One day after Danica Patrick was named the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver, she posted on Facebook that her marriage with Paul Hospenthal has ended.
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"I am sad to inform my fans that after 7 years, Paul and I have decided to amicably end our marriage," Patrick said via her Facebook account. "This isn't easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this. He has been an important person and friend in my life and that's how we will remain moving forward."
The pair married in November 2005. Patrick, 30, is 16 years younger than Hospenthal.
Patrick finished 10th in the 2012 Nationwide Series points standings driving for JR Motorsports, the best finish ever by a woman in any NASCAR series. Her best finish this season was eighth at Texas Motor Speedway. Her career-high finish in Nationwide came last year with her fourth-place finish at Las Vegas, also a NASCAR best for a female.
In 10 starts with Stewart-Haas Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, her best effort was posted at Phoenix where she finished 17th. She moves to Sprint Cup full time in 2013.