Danica Patrick is Best Known For Being the most successful woman in the American open-wheel racing discipline. Having dabbled in other driving and racing disciplines such as Kart racing and Formula Ford.
Born Name: Danica Sue Patrick
Nick Name: Dani
Occupation: Racing driver, Model, and Advertising spokeswoman
Born: March 25, 1982, 37 years and 7 months, Beloit, Wisconsin, United States
Sun Sign: Aries
Height: 5 ft 2 in or 157.5 cm
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Hazel
Measurements: 83-61-86 cm / 33-24.5-34 inches
Bra size: 32B
Danica Patrick went to the Hononegah Community High School in Rockton. She eventually dropped out of high school. However, she did manage to earn her GED certification.
She also took classes at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley.
Father – Terry Joseph Patrick Jr. (Drives Danica’s motor coach and manages her website and merchandise trailer)
Mother – Beverly Ann Patrick (Manages Danica’s business affairs)
Siblings – Brooke Patrick (Younger Sister)
Others – Terry Jose Patrick (Paternal Grandfather), Barbara June Patten (Paternal Grandmother), Albert Flaten (Maternal Grandfather), Audrey Glenda Kvien (Maternal Grandmother).
Danica Sue Patrick (/ˈdænɪkə/; born March 25, 1982) is an American retired professional racing driver. She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing—her victory in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 is the only win by a woman in an IndyCar Series race.
Born to a working-class family in Beloit, Wisconsin, Patrick began karting at the age of ten and achieved early success by winning her class in the World Karting Association Grand National Championship three times in the mid-1990s. She dropped out of high school with her parents’ permission in 1998, and moved to the United Kingdom to further her career. Patrick competed in Formula Vauxhall and Formula Ford before returning to the United States in 2001 due to a lack of funding. In 2002, she competed in five Barber Dodge Pro Series races for Rahal Letterman Racing. Patrick later raced in the Toyota Atlantic Series for the next two years. Her best effort was third in the championship standings for the 2004 season where she became the first woman to win a pole position in the series.
She first drove in the IndyCar Series with Rahal Letterman Racing in 2005 and took three pole positions, equaling Tomas Scheckter’s record of poles in a rookie season. She was named the Rookie of the Year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series. She improved over the next two years with Rahal Letterman Racing in 2006 and later Andretti Green Racing in 2007. In 2008, Patrick followed up this victory to place sixth overall in the drivers’ standings. She improved on this to secure fifth the following season, which saw her finish a career-high third at the Indianapolis 500, the best performance by any woman at the race. Patrick’s overall form declined during 2010, but she still managed two second-places at oval tracks before leaving IndyCar after the 2011 season to focus on stock car racing full-time.
Patrick began racing stock cars in 2010 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series) with her best result coming in the form of a fourth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. She placed a career-high tenth in the 2012 season standings and was the second woman to clinch a pole position in the Nationwide Series after Shawna Robinson in 1994. Patrick started in the Sprint Cup Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) in 2012. She became the first woman to win a Cup Series pole position by setting the fastest qualifying lap for the 2013 Daytona 500, finishing eighth. Patrick bested Janet Guthrie’s record for the most top-ten finishes by a woman in the Sprint Cup Series in 2015. She stopped racing full-time after the 2017 season, but competed at the 2018 Daytona 500 and the 2018 Indianapolis 500 before officially retiring.
Patrick was born on March 25, 1982, in Beloit, Wisconsin. She is the daughter of working-class parents Beverly Ann (née Flaten) and Terry Joseph T. J. Patrick Jr. Her parents met on a blind date at a snowmobile event in the 1970s when Flaten was a mechanic for a friend’s snowmobile. Patrick Jr. raced snowmobiles, motocross, and midget cars. They have owned a Java Hut and a plate glass company. Danica Patrick has a younger sister, Brooke, a pediatric physical therapist. She was raised in Roscoe, Illinois, and did not initially share her parents interest in racing. She was a cheerleader at Hononegah Community High School located in nearby Rockton in 1996. She spent her off-time babysitting for a family down the road when she was not racing. When the girls were ten and eight respectively, their parents sought a hobby that would bring the family closer together. They saved money to purchase a pontoon boat, but its owner did not respond to their offer. The sisters told their parents of their wish to race go-karts after a friend of Brooke’s allowed her to drive one; they were both given a go-kart.
Patrick began karting at Sugar River Raceway in Brodhead, Wisconsin. Her father acted as her crew chief while her mother kept statistics on her racing. Patrick had no role models or idols; she was never striving to achieve female goals, but aspired to be the best she could be. In her debut race, she crashed into a concrete wall at 25 mph (40 km/h) due to a brake failure. She emerged from the wreck uninjured. Patrick improved to finish second out of twenty drivers at the year’s end after a twenty-two race schedule. She gradually improved her eye to foot coordination, allowing her to set numerous age track records at Sugar River Raceway and Michiana Raceway Park. At age 13, Patrick asked her parents about moving to California so she could compete throughout the year; they declined, citing business commitments. Nevertheless, she ventured across much of the Midwestern United States, and the rest of the country, to enable her to race. To help defray travel expenses, the family sold merchandise featuring Patrick and imposed a rule that prevented her from undertaking activities that would harm her public image.
