Danica Patrick, the Picasso of NASCAR?

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As one of the most popular and publicized athletes on the planet, there are few secrets about NASCAR driver Danica Patrick that aren’t already known.

That is until Wednesday when Patrick’s boyfriend and fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., was asked by MotorSportsTalk if there was something he could reveal about Patrick that isn’t common knowledge.

Stenhouse took the question in good fashion, pondered his response and then surprised a bunch of reporters who aren’t very easily surprised by anything in the sport.

“I learned this offseason that she’s a really good painter,” Stenhouse said. “She started painting. We were at a friend’s house and my friend’s wife and her mom and their daughter were painting, and Danica started painting.

“She painted this picture of this barn and this tree that she was looking at, and it turned out real well. So I built the frame for it and we put it up in the house. I think she was a little surprised that I was surprised. I didn’t think she could do that, but it turned out pretty good.”

Apparently Patrick’s penchant for painting may have stemmed from the highly-publicized body painting commercial she did for GoDaddy.com and was featured on the 2012 Super Bowl telecast.

Stenhouse won’t be following in his girlfriend’s brush strokes, though, any time soon. He may be talented behind the wheel, but certainly not with canvas, an easel and a paint palette.

“No, I’m definitely not a painter,” Stenhouse said. “I can paint walls, but I’m not going to paint you a scene.”

Danica Patrick, race car driver, pin up icon, commercial spokeswoman and, of course, a GoDaddy girl has an artistic side? Could she soon be the Picasso of NASCAR?

Who knew?

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.