Danica Patrick will start from the pole position in Sunday's Daytona 500, motivated to become the first woman to win the prestigious race.
"Women have always heard how we're not big enough or strong enough to compete with men in sports and that we can't drive cars," said Patrick. "I want to be the one who proves to the world that women can drive cars."
In fact, women can drive cars in the United States and in every other country in the world, as well.
"I don't know about that," said Patrick. "If that were true, I wouldn't be so inspirational. No, I'm pretty sure car driving is not a thing most women are allowed to do."
According to studies, more women than men have drivers licenses in the United States.
"Look, if you go and stand by a road, I'm sure you'll see some cars not driven by women," said Patrick. "That's because not all women believe they can drive cars. But I'm out to prove that they can. So there."
"A lot of little girls out there don't believe that they can drive cars. They are scared and they think they're too young," said Patrick. "They think they have to wait to get one of these 'drivers licenses.' But I want even little girls, toddlers, to get to drive cars. I want to empower them."
NASCAR president Mike Helton said he supports Patrick and will be rooting for her.
"Fine, okay? Women have been driving for years and years and there's zero reason she can't beat men at driving a car because driving a car doesn't place demands on the body that a sport like football or basketball does," he said. "Is that what you want me to say? And then, yes, we can get into a debate about whether driving a car is even a sport. I mean I really doubt there's anyone with a functioning brain who believes a woman can't win a car race. But just go with us on this, okay? Please? It's a great story and we really, really need the attention. We're not doing well."