She won ten regional karting titles, and the World Karting Association Grand National Championship in the Yamaha Sportsman, and later HPV class three times: in 1994, 1996 and 1997. Patrick was accepted into the Indianapolis-based Lyn St. James Foundation Driver Development Program in 1996. She was taught auto racing’s business ventures, and her driving abilities were further refined. Her father often contacted newspapers weekly to chronicle his daughter’s performance. Additionally, ABC and MTV ran television segments on Patrick in 1997. This exposure led to her being hired by John Mecom Jr. introduced to Patrick by St. James two years earlier to compete in the United Kingdom racing circuit. Patrick and her father visited Mecom’s family who agreed to sponsor her on the condition she was sent to a high-quality driving school for further refinement of her racing abilities. She ended up attending three driving schools, including Track Speed School at Sebring International Raceway and the Formula Ford driving school. Patrick later competed in a Sports Car Club of America race at Daytona International Speedway in May 1998.
Junior formulae (1998–2004)
Patrick’s parents consented to her dropping out of high school midway through her junior year in 1998, and obtain a GED certification. She moved by herself to England to advance her racing career and resided in the Buckinghamshire town of Milton Keynes. Three-time Formula One world champion Jackie Stewart helped Patrick and she socialized with drivers such as Jenson Button. Being both American and female, she was met with much opposition, but this experience helped her develop a stronger sense of independence and learn to overcome adversity. Patrick received some financial backing from the Ford Motor Company, although she later lost Mecom’s support after one season following rumors that she was living an extravagant lifestyle. She successfully persuaded her father to underwrite her career.
During the three years Patrick spent in the United Kingdom, she raced in Formula Vauxhall and Formula Ford, coming ninth in points in the 1999 British Formula Vauxhall Championship. She competed for Haywood Racing in Formula Ford and was Mygales lead test driver. Patrick was uncompetitive in Formula Ford, claiming the equipment she received was of poor quality. Nevertheless, she came second in the 2000 Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch with Haywood Racing, tying Danny Sullivan’s best performance by an American in the event. The strong result led to her receiving a Formula Three test with Carlin in 2001. Jaguar Racing team principal Bobby Rahal organized a second test for her with the expectation it would lead to her being put in the Paul Stewart Racing development program, but it was cancelled in the summer of 2001, after new owner Niki Lauda fired Rahal. That year, she was awarded the Gorsline Scholarship Award as the most aspiring road course competitor, and was recognized as the top female open wheel race car driver with experience on the international scene.
Patrick had a difficult season as the Mygale cars she drove did not suit her smooth driving style, and was outpaced by her teammates. Ford later terminated her program as they suspected the capital they gave her was being misused and felt she was not getting enough technical support. Patrick returned to the United States later that year after her funding dried up. She began negotiations to drive a BMW M3 for Team PTG in the American Le Mans Series in 2002, which ended when BMW withdrew over a technological dispute. Her 2002 campaign began with the fund-raising Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, where she defeated Tommy Kendall to win the professional class, and placed third overall. Patrick and her father traveled to race tracks on weekends with expectations of her being hired by a team owner. She spoke to Rahal about a race seat in June that year; he signed her to a three-year contract at Milwaukee Mile. That month, Patrick tested the ppc Racing Ford Taurus NASCAR Busch Series car in a two-day test session at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.
She took part in five races in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, placing 13th in points with a best finish of fourth at Molson Indy Vancouver. Patrick switched to the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2003, and was the first woman to race in the championship since 1974. The season saw her secure the first podium for a woman in series’ history at the season-opening race in Monterey. She improved on this by finishing second in Miami at the year’s end. Patrick placed sixth in the drivers’ standings with five top-five finishes. In June that year, she made her sports car debut at the Grand Prix of Atlanta (part of the American Le Mans Series), partnering Jérôme Policand in the No. 80 GTS-class Prodrive Ferrari 550, finishing fourth in class and tenth overall. In 2004, Patrick competed in the Toyota Atlantic Series for the second consecutive year, becoming the first woman to win a pole position in series’ history at the Portland International Raceway race. She took the points lead after finishing second, making her the first woman to lead the championship standings. Patrick ended the season third in points with ten top-five finishes in twelve races.
