NEW YORK (AP) – The original “GoDaddy Girl” is back with sponsorship intact to push forward with her “Danica Double.”
Danica Patrick has secured the money needed to race in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Now she just needs to find the rides to get her back on racing’s two biggest stages. GoDaddy reunited with Patrick on Thursday for the final two races of her career, even though she still has to close deals with teams to make it happen.
She’s not worried about pulling it off, either.
“Power of positive thinking,” she told The Associated Press from Scottsdale, Arizona.
Patrick announced in November she would end her driving career at Daytona and Indy, but still doesn’t have rides. Yet Patrick always figures a way to get what she wants. When talks ended with Chip Ganassi Racing about seats for both races, Patrick said, she called former GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons late last month and asked about a reunion.
Parsons led her back to GoDaddy, the company that helped make her one of the world’s most recognizable athletes. With “the band back together,” as Patrick said, finding rides are just the next boxes to check.
“I am fitting back into spaces where I am more familiar with people and I think that is a critical element,” Patrick said of reuniting with GoDaddy. “We’ll have more to announce on the team side soon, but with GoDaddy being the sponsor, knowing how they work, having that level of a familiarity from a working and friendship standpoint helps.
“I think that feeling good and being in a good mood, I do think that translates to performance and good things all around. I can look at these (GoDaddy) people and smile and be excited that we are doing it like this, it’s a good vibe thing. And you know me: it’s all about the good vibes.”
GoDaddy left motorsports after the 2015 season, but jumped at the chance for a reunion because the rebranded Patrick now symbolizes the new core mission of the company. Patrick has slowly, methodically reshaped her image, first into an Instagram model and is now a full-blown healthy lifestyle guru. She realized — at the age of 35 — she was on her own.
“Our goals are so well-aligned,” Barb Rechterman, the chief marketing officer of GoDaddy, told AP. “She’s passionate, tenacious and creative just like so many of our customers who are also looking to leverage the power of the internet and turn their ‘side hustle’ into a full-time business. Danica absolutely epitomizes the heart of our GoDaddy customers.”
GoDaddy and Patrick grew up together. The company switched series with her and marketed her as a strong, sexy woman in 13 Super Bowl commercials — a record appearance for celebrities. Known for years as a website domain hosting company, GoDaddy now touts itself as “the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures,” and there’s no better spokeswoman than Patrick, who is well into the next chapter of her life and her brand.
The company is most interested in Patrick the budding businesswoman . She has a book out, an apparel line, a wine label and confirmed to AP this week that she’s dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers .
GoDaddy calls it the “side hustle” and Patrick has picked up the buzzword. She’s on a whirlwind tour promoting the book, but now is thick in the conversation again about rides in Daytona and Indianapolis. It’s taken her far longer than she expected, but the sponsorship should help.
“That’s just the way the universe works,” she said. “Things have taken a long time with this, but you just have to go with the flow on these things. The universe is not on your time schedule.”
She and GoDaddy were together in the IndyCar days and they made splashy move into NASCAR, where she was glamorous off the track but only mediocre on it. Through all of this, Patrick was married, divorced, spent five years dating fellow driver and competitor Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and then seemed to find herself through a tailored diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
She is cutting the cord on racing after Indy, and her focus is on a sense of well-being far away from the track.
GoDaddy can help Patrick move on to whatever it is for racing’s former “It Girl.” The company will help her streamline her online presence. Patrick, for the company, is back as a neon green-and-orange symbol to all the wannabe entrepreneurs chasing dreams.
As for those rides: On the IndyCar side, there aren’t many team owners remaining who haven’t yet dismissed Patrick as a possibility. Although many thought Patrick would team with Ganassi, or reunite with Andretti or Rahal, it’s looking more as if she could end up with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, a team that currently only competes in the Indy 500.
Patrick’s brother-in-law is the team general manager, and fielding cars at Indy often comes down to which drivers have enough cash to make it a worthwhile effort.
The Daytona piece isn’t so complicated, even though the race is next month. All she needs is a car with a capable engine, and that could come from Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports or any other B-level race team.
“The first step to good vibes is to recognize that you want it, then go get it,” Patrick said. “You’ll never get what you don’t go after.”
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