Danica Sue Patrick is an American former professional racing driver who is also the most successful professional racing driver in American open-wheel car racing history.
Danica Patrick was born in a middle-class family on March 25, 1982, in Beloit, Wisconsin.
In 1998, she moved to the UK to pursue her career after dropping out of high school with her parent’s consent.
In 2002, when she drove for Rahal Letterman Racing for the first time in the IndyCar Series, she won three pole positions and broke Tomas Scheckter’s rookie season record for pole position.
It takes an exceptional blend of hard work, confidence, and enthusiasm to succeed in the male-dominated sport of motorsports.
Danica is still a massive sensation in Indy Racing League. She drove for Rahal-Letterman Racing, co-owned by racing legend Bobby Rahal, during her active career.
The now-retired professional race car driver has set several records. Patrick transitioned from sports star to entrepreneurial powerhouse after her retirement.
As of 2024, Danica is focused on handling more than one business venture like Somnium and Warrior.
Besides, she is the author of the health and fitness book “Pretty Intense” and a spokesperson for her long-term sponsor, GoDaddy.
Today, we will disclose more than Danica’s professional life in this article. We will discuss her early life, family, net worth, relationship, and other details. So, make sure to read this article till the end.
But before that, check out some of the quick facts about Danica;
|Danica Sue Patrick
|Date Of Birth
|March 25, 1982
|Beloit, Wisconsin, United States
|Hononegah Community High School
|Terry Joseph “T. J.” Patrick Jr.
|A Younger Sister, Brooke Patrick
|41 Years Old
|5’2″/1.57 m/157 cm
|45 kg/100 lb.
|Racecar Driver, Athlete, Spokesperson & Model
|Indy Japan 300
(19 November 2005-17 April 2013)
Early Life & Family
Danica Patrick was born Danica Sue Patrick to parents, Terry Joseph “T. J.” Patrick Jr. and Beverly Ann, in Beloit, Wisconsin, US.
Her parents met on a blind date at a snowmobile event in the 1970s when Beverly was a mechanic for a friend’s snowmobile.
Danica grew up with her younger sister, Brooke Patrick, in Roscoe, Illinois, and used to babysit for a nearby family in her off-time.
She attended Hononegah Community High School and was a cheerleader in 1996.
They are both half Norweigan, while their ancestry runs through Irish, French-Canadian, Italian, and Native American.
Age, Height, & Appearance
Born in 1982, Danica is 41 years old. Patrick celebrates her birthday on March 25, making her birth sign Pisces.
And from what we know, people under this sun sign are known for being independent, determined, brave, and talented.
Regarding her body measurement, the former racing driver stands 5 feet 2 inches (1.57 meters) tall, weighs around 45 kg (100 pounds), and wears 8 (US) shoes.
She has the perfect small oval-shaped face with bulging jaws, while her chin is small. Her proportional face gives her a natural look of ‘grit.’
Danica has dark brown eyes with long brown hair. All in all, her physical appearance gives off a ‘strong’ aura.
Beginning Of Karting And Pursuit of Interest
Initially, Patrick had no aspiring dream of being a secretary, singer, or veterinarian. However, her fate had something else planned.
She started her racing career in go-karts at Sugar River Raceway in Brodhead, Wisconsin, with her father as her crew chief and her mother recording her statistics.
In the beginning, Patrick didn’t have any racing idols, and in her first track race, he crashed into the wall due to a lack of eye-to-foot coordination.
However, she gradually improved and set numerous track records at Sugar River Raceway and Michiana Raceway Park.
Following her interest in karting, she pursued snowmobiles, motocross, and midget car racing.
By 13, she started traveling across the States to race, and to cover her travel expenses, her family sold merchandise featuring Patrick.
The former professional racing driver won ten regional karting titles, the World Karting Association Grand National Championship in the Yamaha Sportsman, AND HPV class three times between 1994 and 1997.
She attended different driving schools, including the Lyn St. James Foundation Driver Development Program, Track Speed School at Sebring International Raceway, and the Formula Ford driving school.
This was all possible after she got media exposure from ABC and MTV, leading her to be hired by John Mecom Jr, who sponsored her.
