Pa­trick at ca­reer cross­roads as days as driver ap­pear over

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Given the right sit­u­a­tion, Ricky Sten­house Jr. be­lieves his girl­friend still wants to be a race car driver.

Dan­ica Pa­trick will have to scram­ble to make that hap­pen. And if the op­por­tu­nity doesn’t present it­self, well, she has plenty of other things to fill her time.

Pa­trick is at a ca­reer cross­roads and will not re­turn to Ste­wart-Haas Rac­ing next sea­son. Un­less she can se­cure sig­nif­i­cant spon­sor­ship to bring with her to an­other team, she likely won’t be able to find an­other full-time ride.

“I know that she en­joys rac­ing. She loves the com­pet­i­tive­ness of it and has been do­ing it for a long time, so I think if it was up to her she would try get­ting in a com­pet­i­tive car and keep go­ing out and com­pet­ing,” Sten­house said Wed­nes­day.

But, Pa­trick has a lot of other busi­ness in­ter­ests to fall back on.

She has launched a cloth­ing line, has a book com­ing out next year and has made a tran­si­tion into pro­mot­ing a healthy and fit life­style. She’s 35, in a long-term re­la­tion­ship with Sten­house and has ac­knowl­edged she’d like to get mar­ried and have chil­dren.

Pa­trick had an ap­pear­ance Wed­nes­day for Aspen Den­tal in Chicago and told ESPN. com that she’s in a good place men­tally.

“I be­lieve ev­ery­thing hap­pens for a rea­son, and you never know how good some­thing can be un­til you try it,” she said. “So whether that’s of course with an­other team or whether that’s do­ing some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent, I’m open.

“I just want to do what feels right and what will give me the best chance — if I’m rac­ing, will give me the best chance to per­form and get in the win­ner’s cir­cle, which is what I want to ac­com­plish in NASCAR. Or if I don’t feel like that’s some­thing that will be pos­si­ble, then I’m OK with that, too.”

Sten­house, who will make his de­but in the play­offs this week­end at Chicagoland, said he’s cer­tain she’s go­ing to be fine.


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