Danica Patrick: Yep, I'm Dating Fellow Driver

Confirms her relationship with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 25, 2013 8:50 AM CST

(Newser) – Danica Patrick has raced right on back into a relationship: The NASCAR driver is dating fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., both of them confirm to the AP. "I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard," said a giggly Patrick in a telephone interview. "I think I am just finally excited to tell someone about this." There had been quite a bit of speculation about the two, particularly after Patrick, 30, announced her divorce in November. Stenhouse, 25, has never been married.

The two have been friends as they raced each other over the past two seasons; Stenhouse was a sort of mentor to Patrick, who had left IndyCar for NASCAR. They'll continue to compete against each other this season, for rookie of the year, as both move up from the Nationwide Series to the top-tier Sprint Cup Series. They say their relationship won't affect the way they race each other: "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," says Patrick. "I race everyone hard," adds Stenhouse.

Danica Patrick speaks during a news conference as Ricky Stenhouse Jr., right, looks on, Saturday, May 19, 2012, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.
Danica Patrick speaks during a news conference as Ricky Stenhouse Jr., right, looks on, Saturday, May 19, 2012, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., right, talks with Danica Patrick, left, during qualifying for the OneMain Financial 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, in Dover, Del.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., right, talks with Danica Patrick, left, during qualifying for the OneMain Financial 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, in Dover, Del.   (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Danica Patrick, left,  and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. share a laugh before practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Thursday, July 26, 2012, in Indianapolis, IN.
Danica Patrick, left, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. share a laugh before practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Thursday, July 26, 2012, in Indianapolis, IN.   (AP Photo/Autostock, Brian Czobat)
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