Danica Patrick was born on March 25, 1982 in Beloit, Wisconsin and grew up in a loving household with parents T.J. and Bev and sister Brooke.
Biography and Career :
Danica Patrick's need for speed was not obvious from the get-go as, like many young girls, she loved to play with Barbie dolls as a child.
At the age of 10, however, Danica Patrick got a glimpse into a world she would come to love. She accompanied her sibling on a trip to a go-karting lesson and quickly fell in love with sitting behind the wheel of a speedy vehicle. While sister Brooke soon abandoned racing, Danica Patrick was hooked, and she soon joined the World Karting Association (WKA).
Within two years' time, Danica Patrick had become a racing fiend, and in 1994 she captured the WKA Grand National Cham
pionship in the Yamaha Sportsman class. She would win additional karting titles in 1995 and 1996, and soon had established herself as a rising star. Danica Patrick's final season in the WKA came in 1997, and she went out with a bang, winning the Grand National Championship in both the Yamaha Lite and HPV classes.
The next step in Danica Patrick's career would be a big one. She upgraded her competition by joining the Formula Vauxhall Winter Series, moving to England in order to do so. Over the course of 1998, Danica Patrick kept up only an abbreviated racing schedule in the UK, because she was also spending time fine-tuning her technique at the Formula Ford racing school in Canada.
Therefore, it was in 1999 that Danica Patrick made her true British racing debut. She finished her first full season in ninth place, then showed vast improvement by finishing second the next year at the Formula Ford Festival, the best-ever finish by an American at the British event.
In 2001, her last year in England, Danica Patrick made a name back home in the U.S. She won the Gorsline Scholarship Award for 'top upcoming road racing driver,' and competed in the tough British Zetek Formula Ford Championship. On the heels of these feats, Danica Patrick was touted as the top female open-wheel driver with international experience.
With a long list of accomplishments to her credit, Danica Patrick had the leverage to move up to the prestigious Indy Racing League. After trying out for many teams, she finally signed a multi-year contract with Rahal Letterman Racing (of which David Letterman is part owner) in 2002. To prep her for the heightened competitiveness of this league, she was sent to race in the Toyota Atlantic series for two years.
Settling into her new job in 2003, Danica Patrick impressed both her team and the competition. She became the first woman in Toyota series history to win a pole position and reach the podium. In 2004, she placed third in the Toyota Atlantic Championship and was ready to officially race in the IRL.
Danica Patrick became a third driver for Rahal Letterman Racing, making her big-time debut at the 2005 Toyota Indy 300. Though she was knocked out of the race on the 158th lap, Danica Patrick showed signs of brilliance during her rookie campaign, highlighted by an excellent running at the league's biggest race, the Indianapolis 500.
She was only the fourth woman to race in the Indy 500, and the hype surrounding her participation grew each day. Despite all the pressure, Patrick led for a total of 19 laps during the famed event, before falling back in the race's waning moments and finishing fourth. Still, Danica -mania had officially arrived, and this rookie driver continues to zoom with the men throughout the season. The new face of IRL and American racing in general, Danica Patrick, who was featured in FHM magazine, is engaged and lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
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