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Danica Patrick          

Female IndyCar and NASCAR Driver; Advertising Spokesperson

Danica burst onto the scene in May 2005 when she stunned the world by leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first Indianapolis 500-– becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race. One week later, Danica Patrick graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, becoming the first Indy car driver to be featured on the front page in 20 years.

Three years later, in April 2008, Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series with her win in the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan. That victory set her up for her second Sports Illustrated cover just three weeks later, making her just the fourth racecar driver (Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Al Unser) to twice grace the cover of the famous magazine.

For 2012, Patrick moves from the IndyCar Series to a fulltime stock-car schedule competing in the stepping-stone NASCAR Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports, while also competing in 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) driving the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Her goal is to become the first woman to win a NASCAR-sanctioned event and add another chapter to her already storied career.

Patrick set numerous records during her Indianapolis 500 debut and set the tone early when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times throughout the month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carb Day.

Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month and the fastest turned by any woman in the history of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning her rave reviews for her car control by longtime Speedway observers. She ended up qualifying fourth, the best ever starting position for a woman in the historic race.

On race day, with 11 laps remaining in the 200-lap event, Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to slow down in order to conserve fuel to make it to the finish. Patrick ended up fourth – the best finish ever for a woman at Indianapolis at that time – and brought her Rookie of the Year honors for her efforts, which included leading the race three times for 19 laps. Patrick earned the series’ Rookie of the Year honors, as well as being named the series’ Most Popular Driver.

With her skills improving each year, it was only a matter of time before Patrick found victory lane, and she did so in April 2008 at Motegi. It was a win that was heard around the sports world and helped propel her to her best points finish, yet, as she ended the year sixth in the standings on the strength of nine top-10 results. Unfortunately, despite starting fifth, her string of top-10 finishes at the Indianapolis 500 came to an end after she was involved in a pit-road collision with Ryan Briscoe on lap 171 and placed 22nd.

While the IndyCar Series continued to be Patrick’s main focus, she began dabbling in stock car racing in 2010 and opened her career with an impressive sixth-place finish in the season-opening Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) event at Daytona. One week later, she made her NASCAR debut in the Nationwide Series and finished 35th after being involved in a multi-car accident midway through the event.

In 2011, Patrick continued to drive in both the IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series and finished 10th in IndyCar Series points on the strength of nine top-10 finishes, including a 10th-place result in the Indianapolis 500. Once again, she did not record a DNF, meaning that she had gone an IndyCar Series-record 50 races without failing to finish.

Danica has consistently broken records for women in the industry as well as overall. She also was voted 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver by the fans.

Videos


News


12 Questions with Danica Patrick

Our series of weekly NASCAR driver interviews continues with Danica Patrick, who returns to her home track at Chicagoland Speedway this week. Patrick grew up in Roscoe, Ill., which is about two hours from the track where she will race this weekend for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Danica is building on Martinsville successes

Danica Patrick’s transition to NASCAR over the last five years has been criticized by many, praised by some and her story has generally faded to the background as fans across the nation have grown used to Patrick as both a driver and a personality.

Danica Patrick could be the hero NASCAR needs

In case you haven’t noticed, NASCAR needs a new hero. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is out of the cockpit temporarily and Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart are about to be out for good.

Danica Patrick won't drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018

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