Posted January 25, 2013 on AP on Fox
Danica Patrick's personal life is no longer a secret - she's dating a fellow driver. Patrick revealed to The Associated Press she and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are a couple, ending widespread speculation about the nature of their relationship. ''I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard,'' she said during an exclusive telephone interview with AP. ''I think I am just finally excited to tell someone about this,'' Patrick laughed, sounding almost giddy as she said the two-time Nationwide champion's middle name is Lynn and he prefers she use his first name. The couple waited until the end of Charlotte Motor Speedway's weeklong annual media tour to go public with their relationship, which started as a friendship as they raced each other the last two seasons in the Nationwide Series. Stenhouse became a mentor of sorts to the 30-year-old Patrick, who left IndyCar after the 2011 season to make the full-time switch to NASCAR. ''We are dating, and I know there's been a bit of a runaround this week at the media days and poor Ricky got grilled (with questions),'' she said. ''It was out of respect to NASCAR, to all the manufacturers, the new cars, the teams, the sponsors, just to allow all the news of the day to be about racing and not let anything interfere with that. So, it's Friday now, so that's why we waited until the end of the week to be up front about each other.'' Stenhouse confirmed the relationship. ''Yes we are dating,'' he said. ''I don't normally say too much about my private life, always been focused on the track. I didn't want to confirm at media day so that we could keep the focus on the season, the Gen-6 (car), my sponsors and team. That's what it's all about for me.'' Patrick remains one of the most recognizable drivers in auto racing, even if wins have been hard to come by. There was speculation that her appeal with advertisers had waned, but sponsor Go Daddy said Patrick will again appear in the website domain provider's commercials during the Super Bowl next month. Patrick announced in November she and husband Paul Hospenthal were divorcing after seven years, and said in the Jan. 3 filing that her marriage to the 47-year-old Hospenthal was ''irretrievably broken.'' Speculation immediately shifted toward her relationship with the 25-year-old Stenhouse, who has never been married. While her policy has always been not to talk about her personal life, Patrick said she made an exception this time to end the gossip and so the two could be open about their relationship. ''I think that moving forward into the year, it's a matter of do you say anything at all, or do you just carry on?'' she said. ''As opposed to speculation and people making up their own stories or talking amongst themselves or us feeling uncomfortable walking into each other's (motorhomes) moving forward, or around our teams or anything, it's just easier to be up front and get it out of the way then to have any kind of awkward speculation.'' Stenhouse was asked during the media tour's stop at Roush Fenway Racing if he was dating Patrick. He dodged the question, saying ''we've got a great relationship'' and then turned attention back to racing. The subject will be hard for the two to avoid as they compete against each other this season for rookie of the year honors in NASCAR's top Sprint Cup Series. Both are moving up from the second-tier Nationwide Series at the same time. Patrick said she won't race Stenhouse any differently. ''Obviously, we've been racing together for a couple years now, him and I have always gotten along, we've always had a lot of respect for each other on the track, there's never been an issue out there,'' she said. ''I always say I'll race people how they race me until they do something to make me change my mind. I don't anticipate that changing at all, or us having any issues on the track.'' Stenhouse echoed that attitude. ''It won't affect how I race on the track. I want to go out and win, I race everyone hard,'' he said. Patrick rocketed to worldwide prominence when she challenged for the Indy 500 win as a rookie, becoming the first woman to lead laps while finishing fourth in 2005. She finished a career-best third in 2009. She began dabbling in NASCAR in 2010 in the Nationwide Series, and moved full-time last year leaving IndyCar and the 500 behind. Patrick has struggled in stock cars, notching just seven top-10s in 58 Nationwide races since 2010. Still, she was voted by fans the series' most popular driver last year. In the Sprint Cup Series, where she'll drive this season for Stewart-Haas Racing, team co-owner Tony Stewart handpicked 10 of the hardest tracks for Patrick last season to force her to learn on the fly in preparation for this year. Her average finish in the 10 races was 28th and her best finish was 17th in her season finale at Phoenix. Stenhouse has won eight races over the last two seasons to become the first driver since Martin Truex Jr. in 2004-05 to win consecutive Nationwide titles. He was promoted this year by Roush Fenway to the Cup Series to replace 2003 NASCAR champion Matt Kenseth.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Not All NASCAR Fans Happy About Danica Patrick’s Return, One Says She is the most over-rated, egotistical, narcissistic, self-centered excuse for a NASCAR driver

Not all racing fans are in love with NASCAR’s Danica Patrick. It seems as though one in particular is really upset with the way Patrick handles herself and can’t understand why she is in the news so much, especially after she can’t break into the top five or even take a run at winning a race. The other day I did a story about Patrick going through he divorce. The comment one...

Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ‘Excited’ to Go Public With Relationship

Danica Patrick, who is recently coming off a divorce with her husband Paul Hospenthal in November, is taking a lap with a familiar face, NASCAR’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. According to The Associated Press, Patrick and Stenhouse Jr. recently went public with their relationship. “I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard,” Patrick told The AP. “I think I am just finally excited...
RUBBIN'S RACING

Patrick, Stenhouse, Jr. confirm rumors

Word around the racetrack was that Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. were dating. The two confirmed the rumors Friday.

Stenhouse dodges Danica dating buzz

The battle for Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year honors took an interesting twist Thursday as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. sidestepped questions about a rumored relationship with on-track rival Danica Patrick. Stenhouse, the two-time defending Nationwide Series champion who is moving up to the Sprint Cup Series ranks this year with Roush Fenway Racing, did his best to avoid the conversation...

APNewsBreak: Danica says she's dating Stenhouse

Danica Patrick's personal life is no longer a secret - she's dating a fellow driver. Patrick revealed to The Associated Press she and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are a couple, ending widespread speculation about the nature of their relationship. ''I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard,'' she said during an exclusive telephone interview with AP. ''I think...

Danica Patrick dating fellow racer Ricky Stenhouse Jr?

With the recent divorce of Danica Patrick becoming official, speculation about who the first lady of NASCAR is dating has really taken off. Where’s her next move in her personal life going to be? Is the reason she got divorced because of the next guy? Is that guy fellow NASCAR Nationwide series rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr.? He answered some questions about this stuff during the NASCAR...

Danica Patrick Dating Driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr

We racers stick together T… After only getting divorced a few months ago, Danica Patrick has jumped right back in the dating pool. Patrick revealed to The Associated Press she and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are a couple, ending widespread speculation about the nature of their relationship. “I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard,” she said during an exclusive telephone interview...

Best Of Danica Patrick GIFs

News surfaced today that Danica Patrick has moved on quickly from her newly divorced husband and is now linked to NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Since the internet is abuzz with this hot NASCAR related news we thought it would be a good time to drop a Danica Patrick GIF bomb on you.  We present the sexiest Danica Patrick GIFs on the internet. As you guys will find out, there...

Danica Patrick Has a New Boyfriend

Article found on: Cosby Sweaters

Danica Patrick Is Dating NASCAR’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

It’s NASCAR’s dream scenario. Dancica Patrick confirmed today that she’s dating fellow racer Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 25. She told the AP: ”I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard,” Patrick said. ”I think I am just finally excited to tell someone about this.” This news comes just a couple months after Patrick, 30, confirmed she was divorcing her husband after seven years...

Danica And Ricky Are Dating; Why’s This Relevant?

Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images By: Toby Christie – Follow on Twitter @Tobalical We are just a few weeks away from the 2013 Daytona 500, we have a new Gen-6 car that is set to debut, and we just came out of Sprint Media Week with a lot of new headlines — so why on earth is the talk of the town now about Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. dating? Sure I understand...

Sneak Peek: Danica Patrick’s Super Bowl Cameo

Danica Patrick’s Super Bowl 47 ad: video

  There was some talk that the recently divorced Danica Patrick was also going to to cut ties with Go Daddy, but she decided to renew with them instead. She shot a new Super Bowl ad, and released a preview via Twitter today. The spot seems to have an aviation theme. She tweeted: @DanicaPatrick Shooting new #GoDaddy Super Bowl ad. You like my pilot look? pic.twitter.com/7KNmgd3J...

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Dating The Sexy Danica Patrick

Well done, young man! 
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.