Danica Patrick on lockdown advice, life after racing, fitness and CBD

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Danica Patrick may be retired from racing, but that doesn’t mean she’s kept out of the public eye.

The first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 mostly has focused on finding new passions and advocating personal fitness since her racing career ended, and she details both in her podcast Pretty Intense. She also is the proprietor of Somnium, a vineyard and winery that she founded and owns in Napa Valley.

Her relationship with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers also has meant spending more time in California and Wisconsin. Lately, she’s also been leading workouts from her new home in Los Angeles on Instagram Live as people practice social distancing because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Patrick’s newest business venture is her investment in beam, a Boston-based wellness brand that sells organic CBD products that are THC-free. beam was started in 2018 by former minor league baseball pitcher Kevin Moran and former NHL center Matt Lombardi, who met at Boston College and began looking into CBD after their playing careers ended early because of injuries.

NBCSports.com recently spoke with Patrick, who was the first woman to win a major-league race (IndyCar at Twin Ring Motegi on April 20, 2008) and the first female pole-sitter in NASCAR Cup history (2013 Daytona 500).

MORE: Danica’s post-racing plans

She discussed her recent investment and ambassadorial role with beam, her life after racing and the advice she has for those looking to remain in shape during lockdown (the interview has been edited for clarity):

Q: Your investment in beam is one of many things that you’ve done since leaving the driver’s seat. Is there anything else that you’re working on?

Patrick: “I have a wine project that got put on hold for just a little bit, but I have another product that will be launched this summer. I think fitness is still something that I have yet to fully realize what I could do with. I wrote a book also called Pretty Intense, and there’s a fitness program in it. Right now during this lockdown, I’ve been doing the Instagram Live workouts for people and they resonate with it and really like it. Figuring out how to make that something more consistent would be nice.

“But also, I’m just relaxing. People ask, ‘What else are you doing?’ and my very motivated self asks ‘Wow, what am I doing? I’m doing this. I’m doing that.’ But I think especially right now I don’t want to be as busy as I used to be.”

Q: With the coronavirus, people aren’t going to have the chance to do things like go to the gym and go hiking. What kind of advice do you have for people who want to remain in shape while under lockdown?

Patrick: “I think you need to come up with some kind of schedule or routine and hold yourself accountable. I recommend that if there’s a live workout, try to do it. Find one that works for you at a good time, or at least have a time where you can play it. Create a routine or schedule for yourself, and then give yourself that freedom to go ahead and plan a day to do nothing.

“Say, ‘Today’s my day where I have no plan. I’m just going to get up whenever, relax, and do whatever feels like the right thing to do.’ That can be a plan – to do nothing.

“I think that especially since this is obviously going to go on for some more time – probably at least a month – it would be good to come up with some sort of plan or schedule for yourself. Otherwise, it’s very easy to just wake up and have something to eat and turn the TV on or look at your phone and just get distracted.

“All of a sudden you find yourself in the afternoon, still in your pajamas going, ‘OK. Well, I really haven’t done anything yet.’ For me, that’s why I also really enjoy doing Instagram Live workouts at 9 a.m. because it tells me, ‘OK, you need to get up.’ I actually set an alarm for those days to make sure that I have enough time to get ready for everything. A little routine can be helpful.”

Q: You’ve obviously found a lot of new passions since retiring from racing. With all major series on hold due to the coronavirus, what advice do you have for active drivers who now have a lot of free time on their hands?

Patrick: “I think this is a unique opportunity to be able to relax and to spend time with your family and slow down. Figure out what hobbies you like other than racing. There’s barely any time to figure any of that out (when racing), so I think that’s something that is going to be essential during this time. 

“The days are going to get really long if you have nothing to do. You got to figure out if you like to do yoga, if you like to go for bike rides, or if you like to go online and learn something. What do you like to do? Do you like to paint? Do you like to garden? What are your interests?

“This is a great time to figure those things out, as well as spend time with family and friends and people you normally don’t get a chance to. I know that a lot of it is virtual right now via FaceTime or Zoom, but it also gives you some contrast and perspective of being grateful for when you do get back to normal and doing things.”

Q: How did you learn about beam and why did you decide to invest?

Patrick: “I found out about beam from my agency who I just signed on with, as well as through some other channels that are a little more internal. They brought CBD and beam to my attention and then I got on a phone call with Matt and Kevin and connected right away.

