Monday, July 27, 2009

Danica Sue Patrick

Born on March 25, 1982 in Beloit, Wisconsin
Danica Sue Patrick is an American auto racing driver, currently competing in the IndyCar Series, as well as a model and advertising spokeswoman.

At 5'2" and 100 pounds, Danica Patrick is
a petite woman with a cute little body and long brown hair. Her youthful features and round face give her a girly look that complements her often boyish attire -- it's hard to make a racing suit look feminine.

However, FHM placed Danica Patrick in its 100 Sexiest Women Of The World twice; she ranked No. 42 in 2006 and No. 85 in 2007. Victoria's Secret also chose Danica Patrick as the sexiest athlete for its What Is Sexy list, and she made's Top 99 of 2009.

Patrick began go-karting in 1992 at the age of 10, and went on to win several World Karting Association championships. She moved to England at the age of 16 in order to advance her racing career. Patrick raced in Formula Ford and Formula Vauxhall, earning a second-place finish in Britain's Formula Ford Festival, the highest finish by a woman in the event.

In 2002, Patrick started driving for Rahal Letterman Racing in the United States. After making several starts in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, she moved to the Toyota Atlantic Championship for 2003. Patrick won one pole position and was a consistent podium finisher (top three); however, she never won a race. In 2004, Patrick finished third in the Championship.

After the 2004 racing season, Rahal Letterman Racing officially announced that Patrick would drive in the IRL IndyCar Series for 2005.

On May 29, 2005, Patrick became only the fourth woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500, following Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James and Sarah Fisher. After posting the fastest practice speed of the month (229.880 mph/369.956 km/h) during the morning practice session on the first day of qualifications (May 15), she made an error in the first turn of her first qualifying lap, and failed to capture the pole position, which instead went to Tony Kanaan. Patrick's fourth starting position, however, was still the highest ever attained for the race by a female driver. Patrick became the first female driver to lead the race at Indianapolis, first when acquiring it for a lap near the 125-mile (201 km) mark while cycling through pit stops, and late in the race when she stayed out one lap longer than her rivals during a set of green-flag pit stops. Patrick overcame two crucial errors to finish fourth in the race, the same position in which she started: Patrick's car stalled in the pits about halfway through the 500-mile (800 km) race, dropping her to the middle of the field; and shortly after reclaiming a spot in the top 10, Patrick spun on a caution period just before an intended green flag leading to a four car accident. The accident caused damage to Patrick's car that was limited to the nose and front wing. Her pit crew promptly made repairs, and due to the subsequent yellow, Patrick was able to rejoin the field having lost only one position. When the leaders pitted for fuel on lap 172, Patrick stayed out to take the lead. On lap 194, eventual race winner and 2005 series champion Dan Wheldon passed her as she was forced to slow in order to conserve fuel. Patrick was subsequently passed by both Bryan Herta and her teammate Vitor Meira. Patrick's fourth place was the highest ever finish for a female driver at the Indy 500, besting the previous record of ninth set by Janet Guthrie in 1978. Patrick led 19 laps overall.

On July 2, 2005, Patrick won her first pole position, leading a 1-2-3 sweep by Rahal Letterman Racing at Kansas Speedway. She became the second woman to accomplish this feat in the IndyCar Series, the first being Sarah Fisher in 2002 at Kentucky Speedway. On August 13, 2005, she won her second pole at Kentucky Speedway, although this time, rain prematurely ended qualifying and position was determined by speeds achieved during practice. She took a third pole at Chicagoland Speedway which tied her with Tomas Scheckter's record for number of pole positions earned in a rookie season.

In 2005, Patrick finished 12th in the IndyCar Series championship, with 325 points. She was named Rookie of the Year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season.

Patrick competed in the 2006 IndyCar Series season giving her another chance at qualifying and racing in the Indianapolis 500. In the first race of the season, the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead, Patrick qualified third behind the Penske Racing teammates of Helio Castroneves and Sam Hornish, Jr. However, tragedy struck as RLR teammate Paul Dana was killed in a crash during practice the morning of the race. Patrick and Buddy Rice withdrew from the race immediately. The two resumed their 2006 IndyCar campaign with the second race of the year at St. Petersburg

At the Indy 500, Patrick started eighth and finished eighth. After Watkins Glen, RLR switched to the Dallara chassis and the team struggled to adapt. Patrick struggled to remain competitive, but her fourth place finishes at Nashville and Milwaukee tied her career best IndyCar finishes. At Michigan, Patrick's car ran out of fuel with three laps to go and she fell to 17th. She rebounded at Kentucky and Infineon to finish 8th in both races.

In her final race with RLR at Chicagoland, Patrick recorded a 12th place finish and a 9th place finish in the IndyCar Series Championship point standings, besting her 12th place points finish as a rookie.

In November, the March of Dimes awarded her the title of Sportswoman of the Year in celebration of her dedication and success

Patrick has hosted several TV shows on Spike TV, including the "Powerblock", and she was featured in the 2005 documentary Girl Racers. On the August 23, 2007 episode of Diggnation, hosts Alex Albrecht and Kevin Rose shot live at Infineon Raceway, where they were treated to a lap around the track in the IndyCar Safety Car driven by Patrick. On April 24, 2008, Patrick was a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night With Conan O'Brien on April 25, 2008.