Junior Years & Achievements
In 1998, Danica Patrick dropped out of high school with her parent’s permission and got the GED certificate.
Three-time Formula One world champion Jackie Stewart helped Patrick move to Milton Keynes, England, where she met other drivers like Jenson Button.
She received financial support from the Ford Motor Company, and a year later, she lost the support of John Mecon Jr. due to rumors of her living an extravagant lifestyle.
In 1999, she finished 9th in the British Formula Vauxhall Championship, and in 2000, she ranked 2nd at the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch with Haywood Racing. This led her to a Formula Three test with Carlin in 2001.
Later, Bobby Rahal (then Jaguar Racing team principal) organized a second test for her in the Paul Stewart Racing development program, which got canceled in mid-2001.
The former stock car racer also got awarded the Gorsline Scholarship Award as the most aspiring road course competitor in 2001 and was recognized as the top female open-wheel race car driver.
Back To The US & Titles
As Danica Patrick’s sponsorship ended, she flew back to the US. During her time in the UK, she had a difficult season as she wasn’t getting much technical support.
Upon her arrival, she negotiated to drive a BMW M3 for Team PTG in the American Le Mans Series in 2002.
She also partook in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race fundraising campaign, where she stood third, defeating Tommy Kendall.
Besides, Patrick and her father traveled to race tracks every weekend, expecting to get hired by a team owner.
After speaking with Bobby Rahal, he signed Patrick on a three-year contract at Milwaukee Mile, while she also tested for a two-day session at Greenville-Pickens Speedway for a PPC Racing Ford Taurus NASCAR Busch Series car.
In 2003, Patrick switched to the Toyota Atlantic Series, becoming the first woman to race in the championship since 1974, and took her first podium in the season-opening race at Monterey.
In June, she debuted at the Grand Prix of Atlanta, part of the American LeMans Series, partnering with Jérôme Policand, driving the No. 80 GTS-class Prodrive Ferrari 550.
The following year, racing in the Toyota Atlantic Series for the second consecutive year, she became the first woman to win a pole position in the series history at the Portland International Raceway race.
“No matter how good you are, how brave you are, or anything, it comes down to that car so many times. Not every time, but so many times.” – Danica Patrick
Indy Car Series
Patrick’s name was listed in IndyCar Series for 2005 by Rahal Letterman Racing. However, she was hospitalized for a mild concussion while debuting for the season-opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
At the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi, she achieved her best finish of the season. Similarly, she set the fastest overall practice speed record at the Indianapolis 500.
The former racing driver became the second woman in IndyCar Series to finish in pole position at Kansas Speedway after Sarah Fisher in 2002.
She also matched Tomas Scheckter’s record for the most pole positions in a rookie season and was named the Rookie of the Year for both the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series.
Patrick returned to Rahal Letterman Racing for the IndyCar season in 2006. She made her endurance racing debut in January at the 24 hours of Daytona.
At the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, she stood second, and at Indy Japan 300 at Motegi, she came eighth.
She ended the season with a modest 302 points. However, she was awarded the title of Sportswoman of the Year by the March of Dimes to celebrate her dedication and success.
In 2007, Danica joined Andretti Green Racing, replacing Bryan Herta, and started the season with two top-ten finishes in the first four races, including a third-place finish at the Bombardier Learjet 550.
Patrick capped off the season with 424 points and PLACED eighth at the season-closing Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
The former racing driver continued her ties with Andretti Green Racing, and she had the best Homestead finish of sixth.
Similarly, she placed tenth in St. Petersburg and became the first woman to win a top-level sanctioned open-wheel car racing event.
Despite qualifying fifth at the Indianapolis 500, she had to retire early after a collision with Ryan Briscoe in the pit lane. She also has a similar incident with Milka Duno at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Her total reached 379 points (sixth in final standing), and was the highest-placed American throughout the season.
In 2009, Patrick made her second appearance at the 24 Hours of Daytona, teaming up with Casey Mears, Andy Wallace, and Rob Finlay, and finished eight due to some mechanical issues.
She stood third at the Indianapolis 500, giving her best career finish after five attempts. It was a new record for the highest-placed finish for a woman in Indianapolis 500 history.
