For Danica Patrick, 50 shades of red

Michael Hickey/US Presswire

When Danica Patrick commented about the book on Twitter, she was bombarded with responses from other followers.

Danica Patrick didn't hire an executive charter jet service recently to avoid brandishing one of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" novels while flying commercial. But it might be an ancillary benefit.

Since Patrick admitted on Twitter that she had, to her disappointment, reached the end of the first of E.L. James' best-selling mainstream erotica trilogy, the NASCAR Nationwide series driver said she has been inundated by followers advising her how to indulge in the titillating tome more discreetly.

"I don't think I've ever had so much response, continuously, from people about these books and their opinion and telling me to get devices so that they don't see the book I'm holding," Patrick told espnW.com. "What I wanted to say is, it's not the book that I'm holding that I'm so embarrassed of, it's the content of the book. And if somebody has read it, they know exactly what it says. That's embarrassing. It's very interesting. Oh, yeah. There's a lot of words I don't understand in that book."

That said, she's not going to hide behind a tablet or e-reader. It'll continue to be paperbacks with those recognizable covers.

"I'm holding the book, baby," she said. "I like to turn the pages. It's the same reason I like to take a cork out of a bottle of wine. It's romantic. I like to turn the pages and I like to see how far I am, and then I look over at my husband and I say, 'Look, honey, see how far I am?'

"I finished the 514 pages that were in that first book. It's sad I even know that, but it felt like a victory for me."

Patrick put the book down initially after finding the beginning "too obvious," but gave it another chance and was hooked by around the 100th page. She tried to avoid the title when she bemoaned on Twitter nearing the finish of the first installment, but @dodgerfanN8 was too clever for all that. Now she coyly tweets about the "you know what books."

"I didn't put it out there, exactly, in the first place, although I wasn't … I gave it up pretty easily," she conceded. "I basically just made a statement the worst part about a great book is finishing it. You get there and don't want it to end. 'Maybe I'll save a little bit.' Somebody right away chimed in on Twitter, like the third tweet that came in, 'Let me guess, 'Fifty Shades of Grey,'' and I was like 'How did you know?'

"I'm not necessarily going to say it's going to be a 'To Kill a Mockingbird' of the world, but they might, I suppose. They're really unique and different. What a great book is to one person is very different to another. Anyway, somebody called it right away. I was, 'Man, OK, how'd you know?'"

Just got lucky, maybe.

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