Danica Patrick Reveals Why She ‘Never Really Loved’ NASCAR Car Racing

by Madison Miller

Danica Patrick is one of the most recognizable names in NASCAR history. She broke the glass ceiling in the male-dominated world of professional motorsports.

She is the most successful woman in racing history. When she won the 2008 Indy Japan 300, she was the first woman to win in an IndyCar Series race.

Patrick also won a Cup Series pole position by setting the fastest qualifying lap for the 2013 Daytona 500. She officially retired after the 2017 season.

Love For The Sport?

As one of the most recognizable faces in NASCAR and one of the most popular female racers, is it possible she didn’t really love the sport?

In an interview with “The Carlos Watson Show,” Patrick talks about what she really loves in life. The act of racing itself didn’t quite make the list.

When Carlos Watson asked her if she loved playing the sport or not, she responded by saying no, “she never really loved it.”

“It’s a sad thing because I think that there are truly people who really really love racing. Like when they’re done they jump in other cars and they go watch it … sports are one of these things where there’s so much emotion in it even as a fan,” Patrick said.

She did say, however, that she thinks it’s possible to love other parts of the job. So while racing was never her favorite thing in the world, she did love other aspects of her career. Whether it was traveling or meeting people, a career in NASCAR is more than just being behind the wheel.

Patrick explained that her dad used to do a little racing and knew about it. This is where she first got an interest in the sport. However, her dad was not incredibly serious with his racing. She said that in no way was it like the Earnhardts or anything like that.

What was one of her least favorite things about being behind the wheel? It was being trapped in a stock car that could reach insanely high temperatures.

“My skin was on fire sometimes from the sun coming in and hitting my legs. It’s so hot inside of the car … ” Patrick said.

Patrick spent a good portion of her career driving stock cars. However, she also has experience with IndyCars. She says that these cars are substantially harder to drive, but it’s nice that they aren’t scorchingly hot on the inside.

Danica Patrick’s Other Passions

Patrick may not have an intense love and devotion to her sport, but she does have a fiery passion for other things in her life. The former racer said that “I just truly love fitness. I love working out. I would have been like a Jillian Michaels mean trainer.”

In addition to working out, Patrick said she loves to eat and make food. In fact, she has a cookbook called “Pretty Intense: The 90-Day Mind, Body and Food Plan that will absolutely Change Your Life.”

The book features breakfast, main and side dishes, sauces and desserts, and personal tidbits from Patrick herself.

She shared with For The Win! that one of her favorite recipes was for a rosemary cashew cookie.

“The rosemary cashew cookies — they’re really different, but they’re like crack. Although, I don’t know. I’ve never done crack, but I imagine them being like crack,” Patrick said.

One of her most recent business passions is her new wine brand, Somnium. Her vineyard is in Howell Mountain in Napa Valley. The wildfires that burned in California in 2020, which resulted in over 3.8 million acres damaged, reached a part of her property.

She was devastated at the possibility that that ten years of hard work could suddenly go up in flames.

In a social media post, she reflected by saying, “I finally cried this morning at the idea that something I have spent so much time, money, effort, passion, patience, and did I mention money, on….. could just be gone. The dirt is still there but it’s almost impossible to get insurance because of how many fires have come through. Thanks a lot for that. So it will require the next level of all of those things I have already invested.”

However, she also said that the name means dream in Latin. It also has a red dot to imply “you are here,” encouraging people to be in the moment.

She has a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Napa Valley Rosé.