IndyCar Series career
2005–2007 (Rahal Letterman Racing and Andretti Green Racing)
In December 2004, Rahal Letterman Racing named Patrick to their IndyCar Series roster for 2005 after the team found the resources to run a third car. She debuted at the season-opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, starting ninth and crashing out heavily, which led to her being hospitalized for a mild concussion. In the season’s fourth race, the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi, Patrick started second and led 32 laps before settling for her best finish of the season, fourth. After setting the fastest overall practice speed at the Indianapolis 500, she started fourth and missed out on winning the race as she was required to conserve fuel. She came fourth after leading 19 laps and achieved multiple firsts for women at the track. Patrick took her first career pole position at the season’s eighth race at Kansas Speedway, becoming the second woman in IndyCar Series’ history to achieve the feat after Sarah Fisher in 2002. She took two more pole positions at Kentucky Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway to match Tomas Scheckter’s record for the most pole positions in a rookie season. Patrick ended 2005 with an 18th-place finish at California Speedway after a clash with Jaques Lazier, finishing her rookie season with 325 points (12th in the points’ standings) and seven top-ten finishes. She was named Rookie of the Year for both the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series.
Patrick returned to Rahal Letterman Racing for the 2006 season. In January, she made her endurance racing debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona, co-driving a Howard-Boss Motorsports Daytona Prototype-class Pontiac Crawford shared by Rusty Wallace, Allan McNish and Jan Lammers. The quartet was in contention for the victory, but retired from overheating problems. Although she qualified third for the season-opening Toyota Indy 300, her team withdrew after teammate Paul Dana was killed in a practice session accident on the day of the race. Thus, Patrick 2006 IndyCar campaign began at the first road course round of the season, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, where she finished sixth; she came eighth at the Indy Japan 300 at Motegi. At the Indianapolis 500, Patrick finished eighth after starting tenth. The rest of her season was modest with four top-tens, which included a season-high placing of consecutive fourth-position finishes: first at the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Speedway, and then the ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225 at Milwaukee Mile. Patrick came ninth in the final standings with 302 points. In November, the March of Dimes awarded her the title of Sportswoman of the Year in celebration of her dedication and success.
Before the 2007 season, Patrick moved to Andretti Green Racing, in place of Bryan Herta in its No. 7 Dallara-IR05 Honda. She opened her season with two top-ten finishes in the first four races (eighth at St. Petersburg and seventh at Kansas). Patrick started the Indianapolis 500 in eighth position. She raced competitively with the leaders, and finished in the same position she started, when the race was halted by rain after 166 laps. Patrick clinched her second consecutive eighth-place finish at the ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225 which was overshadowed by a physical confrontation with Dan Wheldon; the two reconciled after a private meeting with IndyCar president Brian Barnhart. She took her then best career finish with a third at the Bombardier Learjet 550, and improved on this result by clinching second at the season’s penultimate race, the Detroit Indy Grand Prix at Belle Isle Street Circuit. Patrick closed off the year by coming eleventh at the season-closing Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, to place seventh in the drivers’ standings with 424 points and eleven top-ten finishes.
2008–2009 (first victory and peak performance)
To begin the 2008 season, her second with Andretti Green Racing, Patrick scored her then best career Homestead finish of sixth. She followed that up with another top ten by scoring a tenth-place finish at St. Petersburg. At the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi on April 20, Patrick moved to the front of the field with three laps remaining after the previous leaders were forced to make pit stops for fuel and held the first position to secure her maiden IndyCar victory. This triumph made her the first woman to win a top-level sanctioned open wheel car racing event. At the season’s fourth round at Kansas Speedway, Patrick finished 19th after a hubcap failure. After qualifying fifth for the Indianapolis 500, she retired from the race early after a collision with Ryan Briscoe in the pit lane Thereafter, Patrick finished within the top ten for five of the next six races in the season. At Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, an incident with Milka Duno in practice turned into a confrontation before walking away. She ended the season with three further top-ten finishes with a best of fifth at Infineon Raceway. Patrick finished sixth in the final standings with 379 points, the highest placed American over the course of the season.
In the 2009 off-season, she made her second appearance at the 24 Hours of Daytona and teamed up with Casey Mears, Andy Wallace, and Rob Finlay in the No. 2 Daytona Prototype class Pontiac Crawford DP08 fielded by Childress-Howard Motorsports, finishing eighth in class and overall after overcoming several mechanical issues. Patrick again returned to Andretti Green Racing for the 2009 season. She placed 19th in the first race of the season, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, after clashing with Raphael Matos while in ninth place. Patrick recovered to finish fourth and fifth in the next two races of the season, at Long Beach and Kansas. She took her best career finish in five attempts at the Indianapolis 500 by finishing in the third position. This set a new record for the highest-placed finish for a woman in Indianapolis 500 history. For the rest of the season, she scored seven more top-ten finishes with her best efforts being a pair of fifth positions at the Milwaukee and Richmond races. Patrick finished the season fifth overall in the point standings, her highest finish to date. This fifth-place finish was not only the highest of any of the Andretti drivers, but of any non-Penske or Chip Ganassi Racing driver for the season. In December, she signed a contract extension that would see her through the next two seasons, with the option for a third in 2012.
