Danica Patrick’s life is about to get even better

Danica Patrick will run her final race on Sunday in the Indianapolis 500, but Phase 2 of her life is only just beginning. (Photo: Action Sports Inc.)

If you’re a race fan who has been bombarded with coverage of Danica Patrick over the last decade or so, you might feel an odd sense of relief as Sunday approaches.

Once the Indianapolis 500 concludes, the Danica headlines will fade from your Twitter timeline and shift solely to the sphere of celebrity news. You won’t have to send angry emails about the attention she receives being unwarranted based on her results, because there won’t be any results.

Thank goodness, you say. You’re sick of hearing about Danica!

But let’s pause for a moment and consider this question: If given the chance, would you honestly pass up the chance to switch lives with her?

Danica Patrick has lived a remarkable life to this point, compiling bullet points on a racing resume that will sound mighty good whenever she arrives at a speaking engagement.

Please welcome the highest-finishing woman in Indy 500 history, the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole and one of just 14 drivers to lead laps in both the Daytona 500 and Indy 500!

But her identity is about to become increasingly disconnected from racing — and that will only make Patrick’s life better from here. Once she steps out of the car for the final time on Sunday, any pressure and stress from existing in a performance-oriented spotlight will fall away, replaced by sunshine and freedom and positive vibes.

She’s already spent her post-NASCAR days traveling overseas, making waffles on Sunday mornings and planning weekend farmer’s market visits. She has gobs of money, a massive brand and, soon, all the time in the world.

At just age 36, Danica Patrick can do anything. She can go wherever she wants, whenever she wants; she can live her best life on her terms in her way.

Pretty great, right?

What will she do with that opportunity? Maybe she’ll do a cooking show. Maybe she’ll write self-help books. Maybe she’ll do a television project to positively impact lives.

In all honesty, she’ll probably sign up for something to challenge herself — like she did with hosting the ESPYs this summer. That seems to be a common thread with her.

But no matter what Patrick chooses, she seems uniquely positioned to make Phase 2 of her life into whatever she wants. It’s all there for the taking.

“I have definitely big dreams and aspirations for myself, for all my companies, for the kind of emotion I want to have on a day-to-day basis,” she said Thursday, looking relaxed as she spoke to reporters for an hour during Indianapolis 500 media day. “I’m looking forward to a good, easy, happy, calm, joyful, exciting, adventurous life. If I say I want it, there’s a very good chance that’s what I’ll get.”

That last statement isn’t bragging, but a reflection of her strong belief in the concept of “manifesting” — the power of writing down your goals. That’s a key Patrick says applies not only for herself, but for everyone.

On Thursday, she did an interview with her hometown newspaper in Rockford, Ill. and a reporter showed her an essay she wrote at age 14. In it, she wrote she wanted to be an IndyCar driver.

“I’m like, ‘See? If this isn’t an example of ‘Write that shit down,’ nothing is,’” she said. “This is manifesting. You have to write it down and you have to imagine what you want. So I do that as much as I can.”

The bottom line is you can’t switch lives with Patrick. And maybe you don’t want to.

But she’s at a place of enlightenment now, and listening to her blueprint for happiness might spark some ideas on how to bring more joy to your life, too.

“At the end of the day, what I think something people don’t talk about enough is instead of thinking your life is all laid out for you, take some charge of it,” she said. “Look at yourself instead of thinking everybody is going to fix you. And (don’t think) ‘If this happens, everything is going to be OK.’

“That’s a failing proposition, because you can’t guarantee that’s going to happen. What you can guarantee is your own emotions. So it’s about working on those.”

Patrick could very well be a successful self-help guru, spreading more of her techniques for a healthy lifestyle (as she did with her recent book). Who knows where it all could lead?

First, though, she has one more race to run.

29 Replies to “Danica Patrick’s life is about to get even better”

  1. Jeff, probably the best reflection of a life well lived. People that have achieved more probably respect her knowing how difficult the climb is. Those who have achieved little or nothing will continue to denigrate her and will be shown to be fools for it.

  2. Good riddins – BUT from the NASCAR world. Her relationships seem to shift with her interests. I am sorry she and Ricky connected because it didn’t really seem to give either one a sense of connection.
    NOW… I will say Danica is a great role model for young (and old) women! She is determined, well spoken, accomplished and cares for herself. I only hope she settles on her relationship issues because she seems to go from man to man. That, is not, a good role model for young women and I hope she sees that soon instead of gathering up “ex’s”!

    1. She married too young and the football player is only her 3rd adult relationship

      1. My life is far from perfect and I don’t expect perfection from anyone else. As far as I can tell she has worked hard, been honest and almost always has a smile on her face. That’s enough for me

      2. Who are you to at all judge if someone is too young to be married? People change, they make mistakes and life goes on.

    2. “She seems to go from man to man”? Really? You have heard of 3 relationships in a 36 year old woman. How many women do you suppose most of those male drivers have jumped from? LOL! That is just an ugly and ridiculous comment. I will miss her on the track and hope to hear about her new life off the track. Cheers to her!

    3. About which male athlete would you say he “goes from woman to woman” if he was in his third serious relationship at age 36?

