Danica Patrick’s Twitter feed usually showcases a cheerful cornucopia of the most uncontroversial elements in the NASCAR driver’s off-track life.
There are her devotion to healthy food, fitness and yoga, the cute photos of her dogs, Dallas and Ella, and the loyal support of sponsors and pro sporting interests (her beloved Chicago Cubs lately).
Which made the appearance of this tweet on the morning of Nov. 9 quite striking:
During this week’s NASCAR on NBC podcast, Patrick playfully tried to parry a question about her brief and sudden turn into politics.
“I’m a race car driver,” she said.
Yes, but you tweeted this.
“You’re right,” Patrick said. “It’s public then.”
So what was the impetus?
“Well, really what I was intending was there’s so much negativity, and it just doesn’t need to happen,” she said. “The point of me tweeting about ‘Let’s Make America Great Again’ … Doesn’t everyone want America to be great? If he says that’s what’s going to happen, then I’m excited! Let’s have some faith! Stay positive.”
The tweet seemed to draw a mostly negative response, which didn’t surprise Patrick.
“Usually, those who are the most negative are the most loud,” she said. “I don’t feel I’m out of line in saying that. Usually the people that are the most negative, opinionated, most extreme a lot of times, also are the loudest. You have to take social media with a grain of salt. The easiest way for me to handle it is to post something and not look at anything.”
But she doesn’t stay completely out of her replies.
“I might (look) a little bit,” she said. “It is the heartbeat and pulse of what stories can develop. But at the same time, I didn’t get where I am today because I try to appease everyone and try to make sure everyone liked everything I said and did.
“All I ever hoped is that people would respect my honesty. They didn’t have to like what I said and did, but at least they can respect my honesty, and that I don’t back down from something or anything I’ve said and done. It’s all been done because I’ve decided that was OK for me, and that’s all that should matter.”
During the podcast, Patrick also discussed:
–Her new Warrior clothing line, which will make its debut in January, and a book (Pretty Intense) that is slated for 2018;
–How new sponsor Nature’s Bakery has made it easier to align her personal and professional branding (and her hopes of one day creating her own fig bar for the sponsor);
–Her disappointing 2016 Sprint Cup season and her expectations for 2017;
–What it’s like hanging out around friends with kids;
–How Tony Stewart’s transition from driver to owner might return him to being a mentor.
You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone. It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.