With Patrick's driving days possibly nearing an end in the not-too-distant future, what might have seemed like an off-track hobby is being fast-tracked into something far bigger. She launched the clothing line "Warrior by Danica Patrick" on HSN after participating in the design process. And she developed the workouts and meal plans for the book.
Ask Patrick about how much longer she will race, and her reply doesn't suggest the question is off-target.
"As long as it's fun - and it hasn't been super fun lately," she said before the season started. "But every year I start the year, I always have hope that it's going to be the year that things are going to click. I understand my career hasn't progressed.
"Maybe it's regressed? Why is that? Am I worse driver than I was a couple of years ago? Probably not," she said. "I don't think anybody gets worse. So it's really a matter of all the factors around you."
Patrick turned 35 last month. She has been racing more than half her life, building her brand along the journey and using a marketing strategy that has made her one of the most recognized female athletes in the world despite her limited on-track success. She is ranked 29th through the first seven races of the season.
Once so glamorous off the track, and so competitive and confrontational on it, these days Patrick is more like a love-struck, self-described hippy who preaches serenity and takes time to enjoy everything around her.
So when is that family coming? The proposal from Stenhouse?
"I got that under control," she smiled.
-- Associated Press --