The former racing driver signed a contract extension, keeping her with the team through THE next two seasons after she ended the season with her peak performance, finishing fifth in the overall point standings.
Patrick started the 2010 season on a low note, managing 15th place at the Sao Paulo Indy 300 and 7th place at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Her performance at the Indianapolis 500 was even more disappointing as she finished 23, her lowest career finish.
The former racer bounced back and gave the best season performance in the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. She wrapped up the season with 367 points and placed tenth in the drivers’ standings.
Patrick faced adversity in 2011, with two accidents affecting her performance. The season ended with tragedy when Dan Wheldon was killed at the season-closing IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In August 2011, Patrick announced she would retire from the IndyCar race and focus solely on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series.
ARCA, Nationwide Series & Sprint Cup Series
Danica Patrick debuted in the ARCA racing series in 2010, driving the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway. She started in 15th and ended with finishing 35th due to a car crash at the season-opening Nationwide Series race, the DRIVE4COPD 300.
In the third season of 2010, she collided with Michael McDowell on the 82nd lap in the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Patrick entered the K&N Pro Series East race at Dover International Speedway to enhance her stock car experience, where she finished the season with 1,032 points in 13 starts.
In 2011, Danica worked part-time with JR Motorsports, participating in 12 races, including the season’s opening two races at Daytona and Phoenix International Speedway.
In the meantime, she broke the 62-year-old record of Sara Christian and became the highest-finishing woman in national NASCAR history in Las Vegas.
For the 2012 season, Patrick gave her full-time commitment to JR Motorsports with a limited ten races with Stewart-Haas Racing in an alliance with Tommy Baldwin Racing.
At the beginning of the season, she became the first woman to achieve the pole for the DRIVE4COPD 300 at the national NASCAR after Shawna Robinson.
During this race, she got into a four-car accident finishing in 38th place, and her eighth-position finish at Texas Motor Speedway was her season’s best.
In 2023, Patrick got assigned to teammate Ryan Newman’s former crew chief Tony Gibson and his pit crew.
Also, she became the highest-placing woman driver in the history of the Daytona 500, joining the elite club of 14 members.
In the May exhibition Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, she stood in ninth place, and with the fan’s vote, she advanced to the Sprint All-Star Race.
During the season opener, Patrick failed to finish in the top fifteen in over 28 games. At the end of the season, she had one top-ten finish, five DNFs, and was 27th in the standings with 646 points.
For the 2014 Sprint Cup Series, she remained with Stewart-Hass Racing. She even won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500, where she started in 27th, but
At Daytona 500, Patrick started as 27th, but Aric Almirola sent her car to the wall without a safer banner; hence, she ended at 40th.
She set three records throughout the season; firstly, in Aaron’s 499, she became the first female to lead the track. Secondly, she had the best finishing position of the 22nd for women.
Lastly, at the grid of Coca-Cola 600, she recorded the best qualifying performance for any woman at a non-restrictor plate track. She broke the record of Janet Guthrie’s tenth-place finish at the Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Furthermore, in 2015, she was appointed as the full-time crew chief. While she faced some challenges during the season, she improved her average finish position to 23.7.
- Patrick took part in Prelude to the Dream dirt track race at Eldora Speedway, with the invitation of team owner Tony Stewart in June. However, she hit a wall during the race and went off-pace; she stood in 15th place in her fourth Cup start.
- Danica got listed in DNF (Did Not Finish) of the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- During the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, Patrick’s attempt to wreck Landon Cassill made her car hit on the outside wall while Cassill managed to get away safely.
- Patrick’s final race at Phoenix caused an accident between Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman due to her oil leak. Since NASCAR elected not to wave the caution flags, Danica was not classified in the final standings.
Final Years In NASCAR
Danica Patrick stayed at the tenth for the beginning of the Sprint Unlimited season. She claimed Janet Guthrie’s title for the most top tens by a woman in Sprint Cup Series.
Even at the Quaker State 400, Patrick became the first woman to start a hundred Cup Series races.
Right after it, for an intentional retaliatory crash against David Gilliland, she was fined $50,000 and was kept on probation by NASCAR.
With tons of narrow escapes of collateral damage from a multi-car accident, she was forced to retire.