“We talked about everything from Crossfit to Adaptogen, to the company and where it’s going, and to sports and coming from that world since they’re both ex-athletes as well. We just got along really well. They were also in a speed round for investment for their company, so once I got the product, tried it and realized how well it worked, I invested in the company before we did our deal with me as an ambassador. That’s how much I believe in their product.”

Q: What was it about beam’s product in particular that piqued your interest? 

Patrick: “That it worked. I’m always into trying things that are No. 1, natural and good for you, and No. 2, that work. There’s a lot of things that I do and put into my body or do for my body that is investing in the future of taking care of myself with, and then there’s ones that I come across along the way that actually just work today. For me, that’s what happened with beam. I realized, ‘Wow, this stuff actually really works.’ It wasn’t just a mindful investment of health and wellness by taking it. I actually felt better from it.

“The topical salve is really effective for muscles and sore anything. I remember I was using it back in Green Bay, and I had some rips on my hands from doing Crossfit and they said, “Put it on.” I was like, ‘Oh, OK. I didn’t know you could put it on open wounds.’ So I did.

“Not long after that, a lady that is in Green Bay that I know really well, her hands were hurting from arthritis, and I was like ‘Oh, I have an extra jar of this. You should use it for your hands.’ She came back to me after and was like, ‘Wow, that was really helpful. That makes my hands feel a lot better.’ The fact that it worked right away was such a rare thing to find.”

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Anaheim 2: Ken Roczen is consistency’s king

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Strength is found not only in outright wins, but also through consistency, which contributed to the rise of Ken Roczen in the SuperMotocross Rankings after Anaheim 2.

Roczen ended the 2022 Supercross season with the knowledge that he urgently needed change, so he declared himself a free agent, signed with Suzuki during the offseason and set upon 2023 with renewed determination. It worked. Roczen is one of three riders in the 450 class with a sweep of the top five and that consistency has given him the lead in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings.

SuperMotocross Rankings Anaheim 2
Like Babe Ruth pointing to the outfield wall, Ken Roczen pointed his way to the Power Rankings lead. – Feld Motor Sports

This formula rewards riders who compete at the front of the pack at the end of the Mains, in their heats, or in last week’s case, the three motos that make up the Triple Crown. Roczen has improved his overall performance each week with a fifth in Anaheim 1, a fourth in San Diego and his first podium of 2023 in Anaheim 2. Can he keep the trend alive with a first- or second-place finish in Houston?

A fall is all it takes sometimes. Last week, Eli Tomac tumbled hard when he pushed wide on the exit of a turn and jumped on top of a Tuff Blox. He remounted after that incident in Race 3 of the Triple Crown, but could only manage a 13th-place result in the moto. It could have been much worse and resulted in an injury, but coupled with a sixth in the overall standings at Anaheim 2, it pushed him down a spot in the SuperMotocross Ranking.

Along with Roczen (and Chase Sexton), Cooper Webb swept the top five in Supercross’ first three rounds. He is knocking on the door of a win and it won’t take long for him to ascend to the top of the box. Webb has two victories in Houston and each of them came during a championship season.

If there is a more determined rider than Jason Anderson, get out of his way. His path to the front of the pack is not always lined with primroses since he often has to pass multiple riders with whom he has had a run-in during his path, but the SuperMotocross Power Rankings are concerned only with raw results – not intention – and Anaheim 2 was Anderson’s best race of the season. He earned his first top-five and first podium with a second-place finish that was aided by a moto win.

MORE: Triple Crown format shakes up A2’s finishing order

Dylan Ferrandis has also been a model of consistency. Last week his Triple Crown effort of 4-6-5 gave him an overall finish of fifth. That came on the heels of a fourth-place result in the season opener and a sixth in San Diego. With no result worse than sixth this season, the numbers add up quite well.

Sexton’s position just outside the top five this week is entirely attributable to his last-place result in the San Diego heat. The SuperMotocross Rankings looks at the past 45 days, so that will affect him for a while, but if he continues to ride like he did in Anaheim 2, he’s going to climb quickly despite that albatross around his neck.

