Danica Patrick Becomes First Woman to Host ESPY Awards

Danica Patrick
AP Photo/John Raoux

Indy and NASCAR racer Danica Patrick announced that she will become the first woman to host the ESPY awards.

Patrick, 36, appeared on NBC’s late night comedy show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and exclaimed that she “has a thing for doing things for the first time as a woman,” Sporting News reported.

Patrick made her hosting announcement just days before her final run as a NASCAR driver, though she never won a single NASCAR race during her five-year run. The famed female driver hinted that one of the reasons for her retirement is the propensity of drivers to sustain multiple concussions over a career.

Despite the failure to win at NASCAR, the celebrated driver is the first woman to have won an IndyCar race and to lead the Indy 500. Once she moved to NASCAR, she became the first woman to win pole position in a Cup race (2013’s Daytona 500) and to lead the Great American race. Despite her impressive list of firsts, the 2008 Indy Japan 300 remains her only major win. Still, the win makes her the only woman to ever win an IndyCar series, open-wheel race.

Patrick is also one of only 14 drivers to lead laps in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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