The former professional racing driver caught media attention in November 2017 when she announced her plans to return to compete in the 2018 Daytona 500 and 2018 Indianapolis 500 while staying away from full-time racing.
She secured sponsorship from her longtime partner GoDaddy for the “Danica Double.” In the Daytona 500, she drove for Premium Motorsports, but unfortunately, she was involved in a six-car accident.
In March 2018, Patrick announced she would appear in her final Indianapolis 500 event in a third car for Ed Carpenter Racing.
Danica was scheduled to test for Formula One team Honda in November 2008 but was called off when the Honda team pulled out of the sport.
There were rumors of her being in contract for testing with the American Formula One team US F1 in 2010. However, the team did not contact her, and she had no plans of leaving the IndyCar Series.
The former Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone once stated, “To have someone like Danica Patrick in F1 would be a perfect advert.”
However, in 2015, Danica made it clear that she did not intend to move into Formula One as she was too old to switch teams and felt comfortable with the NASCAR family.
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
She has been featured in the 2005 documentary Girl Racers and has hosted several TV shows on Spike, including “Powerblock.”
In 2006, she was featured in Jay-Z’s music video and published her autobiography, Danica: Crossing The Line.
Patrick also made guest appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman, American Chopper.
At Phoenix International Raceway, she filmed commercials with GoDaddy.com, which aired nationally and during Super Bowl XLIII.
In 14 Super Bowl commercials, Patrick has appeared more than any other celebrities, among which ‘Enchantment’ was the most-watched Super Bowl commercial.
- Patrick debuted as an actor on the February 10 episode of CSI: NY as a car driver suspected of murder in 2010.
- She also appeared as a voice actor in The Simpsons episode “How Munched Is That Birdie in the Window?”
- Danica appeared in the game Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed as a playable guest and in its commercial. She also appeared in Archie Comics’ Sonic Universe #45.
- On February 21, 2015, Patrick was hired by FOX NASCAR as a booth analyst for Xfinity Series races.
- Patrick was the voice actor of the race car for the 2016 Nickelodeon animated series Blaze and the Monster Machines.
- In June 2017, she worked alongside Denny Hamlin for the Fox’s Cup driver-only Xfinity Series race broadcast at Pocono Raceway.
- On November 8, 2017, her documentary was featured with the title ‘Danica’ by the Epix. Her second book, Pretty Intense, was released on December 26.
- Danica also made a cameo in Maroon 5 ‘Girls Like You’ album featuring Cardi B. Likewise, on 18 July, she became the first woman to host the ESPY Awards.
- Similarly, in August 2019, Patrick launched a weekly podcast, Pretty Intense, to connect to people talking about success and spirituality.
- During 2019 and 2020, she was a studio analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the Indianapolis 500.
Danica Patrick has worked with many brands, such as AirTran Airways, Secret, Nationwide Insurance, Tissot, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Peak Antifreeze, William Rast, Hot Wheels, GoDaddy.com, Nature’s Bakery, and Lyft.
She also promotes healthy lifestyles and partnered with Williams Sonoma to campaign for No Kid Hungry.
Similarly, Patrick is a celebrity spokeswoman for DRIVE4COPD, an awareness campaign for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, from which she lost her grandmother.
Patrick joined The Players’ Tribune as a featured writer and immediately fell in love with the founder and former shortstop Derek Jeter‘s concept of allowing athletes to write and control their own content.
Business Ventures & Net Worth
The former NASCAR driver, Danica Patrick, has a net worth of $80 million as of 2024.
Besides her racing career, Danica Patrick is an entrepreneur and owns her athleisure and wine collection.
Her clothing line is “Warrior by Danica Patrick,” introduced in partnership with G-III Apparel Group.
The vineyard of her brand of wine, Somnium, is located in St Helena, California.
Media’s Take On Her
Henry Hutton of the Independent Tribune had covered her during her first debut with IndyCar in 2005.
He stated she bloomed as a pop culture due to her modeling and gender; however, her race track version wasn’t much appreciated due to her constant accidents and uncompetitive nature.
The writer Andrew Lawrence describes Patrick to be an anti-Mulan in an article for The Guardian.
