Top sports personality rips Danica haters as "small minded"


Longtime sports personality Hannah Storm has some harsh words for Danica Patrick bashers: stop being haters because Patrick doesn't fit into your image of a NASCAR driver.

Storm is directing a new documentary titled "Danica," which airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Epix network. In it, Storm covers Patrick's life, from earliest beginnings racing go-karts at age 10 through what looks to be her final year in Cup racing. And she takes exception with those who base their opinions of Patrick solely on wins and losses.

"If you want to drill it down to the fact that she hasn't won a race (in NASCAR) and rip her for that, to me that's very small-minded," Storm tells the Charlotte Observer. "It's petty. And I think it stems from jealousy, insecurity, ignorance...She's clearly held to a different standard because she's a woman."

Storm says Patrick's contributions to the sport of racing go far beyond what is measured by driving into victory lane.

Related: Danica Patrick makes her most poignant remarks yet as her NASCAR career gets closer to ending


"The one thing that really gets lost and is underappreciated by a lot of people," Storm said, "is the positive impact she had both on IndyCar racing and NASCAR racing, in terms of drawing new fans into each of those racing disciplines, in terms of bringing money in, in terms of lifting the tide of both sports and the interest level, which translates into television dollars, which translates into merchandise, and people coming to the track."

Storm points to a particular quote from Patrick in the documentary she says speaks to the double-standard fans have of her career: "If you don't think I can drive, good God, I feel bad for the rest of the half of the field that I beat every weekend. What do you have to say about them?"

Enough said.