Danica Patrick cuts down a tire late in the Coke Zero 400 sending her hard into the wall.
Sprint Cup star to work Michigan race, Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1 RELATED: TV schedule for June 8-14 " BUY: Patrick gear Q: Danica , you will be making your first appearance in the booth during the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, June 13 (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). You are so accustomed to getting ready to drive, any nerves as you prepare to join the broadcast team on FS1? DANICA PATRICK : "I wouldn't really say I'm nervous. I enjoy trying new things, and I'm looking forward to getting in the booth and sharing my perspective with all the fans watching at home." Q: Fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers -- Clint Bowyer , Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Brad Keselowski -- have already joined the broadcast team as guest analysts this year. Any key takeaways from watching those guys? DP: "Those guys have definitely done a great job so far this year, and it's been great to hear their insight each week as I watched the XFINITY races. I think there are definitely a few things I've picked up from watching each of them, and we'll see how well I can put that to use on Saturday." Q: Your teammate, Kevin Harvick , has been in the booth a number of times this year, has he given you any tips? DP: "Kevin and I talked a bit at Dover a couple weeks ago. I went up to the booth while he was there for the XFINITY race just to see what it was like so I know what to expect this weekend. He showed me a few things and gave me a few pointers." Q: You will be joining the booth with another former driver in Michael Waltrip . What can you expect when working with him this weekend? DP: "Michael is always a fun guy to be around so I expect we'll have a good time up in the booth." Q: Is working in television something that may interest you in the future? DP: "One lesson I've learned is to never say never, and it's always good to explore different things to see what you might like doing so we'll see." Q: The NASCAR XFINITY Series is off to a great start, and has been coined "the series where names are made." Are there any young drivers that you are looking forward to watching? DP: "There's definitely a lot of great talent in the XFINITY Series. I watch most of the races, but I wouldn't say there's any one particular driver that I'm focused on watching -- I'm usually more focused on watching how the race as a whole plays out." Q: The race will be run at one of the fastest races on the circuit, Michigan International Speedway . Are there any specific challenges that track presents for NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers? DP: "Michigan is a wide, fast track. There's lots of room to move around and try different lines. I think it's a momentum track, and you have to focus on being smooth. At the end of the day, the car has to handle well. It has to feel good. It has to be a fast car. I think those are the challenges -- getting your car to handle well and being smooth and consistent, lap after lap, at such a fast track." Q: You started your NASCAR career in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (once called the Nationwide Series). How important was your experience in the series before you made the jump to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? DP: "Racing in the XFINITY Series was very important to the development of my NASCAR career. Moving over to stock cars from the IndyCar Series was a huge jump for me, and having that time at the XFINITY level really helped prepare me for the move up to the Sprint Cup Series." Q: Can you give an early assessment of your team's performance throughout this season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? DP: "It's been an interesting year so far. We've had a few tough weekends, and we've also had some races that started out rough, but then we were able to turn things around and ended up finishing pretty well. Daniel (Knost, crew chief) and I are both still relatively green in our current roles and we're still continuing to work on our communication and how we work together as a team." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Visit to Boys & Girls Club comes with red tutu Editor's note: Photos via Jessica Christian, MLive ADRIAN, Mich. -- She played air hockey and helped build paper race cars, mixing and mingling with youngsters while wearing jeans, a black T-shirt and a red tutu. "That's part of the fun … you can be silly," NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick said of her outfit. "It also just helps the kids feel relaxed. If I'm willing to be silly, then they can be silly and we don't need to be serious, we can just have a good time." The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will compete in this Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM), stop No. 15 of 36 on this year's schedule. But on Thursday, Patrick spent the afternoon at the Boys & Girls Club of Lenawee. Along with Alba Colon, General Motors' program manager for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series effort, the pair entertained and informed approximately 200 kids taking part in the after-school program. "I've done lots of Boys & Girls Club appearances. They're easy, they're all about having fun," she said. "It's all about kids that want to be and can be