Danica Patrick was ‘sad to inform’ her fans on Tuesday, that her and husband Paul Hospenthal are divorcing after seven years of marriage.
Patrick made the announcement through her Facebook page hours after posting a video to thank fans for voting her the most popular driver on NASCAR’s mid-tier Nationwide Series circuit.
“I am sad to inform my fans that after seven years, Paul and I have decided (to) amicably end our marriage,” she said. “This isn’t easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this. He has been an important person and friend in my life and that’s how we will remain moving forward.”
Hospenthal, a physical therapist, met Patrick while treating her for a non-racing injury. They were married in 2005.
The news comes as Patrick just finished her first full season in NASCAR, after leaving IndyCar. She ran the full Nationwide schedule and 10 Sprint Cup races.
In nine Cup starts, Patrick had her best finish earlier this month, finishing 24th at Texas and running every lap for the first time. Patrick has been involved in wrecks or plagued by maintenance issues in her past races.
Tony Gibson, Ryan Newman’s former crew for Stewart-Haas Racing, played a big part in Patrick’s success in her last two races ath the end of the season. He helped her to finish 10th in Nationwide points, surpassing Sara Christian’s 1949 record of finishing 13th in the Cup series. Gibson plans to become Patrick’s full-time crew chief starting next year.
Patrick’s notoriety has declined since the beginning of her career in IndyCar. There was talk that her appeal had dwindled with advertisers, but Go Daddy has pledge their allegiance with Patrick. The website domain provider will continue to use her in commercials during next year’s Super Bowl. They have also committed sponsor her during the Cup schedule next season.