Off-Track


Danica joins Clooney, Clinton on impressive list

January 16, 2014, NASCAR.com

Danica

Patrick is the lone NASCAR driver on IrishCentral's 2014 Power 50 list

What do Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, actor George Clooney, late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon and Danica Patrick have in common?

They are all Irish Americans and all made IrishCentral's 2014 Power 50, a list of the most powerful Irish Americans.

Patrick was No. 44 on the list. Here's the blurb on Patrick, courtesy of IrishCentral:

Born Danica Sue Patrick on March 25, 1982, into a family of Irish and half Norwegian descent. She began racing go-karts with her sister at age 10, and dropped out of high school to advance her racing career in England. It was there that she finished second at the Formula Ford Festival, the highest-ever finish by either a woman or an American in the event.

In 2005, Patrick became the fourth woman to race in the Indianapolis 500. Her fourth place finish was the highest ever for a female driver, besting the previous record of ninth set by Janet Guthrie in 1978. She led 19 laps of the race, becoming the first woman ever to lead the Indy 500. In 2008, Patrick made history when she became the first woman to win a IndyCar race.

In early 2013, Patrick won the time trials at the Daytona 500, becoming the first woman to win the pole position at the famous NASCAR event.

While Patrick was the only NASCAR driver to make the list, she was not the only athlete. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady checked in at No. 11. Brian Kelly, the University of Notre Dame head football coach, was No. 23.

Biden topped the list at No. 1, while Clinton was No. 8, Fallon was No. 43 and Clooney was No. 45.

The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season marks Patrick's second season as a full-time driver in the series. She finished 27th in the final point standings.

Click here to see IrishCentral’s complete Power 50 list.