We all know Danica Patrick as the famous racing driver who was the first female driver to win an IndyCar Series race, the first to clinch a pole position as well as having the most starts in the NASCAR Cup Series and the highest finish by a woman in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, she was one of only 14 to lead those races.
Now retired from her racing career, Danica is now looking beyond the wheel and is focussing on her passions for food, wine, fitness and helping others, we take a look at her glittering career and what her plans for the future are.
During her racing career, Danica was named on TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list for her incredible success in motorsports and for breaking the barriers of what was once a male-dominated sport. As well as this, she has also featured on the cover of many prestigious publications including the 2008 & 2009 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and has appeared in a record-setting 14 Super Bowl commercials, 13 of which were with her longtime advertising partner – GoDaddy.
Danica’s racing career began when she was just 10 years old after her parents bought her a go-kart which ignited her passion for the sport from an early age. She went on to win numerous regional and then national go-kart titles before heading to Europe at the age of 16 to compete in road racing.
By 2005, Danica had entered her first Indianapolis 500 and stunned audiences across the world by leading the race by 19 laps and ultimately finishing fourth in the overall race – a success often unheard of by first-time racers in the Indianapolis 500. It wasn’t long before Danica was setting records once again as by 2008 she became the first woman to win a major-league race in North America by coming in first at the IndyCar Series Japan 300 race.
The next big move in Danica’s racing career came in 2013 as she transitioned to the NASCAR Cup Series, where she made headlines around the globe with a record-setting performance in the 55th Daytona 500 race. As well as this, she also became the first woman in history to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole, where she also set the fastest time and as such, qualified for the 500 and went onto finish in eighth place.
Danica Patrick’s NASCAR career continued to progress and she continued to have her name stamped into the history books. In 2015 she broke the world record for the most top-10 finishes by any female in NASCAR. By May 2016, Danica had become a three-time winner of the Monster Energy Fan Vote for the NASCAR All-Star Race and is also the sole repeat winner of the vote since its inception.
2018 was to become Danica’s last season in racing and arguably her most successful season in the sport, where she achieved the “Danica Double”, where she competed in two landmark events that are considered cornerstones to her career.. the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. Following this landmark season, she went onto become the first female host of ESPN’s Sports Award show, which was aired on ABC.
Now retired from racing, Danica has gone onto become an entrepreneur and business owner – she has launched a clothing line called Warrior by Danica Patrick, become an author by penning her first book called ‘Pretty Intense’ and has even gone on to start her own vineyard in Napa Valley, California called ‘Somenium’. As well as this, she is also on the public speaker circuit, giving inspirational speeches across the world.
Now that she has retired, we feel the racing world will sorely miss Danica Patrick, but with all her other ventures going so well, we’re sure she will continue to climb the ladder of success exponentially.