Danica Patrick (born March 25, 1982 in Beloit, Wisconsin, United States) is an American race car driver who is the first woman to win an IndyCar championship event.
At the age of ten, Patrick began racing go-karts in her hometown of Beloit, Wisconsin. Patrick quit high school at the age of 16 after national success in go-karts to race Formula Fords and Vauxhalls in the United Kingdom. She finished second in the 2000 Formula Ford festival, the best result ever for an American in that crucible for prospective professionals.
Patrick returned to the United States in 2002 after former Indy driver Bobby Rahal signed her to her first U.S. Indy-car racing deal. She was then moved to open-wheel Toyota Formula Atlantic cars. Despite the fact that she never won in that series, she finished third in the drivers’ overall standings in 2004, earning her a spot in the Indianapolis 500 qualifying round.
Three other women have previously qualified for the Indy 500, the most renowned car race in the United States: Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, and Sarah Fisher. Patrick set the quickest lap in practise during her maiden visit to Indy in 2005 (229.88 mph [369.956 km/hr]), but she was unable to repeat the achievement during official qualifying. She finished fourth after being the first woman to lead the classic race three times for a total of 19 laps. She was elected Rookie of the Year in 2005 and the Most Popular Driver in the Indy Racing League (IRL) in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Other Works: For 7-Eleven’s in-store promotion of TimeLife’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, Patrick’s image was displayed on posters and special displays across the country.
Paul Hospenthal is his partner (divorced)
The IndyCar Racing League (IRL) is a series of races held in the United States.
Danica Patrick debuted in the IRL IndyCar series in 2005. She finished fourth in the Indianapolis 500 and led 19 laps. Her fourth-place finish was the best by a female driver in the history of the race. Danica also won three pole positions, was the 2005 IndyCar Rookie of the Year, and ended 12th overall in points. Danica’s success in the IndyCar series continued throughout the next few years. In 2007, she achieved four top-five finishes and was ranked seventh overall in terms of points. She became the first woman to win an IndyCar race when she won the Indy Japan 300 in 2008. She was the highest-ranking American driver in the series in 2009, finishing fifth in points.
She became the fourth woman to participate in the Indianapolis 500 after signing with Rahal Letterman; her finish was the highest ever for a female driver, and she became the first woman to lead the race.
She scored her maiden pole position the following year, becoming only the second woman to complete the Indy Racing League. At the 2005 IRL Championship, Patrick was dubbed “Rookie of the Year.”
After her teammate Paul Dana sadly died in a car accident in 2006, she was named Female Athlete of the Year by the United States Sports Academy, among other distinctions. Two years later, she made history by being the first woman to win an IndyCar race. Patrick’s only top-10 finish of the season came at the Daytona 500 in 2013, but she tripled that total the following year way to a 28th-place finish in the Cup Series standings. In each of the next two seasons, she finished 24th in the rankings, until finishing 28th in her final complete season in 2017.
In 2010, she set a new record by finishing her 29th race. The following year, Patrick switched to stock car racing and joined the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
In the same year, she finished fourth as the best woman in a NASCAR national stock car driver at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Patrick’s career was furthered by her ability to produce tangible outcomes. In 2014, she set a career high with a sixth-place result at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and the following year, she finished in the Top 10 for the sixth time.
Danica Patrick never won a NASCAR race — her best finish was sixth in Atlanta in 2014 — but she did finish in the top ten seven times throughout her five-year career and, more importantly, became an example to young women around the world. Despite never winning a race, she made more than $12.3 million on the track and many more in endorsements, and she was clearly one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers.
Danica Patrick said ahead of the 2018 Daytona 500 that it would be her final race in NASCAR because she wanted to focus more on her numerous business enterprises.
She started the final Daytona 500 in 28th place but had surged into the top 20 by the halfway point. Her stock-car career, however, came to an end on lap 102 when she was involved in a devastating seven-car collision that forced her out of the race.
The sequence started when Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski collided, sending Elliott flying into the wall. Patrick couldn’t escape Elliott’s No. 9 car as it drifted back down the bank and slammed with it, thus ruining her day and her NASCAR career. Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, David Ragan, and Martin Truex Jr. were also involved in the accident, with Truex Jr. being the only one who survived.
Danica Patrick was taken to the infield care facility for treatment, but thankfully did not sustain any significant injuries.
Hononegah Community High School was Danica’s alma mater. She enjoyed karting at the Sugar River Raceway in Brodhead, Wisconsin, while she was a student. During her maiden race, she had a brake failure and crashed into a concrete wall.
Patrick spent the majority of her childhood accompanying her father to races across the country. She was a standout performer, winning ten regional titles and the Grand National Championship of the World Karting Association.
Danica began her driver development programme with the Lyn St. James Foundation in 1996. She dropped out of high school during her junior year to pursue a career in racing in England.
She was ranked as the 7th richest NASCAR driver in 2017. She made a total of $12.2 million in earnings, including $7.2 million in wages.
Her endorsements for companies including GoDaddy, Coco-Cola, Chevrolet, Peak Antifreeze, Nationwide Insurance, and others provide a significant portion of her income.
Patrick relocated to Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. Danica had significant competition from elite female drivers early in her career.
Jackie Stewart, a three-time Formula One champion, provided her with coaching and assistance, which she credits with helping her develop a solid mental approach to motorsport. Ford Motorsport would also be a sponsor for Danica.
Danica spent three years racing in the Formula Vauxhall and Formula Ford series in the United Kingdom. Her finest results were a ninth-place finish in the 1999 Formula Vauxhall Championships and a second-place finish at the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival in 2000.
Danica Patrick’s Fun Facts
The Danica Maniacs are a fan club dedicated to her.
One of her primary sponsors was GoDaddy.com.
Danica: Crossing the Line is the title of her autobiography.
Danica was voted the best female athlete in the 2008 Kids Choice Awards.
She stands at a height of 5 feet 2 inches.