Danica Patrick is an auto racing driver, model and advertising spokeswoman. She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing—she is the only woman to win a race in the IndyCar Series and holds the highest finish (third place) by a woman at the Indianapolis 500.
Danica Patrick competed in the series from 2005 to 2011. In 2012 she competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and occasionally in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the 2013 season, Danica drives the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, and a limited Nationwide Series schedule for Turner Motorsports. In 2013, Danica Patrick became the fastest pole qualifier to qualify since 1990 for the Daytona 500. Danica is the first female NASCAR driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, which was also done at Daytona.
Starting in kart racing, Danica Patrick later raced Formula Ford in England before moving back to the United States and moving up to IndyCars. Patrick was named the Rookie of the Year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season. With her win in the 2008 Indy Japan 300, Danica Patrick became the first woman to win an Indy car race. She placed third in the 2009 Indianapolis 500, which was both a personal best for her at the track, and the highest finish by a woman in the event’s history.
Danica Patrick holds the IRL record for most consecutive races running at the finish. As of October 2, 2011, she had completed 50 consecutive races in the running (the next highest total in the record book is 32). During her time in IndyCar, Patrick drove for Rahal Letterman Racing from 2005–2006, and Andretti Autosport from 2007 to 2011.
In 2010, Danica Patrick began racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, driving the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Impala for JR Motorsports part-time. She also has an equity stake in her #7 team. She had her best career finish of 4th in series on March 5, 2011, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway—the best finish by a woman in a NASCAR top-circuit.
On February 17, 2013, Danica Patrick became the first woman to win a pole position in Sprint Cup history, doing so for the 2013 Daytona 500. During that race, Patrick became the first woman to lead a lap at the 500. She finished the race in 8th place.
Danica Patrick made her acting debut in the February 10, 2010, episode of CSI: NY where she played a racing driver suspected of murder. Patrick also voiced herself in The Simpsons episode “How Munched is That Birdie in the Window?”.
Danica Patrick also appeared in Jay-Z’s music video “Show Me What You Got,” where she drove a Pagani Zonda Roadster. She also drove the 1969 Camaro SS in the music video for “Fastest Girl in Town”, a single by American recording artist Miranda Lambert.
How Danica Patrick Made Her Money – Auto Racing
Estimated Net Worth: $18.5 Million
Birthday: March 25, 1982
[image via scott mecum]