Danica Patrick to Discuss Transition to Full-time NASCAR Racing at National Press Club

Auto racing driver, model and spokeswoman Danica Patrick will discuss her transition from IndyCar to full-time NASCAR racing in 2012 at a National Press Club Speakers Luncheon, February 21. Her remarks will come just five days before she suits up for her Sprint Cup Series debut at the season-opening 54th Annual Daytona 500.  When she takes the green flag later that week, Patrick will become only the third woman to compete in the iconic race.

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In six years, Patrick has risen from IndyCar Rookie of the Year to a racing sensation whose appeal “hits just about every demographic,” reports ESPN.com, “from casual female fans to hard-core gearheads.” The first woman ever to win an IndyCar race, Patrick has been named the series’ most popular driver four times. Her 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Daytona resulted in a 35 percent increase in viewership, as reported by Nielsen Television Research. In addition to auto racing, Patrick is well-known as a spokeswoman for GoDaddy.com, having done 13 commercials. “Enhancement,” the 2009 Super Bowl commercial in which she starred, was the most-viewed commercial that day, according to TiVo.

Patrick is considered by many to be the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing, being the only woman to win in the IndyCar Series as well as holding the highest finish by a woman at the Indianapolis 500 (3rd place). In 2010, Patrick finished the season 10th in championship points, setting the IndyCar Series record for consecutive races finished running. That same year, she made the crossover to NASCAR racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, driving the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Impala for JR Motorsports part-time. She had her best career finish of 4th place in series on March 5, 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – the best finish by a woman in a NASCAR top-circuit.

The Press Club luncheon will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m.  Remarks will begin at 1:00 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. Advance reservations should be made through (202) 662-7501 or [email protected].  The cost of luncheon admission is $19 for National Press Club members, $30 for their guests, and $37 for the general public. Tickets must be purchased at time of reservation.

National Press Club Luncheons are webcast live on press.org.  Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #NPCLunch, or on Facebook at (facebook.com/PressClubDC) and Twitter (@PressClubDC). Submit questions for speakers in advance and during the live event by sending them to @QNPCLunch on Twitter.  Or email a question in advance, type PATRICK in the subject line and send to [email protected] before 10 a.m. on the day of event.

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