He stated, “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.”
Danica has been featured on the covers of different magazines such as FHM, Sports Illustrated, TV Guide, and ESPN: The Magazine. She was labeled as one of the most beautiful people in the world in 2006.
Following it, she was also voted for Victoria’s Secret’s “What Is Sexy” list, placing her at No. 42 in 2006 and No. 85 in 2007.
During an interview with Fox News in 2012, Patrick showcased her dissatisfaction with being labeled as a sex symbol.
However, in the same context, after just a few years, she expressed her satisfaction with the exposure it had bought her.
- In 2008 and 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked her the 50th and 88th most powerful person in the world of sports, respectively.
- Patrick was named a candidate for the World’s 100 most influential people in 2009 and 2010 by The Times magazine.
- In 2007, she placed second, just after Serena Williams, among the favorite female athlete, and got first place in 2008.
- Since 2007-2013, ranking in the bottom quartile, she has been among the 100 highest-paid celebrities four times.
Danica Patrick’s Impact On Youths
The strong and determined Danica has inspired many young girls to lead their own way and has raised interest in motorsports.
Having broken the gender stereotype, she has been titled the pioneer for women in auto racing.
“I’ve never seen myself as a ‘girl driver.’ I’m just a driver.”
-Danica Patrick quotes
Her ever-growing dedicated fan base voted her for the IndyCar Series Most Popular Driver from 2005 to 2010 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver in 2012.
Many media and fans have kept their eyes on her private and professional life throughout her career.
She has often been compared with the tennis player Anna Kournikova, stating that they are both famous for their looks but have no on-track specialties.
She has been nicknamed a ‘publicity stunt’ or ‘gimmick’ because of her lack of good results on the race track.
The former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty stated Patrick to be a ‘Marketing Machine,’ and even Kyle’s father, Richard Petty, criticized her for not winning races during the eighth annual Canadian Motorsports Expo in February 2014.
Danica is largely non-political. She has done a pretty good job of keeping her personal political opinions out of the hands of the press.
Whenever she is thrown a question regarding religion and politics, Patrick immediately backs out and does not express her opinions.
In one of her interviews with FOXBusiness, she said, “I feel like religion and politics are the two things that you just stay away from.”
Personal Life & Relationships
Patrick was a junior Formula driver in 2002 when she met physical therapist Paul Edward Hospenthal at his office after she sustained a hip injury during a yoga session.
Although the therapist was 17 years older than Patrick, they began their romantic relationship and married in 2005. Unfortunately, their marriage ended in divorce in 2013.
Afterward, Patrick dated a fellow race car driver, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and separated after dating for five years. Then, she was in a relationship with NFL player Aaron Rodgers for two years.
There were rumors of their being planned, but Rodgers broke up with her, calling off their engagement. They separated in July 2020, and later Aaron announced his engagement with actress Shailene Woodley.
Danica was reportedly in a relationship with American businessman Carter Comstock in 2021. Unfortunately, this relationship of hers also ended shortly in 2022.
Social Media Presence
Danica Patrick likes to keep her social pages simple and has a natural way of connecting with fans.
She posts pictures of golfing, vacationing with friends, and making television appearances. You can find her on Instagram under the handle @danicapatrick and Twitter @DanicaPatrick.
Instagram: 909k followers
Twitter: 1.6m followers
Danica is immensely popular due to her former racing career and now with her public appearances and businesses.
The above graph shows Patrick’s popularity over the past twelve months based on Google searches in the United States.
Did Danica Patrick win an IndyCar race?
Danica Patrick is the first woman to win an IndyCar championship event. She took the checkered flag on April 20, 2008, and became the only woman to cross the finish line first in an IndyCar Series race.
When was Danica Patrica's last race of her career?
The Indianapolis 500 in 2018 was the last race of Danica's career.
What does Danica Patrick hate to eat?
Danica Patrick leads a fulfilled, healthy life, and among other unhealthy things, Danica just can't stand popsicles.
What is Danica Patrick's guilty pleasure?
Danica Patrick has a guilty pleasure for homemade mashed potatoes.
What is Danica Patrick's favorite movie?
Danica Patrick's favorite movie is Anchorman.