How Miranda Lambert Turned Danica Patrick Into a Country Fan

Friendship Began With Lambert’s “Fastest Girl in Town” Video

Miranda Lambert has emerged as one of the country stars who converts new fans to the genre. At least she had that effect on NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick.

“She’s really one of the big reasons why I’m such a big country fan,” Patrick told me at this week’s CMT Artists of the Year special, where she was on hand to introduce Lambert during the big show.

“I don’t make any bones about it,” Patrick admitted. “I’m a fairly new country fan, but I know my country now!”

It all started when Lambert put Patrick in the music video for the smash single “Fastest Girl in Town” a few years back. The two hit it off and became instant friends, and that’s when Patrick’s love affair with country music began.

And they have more in common than their mutual love of the music. As one of the world’s most successful professional racecar drivers, Patrick certainly knows a thing or two about being a woman in a man’s world.

For Patrick, Lambert isn’t just a woman exceling in a predominately male musical world. She’s a worthy artist with something to say. And that’s exactly why she was an obvious choice as one of CMT’s most influential artists of 2014.

“Yes, it’s about being a woman,” Patrick said. “But she’s here as an artist — and she happens to be a woman, you know what I mean? She’s a great artist, and she comes out with great songs.”

“You hear about it a lot in country music — how there’s so many guys,” Patrick said. “I don’t necessarily feel like I see that until you maybe you come to a show like this … but it just speaks volumes about her music that she’s up there with everyone, I feel like, because she’s here as an artist.”

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.