  3. Well said Jeff. I was one who had high hopes in her and still believe she did a heck of a good job driving against some of the best in both IndyCar and NASCAR. She might not have had the top 5’s people always talked about. Or even run in the teens but I still saw save her a car a few times and a whole lot of her wrecks were none of her own doing.

  4. She’s a feisty personality and she goes after her goals, that’s why I like her. She can out drive anybody who discredits her abilities and she will continue to excel in whatever path she chooses. Now she needs to win Indy, that would be thick icing on a chocolate cake????????

  5. Beautifully written about a classy lady who is very talented behind a wheel. Thank you Jeff for writing such a wonderful article.

  6. Her relationship isssues have nothing to do with het being a good role model. Kids look up to her because she’s a prime example of of what you can if you believe in yourself and not worry about other people’s opinions of you.

  7. People who complain about her driving have no idea how difficult it is. As an average race car driver/instructor for many years, I have an inkling how hard it is and that’s down at the local level. To make it as far as she did puts her in the top .1%. I only have admiration for her.

    1. She holds the record for the longest streak of finishes in Indy Car. 50 straight finishes. And through the 2015 NASCAR season out of 15 accidents 6 or 7 were her fault the balance were “wrong place wrong time” or someone intentionally taking her out.

  8. Life is good for you, especially when you’re good to it. The mystery surrounding what you plan on doing after your successful racing career should leave people standing on edge. Many avenues and routes are at your obvious disposal. So this discussion is left up for grabs. Just reaching 4 the stars.

  9. To everyone who is putting Danica down over her racing career ,you all are not true race fans. Danica had to deal with all you people who thought she didn’t belong ,a women,Or go back to the kitchen or whatever detrimental comments you had to say. Danica has accomplished more than many of her male competitors. I’m proud of being a true race fan for over 30 yrs. and proud of Danica for putting up with all the crap everyone has to say, you go Danica qualified 12th do your best and come back if you want to I’ll miss you out there.

  10. Ask her about her first test for a manufacturer, BMW, at Summit Point. She got hired, never raced, but got paid and got a car.

  11. Would I switch lives with Danica? No, not ever, never. Aside from the fact I have been successful at what I do, my personal life is not as big a mess either. Of course, she is licking her chops waiting on Aaron Rodgers’ expected mega-contract as her sugar daddy. And money is nice. But otherwise, she is a mediocre person with a mediocre resume. She is the ultimate asterisk in sports.

    1. Danica has earned over 100 million in her career combined in endorsements sponsorships and race winnings not sure if her boyfriend Aaron Rodgers has made the same amount yet.. so to complain she’s a gold digger is a fallacy..

    2. She was racing cars in England at 16, same age you were asking Mom about your dreams. Mediocre person…child please. She is doing what she wants in life with what her talents provide.. That is race cars at the highest levels, own vineyards, print fitness books, etc. Check your misogyny. If that’s not why you are hating, I don’t know what it is.

  12. Wow all of these comments. I have been a very long fan of NASCAR in the modern era, especially back when it was on ESPN and TNN. Was she a good NASCAR, no. But the only successful crossovers from (besides when AJ Foyt and Andretti would come on over) has been Tony Stewart. I do wonder what would have happened if she stayed in Indy car. She seems to be a much better driver there.
    But she was in my old learned opinion good for the sport. Did she get breaks because her intangibles, yes. I know some hated her for that. But she brought a lot of eyes to the sport that when she joined was in its downturn. She got young girls and woman interested. She was a good personality in those situations of marketing and interacting with the public. Yes we all got sick of Danica Mania, but is that her fault? That is on the media. She made a mark a good mark on the sport PR wise. The haters will hate. I think I am more objective and see the good and the bad. But it is time for her to move on and I personally will not miss her.

  13. Betting has absolutely nothing to do with racing. The facts are the facts and that is what I presented. Danica haters will always point out her failures but will to do the same for male drivers.

    1. Imagine if Danica had won 1 nascar race? the expectations of her winning a 2nd race would have been huge and more pressure packed cause some Danica haters would have come up with some lame excuse for the 1st win.. fuel milage or rain or both as they did in Indy.. alot of male drivers don’t have that scrutiny as there are far more 1 an dones is nascar then any other motorsports series..

  14. William, there are so many things I could call you but I won’t. I will say calling me (one of those NASCAR fans) a hillbilly fag was totally uncalled for. ????

  15. She is the reason I began watching NASCAR. I don’t think she got a fair deal there and now I hardly watch. Watching the Indy this weekend, never watched before. Love her as a strong person who can do what she wants through determination. Thanks Jeff, as always, for the great insight Have always followed you too

  16. I see a lot of Danica haters. Lots say she NEVER won a NASCAR race. Yea, and?? There are a lot of drivers who never win. She’s not alone. She has won an Indy race. That’s No easy feat. Haters will hate. As far as being a gold digger, she has PLENTY of $$. I’m sure Aaron Rodgers isn’t a sugar daddy. Let her go out on her terms people. She’s definitely left an impression on lots of people in and out of Racing. Peace!!!

  17. Her greatest accomplishment in racing was sucking vast amounts of money from sponsors. Her actual talent was barely minimal despite always having top notch equipment. Great sport is about winning, not finishing 23rd every week or winning a race on gas mileage. Good riddence!

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