inspired. The time always goes really quickly with them, and you kind of feel like you're really making an impact." Some recognized her, some didn't. Nearly all seemed impressed. "She's that famous race car driver," her air hockey opponent said. As for her skills at the table? "Yeah, she's really good," he admitted. "My grandpa is a big fan," another youngster offered. "I can't remember his favorite driver. He drives that Mountain Dew car." "Dale (Earnhardt) Jr.," Patrick said. "Yeah, that's him," came the reply. The 90-minute session passed quickly as kids of various ages each got a chance to spend time with the driver. "I know what it was like to watch TV and see someone on there and think 'What are they like in person?' or 'How did they get there?,' " Patrick said. "So it's neat to be able to come to a Boys & Girls Club where it's a different experience for them to meet someone that’s on TV. Just have them see that they're just like them except that I had something that I really enjoyed doing. I just decided when I was 10 that I wanted to be a race car driver … you've got to have that dream. If you don't have a goal, how are you going to reach it?" Danica Patrick makes a connection at the Boys & Girls Club of Lewanee. • Patrick enters this weekend's event 20th in the points standings with a best finish of seventh (at Martinsville) this season. She was running just outside the top 10 during the second half of last week's race at Pocono Raceway when she tagged the wall and ended up finishing 37th. "It was definitely a heartbreaker," she said. "But those are the things that you just can't do if you want to be in a position to be in the top 16, you can't make mistakes. Especially for me, it's not like I run top five or 10 every weekend and you just have bad ones and it'll all balance out. It's like I need every point I can get to hope for that. "It's part of the learning experience, too; with these stock cars you really have to push to the edge to be competitive, but pushing over the edge gets you in big trouble. I used to do it a lot more when I first started in NASCAR and it has gone down. But you sure find that when you're trying to get that last little bit … and you're doing really well that you sometimes go over that edge. Those are just mistakes that I need to avoid." Patrick will be making her fifth Sprint Cup start at MIS. She finished 17th here last June and 18th when the series returned in August. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Company still wants NASCAR driver as spokeswoman GoDaddy will not renew its primary sponsorship with the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10 Chevrolet driven by Danica Patrick , according to a release on Wednesday. But the company revealed it is negotiating to keep Patrick as a GoDaddy spokeswoman under a personal services agreement. RELATED " Cain: Chance to sponsor Danica is one to line up for "We love Danica and all she does to empower and inspire people, especially women, which is why we are working to keep her in the GoDaddy family," said GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Phil Bienert in the release. "We have the utmost respect for Stewart-Haas Racing , and they've been phenomenal partners. ... The fact Danica is having a record-setting season makes it tough to leave this motorsports sponsorship, without a doubt." In nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season, Patrick has two top-10 finishes, including a seventh-place finish at Martinsville. With her ninth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway , Patrick set a Sprint Cup Series record for top-10 finishes by a woman driver with six for her career. "GoDaddy has been an incredible partner for a very long time, almost nine years, and as I've said before, our brands have really grown up together," Patrick said in the release. "It's pretty cool, from a marketing perspective, that we helped GoDaddy build such strong brand awareness here in the U.S. I'm excited to work with GoDaddy on a personal level moving forward, but will miss having their bright green color on my race car next year." NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France had the following to say when asked on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday about GoDaddy's impending departure: "We're always disappointed when for one reason or another a company changes course. But that happens, and I know recently they just went from being private to a publicly traded company and I'm sure that changes a lot of their budgets and strategy and that's just how that goes. " Danica is very marketable as we all know ... and I've really been watching her and she's competing more and more at a higher level, and she's very competitive. She wants to really make her mark over a period of time, and it's a tough place to do it with the kind of talent and parity that's in NASCAR. But she's showing progress and I think she'll be just fine." Despite GoDaddy's impending departure, one in four FORTUNE 500 companies are now invested in NASCAR, eight percent higher than in 2008. And over the last two years, more than 65 new companies became NASCAR team sponsors. Later Wednesday morning, Patrick tweeted about the news. Heck of a lot of season left to win driving the @godaddy car! Everything evolves and changes in life, I'm excited for what's to come! — Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) April 29, 201 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
