CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Danica Patrick admits there are some occupational hazards to dating a fellow NASCAR driver.
In a column for Derek Jeter's new sports website, The Players' Tribune, Patrick wrote that racing against boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. can create "Montagues and the Capulets" moments — a reference to the feuding families of the star-crossed lovers in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."
"If it's crazy to want to go to sleep next to the person who ran your car off the road going 200 miles per hour earlier that day, then I'm certifiable," she wrote.
Patrick and Stenhouse went public with their relationship in early 2013 and have had only a handful of scrapes on the track. After their most recent, at Chicago last month, she used profanity to discuss it with him after the race. Then they moved on.
"He's also extremely cuddly, which really helps his cause, because sometimes I'm not very happy with him," she wrote.
Jeter launched his website at the beginning of the month after he retired from the New York Yankees. The site is devoted to delivering athletes' "unfiltered" views to the fans, and The Players' Tribune is being billed as a digital company that will offer unique access to top athletes in every sport. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson wrote about domestic violence in an earlier post.
Patrick used her debut on the site to touch on a variety of topics, including her struggles in NASCAR and the question of children, "a decision for us to consider in our future."
"This is stuff that I didn't entertain before I was with him and it's a big part of my life now," she wrote. "It's a question that every ambitious, working woman has to grapple with."
She also addressed her extreme popularity. She noted she gets attention for being a female driver, and that a decent finish often comes with more publicity than a male driver would receive.
"Plenty of drivers have the same result every single weekend and don't get near the same publicity. Balancing that difference can be tricky," she said.
Patrick had to balance a recent sixth-place finish at Atlanta with Stenhouse's bad day. She said it made for several quiet moments on the plane.
"Ricky had a bad race. I had my best-ever finish. I was very happy. He was very bummed," she wrote. "But after about 10 minutes, we did what all drivers do in awkward moments of silence. We talked about how our cars were running. Pretty soon, everything in our relationship was back to normal. Well, our normal anyway."
Jeter's site: http://www.theplayerstribune.com