Sprint Cup's Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Answers Danica Patrick Dating Rumors

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJanuary 24, 2013

Photo Credit: USA Today
Photo Credit: USA Today

With Danica Patrick's divorce pending, you had to know the rumors hinting she and fellow Sprint Cup rookie, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., would ramp up once again. This time, Stenhouse had some veiled answers. 

USA Today reports on the latest from an upcoming season involving one of the sports' most popular racers in Danica Patrick and her young colleague. 

There is no denying she and the 25-year old racer are friends, but how much further that relationship goes remains a mystery, even after some answers from Stenhouse. 

In speaking with reporters, he had this to offer ahead of Thursday's Roush Fenway Racing stop when he was asked specifically if the two were dating. 

We've got a great relationship. Obviously, it started when she came into the sport. We were both going to rookie meetings. It's been cool to work with her in the Nationwide Series. I've felt like she could come to me with advice with the experience I've had.

But, you know, I don't like to talk too much about my personal life. I think this week is about Roush Fenway, the Gen 6 (car), our sponsors and our season that we're looking ahead to. It's going to be fun racing her in rookie of the year. I think it's going to be very exciting. I've never raced a friend for a championship, for rookie of the year.

The 30-year-old Danica Patrick has had a very tumultuous past few months as far as relationships are concerned. 

The report does well to remind that Patrick and Stenhouse Jr. have been relatively close since hitting the Sprint Cup scene. 

Amid that growing friendship, Patrick has had to go through the ordeal that is her pending divorce from Paul Hospenthal, her husband of 7 years. 

SportingNews reports the divorce was filed on January 3 and could take a couple months to be finalized. 

While rumors of Patrick dating her colleague are just that—rumors—we assume any amount of budding romance would be kept discreet until things have moved along in the divorce. 

That particular SportingNews report issues Patrick will attempt to keep every single aspect of the divorce private as it moves along amicably. 

So far, the two are not letting on more than they are just really great friends, and two who lean on one another as they continue their growth in the sport. 

While unavailable for comment for the posted USA Today report, she did offer the following about Stenhouse Jr. in an ESPNW report last July. 

We got along from the very beginning. He's really respectful. He wants to help me. He makes me trust him. There's no bad intent. He's just protective and nice, a really good friend.

It seems there will be a great deal more sleuthing to do before we know for certain whether Patrick does indeed have a new man in her life or simply a great friend who has been there for support. 

Realizing how fans have taken to her during her career, there will be no shortage of questions no matter how ambiguous the answers. 

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