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Danica Patrick, Racing Pioneer

The NASCAR driver talks about being the only woman on the track and facing her critics.
3:00 | 05/02/13

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Transcript for Danica Patrick, Racing Pioneer
Appearing in everything from Super Bowl ads to sexy magazine spreads Danica Patrick is a household name. But the -- of her fame isn't based on acting or modeling it's -- In the testosterone fueled world of NASCAR where thousands of fans gather to watch drivers -- injury death. And in the case of ms. Patrick a wave of criticism the towers far higher than her trophy case. Is this sports pioneer more than just a pretty face ABC's -- Saudi found out. And -- walking. Carpets and accepting -- Become familiar territory for Danica Patrick. This celebrity is most comfortable going few hundred miles per hour. With as many as. -- men chasing her down. And one of the famous for fines is gentlemen start your engines yeah -- and now lives. Drivers start your engines and large part because you how cool is that among. Or like James Franco's -- -- time driver errors. Let's face it they're not old gentleman. Danica Patrick is the only female driver to ever -- full time. NASCAR's multimillion. Dollars brings -- zero. -- had exclusive access to her for three days of the famous paper clip track in Martinsville Virginia defense front page. As -- practice. To qualify. And race -- -- TP gas from the -- 500. My mom dad met on the wind it generates so my mom and my dad were probably responsible for her -- -- scars and my like -- My dad Easter race Patrick started racing as a ten year old girl and -- -- Wisconsin. How much is the daily pressure. TV and the face of the sport representing women. I don't think about that I don't think about it because there's nothing I can do with myself. I just see it as an opportunity to do something new and different perhaps the show people. You know what's possible in this world. What is possible is thirteen million in annual salary. -- seventh on forbes' list of NASCAR drivers. Almost a million followers on Twitter brother. Still available. And -- very long list of sponsors with her recent success of the Daytona 500 NASCAR suitable. Ratings increased 24%. From last year with sixteen point seven million viewers tuning in. During the polls that are. But that -- does not come without controversy in nine years of professional racing in both the Indy -- series and now NASCAR. Patrick has won only once in almost 200 races. Leading some racing fans and fellow drivers to claim she only garner such attention because she's a woman. Forgive me if I'm a bit flummoxed Obama -- confuse -- when I'm sitting they cannot say with celebrating. And eighth. Place finish how much do you listen to those course critics at saint -- just getting the attention because she's attractive. I would say. That if that -- the case said I doubt I would still be around on the other hand yes it's probably true that I get more attention because IA. Of -- -- high look but it's also because of what I'm doing on the track and how I look. It -- pretty hard isn't enough. To -- via a successful woman in a man's world that's pioneering. But is -- winning is that enough to you. No. Not at all. You know it's nice to be the first to do things but. I want to be remembered as a great driver I feel the pressure as me as a driver to reach my potential but -- as many changes being girl just has used my potential sharper. -- -- -- -- -- Line was might Dixon Danica has -- crew chief Tony -- had sent. -- so that they. But I hit plant that the fires. Gibson has been on the circuit for thirty years working with some of the biggest names in NASCAR. Including Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt junior. You are talking lot of other. Crew members and drivers calling you know our sport needs her right now she's the best thing the -- for sport and very long time they see the same thing. They see the kids the girls -- the young kids. And in -- said fans from all different ages. I like CNN this season Caroline and but not everything Danica does this for her young fans. Take the widely viewed godaddy.com. Super Bowl commercials a staple of her carefully branded image. From godaddy.com. Give me all the exposure I needs. So I just keep my -- -- and the site did you ever have any hesitation doing the godaddy commercials and never had any issue with. Godaddy stuff with some photo shoots I've done. I am my own police officer at that stuff so therefore I can say that I'm always in my window of comfort and I know and these are just certain expressions of -- different sides my personality and being a female -- should look prettier sexy or beautiful or any of those things. Patrick continued to garner attention just this past week when her divorce from Paul Haas and Paul was finalized. That on the heels of -- publicly announcing just before the Daytona 500. She was dating fellow rookie NASCAR driver Ricky stent has junior -- you know areas on the track. They. And I know like yeah like like. Six cents -- thanked me all but I do look for you can't yeah. Yeah from the CIA's doing worries that look and scoring pylon I wanna see him do well now I wanna be in Zealand beat everyone else too but I'm I'm happy -- when he does well. This day in -- Bill beat him she did she came -- an impressive twelve place compared to his 25 this was the first time a female driver has ever raced on the track and -- nine and one more first for her that famous Martinsville hot dog that is supposed to bring good luck to drivers -- manhunt again. Mark I'll -- hot down here raise your right and -- time. -- let's do it together and heading. I -- the month. Did you thing I had some hot I had half a sad. Because. Environment -- -- -- I'm Julie Saudi for Nightline in Martinsville Virginia.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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