Rebel Yell: Former cheerleader Danica Patrick becoming quite the good luck charm for Ole Miss football team

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Sometimes life indeed comes full circle.

Danica Patrick has done quite a bit in her 32 years of life, starting as a high school cheerleader back in Roscoe, Illinois.

From there, she moved on to IndyCar driver, GoDaddy.com icon and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver.

Now it appears Patrick is back to channeling her high school cheering roots – and in the process has become a bonafide good luck charm in the sports world, particularly for the Ole Miss Rebels football team.

For the second time this season, Patrick attended a Rebels game, standing on the Ole Miss sidelines with boyfriend and fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. during Saturday’s big game against arch rival Mississippi State.

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze wasn’t leaving anything to chance. Not only did he invite Patrick and Stenhouse, a huge Ole Miss fan, back for an encore performance to cheer his team on, he even gave Stenhouse the honor to lead the Rebels onto the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

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Patrick even dressed up for the part, sporting Ole Miss face paint. End result No. 13 Ole Miss captured the Egg Bowl, upsetting the No. 10 visiting Bulldogs 31-17.

To add insult to injury for the losing Bulldogs, two Mississippi State buses were involved in a minor accident on the way back home after the game, when the trailing bus ran into the rear of the lead bus.

There were no injuries, although the driver of the second bus was shaken up, according to a report in USA Today.

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MSU bus. Thank goodness everyone was ok.

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Patrick and Stenhouse also attended Ole Miss’ season opener against Boise State in late August as Freeze’s guests. Same end result: Ole Miss romped to a 35-13 win.

Back in June at a charity golf tournament that they took part in, Freeze told the Oxford (Miss.) Citizen, “Ricky (Stenhouse) is an Ole Miss guy. We’re going to transform Danica into being an Ole Miss fan as well.”

The Rebels obviously have done that, indeed.

On April 30, 2013, Patrick attended a Chicago Blackhawks game and took part in a between-period “Shoot The Puck” goal shooting contest, nailing her first shot right into the net.

She ultimately missed her next three attempts, but still ultimately wound up being a good luck charm for the Hawks as they won their playoff series opener with the Minnesota Wild that night 2-1 in overtime en route to their second Stanley Cup championship in four seasons.

Danica Patrick, good luck charm. Who knew?

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Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”