2010–2011 (final two full-time IndyCar seasons)
The 2010 season saw Patrick return to drive with the newly renamed Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar Series, as well as a limited schedule with JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series). As in the previous year, her season began poorly as she could only muster a 15th-place finish at the inaugural São Paulo Indy 300 after spinning in inclement weather. Nevertheless, at the season’s second round, the delayed Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Patrick made her first appearance in the top ten by placing seventh. At the Indianapolis 500, she qualified a career low 23rd; in the race, Patrick struggled with her car en route to finishing sixth. The Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway one week later was her best performance of the season, which saw her lead one lap and finish in second. At the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, Patrick set a new series record for the most consecutive races running at the finish with her 29th event passing without her failing to finish. She ended her season by equaling her best result of the season in the final IndyCar race at Homestead-Miami Speedway which enabled her to finish tenth in the drivers’ standings with 367 points.
In January 2011, Patrick’s contract required her to inform Andretti team owner Michael Andretti of her plans for 2012 and she told him of her intention to leave. The beginning of the 2011 season saw her struggle in comparison with her previous two years at Andretti. Patrick twice suffered car damage at the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, after collisions with Justin Wilson and J. R. Hildebrand relegated her to twelfth. She struggled in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. Because her car failed a technical inspection, she was placed at the back of the qualifying line, and took 26th despite rain threatening to stop her setting a lap time. Patrick led ten laps in the race and settled for tenth after conserving fuel. She then took a further six top-ten finishes heading into the final race of the season with her best finish (fifth) coming at the Milwaukee 225. At the season-closing IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Patrick was one of nineteen drivers who avoided a fifteen car pile-up that killed Dan Wheldon; the race was abandoned and she (and the rest of the field) were not scored. This was her final regular season IndyCar race as she announced in August 2011 of her plans to focus on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series full-time from 2012. Patrick placed tenth in the drivers’ standings with 314 points.
2018 (Indianapolis 500)
Patrick final race was the 2018 Indianapolis 500. Having difficulty with the car setup, she lost control going into turn two on Lap 68 and crashed into the outside wall. Patrick came back down the track and then hit the inside wall. Patrick started in seventh position and was ranked thirtieth.
Stock car career
2010–2011 (ARCA and Nationwide Series)
Patrick began her stock car racing career by entering an ARCA Racing Series race in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway. She finished in sixth place after spinning early in the race. At the season-opening Nationwide Series race, the DRIVE4COPD 300, Patrick started 15th and finished 35th after being caught up in a 12-car crash. In the season third race, the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, she finished 36th after colliding with Michael McDowell on the 82nd lap. Although Patrick struggled during her rookie season, she had her best finish of the year at the season-ending Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway where she came 19th. She finished 43rd in the drivers’ standings, with 1,032 points in 13 starts. In September, Patrick entered the K&N Pro Series East race at Dover International Speedway to broaden her stock car racing experience. She finished sixth after briefly leading the race.
Patrick remained at JR Motorsports for the 2011 Nationwide Series, and ran a part-time schedule that consisted of twelve races. She finished 14th and 12th at the season’s opening two races at Daytona and Phoenix International Speedway. Patrick became the highest-finishing woman in national NASCAR history at Las Vegas when she surpassed Sara Christian’s 62-year record to place fourth in the Sam’s Town 300 race (the highest in her Nationwide Series career). She took her third top-ten finish of the season when she came tenth in the Subway Jalapeño 250 at Daytona after leading a total of 13 laps before being involved in a multi-car incident coming to the checkered flag on the last lap of the race. Patrick’s best performance throughout the rest of the season was an eleventh-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway; she came 26th in points, with 321 accrued.
2012–2014 (switch to the Sprint Cup Series)
In 2012, Patrick raced full-time in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports and began competing a limited schedule with ten races in the Sprint Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing in an alliance with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) in the No. 10 Chevrolet Impala. Because TBR moved its top-35 owner points from the No. 36 driven by Dave Blaney to the new No. 10, she was guaranteed a spot at the Daytona 500. Patrick began her season by qualifying on the pole for the DRIVE4COPD 300, making her the second woman to achieve this feat in national NASCAR after Shawna Robinson in 1994. Her participation in the Daytona 500 was over after one lap when she was involved in a four-car accident, finishing 38th, 74 laps behind race winner Matt Kenseth. Patrick closed off her first full-time Nationwide Series season with four top-ten finishes, and placed tenth in the final points standings. Her season’s best result was at Texas Motor Speedway where she came eighth. Patrick’s best road course finish in her NASCAR career came at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, coming ninth and led a season-high twenty laps.
