Danica Patrick is one of the most famous and successful female race car drivers in a sport dominated by men. She had competed successfully head to head against men at the top levels of her sport.
Where was Danica born?
Danica Patrick was born in Beloit, Wisconsin on March 25, 1982. She grew up in the town of Roscoe, Illinois with her younger sister Brooke. Danica came from a racing family where her dad was a driver and her mom was a mechanic.
How did Danica Patrick get into racing?
Danica liked watching her father race and wanted to start racing herself at an early age. Her parents got her a go-kart and she started racing in events at the age of 10. Danica's father helped her quite a bit, giving her tips about racing and how to adjust the race cars. Danica was a natural racer. When she turned 16 she moved to Britain to start racing open wheel cars. Danica had great success and soon got noticed by Bobby Rahal.
Rahal signed Patrick to a multi-year open wheel contract and she was soon back in the US working her way up the open-wheel racing ladder. In 2004 she finished 3rd in the Toyota Atlantic Championship racing series. This paved the way for Danica to jump to the top level of her sport.
IRL IndyCar Racing League Series
In 2005 Danica Patrick began racing in the IRL IndyCar series. She finished the Indianapolis 500 in 4th place and led 19 laps. Her fourth place finish was the highest ever by a female driver. Danica also won three pole positions, finished 12th overall in points, and was the 2005 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Award.
Danica continued to have success in the IndyCar league over the next few years. In 2007 she had 4 top 5 finishes and finished 7th overall in points. In 2008 she won the Indy Japan 300 to become the first woman to win an IndyCar race. In 2009 she finished 5th in points, which was the highest of any American driver in the series.
Danica at NASCAR
Danica started racing in the NASCAR Nationwide series in 2010. In 2011 she finished 4th at the Sam's Town 300 in Las Vegas. For the 2013 season Danica drove the #10 Godaddy.com car and was the first female NASCAR driver to win a Sprint Cup Series pole at the Daytona 500.
Fun Facts about Danica Patrick
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Dale Earnhardt Jr.