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Will ROY battle end Patrick's affair with Stenhouse? UPDATE #3
Stenhouse (L) and Patrick (R) now confirmed lovers, and competitors
Danica Patrick's personal life is no longer a secret — she's dating a fellow driver.

Patrick revealed to The Associated Press she and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are a couple, ending widespread speculation about the nature of their relationship.

“I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard,” she said during an exclusive telephone interview with AP.

“I think I am just finally excited to tell someone about this,” Patrick laughed, sounding almost giddy as she said the two-time Nationwide champion's middle name is Lynn and he prefers she use his first name.

“We are dating, and I know there's been a bit of a runaround this week at the media days and poor Ricky got grilled (with questions),” she said. “It was out of respect to NASCAR, to all the manufacturers, the new cars, the teams, the sponsors, just to allow the news of the day to be about racing and not let anything interfere with that. So, it's Friday now, so that's why we waited until the end of the week to be up front about each other.”

Stenhouse confirmed the relationship.

“Yes we are dating,” he said. “I don't normally say too much about my private life, always been focused on the track. I didn't want to confirm at media day so that we could keep the focus on the season, the Gen-6 (car), my sponsors and team. That's what it's all about for me.”

01/24/13 When Stenhouse was asked, "Are you and Danica dating or . . . ?" he responded:

"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. zzzz

"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."

Stenhouse acknowledged attending a Professional Bull Riders event with Patrick on Saturday (the two could be seen in pictures posted on a Stenhouse-related Tumblr page), though Stenhouse said they went with a group of friends.

01/11/13 For the first time since 2006, when Denny Hamlin beat out Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and a host of others, there's a legitimate rookie of the year battle. It's not a deep class, but the intrigue of two-time Nationwide Series champion #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. going against former IndyCar star #10-Danica Patrick will draw a lot of attention. ESPN

But will the reported love affair between Patrick and Stenhouse survive the ROY battle?

11/11/12 Danica Patrick recently announced her plans to divorce physical therapist Paul Hospenthal and she has had a long had a flirty relationship with 25-year-old rookie driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

While there’s no proof of a physical relationship, bloggers on racing sites are buzzing about the sparks flying between Danica and Ricky,” a source told American tabloid the National Enquirer.

More than a few people are pointing out she's ending a seven year marriage just as she’s gotten closer and closer to Ricky.

She’s also much closer in age to him than her husband, who is 17 years older than Danica.

For most of their marriage, they were like two ships passing in the night.

They kept a home in Scottsdale, Ariz., but with Danica’s schedule, she spent very little time there.

Danica has spent more time with Ricky the past couple of years than with her husband. When he won the Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year in 2010, she was one of the first to congratulate him and gave him a big hug. It’s no secret Danica is infatuated with him.

Last year, Danica pushed Stenhouse cut his longer hair. Maybe because she thought he'd be cuter?

Here is a video of them hugging. And it's super awkward.

Is it possible that she grew tired of playing daughter to Hospenthal, who she was much younger than, in favor of some work place love with someone more her age?

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