Danica Patrick on Racing, Meeting Her Heroes, and the Worst Speeding Ticket She Ever Got

Danica Patrick may not spend her days flying around race tracks anymore, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been busy. The motorsports icon launched a podcast, released her own Danica Rosé wine, and is even gearing up to run the Boston Marathon this fall. We recently caught up with her to look back on her time behind the wheel (including some run-ins with the law), and where she’s headed from here.

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Racing, it seems, has always been in Patrick’s blood. We asked her how fast she’s gone in a car and, while she’s taken a race car up to an impressive 245 mph as a pro, her fastest pace in a street-legal vehicle came when she was tearing up country roads in her Mustang Cobra as a teenager: 130 mph. That need for speed has also led to more than a few speeding tickets. In one particularly fraught episode, Patrick drifted around a corner in front of a waiting police car, and despite hiding in a stranger’s driveway, she got nabbed—her third ticket in three days.

“I think I cried,” she tells Men’s Journal.

Tickets aside, that lead foot certainly helped propel her to such an illustrious career in racing. On her list of favorite moments? Winning the Indy Japan 300 in 2008 (making her the first woman to win a major league open-wheel race in a North American series), meeting Jeff Gordon (her NASCAR idol), and competing in her first Indy 500.

“It really was what put me on the map,” she says.

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We also talked about the realities of NASCAR (Talladega Nights isn’t that far from the truth and, yes, there are a lot of mullets in the stands) and how she’s transitioned into other ventures, from podcasting to wine and more.

“Right now I’m just doing a lot of things that I find really fun,” she says.

Check out the full interview in the video above.

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