Danica Patrick became the second athlete to write for Derek Jeter's new website, The Players' Tribune, with a first-person account about her relationship with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and being a woman in racing.
Patrick said she and Stenhouse are "the opposite in almost every way," and a lot of people ask her why she would date another driver or take on that extra scrutiny.
"I race better when I’m happy. And Ricky makes me happy, even if he pisses me off on the track every now and then," she said.
From Patrick's account:
The sports media prefers simple narratives: Good vs. Evil. Teammates vs. Enemies. NASCAR can be a lot more complicated. The truth is that there are more misunderstandings than understandings between Ricky and I, because our only mentality is to go flat-out. Hard, hard, hard. I want to take care of him out there just like I would a teammate, but at the same time, I want to beat him because I respect him so damn much as a driver. Right now, only 13 points separate us in the standings, so beating him means beating someone who is really good, which is my job.
Patrick also talked about being a woman in racing. She said she knows she gets extra positive attention because of her gender, such as getting more praise than her male counterparts for a similar finish, but she gets detractors because of it as well.
"My position as a woman in racing has always been anything but normal," said Patrick.
Last week, Russell Wilson became the first athlete to write a piece for the Tribune. Wilson wrote about domestic violence in the NFL and his own bullying past.
- Molly Geary