SHR driver will be part of field for Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night Danica Patrick was revealed to be the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote on Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway following the Sprint Showdown. That put Patrick in the field for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race , where engine trouble sent her to a 20th-place finish. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver became the first person to win the Sprint Fan Vote twice, earning the honor in 2013. Earlier in the week, Miss Sprint Cup revealed that Clint Bowyer ( Michael Waltrip Racing ), Kyle Larson ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Patrick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ) and Josh Wise (Phil Parsons Racing) were the top-five vote getters. Since the Sprint Fan Vote was instituted in 2004, only one driver -- Kasey Kahne in 2008 -- has won the vote and gone on to win the race. The 12 fan vote winners have averaged a finish of 14.75 in the Sprint All-Star Race. Previous Sprint Fan Vote winners and their results in the Sprint All-Star Race Year Driver Result 2004 Ken Schrader 13th 2005 Martin Truex Jr . 22nd 2006 Kyle Petty 8th 2007 Kenny Wallace 16th 2008 Kasey Kahne WON 2009 Joey Logano 8th 2010 Carl Edwards 21st 2011 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 14th 2012 Bobby Labonte 19th 2013 Danica Patrick 20th 2014 Josh Wise 15th 2015 Danica Patrick 20th
Danica Patrick wins 2015 Sprint Fan Vote earning her a spot in the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Interim tag dropped from Knost; pair together for final three races of '14 MORE: Danica dons Mardi Gras mask " See who else in on the move in 2015 Daniel Knost will serve as crew chief for Danica Patrick in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. A spokesperson for her Stewart-Haas Racing team confirmed to NASCAR.com on Monday afternoon that the interim tag had been removed from Knost's title. Patrick , 32, completed her second full Sprint Cup season last year with three top-10 finishes and a final rank of 28th in the driver standings. She was paired with Tony Gibson for the bulk of her two seasons in the Stewart-Haas No. 10 Chevrolet until a late-season switch teamed her with Knost for the last three races of 2014. As part of her offseason travel, Patrick served as grand marshal of the parade ahead of Sunday's GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. During a break in the college football festivities, Patrick told the website AL.com that the potential for success with Knost has her anxious for what the new season may hold. "I think something new is both scary but also exciting. Until you go there you don't know how great it could be," Patrick told AL.com. "We worked together a little bit at the end of last season. I think that was a really good thing to do in preparation for 2015. Everybody at Stewart-Haas has been working very hard to make sure that every team is as good from top to bottom as possible, and we'll probably have some changes for next year within the team, but it's like I said, you never know what you can have until you dare to try something different. Daniel is a very smart guy and I'm excited to see what we can do." Knost, 36, began his first year as a crew chief in NASCAR's premier series working with Kurt Busch on the team's No. 41 Chevrolet. The pairing paid dividends early on with a regular-season victory at Martinsville Speedway that clinched a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff berth for Busch, but the two struggled to find consistency in Busch's first year with the team. Busch netted six top-five finishes in 2014, but was among the first four drivers eliminated in the new Chase format. Patrick showed signs of progress during Gibson's tenure with the No. 10 team as she twice bettered her career-bests during last season -- first with a seventh place at Kansas in May, then with a sixth-place run at Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. But consistency was again a precious commodity: Patrick finished on the lead lap in just 19 of the year's 36 races. Hoping to jump-start both teams, Greg Zipadelli -- Stewart-Haas Racing 's vice president of competition -- announced in October at Martinsville that for the year's final three races, Knost would pair with Patrick on an interim basis and that Gibson would work with Busch. Patrick closed out the season with finishes of 36th, 22nd and 18th; Busch posted results of eighth, seventh and 11th over the same span. With Monday's confirmation by the team, Patrick will enter her third full season at stock-car racing's highest level paired with Knost's deep background in engineering. Gibson, her former crew chief, will continue to bring his old-school sensibilities to Busch's efforts. "I think long-term it's the right thing," Zipadelli said last fall, after news of the switch was announced. "There might be a step back while they learn each other and they grow, but long-term -- a full year, two years from now -- I think their personalities between Daniel and Danica will work together much better, and I think at the same time, the same thing will happen on the 41 car." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Danica Patrick takes some time to sign fan tweets using the hashtag #SignMyTweet.
