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First Person

Danica Patrick, IRL Driver

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Danica Patrick, IRL Driver.
Danica Patrick, IRL Driver.
Michael J. LeBrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography/SI
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• GALLERY Danica strikes a pose
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As told to Elizabeth Newman

Click here to see Danica Patrick striking somes poses in an exclusive SI gallery.

On her workouts

I don't work out on race days, but other days I usually work out in the mornings. I'm up at 6:30. I do 30 minutes to an hour of cardio. I've done extreme yoga, in a room heated to more than 100 degrees. I've also been lifting pretty hard lately. I focus on upper body: shoulder, upper and lower back, core and abdominals. I don't work biceps and triceps much. I don't want to get too bulky looking.

On her passion for fashion

I'm into the whole scene. I would love to do Fashion Week in New York. I always like Gucci -- their stuff is so pretty and their clothes are probably the best clothes out there. Christian Louboutin shoes are my favorites. I love the way his stacked heels are designed.

On Danica groupies

I'm fortunate that there seem to be so many Danica fans. I'm not sure which are groupies. The guy at the track with the "Danica, will you marry me?" sign. I guess you would call him a groupie.

On meeting her husband of seven months, Paul Hospenthal

He was my physical therapist after I had hurt my hip doing yoga in 2002. Nothing really happened until a year or so after that when I was back in the Phoenix area. I asked him if he wanted to go out for dinner, and he said yes. We have never stopped talking to each other since.

On her strangest media experience

The media in Japan are bizarre. Race car drivers are such a novelty, so they like to have you do things like run a shopping-cart race or act as a chef on the set. They have you making sticky rice and eating it on television as a part of the interview. They like to see you eating things on TV.

On cars crashing in front of her

You try to see where the car is going -- if it's coming down the track or if it's up high or if other cars are becoming involved. The first thing you do is let off the throttle. You're safer going slower. That way you are able to maneuver around [the accident] a little easier without losing control.

On negative comments from drivers like Robby Gordon about her light weight and ability to race

The weight thing was silly and not relevant really. If my weight gave me such an advantage, I would have won every race by now. I'm kind of flattered when people try to pick apart and find reasons or excuses as to why I've been successful. It means I'm doing something right.

On days away from the track

I like to be at home with my husband. I'm still a newlywed, you know. I like to cook dinner with him and watch TV at home. I also like to pamper myself. I like to have pedicures and facials and massages and all of those kinds of things. But more than anything, I like to take care of my husband because he takes care of me and he is always at the track with me on race weekends.

PATRICK, RANKED NINTH, RACES THIS SATURDAY AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

Issue date: June 26, 2006

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