Danica Patrick, other drivers talk Valentine's
February, 14, 2013
By Lynn Hoppes | ESPN.com
Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesDanica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will celebrate their first Valentine's Day together.It's Valentine's Day. It's NASCAR media day in Daytona Beach, Fla. And all eyes are on new supercouple Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
It's not often that two athletes from the same sport are competing against each other and dating each other.
Patrick announced in November that she and husband Paul Hospenthal were divorcing after seven years of marriage, and she filed on Jan. 3. A few weeks later, she announced that she was dating Stenhouse, who has never been married.
So Valentine's Day is the first real romantic holiday since they've officially been together.
How is she going to celebrate?
"I bet I'm going to be cooking tonight. I'm the cook. He does not," Patrick said.
One thing Patrick is hoping is that her luggage from Chicago arrives.
"My original flight was delayed so I had to take another, and my luggage was on that first flight. It should be here by now," Patrick said. "I really hope so. His Valentine's Day present is in the bag. In fact, the whole bag is dedicated to Valentine's Day!"
Stenhouse said things haven't changed much since they announced they were dating, and "everything is going great."
Stenhouse didn't need to keep his present a secret. He bought her a fancy set of playing cards.
"She has been teaching me some of her card games," he said, "so I bought some nice cards so we could practice."
With it being Valentine's Day, Playbook talked with several drivers about the holiday.
David Ragan: "I was smart this year. I managed to get my shopping done a day early. The holiday always falls on these racing weeks, so you need to plan ahead. I've learned my lesson. One time I was running in the duels and I was going out with some friends that night after the race. My wife [then girlfriend] reminded me it was Valentine's Day. So I took her to dinner with about six other guys. She was not happy about that. It worked out, obviously. We're married now!"
Mark Martin: "I live here, so I'm going to home to eat dinner with my sweetie of 28 years."
Aric Almirola: “We’re going to hang out in our motor home with our son and relax. That’s how I’d like to celebrate.”
Juan Pablo Montoya: "This morning, my wife woke me up and wished me a 'Happy Valentine's Day' and I went ... 'Huh?'. I completely forgot. Her birthday is next Tuesday, so I'm having everyone over for a party. But Valentine's Day, it never crossed my mind."
Michael Waltrip: "I love Valentine's Day. I buy my ex-wife and my girlfriend flowers. It makes for a very happy ex-wife."
Scott Speed: "Driving down from North Carolina -- seven hours -- with a wife and a baby and a carful of stuff isn't the most romantic way to start today. I think we probably need a few hours apart from each other! Tonight, we'll go have a nice dinner."
Jamie McMurray: "My wife just had a baby on Monday, so she's not here. She and I might be different than other people. We're not 'presents' type of people. We show it in other ways. In our house, it's Valentine's Day every day!"