Team owner Tony Stewart invited Patrick to compete in the fund-raising Prelude to the Dream dirt track race at Eldora Speedway in June. She finished three laps down in 15th place after hitting the wall and being off the pace. In her fourth Cup start, the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, she was running strong before she crashed on lap 436 from contact with Regan Smith, which became her first did not finish (DNF) in the series. Patrick had her first lead lap finish at the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing 24th, the last car on the same lap as the leaders. During the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, Patrick spun Landon Cassill in turn one, but ended up wrecking her car on the outside wall. Cassill, who managed to save his car, said on his radio: Rule No. 1 in stock car racing is learn how to wreck someone without wrecking yourself. Her final race of the season at Phoenix was embroiled in controversy as her car leaked oil and NASCAR elected not to wave the caution flags, causing an accident between Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman. This decision was criticized by drivers and team owners. With no top-tens, two DNFs and an average finish of 28.3 in her ten starts; Patrick was not classified in the final standings since she did not contest the full championship, so was ineligible to score points.
In the 2013 season, Patrick returned to Stewart-Haas Racing to contest her first full season in the Sprint Cup Series. She was assigned teammate Ryan Newman’s former crew chief Tony Gibson and his pit crew. Patrick simultaneously became the first woman to clinch the pole position for the Daytona 500 and the first female to achieve the feat in the Sprint Cup Series. She ran strongly in the top ten for most of the race, but fell back from third place in the final three laps to finish eighth, becoming the highest placing woman driver in the history of the Daytona 500. Having led 5 laps, she joined an elite club of only 14 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. In the May exhibition Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Patrick finished ninth and advanced to the Sprint All-Star Race by virtue of a fan vote. She started from the 22nd position and finished two spots higher than that.
Patrick struggled after the season opener, failing to finish in the top-fifteen in the next 28 races over the next seven months. In 36 races, she had one top-ten, an average finish of 26.1, five DNFs and was 27th in the standings with 646 points. She was second in the Rookie of the Year standings after a season-long battle with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. In the Nationwide Series, Patrick drove the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 and the first of two races at Talladega Superspeedway, the Aaron’s 312, in the No. 34 Turner Scott Motorsports car. She finished thirty-sixth and thirty-ninth after a respective engine failure and crash.
Patrick remained with Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series As she won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500, she was eligible for the Sprint Unlimited, finishing sixteenth after being involved in a multi-car accident. Patrick started twenty-seventh for the Daytona 500 and led briefly during the pit stop cycle before Aric Almirola clipped her, sending her car into a wall that lacked a SAFER barrier; she finished 40th. She set three records during the season: the first came at the Aaron’s 499 where she was the first female to lead at the track, and her finishing position of 22nd was the best for any woman at the circuit. Patrick had the best qualifying performance for any woman at a non-restrictor plate track when she put her car fourth on the grid for the Coca-Cola 600.
She clinched her best finish in the Sprint Cup Series with a sixth at the Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, making her the second woman to take a top ten at the circuit; this beat the record of Janet Guthrie’s tenth-place finish in 1978. She was assigned teammate Kurt Busch’s crew chief Daniel Knost and his pit crew for the season’s final three races, and was later appointed her full-time crew chief for 2015. At the season’s end, Patrick finished 28th in points, one position down from the previous year, although she finished with 89 more points than her rookie season. She also had an average finish of 23.7, 2.4 positions better than her rookie year, with three top-tens and four DNFs. Early in the season, Patrick again drove for Turner Scott Motorsports in its No. 34 car at the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300, starting third and finishing 19th.
2015–2018 (final years in NASCAR)
For 2015, Patrick again stayed with Stewart-Haas Racing. She began her season in the Sprint Unlimited by finishing tenth after escaping with collateral damage from a multi-car accident. Patrick started at the back of the field for the season-opening Daytona 500 and finished 21st. After scoring two top-tens (seventh at the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway and ninth at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway), she eclipsed Janet Guthrie for the most top tens by a woman in Sprint Cup Series history. Patrick led two laps of the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway during the pit stop cycle, and finished 16th, and at the Quaker State 400, she became the first woman to start a hundred Cup Series races. At the Fall Martinsville race, she had twenty-five owner and drivers points deducted, was fined $50,000, and put on probation by NASCAR until the end of 2015 for an intentional retaliatory crash against David Gilliland. In 36 races, Patrick scored 716 points, placing her 24th in the drivers’ standings, the highest of her career. She had two top-ten finishes, an average finish of 23.5, and failed to finish four times.
On August 18, Stewart-Haas Racing announced at a press conference that Patrick had signed a multi-year contract which allowed her to stay with the team for 2016. She also switched crew chiefs from Daniel Knost to Billy Scott for the upcoming season. At the first race of the season, the Daytona 500, she retired when she made contact with Greg Biffle on the 184th lap, spun into the grass and heavily damaged her car’s front end. Patrick was fined $20,000 for gesturing to Kasey Kahne after he wrecked her car at the Auto Club 400. She was involved in a high-speed crash with Matt Kenseth at Talladega which necessitated a chest radiograph. Patrick struggled with form during the season, but did improve her average result for the fifth consecutive year to a career-high 22.0 in thirty-six starts. Her best result of the season was eleventh place at the fall Charlotte race, and she led a career-high 30 laps. Patrick was again 24th in the final drivers’ standings, but had fewer points than the previous season, at 689 accrued, and did not finish three races she entered.
