|Occupation:||Race Car Driver|
|Birth Day:||March 25, 1982|
|Birth Place:||Beloit, United States|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
She was a cheerleader and babysitter during high school.
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. Over the years, the couple have owned a Java Hut coffee shop and a glass company. Patrick has a younger sister, Brooke, a pediatric physical therapist. She is half Norwegian, as well as part Irish, French-Canadian, Italian, and Native American. Patrick was raised in Roscoe, Illinois.
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.
She was a cheerleader at Hononegah Community High School in nearby Rockton in 1996. She spent her off-time babysitting for a nearby family when she was not racing. Initially she had no interest in racing; Patrick thought of a career as either a secretary, a singer, or a veterinarian. 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 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.
Patrick's parents consented to her dropping out of high school midway through her junior year in 1998, and obtaining 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. The experience helped her develop a stronger sense of independence and learn to overcome adversity. Patrick received some financial backing from the Ford Motor Company; 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 Mygale's 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. This 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; it was cancelled in mid-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 was 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.
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 sustaining a crash 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 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.
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.
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 Victoria's 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 Men’s 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."
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.
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 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 Poll's 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.
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 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 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.
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 in 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 was 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.
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.
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. 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 overwhelmingly male.
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 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.
IMG talent agency and Excel Sports Management represent Patrick. She has appeared in advertising campaigns for AirTran Airways, 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.
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.
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 Sonic & 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 a studio analyst for NBC's broadcast of the Indianapolis 500 in 2019 and 2020. In August 2019, she launched a weekly podcast called Pretty Intense in which she discusses success and spirituality with guests.
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.
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.
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.
Currently, Danica Patrick is 40 years, 10 months and 5 days old. Danica Patrick will celebrate 41st birthday on a Saturday 25th of March 2023.
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