Before tarpon started flopping around on the backstretch at the Daytona 500, Danica Patrick reached 1 million Twitter followers.
This is what she posted on her account when her tracker hit a cool million, and probably a few dozen not-so-cool who only follow her because of those racy pictures that appeared in FHM magazine when she was first starting out:
“Wow .... Thank you fans for caring and being curious enough about me to help reach 1 million followers!!!!”
Not exactly Hemingway, though I think Hemingway would have liked Twitter, because Hemingway favored a spare writing style and it doesn’t get much sparer than 140 characters.
Ms. Patrick has twice as many Twitter followers than the next NASCAR driver. Jimmie Johnson has around 530,000. He’s the only one on the same lap as Danica. Juan Pablo Montoya leads IndyCar drivers with 800,000.
An Associated Press report says Danica has more followers than Lindsey Vonn, Maria Sharapova, Mia Hamm and Anna Kournikova, but not nearly as many as Serena Williams, who has more than 4 million.
Danica’s claim to fame — well, at least the second one, after those FHM photos came out — was leading laps and finishing fourth in the Indianapolis 500 during her rookie race. Last year, she led laps at Daytona and finished eighth.
Janet Guthrie was the first woman to drive in the Indianapolis 500. She does not have a Twitter account. But she has a book called “Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle.” It’s excellent. But the only racy photo is of her in the No. 27 Lightning-Offenhauser. And her driving suit is zipped all the way to the top.