It is the biggest story in auto racing for decades.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has made it clear that he wants Danica Patrick to join his NASCAR team, bringing about one of the greatest auto racing stories in American history and joining two legendary figures in the sport.
The Earnhardt name is the most famous in Nascar while Patrick is the only female to ever crack the top echelon of race drivers in the Indy series. She placed 3rd in the 2009 Indianapolis 500, which Wikipedia reports was both a personal best for her at the track and the highest finish by a woman in the event's history.
Danica Sue Patrick was born on March 25, 1982 in Beloit, Wisconsin. Her Irish-American parents, TJ and Bev Patrick are great racing fans. Her father, TJ, raced snowmobiles, motocross bikes and midget cars while her mother worked as a mechanic.
With her Irish good looks and sexy style, (Patrick's bikini pictures are top sellers, St. Patrick she ain't) and daredevil drive behind the wheel Patrick would bring incredible star power to the male dominated NASCAR world, and open the sport to millions of new fans.
It was reported last year that she was the second top female search term that year.
In May 2006, she published her autobiography, "Danica: Crossing the Line."
With her win in the 2008 Indy Japan 300, Patrick became the first woman to win an Indy car race. Patrick currently drives the #7 Boost Mobile/GoDaddy.com Honda/Dallara for Andretti Green Racing.
She also has an equity stake in her #7 team. It was Danica's sister Brooke who got her hooked to racing at the age of 10. She soon became a racing freak and joined the World Karting Association (WKA).
In 1994, at the age of 12, Danica won the WKA Grand National Championship in the Yamaha Sportsman class. She also won karting titles in 1995 and 1996. In 1997, she won the Grand National Championship in both the Yamaha Lite and HPV classes.
In 1998, at the age of 16, Danica moved to England to focus on racing and join the Formula Vauxhall Winter Series. In 1999, she finished ninth in the racing season. In 2000, she finished second in Formula Ford Festival.
In 2001, Danica returned to the US. After a year of trying many teams, Danica finally signed a contract with Rahal Letterman Racing. As part of preparation for IRL, she was sent to the Toyota Atlantic Series. In her first year, she made it to the top five seven times. She even won a pole position, becoming the first female driver to do so. In 2004, she finished third in the Toyota Atlantic Championship and was ready to take on the IRL.
In 2005, Danica made her debut at Toyota Indy 300 where she could not finish when she was knocked out in the 158th lap. However, she bounced back when she led for 19 laps at the prestigious Indy 500 and finished fourth, the highest-ever finish for a female driver.
In 2006, at the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead Miami Speedway, Danica qualified in the third place. However, due to the death of teammate Paul Dana in a crash on race day, Danica withdrew from the race.
At St. Petersburg, Florida, Danica finished 6th. She finished in the 8th place in Japan. At Indy, Danica finished in the eighth place. At Watkins Glen, she took the 8th place. She finished at the 4th place at Nashville and Milwaukee. She took the 9th place in the season point standings. At Kentucky and Infineon, she took the 8th place.