3 filing that her marriage to the 47-year-old Hospenthal was "irretrievably broken."Speculation immediately shifted toward her relationship with the 25-year-old Stenhouse, who has never been married.While her policy has always been not to talk about her personal life, Patrick said she made an exception this time to end the gossip and so the two could be open about their relationship."I think that moving forward into the year, it's a matter of do you say anything at all, or do you just carry on? "As opposed to speculation and people making up their own stories or talking amongst themselves or us feeling uncomfortable walking into each other's (motorhomes) moving forward, or around our teams or anything, it's just easier to be up front and get it out of the way then to have any kind of awkward speculation."Stenhouse was asked during the media tour's stop at Roush Fenway Racing if he was dating Patrick.
Patrick rocketed to worldwide prominence when she challenged for the Indy 500 win as a rookie, becoming the first woman to lead laps while finishing fourth in 2005. She began dabbling in NASCAR in 2010 in the Nationwide Series, and moved full-time last year leaving Indy Car and the 500 behind.
Patrick has struggled in stock cars, notching just seven top-10s in 58 Nationwide races since 2010.
are a couple, ending widespread speculation about the nature of their relationship."I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard," she said during an exclusive telephone interview with AP."I think I am just finally excited to tell someone about this," Patrick laughed, sounding almost giddy as she said the two-time Nationwide champion's middle name is Lynn and he prefers she use his first name.
The couple waited until the end of Charlotte Motor Speedway's weeklong annual media tour to go public with their relationship, which started as a friendship as they raced each other the last two seasons in the Nationwide Series.
Still, she was voted by fans the series' most popular driver last year.
In the Sprint Cup Series, where she'll drive this season for Stewart-Haas Racing, team co-owner Tony Stewart handpicked 10 of the hardest tracks for Patrick last season to force her to learn on the fly in preparation for this year.First woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 First woman to win an Indy Car Series race highest woman finisher in a NASCAR's top 3 series race 4th place 2013 Daytona 500 pole winner First woman to win a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole First woman to lead the Daytona 500 First woman to lead a Cup Series race under green Most top tens by a woman in the Cup Series: 6 Most laps led by a woman in the Cup Series: 57 born March 25, 1982) is an American professional stock car racing driver, model, and advertising spokeswoman.She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing—her win in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 is the only women's victory in an Indy Car Series race and her third place in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 is the highest finish there ever by a woman. In 2012, she competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and occasionally in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.I didn't want to confirm at media day so that we could keep the focus on the season, the Gen-6 (car), my sponsors and team.That's what it's all about for me."Patrick's public relations representative denied ESPN.com's request for an interview on Friday. Patrick remains one of the most recognizable drivers in auto racing, even if wins have been hard to come by.I have to be on my own.' I realized I probably felt like Little Edie [Bouvier] did.