LEGO Systems, Inc. surprised sports icon Danica Patrick with a custom built life-size model, featuring her racing firesuit and helmet, as an early retirement gift. A team of nine designers and Master Builders spent nearly 200 hours designing and building the likeness. Featuring 13 different colors, the model is built from 14,819 LEGO® bricks. The gift was presented to Ms. Patrick as a surprise in the midst of pre-race media activities in New York City.
“Ms. Patrick is a true builder. From her earliest days as a young go-kart racer, she built her idea to be a challenger in kart racing into reality through patience, persistence and determination, assembling a stellar career lap-by-lap and mile-by-mile. She is a phenomenal role model for all builders, particularly girls,” said Michael McNally, senior director brand relations, LEGO Systems. “For 60 years, the LEGO brick has inspired children to realize their dreams, so we thought it fitting to celebrate Ms. Patrick’s career during the exciting week leading up to her final race in Indianapolis by challenging our LEGO Master Builders to create a model in her likeness.”
Danica Patrick is one of the most recognizable professional athletes in the world, Danica Patrick joined the mainstream ranks by going against the current, immersing herself and succeeding in the male-dominated world of professional motorsports.
As she broke barriers and set records on the track, Patrick made a name for herself off the track as well. She was named to TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list, has graced the covers of ESPN: The Magazine, Sports Illustrated and TV Guide, and was featured in pictorials in the 2008 and 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has also appeared in a record-setting 14 Super Bowl commercials.
As a child, Danica Patrick tried a little bit of everything, from cheerleading to choir, T-ball, volleyball, basketball, track, tumbling and band. While she had a variety of interests, one thing stood out above the rest: her passion for racing. Patrick developed an interest in the sport after her parents bought her a go-kart when she was 10 years old. What began as a fun way for her family to spend more time together quickly blossomed into a career that would carry Patrick far from her childhood home in Roscoe, Illinois.
After racing at various levels in different racecars, Patrick burst onto the national scene in May 2005 when she stunned the world by leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first Indianapolis 500. With that performance, she became the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race. Three years later, in April 2008, Patrick made history once again as she became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series with her victory in the IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
In February 2013, as Patrick transitioned to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, she made headlines around the world with her record-setting performance in the 55th Daytona 500 race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. She became the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500 and then finished in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”
As Patrick’s NASCAR Cup Series career progressed, she continued to rewrite the history books. She broke the record for most top-10 finishes of any female in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2015 and holds the new mark with a total of seven top-10s to her credit. In May 2016, Patrick became a three-time winner of the Monster Energy Fan Vote for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race. She is the lone repeat winner of the vote in the event’s history.
In November 2017, Patrick announced that she would end her racing career with the “Danica Double” by competing in two marquee events that were cornerstones of her career: the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500.