Patrick remained with Stewart-Haas Racing for the duration of the renamed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. She began her campaign with her best finish in any NASCAR Cup Series race with a fourth place at the Advance Auto Parts Clash exhibition race at Daytona. Patrick was credited with a 33rd-place finish for the season-opening Daytona 500 after she was forced into retirement from being caught up in a multi-car accident. She later took her first top-ten finish in seventy-seven races when she placed tenth at Dover on June 4. On November 17, Patrick announced that she would step away from full-time racing after the season finale at Homestead-Miami, though she also announced plans to compete in the 2018 Daytona 500 and 2018 Indianapolis 500. She retired halfway through when her right-rear tire blew after glancing the wall and she collided heavily with another barrier. Patrick finished the 2017 season with one top-ten, eleven DNFs and an average finish of 23.8. She scored 511 points, putting her twenty-eighth in the drivers’ standings.
In January 2018, it was announced that Patrick would be reunited with longtime partner GoDaddy for sponsorship of the Danica Double and assistance as she moved on to her life as a business woman and entrepreneur. For her final NASCAR race at the 2018 Daytona 500, Patrick signed with Premium Motorsports to drive its No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 after discussions with Chip Ganassi Racing did not yield in a race seat. Her final Daytona 500 came to an early end when she was involved in a six-car accident on lap 102, placing 35th in the final results. Patrick concluded her NASCAR career with no wins, and finished in the top ten in 3.6% of her 191 races. On March 7, 2018, it was announced that her final Indianapolis 500 appearance would be in a third car for Ed Carpenter Racing.
Formula One speculations
Patrick was scheduled to test for Formula One team Honda in November 2008, but this was called off when the Honda team pulled out of the sport. In late 2009, the American Formula One team US F1 allegedly considered testing Patrick for a potential drive in 2010. However, she said she was not contacted by anyone from the team and had no plans to leave the IndyCar Series for Formula One at the time. After the announcement of the return of Formula One to the United States in 2012, Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said that to have someone like Danica Patrick in F1 would be a perfect advert. However, in 2015, Patrick asserted that she had no desire to move into Formula One, because she was too old to switch racing series; she said that she felt more comfortable being around her family and friends in NASCAR.
Patrick has hosted several TV shows on Spike, including “Powerblock”, and featured in the 2005 documentary Girl Racers. She drove a Pagani Zonda Roadster around the streets of Monaco in the music video of Jay-Z’s song Show Me What You Got in 2006. That year, she published her autobiography, Danica: Crossing the Line. On April 24, 2008, Patrick was a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman after winning her first IndyCar race. During testing at Phoenix International Raceway, GoDaddy.com filmed a commercial with her that aired nationally. At the same test, at GoDaddy’s invitation, Patrick met with Paul Teutul Sr., and Mikey Teutul, and later appeared in an episode of American Chopper. She was also in a 2008 inspirational, feel-good GoDaddy commercial called “Kart” that features a girl who aspires to be like Patrick. On February 1, 2009, Patrick appeared in two GoDaddy commercials aired during Super Bowl XLIII. The Most Watched Super Bowl commercial of 2009, according to TiVo, was her Enhancement ad for GoDaddy.com. Patrick has appeared in a total of fourteen Super Bowl commercials, more than any other celebrity.
Patrick made her acting debut in the February 10, 2010, episode of CSI: NY where she played a race car driver suspected of murder. She also voiced herself in a cameo role in The Simpsons episode How Munched Is That Birdie in the Window?. Patrick appears as a playable guest character in the video game Sonicand All-Stars Racing Transformed, providing her own voice and appeared in the game’s commercial. She also appeared in Archie Comics Sonic Universe #45, which adapted some of the game storyline. Fox NASCAR hired Patrick on February 21, 2015, as a booth analyst for Xfinity Series races. She provided commentary for the race at Michigan. Patrick also voices the race car character Rally in Nickelodeon’s Blaze and the Monster Machines 2016 animated series. In June 2017, she joined Fox’s Cup driver-only broadcast of the Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway, working in the studio alongside Denny Hamlin. A documentary entitled Danica which chronicles Patrick’s professional and personal life premiered on November 8 on Epix. Her second book, Pretty Intense, was released on December 26. Patrick had a cameo role in Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” featuring Cardi B. On 18 July, she became the first woman to host the ESPY Awards. Patrick was an racing analyst during NBC’s broadcast of the 2019 Indianapolis 500 in May that year.
