If you don’t love what you’re doing, why do it? That’s the gist of an interview Danica Patrick gave to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). The 35-year-old just wrapped up what looks to be her final season of racing, and she’s just fine with that.
“Honestly, racing is something I enjoy, and I love it sometimes,” Patrick says, but “I just wasn’t having quite as much fun with it anymore.”
For years, Patrick was the face of a barrier breaker, both in IndyCar and NASCAR. Sure, other women had crossed into racing before her, but Patrick made a female driver more than just a novelty. She was marketable and personable, plus she showed she could hold her own on the track. Yet she never seemed to be part of the clique. After some time to reflect on her career, she realized she wasn’t as passionate about the sport as she thought.
“If I’m not at the racetrack, I don’t go to the track and watch races,” she says. “I don’t go to the shop and work on cars.”
Patrick has many more interests now that will take up her time, ones which she is passionate about. She wants to write another book, she has her clothing line, and she has her own wine label. All of which, she says, are more lucrative in the long run.
“I’ll never be a billionaire driving a race car, but with all these other companies I could be…so let’s get on with this,” Patrick says. “The sky’s the limit.” The money isn’t really the goal, she adds, just the success it represents.”
All of this said, Patrick still wants to end her career on the track with one final Daytona and Indy 500. That means she has to keep herself in shape for what she calls one of the most intense physical activities in sports.
“It doesn’t really look like we’re doing much but basically we do a marathon every weekend,” Patrick says. “So, I guess if I want to keep my fitness up this year, I’m going to have to do a marathon every Sunday.”