450 Rankings

This
Week
Driver Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1. Ken Roczen 84.63 3 2
2. Eli Tomac
[2 Main; 2 Heat wins]
83.25 1 -1
3. Cooper Webb 82.25 2 -1
4. Jason Anderson
[1 Heat win]
80.63 5 1
5. Dylan Ferrandis 78.75 4 -1
6. Chase Sexton
[1 Main; 3 Heat wins]
77.75 9 3
7. Justin Barcia 67.88 6 -1
8. Aaron Plessinger 67.63 8 0
9. Adam Cianciarulo 67.25 7 -2
10. Joey Savatgy 61.00 11 1
10. Marvin Musquin 61.00 12 2
12. Malcolm Stewart
[1 Heat win]
58.75 13 1
13. Christian Craig 56.13 14 1
14. Colt Nichols 56.00 10 -4
15. Dean Wilson 47.50 15 0
16. Tristan Lane 41.00 18 2
17. Grant Harlan 40.67 19 2
18. Justin Hill 40.57 16 -2
19. Logan Karnow 36.50 20 1
20. Alex Ray 36.00 21 1

Supercross Points


The 250 West riders get a couple of weeks off before heading to Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 and several of them need the rest. Tough weeks for Cameron McAdoo and RJ Hampshire forced them to lose ground in the SuperMotocross points to Jett Lawrence at a time that could prove to play mental games.

Lawrence also had his share of issues at Anaheim 2, but overcame early falls in the first two motos and finished no worse than sixth. Considering that he dropped to the tail of the field in Race 2, that was a remarkable accomplishment and he entered the final race with a shot at the overall win. He narrowly missed that mark, but still has not finished worse than second in three rounds. His lead in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings is safe.

Cameron McAdoo rode with injury in all three Triple Crown motos, so his sixth-place finish was a moral victory. Cameron McAdoo, Instagram

McAdoo said it best in an Instagram post this week: “Woke up feeling grateful that I’m relatively healthy after my big mistake during qualifying yesterday. We made the decision that it would be safe for me to race so I did everything I possibly could to get through the night ending up [sixth overall]. We will work on getting healed up in these few weeks off to come back strong for Oakland!”

With results of 8-7-5 in the Triple Crown and his combined sixth-place result, McAdoo lost significant ground to Lawrence in both the points’ standings and our Power formula. The Oakland race is going to be critical if he wants to stay in the championship hunt because the series will have a long break before returning in Seattle for Round 11. No one wants to sit with negative feelings for that long.

Mitchell Oldenburg has quietly amassed some impressive numbers. His name has not been called a lot during broadcasts, but he has not finished worse than seventh in any of the first three rounds. Themes develop during a season and weekend – and for the moment, this one revolves around reliability. Oldenburg finished 5-4-6 in Anaheim 2 which means he has consistently amassed SuperMotocross Power Rankings points.

Stilez Robertson won his first race of the season in Moto 2 of the Triple Crown. Coupled with a third-place finish in the final race, he leapfrogged Hampshire and Enzo Lopes, both of whom had disappointing outings. He stands fifth in the points’ standing mostly due to a ninth-place finish in the season opener, but each race has been progressively better and that is a good sign.

Sometimes, all it takes is a taste of success. Prior to Anaheim 2, Levi Kitchen’s best Supercross finish was a seventh earned in this year’s season opener. He scored a ninth at Minneapolis last year, but that was not enough to put him on the radar. This early in the season, one strong run can sway the SuperMotocross Power Ranking significantly, but Robertson has earned his way into the top five. More importantly, he’s going to be the object of interest when the West series returns to Oakland.

Next week the 250 East riders mount up in Houston, Texas before they head to Tampa, Florida. The Power Rankings will combine the two divisions, so the riders below are likely to shift dramatically.

250 Rankings

This
Week
Driver Power
Avg.
Last
Week
Diff.
1. Jett Lawrence – W
[2 Main; 2 Heat wins]
89.13 1 0
2. Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat Win]
77.63 3 1
3. Mitchell Oldenburg – W 77.00 5 2
4. Stilez Robertson – W
[1 Heat win]
76.75 6 2
5. Levi Kitchen – W
[1 Main win]
73.75 12 7
6. RJ Hampshire – W
[3 Heat wins]
70.00 2 -4
7. Max Vohland – W 69.29 8 1
8. Derek Kelley – W 63.75 10 2
9. Enzo Lopes – W 63.25 4 -5
10. Pierce Brown – W 61.29 13 3
11. Phil Nicoletti – W 59.25 7 -4
12. Dylan Walsh – W 56.00 9 -3
13. Cole Thompson – W 51.00 11 -2
14. Robbie Wageman – W 50.75 15 1
15. Anthony Rodriguez – W 49.00 14 -1
16. Ty Masterpool – W 47.50 16 0
17. Kaeden Amerine – W 47.50 16 -1
18. Dominique Thury – W 47.00 18 0
19. Austin Forkner – W 43.00 20 1
20. Derek Drake – W 42.33 21 1

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days.

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Ken Roczen moves up, Chase Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage