Wednesday, June 6, 2012

'Crossing The Line' With a Young Danica Patrick

Credit: Paula Thompson/Skirts and Scuffs
At the young age of 23, Danica Patrick was named 2005 Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year – is that enough reason to write a book? Probably not, but it’s the experience that got her to that point that is highlighted in the 2006 autobiography Crossing the Line, which Patrick wrote with celebrity biographer Laura Morton.

Patrick recalls her childhood fascination with go-karts as well as her move to England as a 16-year-old, including the multitude of problems it brought on: fitting in, living on her own without supervision, and boys…yes, Patrick was just a teenager trying to do what she loved (albeit a bit earlier than most do). Her confessional tone on these matters makes this something of an inspirational book – an “I tried this and I learned from it” tone that will hopefully inspire young woman to go out and pursue their dreams, and learn from their own mistakes as well as hers. Throughout the book, there are also inspirational quotes, everything from the Bible and Mother Teresa to John Lennon and Madonna.

Patrick already had 13 years in racing under her belt when she first ran at Indy – years that included karting championships, a second-place finish in the prestigious Formula Ford Festival and downtime that left her wondering if she was going to get a ride anywhere. Patrick uses these events and others to talk about her determination to make it as a race car driver. On a personal level, Patrick discusses meeting her husband, Paul, and how she became comfortable using her image to her advantage, not something she always embraced.

A lot has happened to Patrick in the last six racing seasons (2006 to 2011), most notably her switch from IndyCar to NASCAR in 2012. Is it time to write another book? Could be – and I’m pretty sure she’d sell a few if she decided to do so.

“Crossing the Line” and other books featured in Race Fan’s Book Shelf are available through Amazon.com.

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