Ever since she hit the ultimate fast lane in NASCAR, Danica Patrick has been a popular and polarizing figure in both sports and the media. As an advertising icon, she’s been solid gold for sponsors. An attractive, interesting and compelling figure in a sport known for characters and big personalities.
But no NASCAR career is forever. In a conversation with the Associated Press, Patrick talked about her thoughts on retirement from auto racing … and when that might be.
“(I’ll keep racing) as long as it’s fun … and it hasn’t been super fun lately. But every year I start the year, I always have hope that it’s going to be the year that things are going to click. I understand my career hasn’t progressed. Why is that? Am I a worse driver than I was a couple of years ago? Probably not… I don’t think anybody gets worse. So, it’s really a matter of all the factors around you.”
If she keeps thinking along these lines, soon, Patrick will have to find a new way to monetize on the brand she’s been building for well over a decade now. And if she doesn’t make that decision on her own, some in the sport are saying the writing is already on the wall. Patrick lost a big sponsor, Nature’s Bakery, right before the season, and several other sponsors have expressed frustrations about the driver’s falling stock. Sure, she’s popular, but she would be more popular if she won … and that level of success is not something Patrick has seen a lot of. She has yet to win a race in NASCAR’s top series, and she’s only had six top-ten finishes in the last five years. Sure, she’s led some laps in big races, but fans – and sponsors – want to see a lot more than that.
So, whether she makes the decision to retire or it’s made for her, Patrick seems to have already made a choice as to her next career. Danica Patrick, the pace-setting driver, is setting herself up to become a fat-burning fitness guru.
Over the years, the well-known driver has supplemented her income by doing commercials for big name brands such as TaxAct, Nationwide Insurance, and, of course, GoDaddy. Now, she’s planning on promoting her three-pronged business: a workout routine, meal plan, and clothing line.
But, is getting into the already crowded celebrity fitness sector really the best move for Patrick? No one is laying odds yet at this point, but one thing is abundantly clear, this lady knows how to run tight and close. On the track or in the gym, she’s a contender.