Why is Danica Patrick a racing icon? Because the girl doesn't just know how to drive a fast car, she knows how to wreck a fast car -- the right way. And hey, like Steven Tyler says, you've got to lose to know how to win.
Okay, maybe that was a little bit of a stretch. For real though, Patrick could have ended up seriously injured when she crashed yesterday on the last lap of the NASCAR Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway. Luckily, Patrick knew exactly what to do. It's part of her job.
As she put it:
"We are not average people," she said. "We are not average drivers on the road. I'm not saying we crash for a living, but it is part of racing for a living. I feel fine. I feel good. I'm ready to go."
So just for the record, she meant to take her hands off the steering wheel as her car skidded across the track ...
It's common practice among IndyCar racers to avoid injury when a wheel snaps violently on impact. Patrick explained:
"I've had plenty of times where I have bruised my thumb, my bones on the wheel. I was trained to — when there is no (hope of) saving it — you let go. That is what I did. I don't see any point in keeping my hands tangled up with anything that is going to be moving."
Patrick was also trying to avoid injury when she closed her eyes, she says (no, it wasn't a desperate attempt to not see what was about to happen):
"I didn't want my eyes to pop out of my head," she said.
Like I said, she's a racing legend for a reason!
Did you see Danica Patrick's crash? Were you scared?
Image via David Shankbone/Flickr