When a beautiful young woman shows courage and passion for a sport like race car driving, it is natural to wonder where all this energy and talent came from. Danica Patrick, the 4th woman to ever start the Indianapolis 500, says she was prepared for the moment from the time she was born.
Here is information about how her supportive parents met and Danica's marriage and divorce from Paul Hospenthal.
Fast Marriage Facts - Danica and Paul
Married: November 19, 2005.
Separated: November 20, 2012.
Divorce Filed: 1/03/2013.
Divorce Finalized: 4/17/2013.
Did You Know?
All of their important dates occurred in November close to Thanksgiving Day -- Their engagement, their wedding, and their separation.
News Updates:4/17/2013: Danica Patrick's divorce from Paul Hospenthal was finalized on April 17, 2013.
2/24/2013: Danica Patrick became the first woman to lead a lap in a NASCAR cup race.
01/03/2013: Divorce papers were filed in Arizona by Danica Patrick.
11/20/2012: Danica Patrick announced the end of her May-December marriage with Paul Hospenthal. The couple had been married for seven years.
2/13/2010: Danica Patrick made her NASCAR debut on Saturday, February 13, 2010.
5/24/09: Capturing the highest finish by a woman in the Indy 500, Danica Patrick finished third.
4/20/08: Danica Patrick became the first woman to win a major car race, an IndyCar race, when she won the Indy Japan 300.
5/27/06: Reportedly "less impetuous and more patient" since her marriage to Paul, Danica qualified 10th for the 2006 Indy 500 and finished in 8th place.
5/29/05: Danica made Indianapolis 500 history by finishing fourth and having the best finish for a woman in the history of the race.
Danica's parents are T.J. and Bev Patrick. T.J. raced ski mobiles, motocross, and midget cars. T.J. and Bev met on a blind date at a ski mobile event when Bev was a mechanic for a friend's ski mobile. They have owned a Java Hut and a plate glass company.
Currently, T.J. helps Danica by driving her motor coach, and managing her Web site and merchandise trailer. Bev handles the ins and outs of Danica's business needs.
Religion:Paul is Catholic and Danica converted to Catholicism in 2005.
Danica Sue Patrick: March 25, 1982 in Beloit, Wisconsin. She grew up in Roscoe, Illinois.
Paul Edward Hospenthal: Abt. 1966. A native of Tacoma, Washington, Paul is sixteen years older than Danica.
How Danica and Paul Met:Danica and Paul met in 2002 when Danica was referred to Paul when she hurt her hip during a yoga session. They became engaged on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2004.
Engagement Ring:Paul gave Danica a 4 1/4-carat, emerald cut diamond ring. Danica doesn't wear the ring while she is racing.
Danica about the engagement ring: "I do think it's like four and a quarter-ish. I didn't want to know how much it was, I told him, 'Just insure it, honey.'"
Ages at Wedding:Danica was 23, and Paul was 40 when they married.
Wedding Date:Paul and Danica were married on November 19, 2005 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The wedding details were finalized in January, 2005 so Danica could concentrate on the racing season. Her team boss Bobby Rahal was one of the guests at their very private wedding.
Danica: Race car driver. She started karting in 1992. Danica was the fourth woman to start the Indianapolis 500, and on May 12, 2005, Danica's speed of 227.633 MPH was the fastest speed in practice at the Indianapolis 500. Danica finished second in the Formula Ford Festival. On May 24, 2009, she finished third in the Indy 500, the highest finish by a woman in the Indy 500.
Danica also hosted Powerblock on Spike TV. She played herself in the 2005 documentary Girl Racers.
Paul:Physical therapist, certified strengthening and conditioning specialist, and personal trainer. Paul has trained athletes in all major sports. Paul runs the Desert Institute of Physical Therapy in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Paul is a Contributing Writer for GOLF MAGAZINE and has been featured in Sports Illustrated magazine. He made a VHS video, "17 Pros & The Secrets To Golf Fitness."
Hobbies:Danica: Shopping, exercise, yoga, cooking, comedy movies, laughing, travel, and music.
Paul and Danica live in the Phoenix, Arizona area.
Danica and Paul's on the road home is a leased million-dollar 45-foot Marathon Coach bus. The 500 square foot interior includes a large walk-in shower, a fully equipped kitchen, satellite television and Internet access, and a flat-screen TV in their bedroom. Danica does not drive the mansion on wheels.
Education:Danica: She attended Hononegah Community High School and received a GED.
Paul: He graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where he was a track star in the 400 meters race. Paul also received a Fellowship in Sports Medicine from Western Michigan University.
Books About Danica:Danica: Crossing The Line by
Danica Patrick and Laura Morton
Danica Patrick: America's Hottest Racer by
Ingram Jonathan and Paul Webb
Quotes About the Marriage of Danica Patrick and Paul Hospenthal:
Danica on how they spend their free time: "My husband I, we love to cook, we take a lot of time and make meals and we watch reality TV. It's really simple watching, it doesn't really take a lot of brain power. It's good. It kind of lets me relax.
Paul on supporting Danica: "I do what I can to make her day better. Sometimes that's just being around to support her, but sometimes it's running an errand or picking something up for her. As I saw in baseball, sometimes it's just seeing (Mark) McGwire sitting over there and leaving him alone. ... She does the same for me when I'm on the job at home. She's always thinking about how can she make my day better, whether that's ironing my clothes, fixing me breakfast, packing my lunch or running the errands that I need done."
Paul about the difference in their ages: "She’s a very old 24. She's not a kid, that’s for sure. If anyone had a problem with the age thing, it was me. I never considered dating her. That never crossed my mind. Our whole dating thing is a rather gray area for me. I really don’t remember how it got started.”
Danica: “Now, I realize there’s more to life than just racing. You’ve got to have a family life. You’ve got to have fun when you’re doing it.”
Danica: "My father used to race snowmobiles, midgets, motorcross. My mom and dad met at a snowmobile race on a blind date and were married not that long after and had me not that long after. So, you know, this is very much a racing family."
Bev Patrick on letting Danica move to England at 16 years of age: "If you want to be the best lawyer, you go to Harvard. If you want to be the best driver, you go to England."
Source: Auto Racing.com. 2002.
Danica on having children: "It's just not really in the cards right now. When racing's over, that's the only time it would happen, but right now it's a no."
Source: USA Today