Professional Race Car Driver
Danica Sue Patrick was born on March 25, 1982 in Beloit, Wisconsin to parents Bev and TJ. Bev and TJ have the unique story of meeting on a blind date at a snowmobile race in 1978 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. At the time, TJ was a championship-winning driver, and Bev was a mechanic for a female racer. They were married and had two children: Danica, and her younger sister, Brooke.
Danica showed the need for speed at a young age. Instead of taking piano lessons or playing football like other 10-year-olds, she started go-kart racing and dedicated herself to becoming the best race car driver in the world. Race after race, week after week she worked on improving her concentration on the track and her skills behind the wheel of the go-kart. Sure enough, by the end of her first season, she finished second in the points standings out of 20 drivers in her age group. By the time she was 12, in 1992, she had won her first Grand National Championship. By 1996 she had won 39 of the 49 races she entered. When she reached her mid-teens, she was the world go-karting champion. With this meteoric rise she started to make a name for herself, and she got her first big break when racing officials spotted her undeniable go-kart racing talent and suggested she go train with the best young drivers her age in England. With the help of her parents and sponsors, she left to train for and race in the British National Series at the age of 16, where she earned second place in Britain’s Formula Ford Festival race. This was the highest finish ever by an American! An even more important outcome of this mind-boggling performance was that Danica now had the attention of the world, including important race teams in the United States.
After another year in England, Danica decided it was time to return to the United States, and she signed a multi-year deal to race on the Rahal-Letterman team (a team co-owned by legendary driver Bobby Rahal and David Letterman). After paying her dues racing in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and the Toyota Atlantic Championship, she announced she was going to drive in the IRL IndyCar Series – the premier level of American open wheel racing – in the 2005 season.
On May 29, 2005, Danica made history, becoming the fourth woman to compete in the
Indianapolis 500®. The Indy 500®, also known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” is considered by many to be one of the three most prestigious motorsports events in the world. She was only 23 years old and was about to climb her tallest peak in sports. In the middle of the race she made history, becoming the first woman to lead a lap at the famed track, pacing the field on lap 56. Danica was leading the race as late as lap 190 and finished in fourth place – the highest ever attained for the race by a female driver. ABC Sports® was covering the event, and lead commentator Todd Harris weighed in on the historical significance of Danica’s race by saying, “Fifty years from now, you will remember where you were when Danica Patrick made not only motorsports history, but she joined the likes of Amelia Earhardt and Sally Ride in a barrier-breaking performance.”
In 2009, she finished even higher, taking third – a feat that has yet to be surpassed by any other female driver.
Danica’s success at the Indy 500® turned her into a household name across America, and she was named Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year. In the ensuing years she established herself as the most successful woman in the history of American open wheel racing. In 2008 she became the only woman to register a win in an IndyCar® series race, taking the flag at the Indy® Japan 300 by over 5 seconds.
In 2011, Danica announced that she would focus her full attention on driving stock cars in the NASCAR® Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series. In 2013, in the first race of her first season in the NASCAR® Spring Cup racing circuit, Danica managed to do what no woman has ever done by winning the pole position for the Daytona 500® – posting a blazing fast lap of 196.434 mph. She would finish eighth in the prestigious race, once again earning the highest finish ever for a woman in the Daytona 500® while simultaneously becoming the first woman to lead a Sprint Cup race under a green flag.
Outside of racing, Danica has been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated®, SHAPE®, and ESPN® the Magazine, and appeared in the 2008 Sports Illustrated® Swimsuit issue.
In 2006, she had a cameo role for Grammy® Award-winning artist Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got” video, and she’s also made guest appearances on a number of television shows, including
The Late Show™ with David Letterman and Late Night® with Conan O’Brien.
Since her NASCAR® debut, Danica continues to be one of the sport’s leading stars, and entering 2015 she will be adding Six Star® supplements to her fitness regimen to help her stay in shape both in and out of the driver’s seat. Danica is famous for her fit figure and super-intense workouts, and she uses Six Star® to help her recover from her workouts and stay on top of her busy lifestyle!
Indianapolis 500® is owned by Brickyard Trademarks Inc. Indy 500® is owned by Brickyard Trademarks Inc. Indycar® is owned by Brickyard Trademarks Inc. Indy® is owned by Brickyard Trademark Inc. Daytona 500 is owned by International Speedway Corporation. Nascar® is owned by National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Inc. ABC Sports® is owned by ABC Sports Inc. Sports Illustrated® is owned by Time Inc. Shape® is owned by Weider Publications LLC. ESPN® is owned by ESPN Inc. Grammy® is owned by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Inc. The Late Show™ is owned by CBS Broadcasting Inc. Late Night® is owned by NBC Universal Media LLC.
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