Danica Patrick is used to blazing trails in the racing industry, first in IndyCar and now with NASCAR. We sit down with the 31-year-old racer to talk about her career — and get tips we can translate to our own careers.
SheKnows: You made history this February by becoming the first woman to win a NASCAR pole position at the Daytona 500. How big of a moment was it for you in your career?
Danica Patrick: It was a very cool moment. I got a lot of recognition for it, but it was nice to get a moment to talk about all the people that it took to help me get there. Just a really nice moment.
SK: Was it a validating moment in your career?
DP: Someone said, “Did you realize you’re the first [woman] on the pole?” and I didn’t know. I usually don’t know about any statistics until I break them.
SK: A lot of young women look up to you as someone who has been a trailblazer in a male-dominated industry. What advice do you have for other women who are venturing on their own career paths?
DP: The most important thing is to find something that you love to do… find out what it is that you love. You can make a job out of anything, but if you have the passion you’ll follow through in the way you need to be a success. Those who don’t have [the passion] are the ones that quit early or don’t follow through on their dreams. It takes time.
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Also, always be true to yourself so you have more confidence to deal with any odds that are stacked against you. I use that as a guideline so I don’t do anything I’m not comfortable with. I always stay true to who I am and only do things that are an extension of my personality, whether that’s a photo shoot, a race, a commercial, or even a video game.
SK: Speaking of video games, tell me about your role in the new Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.
DP: We worked on it last year and it was a lot of fun. I’ve never really done anything like it before and it was a lot of fun to be a part of the process and get a voiceover — and make an avatar.
The thing I love about it is that it’s easy enough to play. I wouldn’t consider myself an avid game player, but I have a lot of fun with this game.
Check out Danica Patrick in the new Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed — now available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS, wherever games are sold.