focus on an obvious statistic: she has never won a NASCAR race in 180 career Cup starts over five-plus years as a full-time driver.
I will choose to focus on this: Someday, when NASCAR has overcome its alarming lack of diversity, and a woman wins a race, and another wins one, and another, they all will thank the same person for paving the way.