This morning, I went one on one with Danica Patrick to talk about her win in Japan. Here's the video and the transcript.
Darren: From a marketing standpoint people have called you the Anna Kournikova of racing. You finally won. What type of pressure were you feeling and what are you feeling now?
Danica: You know, I always believed and knew I could win as a driver. That was not a question. For me, it was frustrating to answer the question, when are you going to win your first race? I don't know. I don't have a crystal ball. I always had people around me that believed in me. Michael Andretti. My teammates. All the owners. That was really important to me. I think that's one of the things that made a difference. They always felt it was happening -- when you do this, this is going to happen and that put me in a really good frame of mind. So thanks to those guys for always believing in me.
Darren: Does this win validate the investment companies put in you before or does it now take you to the next level as far as companies that would want to invest in you now?
Danica: You know, I guess this is one of the things they probably banked on. You know, they want to be part of that first victory for a female in the top level of motorsports history. So I'm sure that that was definitely part of the plan, but you know, I would say that I think that it does kick it up a notch because the exposure before was very good and I'm lucky for that. This is definitely going to take it to another level. So it's exciting.
Darren: And Air Tran is putting your picture on a plane today and they'll be two flights. You've smartly used your attractiveness in FHM, in Sports Illustrated, the GoDaddy commercials. Now you've won. Does your plan change at all as far as what you're willing to do now that you've won?
Danica: No. I've always done things that I'm comfortable with. Things that I think will be fun. Things that portray a different side of me. I think at the racetrack I'm very serious and I look mad all the time. I got this scowl on my face. So I like to show the other side of me. And it's definitely girly and definitely feminine. So that's kind of what this is. So no, this doesn't change the limits as what I will and won't do. This just will hopefully create some opportunities.
Darren: Japan. 11:59 p.m. our time on Saturday night? You couldn't win at a better time in a better place for us? Can you please win in Kansas?
Danica: My sister said before we left. We were having dinner the night before we left and she said, "Do you really want to win in Japan?" I said, "Yes." "Do you really want to win an ocean away?" And I said, "Yes. I'll take anyone I can get." So it's ironic that it ended up happening.
Darren: You're still getting exposure and still in the newspapers and we're still talking about you and people still know about it.
Danica: You know it was a great day. I always love going to Japan. It's such a big race for Honda. It was--if you can't win Indy. I think the next one to win is Japan.
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