News & Media

Drinking and dining: Patrick enjoys the holiday

November 22, 2011, Joe Menzer,

Looking for the party during the holiday season? Wrangle an invite to Danica's

Danica Patrick, who will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports full time in the Nationwide Series in 2012, answers this week's six questions.

1. Could you talk about your mindset as you head into this offseason?

"The admission to get into the garage to see the hot rod was that [guests] had to take a shot of moonshine. I thought it was such a NASCAR thing to do. "


Patrick: Usually I'm pretty excited about the offseason. I can use the time off and never want to turn that down. But right now I want to do everything I can to prepare for next season because I'm all-in. So I wish I had more races. I had six at the end of last season and this year it was only three -- but that's OK. We'll do some testing and we'll get ready to go full time heading into next year.

2. What have been the easiest and hardest aspects of attempting to transition from IndyCars to stock cars?

Patrick: The easiest part of the transition has probably just been the people -- and the help and support I get from other drivers. The mood around me has been positive and optimistic and encouraging, so that's probably been the easiest part of it. And everybody went easy on me and [they] were patient with me on the days when I didn't have great days, which was nice.

I think the hardest thing was not being able to drive a stock car every weekend and continue with my progress. It was sporadic. ... There were just a lot of breaks between trying to get good at it.

3. We hear you look forward to cooking on Thanksgiving Day. What's on the menu?

Patrick: What a fun question. I was just going through the menu. We have 22 people coming for Thanksgiving this year -- and only one couple, or one family, is a relative. So I was doing a full-on list of who's coming and what people are bringing. I don't ask people to bring anything. But if they ask, I tell them to bring what makes them feel like Thanksgiving and what makes them feel like they're home ... something that they're familiar with that they're used to eating at Thanksgiving.

4. And what have you heard back from these folks?

Patrick: Someone's bringing green-bean casserole, someone's bringing corn casserole. There is someone bringing their own turkey and stuffing, there's someone bringing a pumpkin pie. Someone is even bringing a raw vegetable salad. ... I always like to make things a little bit interesting. I think we'll do [mashed] potatoes two ways: regular and maybe one with truffle oil in there and some bacon. And maybe some chives or something. That sounds good, doesn't it?

And I might make some wild rice, and add some orange and cranberries and make it kind of fall-like. But there's going to be a lot of food -- and I'm sure there's going to be a lot of wine. And that's good, because we've got a cellar full of it.

5. What's the coolest Christmas present you've ever received?

Patrick: My husband bought me a stock car last year. That was pretty cool. He bought me the matte black Hot Wheels-designed Go Daddy car. That was a pretty good gift. And he's good about buying me diamonds.

6. Is it true your Nationwide crew has given you a gift or two as well?

Patrick [laughing]: Can I tell a funny story that I hope doesn't get taken out of context or I don't get in trouble for? Because I heard this stuff is illegal. But when we got the car last year, we had some people over for a party. It was for a Ping Pong tournament and Wii bowling and something else.

But anyway, the admission to get into the garage to see the hot rod was that [guests] had to take a shot of moonshine. I thought it was such a NASCAR thing to do. [IndyCar driver] Marco Andretti was over the other day and so I let him try a little, too. I thought [Nationwide crew chief] Tony [Eury] Jr. was crazy when he said you could drink that apple-pie stuff without a chaser, but it's true.