Cain: Despite GoDaddy's departure, Patrick's sponsorship should be coveted RELATED: GoDaddy to end Patrick sponsorship You know what they say about one door closing and another one opening. And this door -- and hood and roof and fender -- is one of the most valuable opportunities in NASCAR. When GoDaddy announced Wednesday that it would not be back as primary sponsor of Danica Patrick 's No. 10 Chevrolet next year, the rest of corporate America should have started its engines. Outside of Dale Earnhardt Jr . there is no NASCAR driver more marketable than Patrick . Her audience and fandom is easily the most diverse in the sport. Hollywood loves her as do hardcore fans in Martinsville, Virginia. She's an ideal spokesperson for any company, as comfortable ringing the bell on Wall Street as speaking on behalf of COPD advocacy. She's starred in Super Bowl commercials and appeared in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Patrick's merchandise is annually one of NASCAR's biggest sellers from young girls who look up to her, to the young girls' fathers who are impressed with her moxie. Last year, she became the first NASCAR driver to top one million Twitter followers. Even her dog Dallas Stenhouse has nearly five thousand followers. And best of all for Patrick , her NASCAR career has never been hotter. She's driving like an athlete in a contract year because she is. But also because that's progress and experience. And her underappreciated determination. " Danica's very marketable as we all know, and I really have been watching her," NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday. "She's competing more and more at a higher level, and she's very competitive." And, France noted, "She will be fine." Patrick's Stewart-Haas Racing team boasts three Sprint Cup champions and already has two -- reigning Sprint Cup champ Kevin Harvick and last week's Richmond winner Kurt Busch -- in the playoffs. Patrick is ranked 16th in the point standings even after a disappointing run Sunday in Richmond and has been in the top 16 for most of the last month. Two weeks ago, Patrick was in the historic spotlight again after earning her sixth top-10 finish in the Sprint Cup Series -- surpassing the legendary Janet Guthrie's mark for a female driver. Her partnership with GoDaddy has worked out well for everyone. It helped her secure a job at Stewart-Haas Racing . And GoDaddy's sponsorship investment was essentially completely returned on one day -- Sunday, February 17, 2013 -- when Patrick won the pole position for the Daytona 500 -- the first woman to do so. As impressive as that was, the bonus came a week later when Patrick contended all day long in the Daytona 500 dicing with the veterans in the final laps and picking up a historic eighth-place finish. Her SHR team is in full support of navigating this unchartered territory, sounding very optimistic about the future, no matter how murky it is presently. "With Danica , we see a driver with unparalleled resolve and tenacity,'' said SHR Executive Vice President Brett Frood. "She is an individual who transcends the sport and we look forward to fostering new partnerships for her and the No. 10 team." I know Patrick and she is glass-half-full kind of person. As she said on Twitter Wednesday: Heck of a lot of season left to win driving the @godaddy car! Everything evolves and changes in life, I'm excited for what's to come! — Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) April 29, 2015 Combine a growing economy with Patrick's one-of-a-kind marketability and her progress on-track, the best is what's to come. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver, sponsor 'Go Pink' to support breast cancer awareness RELATED: Subscribe to NASCAR Illustrated Danica Patrick , at just a shade over 5 feet tall, was fidgety. Sitting on a couch overlooking the lobby of Stewart-Haas Racing , her feet failed to touch the ground. But there's no denying the big impact this diminutive driver has had on breast cancer awareness. In her sophomore season as a full-time Sprint Cup driver, Patrick and sponsor GoDaddy continued their "Go Pink" campaign in the fight against the disease. Patrick , as she did last season, competed in a pink No. 10 Chevrolet during the month of October. On a typically busy day, Patrick took time out between photo shoots to talk with "NASCAR Illustrated" about this year's program. NASCAR Illustrated: This has become a special initiative for you and GoDaddy. What are some of the highlights for 2014? Danica Patrick : Well, the same beautiful pink suit is back. I do love the rich pink color of it and what it signifies. If you go to GoDaddy.com/donate, you can donate $10 or more and you can put someone's name on my Martinsville car. To honor someone who's been affected or maybe not made it. It's a good way to donate and help the cause and be part of a NASCAR race. NI: Do you have any friends or family who've been affected by the disease? Patrick : I do. I have a friend who I grew up with who benefitted from the technology of being able to detect the breast cancer gene. She preventively had a double mastectomy in her mid-20s. For me, I'm grateful for everything that people have done for so long with donating and just making the general public so aware of this disease. NI: The pink color really pops and it's synonymous with this cause. How prominent is pink in your personal wardrobe? Is it a color you usually gravitate towards? Patrick : The pink and green go really good together. They're a nice color package. I probably stayed away from pink for a long time at least around racing anyway. It's pretty obvious I'm a girl. I don't need to slap pink on and make it even more obvious. It's kind of funny actually about putting this suit on and it being pink and saying I love it, how I steered away from making it so obvious I'm a girl. It just shows me how much I'm thinking about the cause as opposed to anything else, what it stands for to wear pink in October. I mean, if football players can go out there and wear pink on game day then so can I. NI: Do you get a different type of satisfaction from this compared to a typical sponsor relationship? Patrick : I see it as working with your partners to do more together and deepen that relationship by giving back together. For me, obviously, using the platform of racing and what I do and doing things like this to just having that pride that your sponsor is doing something to give back as well, giving up their whole car livery and color scheme to raise awareness for something else other than them. NI: It would seem one of the big perks of your job is being able to use your celebrity in an effort to help others. How gratifying is that for you on a personal level? Patrick : I feel like it's a responsibility maybe more than anything that so many people pay attention, that there are so many NASCAR fans and fans of mine, I'm very fortunate, and I feel like it's a pretty cool privilege to use that for other things. So I feel a responsibility to it. I feel it's part of the deal. I get so much from so many other people; it's a responsibility to give back. NI: You've done ride-alongs and met a lot of survivors. Has there been one story that's really resonated or is it more just a collective impact? Patrick : With breast cancer, it's just a vibe within the group. They're always in a great mood. They have such camaraderie, such optimism and they do really cool and empowering things along the way like go out and ride 130-140 mph in a car with me around a race track without a helmet on and just a seatbelt. They're doing things that I've been told in the past, that this is stuff that I'd have never done or been brave enough before breast cancer and now I am. It's just stuff to make them happy, smile and get together and have that sense of community around it because they're all going through the same hell, to be honest. There's a certain level of comfort for them to be around other people that are going through it and can share. NI: What's going to make this a successful campaign for you, how will you know you've made the impact you've wanted to? Is it numbers or feelings? Patrick : I've been involved in lots of different awareness campaigns and you don't see the fruits of your labor now, next year or the year after. It's stuff that just over time -- it's a movement. I don't think we're going to see the efforts that we've made in the very moment or right away in the immediate future. I think that's something that you see later on. Probably the most immediate stuff would be the funds raised to do more research and to learn more about the disease and to try and find a cure. But over time, 10 and 20 years later, what did that movement do to the general public and how much of an issue is the disease now? And we can't know that yet. Thanks 4 backing NBCF @GoDaddy Oct. drive 2 ‘Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer’ we raised $29K to add to the big check! pic.twitter.com/gYAH2BnZcs — Danica Racing Online (@danicaracing) October 31, 2014 SUBSCRIBE NOW!