Danica Patrick puts pressure on Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for memorable Valentine’s Day


As a race car driver, Danica Patrick has big plans for Friday. She’ll take part in two practices as well as the drawing for the field for Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited.

But as for plans for afterward, Patrick has absolutely no clue.

We’re talking about Valentine’s Day plans, of course, with her boyfriend and fellow Sprint Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

“I’m the girl, don’t ask me, ask Ricky,” Patrick said when asked about what she expects to do on the big V Day during Thursday’s Media Day at Daytona International Speedway.

But while she doesn’t have a clue what Stenhouse is planning, Patrick made sure she dropped a few hints in recent days.

“I did say to him yesterday, I said, ‘Hey, babe, I feel like I shouldn’t be thinking about this because it should be your job, but would you like me to ask someone to make reservations as a restaurant?’

“He said, ‘No, I’ll get it.  I’ll figure it out.  I’ll ask somebody here.’

“I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll let you just do it.'”

Patrick said she expects to at least go out for a romantic dinner. Now the pressure is on Stenhouse to come up with a broader overall plan.

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Patrick told reporters. “I think we’ll probably go to a restaurant.  I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him, though. Maybe he’ll tell you.”

Hopefully, this year’s Valentine’s Day will be a bit more, shall we say, pricier than the gifts the couple gave to each other last year, when their romance was just beginning to bloom.

“For our Valentine’s Day presents we both bought like $20 gifts for each other and paid like $100 in shipping because we did it last minute,” Patrick said. “He was telling me how he had it shipped and it wasn’t there.  I said, I did the last thing, actually.  He said (his gift) was more expensive.  I said, ‘Your gift was $22 and I paid $100 in shipping.  So that was our Valentine’s Day.”

Later in the day, Stenhouse downplayed if he’s feeling any pressure for this Valentine’s Day: “We went and ate dinner (last year), but she made the reservation.  I made reservations this year, so we’re good.”

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Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test

Photo: IndyCar
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The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.

Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.

Helio Castroneves was back in an IndyCar on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: IndyCar

Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.

Results are below.