Daytona 500 Grand Marshal James Franco Disses Danica Patrick At Start of Race … “Drivers and Danica, start your engines.”

Just another reason why actors should stick to the script …

Did you miss it yesterday at the start of the Daytona 500? James Franco, the Grand Marshall of the Daytona 500, decided to go off script, added his PC’ness to the starting instruction and botched the entire thing. Instead of saying the obvious, “Gentleman and Danica, start your engines” as obviously Danica Patrick was the only female driver in the race. However, Franco flubbed the line and in doing so dissed Danica when he said, “Drivers and Danica, start your engines.” So I guess Danica is not a driver? The sad part was I actually think that Franco was trying to give Danica a special shout out and botched the it completely. Say, who was that doing the start if the race, Joe Biden?

With all due respect to the haters of Danica Patrick, she is a driver. Last time I checked she won the pole, was the first woman to ever lead a lap in the Daytona 500 and is one of a hand full of drivers to lead a lap in the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Face it folks, Danica is finally doing the job on the track and getting the well deserved kudos after having received all of the media attention for her off the track exploits and Go Daddy racy commercials.

In fairness to James Franco, the traditional Daytona 500-opening phrase, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” doesn’t really work, what with Danica Patrick in the pole position and all.

It desperately needed a rewrite and, presumably, got one. So Franco probably meant to say, “Gentlemen and Danica” or “Drivers,” but, like hosting the Oscars, this is a tricky gig. And what came out was all wrong.

When will Hollywood actors ever learn to just stick to the script, they are hardly paid to ad lib.

Danica Patrick Wins Daytona 500 Pole and Becomes First Woman to Ever to Win a Pole of Any NASCAR Top Circuit Race

Danica Patrick makes NASCAR history.

This week Danica Patrick has proved that she is not just another pretty face. Although, that’s not to say that she is not a pretty face. In a historic week of race qualifying,  Patrick has won the Daytona 500 pole, becoming the first woman to win the top spot for any NASCAR’s top circuit race. In only her second Daytona 500 she has won the first place pole position. Now she just needs to parlay this into a special run in the Holy Grail of NASCAR racing and finally earn the respect of not just the drivers, but the NSACAR fans and community. The pressure will be on Patrick heading into the Daytona 500 as she finds herself as the hunted, instead of the hunter. The previous highest female qualifier in a Cup race was Janet Guthrie, who started ninth at Bristol and Talladega in 1977. Finally Danica Patrick has done something to make news on the track and not just being a headline because who she is dating, fellow Cup rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. NASCAR veteran Jeff Gordon qualified second in the No. 24 car. Now we have to see whether Danica can perform on Sunday.  The Daytona 500 race is February 24, 2013 at 1 PM EST.


Danica Patrick has won the Daytona 500 pole, becoming the first woman to secure the top spot for any race in NASCAR’s top circuit. It was the biggest achievement of her stock-car career. “We have a lot more history to make and we’re eager to do it,” Patrick said. Patrick went out eighth in the qualifying session Sunday and covered the 2½-mile superspeedway in 45.817 seconds, averaging 196.434 mph. 

KUDOS to Danica for breaking the pole sitting barrier. Hopefully in time she can be seen as just another driver, not a female one.


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