Endorsements and philanthropy
IMG talent agency and Excel Sports Management represent Patrick. She has appeared in advertising campaigns for Secret, Nationwide Insurance, Tissot, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Peak Antifreeze, William Rast, Hot Wheels, GoDaddy.com, Nature’s Bakery and Lyft. Patrick promotes health-conscious lifestyles and partnered with Williams Sonoma to campaign for No Kid Hungry. She is the celebrity spokeswoman for DRIVE4COPD, an awareness campaign for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, from which her grandmother died. In 2014, she joined The Players’ Tribune as a featured writer, having been immediately attracted to founder and former shortstop Derek Jeter’s concept of allowing athletes to write and control their own content.
Patrick owns her own brand of wine, called Somnium, which means “dream” in Latin. The Somnium Vineyard is located in the area of St Helena, California within the Howell Mountain AVA, covering an area of 24 acres (9.7 hectares), at elevations from 1,000 to 1,375 feet (305 to 419 m). Patrick owns her own athleisure collection, called Warrior by Danica Patrick,that was created in partnership with G-III Apparel Group and named after the Native American mythology she had been exposed to in Arizona.
Patrick is a globally recognizable racing driver, often identified by her first name. In a 2017 article for The Guardian, Andrew Lawrence described Patrick as an anti-Mulan who infiltrated and thrived in a male environment while accentuating her womanhood. He also said she is an instrument of male and female fantasy, the sports pinup who grinds harder for feminism, day-to-day, than the great Billie Jean King ever could. Henry Hutton of the Independent Tribune noted that when Patrick entered IndyCar in 2005, she rapidly became a pop culture icon largely due to her gender and modelling, but her driver profile depreciated from car problems, racetrack accidents and uncompetitiveness. She is outspoken, and quick-tempered, but self-deprecating.
She has been a magazine cover model for FHM, Sports Illustrated, TV Guide and ESPN: The Magazine and ranked highly on beauty lists and in polls, about female athletes. People magazine named her one of the most beautiful people in the world in 2006. The following year, Patrick was voted the sexiest athlete in the Victorias Secret What is Sexy list. She was voted No. 42 in 2006 and No. 85 in 2007 in FHM’s 100 sexiest women in the world. In an interview with Fox News in 2012, Patrick objected to being labeled a sex symbol People don’t know how to describe women in a pretty way. Do you call Blake Griffin a sex symbol because he was on the cover of Mens Health with his shirt off? People just don’t know what to call women who look attractive. She expressed a different view five years later, saying she felt awesome about being a sex symbol The exposure that was generated because of being female and using my attributes — it works.
Patrick has featured on sports power and popularity lists. Bloomberg Businessweek ranked her the 50th and 88th most powerful person in the world of sports in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Time magazine named her a candidate for the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009 and 2010. She has been highly ranked in the Davie-Brown Index for several years, and peaked at number eight among female athletes in 2010. Patrick was the Harris Polls favorite female athlete in 2008; she placed second behind tennis player Serena Williams in 2007 and again from 2013 to 2015. Between 2007 and 2013, she appeared on Forbes’ list of the 100 highest paid celebrities four times, ranking in the bottom quartile and was 93rd on the magazine’s The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list in 2010. Her endorsement deals generated a Q Score—the industry’s measure of celebrities’ likability—peak of 29 in 2010.
Impact and criticism
Patrick’s strong fan base voted her the IndyCar Series Most Popular Driver from 2005 to 2010 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver in 2012. She was voted the Favorite Female Athlete at the Kids Choice Award in 2008, 2012 and 2013. She also won the legend award at the 2018 Kids’ Choice Sports Awards. Increasing attendance at auto racing events and improved television ratings have been attributed to Patrick by scholars and the press. She has inspired many young girls interest in motorsports, leading them to race competitively. Some have credited her with preventing the dissolution of the IndyCar Series, and strengthening support for NASCAR. Patrick has been called a trailblazer or pioneer for women in auto racing, and commentators agree her achievements have broken the gender barrier in an industry that is overwhelmingy male.
Patrick has come under scrutiny from the media and fans throughout her career. She has been called a gimmick or a publicity stunt by some fans for lack of better racing results. Critics have compared her to former tennis player Anna Kournikova for her lack of on-track success and promotion of her looks, though the similarities have been questioned by others. Prior to her 2008 Indy Japan 300 triumph, Patrick was criticized by commentators and fans who claimed her ~100 lb (45 kg) body weight constituted an unfair advantage. Indy Racing League president Brian Barnhart responded that her weight had a virtually minimal effect on the competition. In June 2013, former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty called Patrick a marketing machine and asserted that she was not a race car driver. In February 2014, during an appearance at the eighth annual Canadian Motorsports Expo, Kyle’s father, Richard Petty, criticized her for not winning more races.