Patrick was featured on the cover of the June 6, 2005 issue of Sports Illustrated, making her the first Indianapolis 500 driver on the cover since Al Unser, in victory lane, following his upset fourth victory in 1987. After her participation in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, she was asked by Playboy to have her pictures taken to be published in a future edition of its magazine. She declined the offer, but she did participate in a "20 Questions" interview with Jason Buhrmester for the magazine's July 2007 issue. She had also previously posed for FHM, appearing in the April 2003 issue. She was on the cover of the September/October 2006 issue of travelgirl magazine and the October 2006 issue of American Libraries. Patrick appears in the February 15, 2008 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She is featured in a 4-page photo spread.

She appeared in commercials for Secret deodorant in 2005 and 2006 until she was replaced by Rihanna in 2007. She also appeared in Jay-Z's music video "Show Me What You Got," where she drives a Pagani Zonda Roadster. A spot for the Honda Civic Coupe features Patrick trying to avoid a speeding ticket.

Patrick was featured in an ESPN "This Is SportsCenter" commercial, which showed then-anchor Dan Patrick towing her IndyCar due to a reserved space misunderstanding (the space in question being reserved for "D. Patrick"). She can also be seen in award winning corporate training videos Four Weeks In May and T.E.A.M.W.O.R.K.

During testing at Phoenix International Raceway, GoDaddy filmed a commercial with Patrick that has also aired nationally. During the same test, at the invitation of GoDaddy, Patrick met with Paul Teutul, Sr. and Mikey Teutul, and subsequently appeared on an episode of American Chopper. Patrick was also in a 2008 "inspirational, feel-good" Go Daddy commercial called "Kart" that features a young girl who aspires to be like Patrick. On February 1, 2009, Patrick appeared in two commercials advertised during Super Bowl XLIII. The Most Watched Super Bowl commercial of 2009, according to TiVo, was Patrick's "Enhancement" ad for

Recently she was voted sexiest athlete in Victoria's Secret "What is Sexy" list. Patrick also was voted #42 in 2006 and #85 in 2007 in FHM's 100 sexiest women in the world.

Patrick made a second appearance in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in February 2009, posing with a Shelby Cobra 427.

There has been much controversy over Danica Patrick's presence in auto racing and her success in promoting herself as a female driver. Some drivers and racing professionals have supported her and other women drivers, and others have been resistant to the influx of women in the sport. Several male drivers have made negative comments about Patrick's ability, as a woman, to race successfully. Former driver Richard Petty responded, in a separate interview, by stating, "I just don't think it's a sport for women, and so far, it's proved out. It's really not. It's good for them to come in. It gives us a lot of publicity, it gives them publicity. But as far as being a real true racer, making a living out of it, it's kind of tough."

However, after Patrick's IRL win, she was praised by many drivers. NASCAR driver and former IRL champion Tony Stewart, for example, said "I think obviously she's got talent; she's been successful in every form of racing she's been in so far and I don't see why she wouldn't be successful here [in NASCAR]."

Danica Patrick Quotes
"I don't think I should be [photographed] nude... ever. You gotta draw the line somewhere. I don't see myself ever wearing less clothing than a swimsuit."

"My goal is not to be the first female to do things or to be a poster child or a calendar girl. It's to just win, because everything takes care of itself if you win."

" I remember playing cards when I was a kid and ripping them up if I didn't win. If I can't win, I'm not playing anymore. "
- Danica Patrick.

Racing career highlights

Third in Formula Atlantic Championship 2004.
Second in Formula Ford Festival 2000.

Karting career highlights

WKA Manufacturer’s Cup champion in the Yamaha Junior class 1996.
WKA Manufacturer’s Cup champion in the 100cc Restricted Junior class 1996.
Second in WKA Manufacturer’s Cup - HPV Junior 1996.
Second in WKA Manufacturer’s Cup - 100cc Restricted Junior 1995.
Second in WKA Manufacturer’s Cup - Spec 100 Junior 1995.
Second in WKA Manufacturer’s Cup - US 820 Junior 1995.
WKA Great Lakes Regional Sprint Series champion in the US 820 Junior class 1995.
WKA Great Lakes Regional Sprint Series champion in the Yamaha Restricted Junior class 1995.
WKA Great Lakes Regional Sprint Series champion in the Yamaha Sportsman class 1994.
WKA Great Lakes Regional Sprint Series champion in the US 820 class 1994.

Career Stats


  • Finished sixth in IndyCar Series standings for Andretti Green Racing.
  • Became first female to win a major closed-course auto race in April at Twin Ring Motegi.
  • Recorded 10 top-10 finishes and led two races.

  • Finished seventh in IndyCar Series standings in first season with Andretti Green Racing.
  • Recorded four top-five finishes and 11 top-10 finishes with a best finish of second at Belle Isle.
  • Runner-up finish at Belle Isle matched best finish by a female driver in the IndyCar Series (Sarah Fisher, Homestead-Miami 2001).
  • Qualified on the front row at Mid-Ohio and Infineon.
  • Voted Indy DownForce Most Popular Driver for third consecutive season.

  • Finished ninth in IndyCar Series standings for Rahal Letterman Racing despite sitting out season-opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
  • Recorded two top-five and eight top-10 finishes with best finish of fourth (Nashville and Milwaukee).
  • Started 10th and finished eighth in Indianapolis 500.
  • Voted Indy DownForce Most Popular Driver for second consecutive season.

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