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Patrick opened the 2013 season by winning the pole for the Daytona 500. (Photo: Getty Images)

Danica Patrick Driver Bio

Birthdate: March 25, 1982
Hometown: Roscoe, Ill.
Career Cup Wins: 0
Career Cup Poles: 1
Best Cup Championship Finish: 24th – 2015 and 2016
Career IndyCar Wins: 1
Career IndyCar Poles: 3
Best IndyCar Championship Finish: 5th – 2009

A three-time national karting champion, Danica Patrick raced in the Formula Ford Championship in Europe early in her career, posting the highest finish ever for an American driver at the prestigious Formula Ford Festival in 2000.

After her time in Europe, she joined Rahal Letterman Racing in mid-2002 and ran a partial schedule in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. She moved to the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2003 with backing from Argent Mortgage Company and finished on the podium in her first Atlantic race. In 24 Atlantic starts she collected five podium results and 15 top-five results. In 2004 she posted 10 top-five results in 12 races and collected three podium finishes, including a second-place finish at Portland. She finished third in the championship.

From there, Patrick decided to make the jump to the IndyCar Series in 2005 with Rahal-Letterman Racing – marking the beginning of the “Danica Mania” sensation.

In her first season in IndyCar, the female phenom not only finished fourth in the Indianapolis 500, but had a total of two top fives and seven top 10s on her way to a 12th-place finish in the championship standings, good enough to earn her Rookie of the Year honors.

In that first year, Patrick became the second female driver to run the entire IndyCar Series schedule and the fourth woman to run the Indianapolis 500.

Unfortunately for Patrick, she experienced the dreaded “sophomore slump” in 2006. After skipping the first race of the season following the death of teammate Paul Dana at Homestead-Miami Speedway, she competed in the remainder of the schedule – scoring two top-fives, eight top 10s and zero poles en route to finishing ninth in the championship chase.

At the end of the year, Patrick left her long-time team and joined Andretti-Green Racing to drive the No. 7 Motorola Dallara-Honda. She partnered with veterans Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti as well as the talented youngster Marco Andretti.

In 2007, Patrick scored four top fives and 11 top 10s to finish seventh in the standings.

She finally broke through in 2008 by becoming the first female to win an IndyCar Series race after she won in Japan. The victory came in her 50th series start.

After gracing the pages of the Sports Illustrated calendar for the second year in a row, becoming one of the most recognizable female athletes in the U.S., Patrick finished a career-best fifth in the IndyCar standings in 2009.

The long-awaited announcement regarding Patrick’s stock car career came on Tuesday, December 8 that year, when she unveiled her NASCAR plan to join JR Motorsports for a limited Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series schedule starting in 2010.

She made 13 starts in 2010, but failed to score a top-10 finish. In the IndyCar Series with Andretti Autosport, Patrick ran a full season and scored three top fives and eight top 10s.

After competing on a part-time basis again in 2011, Patrick ran a full Xfinity Series schedule in 2012. She began the year by winning the pole for the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway and finished 10th in points – with a best showing of eighth place in April at Texas Motor Speedway.

Patrick also started 10 races in the Cup Series for Stewart-Haas Racing, posting a best finish of 17th at Phoenix International Raceway in November.

In 2013, Patrick finished second to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Cup Series Rookie of the Year race. She opened the season by winning the pole for the Daytona 500, following that with an eighth-place finish in “The Great American Race.” However, Patrick went the remainder of the year without another top 10 and wound up 27th in the final standings.

In her second full season of Cup Series competition in 2014, Patrick placed 28th in the final point standings with just three top 10s in 36 starts. Her best finish was sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Patrick improved to 24th in the final 2015 standings and that’s right where she ended the 2016 campaign, with a best finish of 11th in 36 starts. She missed a playoff berth by 183 points.

After posting one top 10 in 2017, Patrick announced at Homestead-Miami Speedway that she will race in the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 once more in 2018 before calling it a career.