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DATE News (chronologically)
05/11/09
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Danica Patrick's latest provocative TV ad to debut  
Patrick's GoDaddy Ad Set To Debut On ABC During Indy 500

When it comes to popularity at the Indianapolis 500, Danica Patrick is the big winner without even taking the checkered flag.

"Danica is the girl next door," said GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons, whose company is set to unveil its latest commercial featuring Patrick on ABC's telecast of the 93rd Indianapolis 500 on May 24. "Everybody identifies with her. There is no pretense. She is very attractive. She is very down to earth. She is a woman competing in a man's world and wins. Who doesn't like that?"

Patrick certainly has star power as she has combined the looks of a model with fiercely determined racing ability. She arrives at Indy with back-to-back top-five finishes in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway.

She has qualified 10th or better in all four of her previous Indianapolis 500s, and became the first female driver ever to lead the race when she led 19 laps her rookie season in 2005.

Her fourth-place finish that day was the genesis of "Danica Mania" -- the next frenzied chapter of which could be written in Saturday's Indy 500 Pole Day.

Patrick has the unique ability to reach outside of the niche world of IndyCar racing and become a mainstream personality. In fact, she already gets more web hits than NASCAR's fan favorite, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. When she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated prior to last year's Indy 500, it was one of the best-selling issues of the year.

"That's very flattering," Patrick admitted. "Dale is a huge athlete and a very popular driver/personality. I think it's very flattering when you can be ahead of guys like that."

Parsons believes the reasons for that are obvious.

"She is, without a doubt, more recognizable than Dale Earnhardt Jr. because what she has going for her above Dale is he's a man competing in a man's sport and she is a woman competing in a man's sport. And the other thing is Danica is an attractive woman and Dale will never be an attractive woman."

After taking a look at the latest GoDaddy.com commercial, fans will have more reason to talk about Patrick because of the shocking nature of the ad.

Patrick is driving her passenger car in the desert and gets pulled over by a female cop for speeding. Patrick's speeding tickets have become legendary so the creators thought they would poke a little fun at her.

But when the female cop starts to take off her uniform in an effort to impress Patrick, the steam starts to rise from more than just the desert asphalt.

"I'm always the innocent victim in these commercials," Patrick said. "I'm not the one dancing around. She definitely had what it took to be a GoDaddy girl. She looked like it any way. I laughed the whole time. There was good chemistry and that is what made the commercial flow.

"That's their job, to drive people to their site and they do that."

Patrick admits there is a risk in exploiting sexuality, at least in part because so many girls look up to her.

"That's partially, true, but it's all in fun. I'm not the one in those commercials that is doing the provocative and showing of skin," Patrick said. More at SI.com

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