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Danica Patrick confirms she's dating driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

January 25, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • NASCAR drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Danica Patrick have confirmed they are dating.
NASCAR drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Danica Patrick have confirmed they… (McClatchy-Tribune and…)

Danica Patrick, who filed for divorce on Jan. 3, has confirmed what many suspected: She's dating fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

“I think I am just finally excited to tell someone about this,” Patrick told the Associated Press during a phone interview early Friday morning. “I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard.”

Patrick, a celebrity since 2005 when she burst onto the national auto racing scene while driving in the IndyCar Series, and Stenhouse have been on friendly terms the last two years as she began racing against him in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series.

The 25-year-old Stenhouse and 30-year-old Patrick, who announced in November that she'd be ending her marriage to the 47-year-old Paul Hospenthal, were both asked about their relationship this week during media days in Charlotte, N.C., to kick off the new racing season.

“We are dating, and I know there's been a bit of a runaround this week at the media days and poor Ricky got grilled,” she said of repeated questioning on the subject. “It was out of respect to NASCAR, to all the manufacturers, the new cars, the teams, the sponsors, just to allow all the news of the day to be about racing and not let anything interfere with that. So, it's Friday now, so that's why we waited until the end of the week to be up front about each other.”

While Patrick, who finished fourth as a rookie in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, has struggled in NASCAR, Stenhouse has seen success as the two-time reigning champion in the Nationwide Series. He confirmed to the Associated Press that they were dating.

“Yes we are dating,” he said. “I don't normally say too much about my private life, always been focused on the track. I didn't want to confirm at media day so that we could keep the focus on the season, the Gen-6 [car], my sponsors and team. That's what it's all about for me.”

Now it'll be all about everyone watching their romance.

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