Full Name: Danica Sue Patrick
Birthday: March 25, 1982 (age 41)
Birthplace: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States
Height: 5‘ 2"
Net Worth: $80 million
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Born in small-town Wisconsin, Danica was a natural-born speed demon. She started racing go-karts at age 10, immediately showing promise by winning local, regional and national titles. Go-karting is where the racing bug bit hard for Danica. In her words: "I just loved it right away…I just had a connection with the car."
At 16, Danica made the bold decision to move to England alone to advance her racing career. She competed successfully in Formula Ford, coming in 2nd in the rankings. Danica‘s talent and fearlessness were evident from the start.
Her success abroad led Danica to return stateside in 2002 to pursue IndyCar. She immediately gained attention that year by having the fastest practice lap time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the Indy 500, despite never racing an Indy car before.
Taking IndyCar by Storm
Danica took IndyCar by storm in 2005 during her first Indy 500 appearance. She made history leading laps and finishing 4th – the highest ever for a female driver.
Over the next several years, Danica became one of the most popular and successful drivers in IndyCar. She earned 3 pole positions and finished on the podium multiple times.
Danica finally reached victory lane in 2008 by capturing her first IndyCar win in Japan – a huge milestone for women in motorsports. She exuded confidence entering the race, saying "I feel really comfortable. I feel like it‘s my time."
In 2009, Danica finished 5th in IndyCar points – the highest ever for a female driver at that time. She also placed 3rd at Indianapolis, along with two more podium finishes that season.
Her IndyCar success made Danica a pioneer for women drivers. As she described it: "When I walk into a race track, most of the time I‘m the only girl…I have to earn respect."
Switching Gears to NASCAR
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Danica announced she would switch to NASCAR in 2012. She made history by winning the pole position in her very first Nationwide Series race at Daytona.
In 2013, Danica kept breaking barriers by becoming the first female pole winner in a Sprint Cup race with pole position for the Daytona 500. She went on to finish a record 8th place – the top result for a woman in that prestigious race.
While Danica struggled to find the same success in stock cars as she did in IndyCars, she earned 7 top 10 finishes over 5 years in NASCAR. She helped attract a new generation of female fans to the traditionally male-dominated sport.
Capping Off a Pioneering Career
After racing partial schedules in 2017-2018, Danica announced she would retire following the 2018 Indianapolis 500. She finished the race in 8th place, completing her trailblazing racing career.
In 115 IndyCar starts, Danica scored 1 win, 7 podiums and a 5th place points finish in 2009. Across 167 NASCAR starts, she earned 7 top 10s including an 8th place in the 2013 Daytona 500.
Since retiring from racing, Danica has focused on business ventures like her clothing and wine brands, along with media and public appearances. She also enjoys time at home with her family.
Danica Patrick broke barriers for women in racing through her unprecedented success competing at the highest levels. She carved out her own path as a fierce, record-setting competitor who inspired generations of young fans.