Danica knows how to win fans’ hearts

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118115519015201.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ‘Danica Patrick helped raise $32,000 for the Muscular Distrophy Association during her May 30 visit.‘);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118115514215201.jpg’, ”, ”);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118115520924367.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ‘Danica Patrick and Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee.‘);

Former Roscoe resident Danica Patrick was at Road Ranger Stadium last Wednesday night, May 30, for an MDA fund-raising event. She was there only two days removed from finishing eighth at this year’s Indianapolis 500.

Judging by the reception she received by the local fans, the casual onlooker probably would have assumed she’s won every race she’s ever entered.

I’m guessing she gets that kind of welcome almost everywhere she goes. I think it has more to do with what kind of person she is and how she treats the fans than how many first-place trophies she has on her mantle. She has me believing she truly is one of the genuinely nice people on this planet.

Patrick might arguably be one of the top 10 sports figures in the world today. Yet, when she was at the game last week, she didn’t act like anything other than the former girl next door. She was extremely cordial and patient with the media. She took the time to sign anything and everything that fans gave her to autograph. She posed for pictures with a smile that looked like she really was having a good time, not one of those “I have to smile” smiles.

Regardless of whether Patrick ever wins a race, as long as she continues to relate to her fans the way she did last week at Road Ranger Stadium, I’m confident she’ll keep winning their hearts.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

from the June 6-12, 2007, issue

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