NASCAR driver Danica Patrick— known for breaking records on the racetrack —told FOX411 what she thinks about being seen as a sex symbol.
“I don’t think there is anything you can do about that,” she said. “I think it’s not good or bad necessarily, it just is what it is, and I would imagine everybody is a sex symbol to somebody maybe not as many as others but everyone is a sex symbol at some point to somebody.”
Patrick’s seen success in a male-dominated industry, and she admits that hanging with the guys doesn’t faze her at all.
“It’s just normal to me,” she said. “After 24 full years of hanging out with guys in the pit and the garage, I don’t really know any different. I, by all means, love my girl time away from the track, but I have spent so much time with guys that it is normal to me and I don’t know what it is like any other way.”
As a woman in the racing world, Patrick has served as a strong positive role model for young women, but it’s something she doesn’t necessarily think about.
“It feels like my job; it’s a little bit difficult for me to step away and really observe the whole situation because I am in it and I am in the middle of it,” she said. “It’s what I love to do. I have been racing since [I was] 10 years old. I love it and I am so fortunate I get to do something I enjoy and love and want to do.”
The 33-year-old driver also has side projects. Recently, she teamed up with Aspen Dental to promote oral health.
“Back three years ago we started the Healthy Mouth Movement which is just to create awareness to go the dentist to take care of your mouth and overall health and we also launched the mouth mobile,” she said. “It is a dentist office on wheels that travels across the country and offers free dental care to people across the country and also veterans. Last year alone they donated $2.8 million worth of free dental care to veterans.”
Although her driving career is nowhere near over, Patrick knows how she wants to be remembered.
“I hope I am remembered as a great racecar driver. I don’t mind if they obviously remember me as a female racecar driver and that’s what I am and I am not ashamed of it. But I hope people first remember me as a great driver with great accomplishments and then ‘oh yeah she is a girl, that’s pretty awesome.’”
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.