Danica Patrick waves to the crowd as she is introduced before the 2013 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

No matter how hard she tries she just can’t live up to the hype.

In the beginning of her career Danica Patrick had the opportunity to change the face of auto racing and become the first woman who not only participated in nationwide races but who could dominate racing. Instead of domination, her driving skills are frequently overshadowed by the winning streaks of drivers like Jimmie Johnson.

In addition to fate preventing her from winning races, Patrick has suffered many misfortunes throughout her professional career.

At Sunday’s Martinsville Speedway, the 31-year-old finished twelfth and made history by being the first woman to race at the track. Patrick had a chance to win the race but due to a bump by Brian Vickers, Patrick’s car spun out with only thirty-four laps remaining.

Although finishing twelfth in her first appearance at Martinsville is an accomplishment, twelfth place doesn’t compare to first place. Jimmie Johnson was the winner at Martinsville, which marks his eighth Martinsville career win.

Another mishap occurred in February at Daytona 500 when Patrick was eliminated from the race and Jimmie Johnson walked away with another victory.

The first woman to race from pole position at Daytona 500 blew her chance to beat out forty-two of the world’s best racers and prove that she is more skilled than her male competitors. Patrick was unable to complete the race.

Patrick has been racing professionally for over seven years, but her inexperience showed when her car shut off and she neglected to let her pit crew diagnose the problem on pit road. Assuming that her engine blew out Patrick drove her car into the garage. Unknowingly to her, this minor decision had major consequences; she was eliminated from the race.

“A good lesson that if there was a potential fix at some point, you just always come down pit lane, get in your pit box and do absolutely everything possible to see if you can fix it,” Patrick told ESPN shortly after witnessing her pit crew restart her car.

Neglecting to drive into the pit box is inexcusable.

Typically, when women are  positioned to beat men at their own game we anticipate the woman’s defeat. Historically men have dominated sports, especially auto racing. Every time Patrick becomes the first female racer to overcome history she inspires other women to join the NASCAR family.

Failing to live up to the hype makes her overrated and she appears less skilled than male racers. Unless she overcomes her past mishaps and learns from tedious mistakes, it won’t take long before Danica Patrick becomes the Anna Kournikova of auto racing.