In 2005, Patrick married physical therapist Paul Edward Hospenthal, whom she met at his office in 2002 when she was recovering from a hip injury she sustained during a yoga session. They divorced in 2013. From November 2012 to December 2017, Patrick was in a relationship with fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Patrick has been in a relationship with NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers since February 2018.
Danica Patrick is represented by
Danica Racing, Inc
IMG talent agency
Excel Sports Management.
On her mother’s side, she has Norwegian ancestry. While, on her father’s side, she has Italian (Sicilian), English, Irish and Swiss-German ancestry.
Danica Patrick has done endorsement work for the following brands –
Honda Civic Coupe
The C Foundation
Hostess’ Twinkies snack cakes and The Twinkie Cookbook
Mr. Clean Windshield Wash and Wiper Blades product
Sprint Palm Pre
O*P*I’s GelColor nail polishes
Health Sciences USA, Inc.’s Six Star Pro Nutrition
First Professional Race
Danica made her IndyCar competitive debut in 2005 season.
She made her Formula Vauxhall Winter Series debut in 1998.
She first competed in the Formula Ford Championship in 2000.
First TV Show
In October 2003, she made her first TV show appearance on the comedy talk show, Last Call with Carson Daly.
Danica Patrick works hard on her body to ensure that she keeps setting new benchmarks in her sport. She usually works out in mid-morning or mid-afternoon and if she feels interested, she might workout both times.
She has also eliminated her long cardio sessions. In fact, she makes sure that she doesn’t run longer than 5-10 minutes. For her cardio needs, she mostly relies on interval style workouts in which she might run for 30 seconds and rest for next 30 seconds or rest for 30 seconds and run for a minute. If she wants to make her cardio bit more intense, she might add a couple of bodyweight exercises such as burpees, alternating lunges, or squats.
For her strength training, she mostly relies on CrossFit or cross-training style workouts. She usually schedules her lifting sessions once a week. For her lifting sessions, she mostly relies on Olympic style big lifts such as deadlifts, squats, push press, and cleans. She regularly performs yoga. Sometimes, her yoga sessions can stretch on for 2 hours.
Danica complements her workout regime by eating healthy food. She has stopped eating anything that has gluten or dairy. She prefers paleo diet but is not very strict about enforcing it.
Overall, her focus is on eating a lot of meat, fruits, veggies, and some fish. She also drinks a lot of water throughout the day.
Danica Patrick Favorite Things
CrossFit Exercise – Burpees
Workout Music – Trevor Hall, Beyoncé, and Old-school rap
Breakfast Spot – Tempo Café in Chicago
Dinner Spot – Tru in Chicago
CrossFit Workout – Helen (3 miles of the 300-meter run, then 21 kettlebell swings, and 3 times pull-ups)
Beauty Products – La Mer active serum, La Mer Renewal Oil, and La Mer Eye Concentrate
Cities for Food – Napa Valley, Cabo, Chicago
Comfort Food – Waffle House with some hash browns, eggs, and bacon
Food Item – Sweet Potato
Danica Patrick Facts
When she finished in the 2nd spot at the 2000 Formula Ford Festival in England, she became first American driver (both male and female) to achieve such high finish in the race.
In 2006, she was included in the People Magazine‘s list featuring 100 Most Beautiful People.
In 2006, Danica was placed on the #42 spot by the FHM magazine in the list featuring 100 Sexiest Women in the World.
To further her racing career, she moved to England at the age of 16. As she was American and female, she had to face a stern opposition over there. During her time in England, she even competed against future Formula One world champion Jenson Button.
In 2007, she was placed on the 69th spot in the Hot 100 list compiled by Maxim magazine. She slipped to #91 on the following year’s list.
When she was included at the 9th spot in 2008 in the list of highest-earning athletes by Forbes, she became the first female athlete that wasn’t a golf or tennis player to be featured on the list.
She has been often targeted by distractors during her professional career. The former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty called her just a marketing tool, while some others claimed that her low body weight gave her unfair advantage.
She was included as a playable character in the kart racing video game, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. She had lent her voice to the character too.
In May 2006, she published her autobiography, Danica: Crossing the Line.
When she won the Indy Japan 300 competition in 2008, she became the first woman to have won in an IndyCar Series race. She is also the first woman to have achieved third place in the 2009 Indianapolis 500.
Danica has been named as the celebrity spokesperson of the DRIVE4COPD, which is a national public health campaign that aims to raise awareness about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
She has done a lot of charity and activism work for breast cancer research.
She used to be a cheerleader while studying at the Hononegah Community High School.
Danica Patrick has released her clothing line under the label of Warrior.
She is the owner of the wine label known as Somnium. Their first release was Cabernet Sauvignon, which was released in 2014 and had 210 cases.
She started participating in go-karting at the age of 10 in 1992. In fact, she had gone along because of her sister’s passion for go-karting, who ironically lost interest in it later.
While growing up, she used to work as a babysitter for the family down the road.
Visit her official website @ danicapatrick.com.