In 2008, the year that she made her first appearance in the SI Swimsuit Issue, Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300, marking the first win by a woman in an IndyCar Series race. She also finished third at the Indianapolis 500, the best performance by a woman driver in the history of the race. After posing again for SI Swimsuit in 2009, Patrick’s career started to shift (she officially retired from racing in 2018) but has not slowed down. So, what has she been up to? Here’s what we know.
Patrick penned her first book, Danica: Crossing the Line, in 2006, an autobiography that shared secrets to her success. However, it wasn’t until a decade later that she would write her next book, Pretty Intense: The 90-Day Mind, Body and Food Plan That Will Absolutely Change Your Life. This work provided readers with a 90-day program to tone their bodies, calm their minds, and achieve goals based on Patrick’s experience.
Filming Super Bowl Commercials
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Patrick decided to try her hand in acting in 2010, appearing on an episode of CSI: NY, followed by a couple of other gigs like a voiceover on The Simpsons. But she made her biggest splash on the small screen in commercial work. In 2009, she made two commercials with GoDaddy that aired during Super Bowl XLIII, one of which was the most watched Super Bowl ad of that year. The former race car driver has appeared in 14 Super Bowl commercials, the most of any celebrity.
Patrick has proven she has a gift for the gab in landing several gigs as a host and a commentator. In the past year, she has served as an analyst for the Indianapolis 500 (NBC) and Formula 1 race in Austin (Sky Sports) and in the booth for a couple of SRX Series (CBS) and Cup events (FOX). In 2018 she became the first woman to host the ESPY Awards. The following year she launched the “Pretty Intense” podcast (named after her book).
Becoming a Winemaker and Fashion Designer
Stepping completely out of her typical line of work, Patrick has pursued opportunities as a winemaker and fashion designer. Inspired during a trip to the Napa Valley in 2006, she purchased a property on Howell Mountain in the spring of 2009. She is the sole proprietor of the certified organic wine estate Somnium (which means “dream” in Latin – “I thought owning my own winery was something that would just be a dream,” she has said). In 2017, she partnered with HSN to create an athleisure collection called Warrior by Danica Patrick. And following a trip to Egypt in early 2021, she started a home scent collection called Voyant by Danica. Suffice it to say, she’s been busy during her four years of “retirement.”
“Part of retiring included doing less," she told Fox. "It’s not about keeping that same energy going. It’s about cultivating other aspects of myself… it’s also fun to kind of be in other spaces and do other things."