Limbaugh dismisses Patrick as "woman driver"

Danica Patrick stands by her car before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Feb. 27, 2012. AP

Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick stands by her car before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Feb. 27, 2012.
AP

(CBS/AP) It's been a rough two weeks for race car driver Danica Patrick - on and off the track. The NASCAR rookie, who crashed three times in three races at Daytona, has been a target of sexist jabs by two on-air commentators.

The latest shot came Monday from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who dismissed Patrick as "a woman driver."

According to the New York Daily News, Limbaugh criticized the driver for supporting the Obama administration's contraception policy.

"She said, 'I leave it up to the government to make good decisions for America.' ... What do you expect from a woman driver? I don't know why everybody was so shocked," Limbaugh said.

Danica Patrick: 3 races, 3 wrecks at Daytona

It was the second on-air dig at Patrick within a week. On February 20, a San Diego sports anchor implied a sexist slur when talking about the driver before her Sprint Cup debut.

Fox 5's Ross Shimabuku stopped just short of calling Patrick a derogatory name on the air after the NASCAR driver complained the media always describe female athletes like her as "sexy."

When the broadcast returned to Shimabuku, he responded by saying: "Oh, I've got a few words. Starts with a `B', and it's not `beautiful.' "

Shimabuku later apologized but he paid the price for his comments: On Tuesday, the station announced he was suspended without pay for a week.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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