pulled into Talladega Superspeedway’s victory lane last Sunday it marked the first time either he or girlfriend Danica Patrick had won a NASCAR race since the couple began dating four years ago.
But just because he won before Patrick, who earlier had been involved in an 18-car crash that knocked her out of the Geico 500, didn’t mean Stenhouse earned bragging rights for the week.
And the two have had an occasional run-in on the track, including twice in 2013 when both were competing for Monster Energy Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors that season.
(Stenhouse won the award.) “We absolutely never mess with each other when it comes to that stuff,” Patrick said.
"When someone has a good day and someone has a bad day, usually the bad day takes over.
But only one couple trade paint with each other in screaming racecars at 200 mph. I feel like last year we really made a big effort to celebrate the good days more so than come down to the misery level of the other person," Patrick said during an interview arranged by sponsor Aspen Dental. It made a big difference." Patrick finished 24th in points last year with just two top-10 finishes — her third straight disappointing season in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. She's no longer the va-va-voom sex kitten of the Go Daddy commercials.
That's Danica Patrick and boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Stenhouse finished 25th with just three top-10s — his third straight disappointing season after breaking in as a rookie in 2013. With her dedication to yoga, and endorsement deals with Aspen Dental and Nature's Bakery, she's projecting a more healthy, outdoorsy image.
“I think it is obviously because it means so much to us that it is a pretty crappy thing to do. I was just simply happy for him and my weekend sucked yet again. I had a fine race going on, it just ended early.” An unintended consequence of Patrick crashing out at Talladega was that she was able to arrive in the winner’s circle so quickly.
“I mean, when it comes to golf or something, I will totally mess with him. After being evaluated and released from the infield care center, she retreated to their motorhome where she began packing so she and Stenhouse could immediately depart the Alabama track when the race concluded.