One of the most recognizable professional athletes in the world, Danica Patrick joined the mainstream ranks by going against the current, immersing herself and succeeding in the male-dominated world of professional motorsports.
As she broke barriers and set records on the track, Patrick made a name for herself off the track as well. She was named to TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” list, has graced the cover of ESPN: The Magazine, Sports Illustrated and TV Guide and was featured in pictorials in the 2008 and 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has also appeared in a record-setting 14 Super Bowl commercials, 13 of which were for GoDaddy.
As a child, Danica Patrick tried a little bit of everything, from cheerleading to choir, T-ball, volleyball, basketball, track, tumbling and band. While she had a variety of interests, one thing stood out above the rest: her passion for racing. Patrick developed an interest in the sport after her parents bought her a go-kart when she was 10 years old.
What began as a fun way for her family to spend more time together quickly blossomed into a career that would carry Patrick far from her childhood home in Roscoe, Illinois. After winning numerous regional and national go-kart titles, Patrick left the comfort of family and friends in the Midwest when she was just 16 years old to compete in the cutthroat world of European road racing.
After racing at various levels in different racecars, Patrick burst onto the national scene in May 2005 when she stunned the world by leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first Indianapolis 500. With that performance, she became the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race. Three years later, in April 2008, Patrick made history once again as she became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series with her victory in the IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
In February 2013, as Patrick transitioned to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, she made headlines around the world with her record-setting performance in the 55th Daytona 500 race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. She became the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500 and then finished in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”
As Patrick’s NASCAR Cup Series career progressed, she continued to rewrite the history books. She broke the record for most top-10 finishes of any female in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2015 and holds the new mark with a total of seven top-10s to her credit. In May 2016, Danica became a three-time winner of the Monster Energy Fan Vote for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race. She is the lone repeat winner of the vote in the event’s history.
In November 2017, Patrick announced that she would end her racing career with the “Danica Double” by competing in two marquee events that were cornerstones of her career: the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. As she closes out this part of her professional life, Patrick’s focus shifts to her next chapter as an entrepreneur and business owner.
Patrick has already forged into new career territory. She launched a clothing line – Warrior by Danica Patrick – in 2017, authored the fitness book Pretty Intense and is the sole proprietor of a vineyard in California that produces Somnium Wine. With her time behind the wheel coming to an end, she will focus on turning her “side hustle” efforts into full-time endeavors.
You can read more about Danica's racing career from her website: