Danica Patrick reveals a side of herself you didn't know

Danica Patrick's Biggest Competition Off the Track
Danica Patrick's Biggest Competition Off the Track

If you thought you knew everything about NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, think again. When the 32-year-old sat down with AOL.com's Brian Balthazar, one of the most successful professional female race car drivers in history revealed five things that might surprise you.

1. Danica has anxiety behind the wheel

She may have the ultimate control on the speedway when she's suited up for a big race, but when she's going to the grocery store in a civilian car the anxiety sets in. "I'm very impatient. I have physical anxiety when riding in a car with someone or driving," says Patrick. She explains that even if she's got her own two hands on the wheel she's still got that need for speed. "If I can't get my way through or if somebody's driving next to someone who won't go... bumper-to-bumper traffic doesn't bother me because there's nothing I can do about it. But if I see open road in front of the car that's in front of me, I get very frustrated... Go!" Take notes, people. If you see Danica Patrick in the rear view mirror? Move!

2. Danica drives crazier than her racer boyfriend

Yes, she's the female face of NASCAR, but there's nothing girly about her behind the wheel. She tells AOL.com that when it comes to driving off the track the only person she'll cede the wheel to is her boyfriend, fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. "My boyfriend is a race car driver so then now we have a whole new scenario. I drive a lot more crazy on the road than him so I let him get the tickets potentially, not me." How considerate!

3. When she was single, guys wouldn't talk to her?

Patrick is not just a top-notch race car driver but she commands her model looks on-screen and in print as she did in the ever-popular Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue back in 2008. But believe it or not, she tells us, when she was single guys didn't really hit on her. She jokingly said, "Apparently, I'm intimidating! That's why no one wants to talk to me and no guy likes me." (um, side note, a LOT of guys like you!) "Someone talked to me! That's all it took!" When it comes to the first move, she laughed and said, "I don't know, I think it comes from friendships, you know, that are easy."

4. It's not that lonely at the top!

You'd think in the male-dominated sport of race car driving, Patrick would want to look over the rim of her helmet to send a nod to a fellow female so she wouldn't be the only gal grooving her way through the testosterone. But she tells us, it's not about the gender, it's about the race. "I like being a role model. I like being different. It's cool. It makes me feel special. It makes me feel confident in a lot of ways, but I wouldn't care either way. I would still have that determination to beat them whether they were a guy or a girl out there, but it's fun to be different."

5. Which famous race car driver inspired her? No one!

At 32, Danica could easily have built her career by witnessing some of the greats of race car driving when she was a kid. But she says she actually didn't have a raceway role model! "I learned a lot from my mom and my dad. I didn't really have an idol or a role model. I wanted to be the first me, not the next somebody else. I didn't think of myself wanting to be like anyone."

It's easy to see why Danica Patrick is a groundbreaker and now a role model to others. If you've been a fan of Patrick's and have lead-foot envy, you may want to check out her latest toy called the CanAm Spyder. A three-wheeled motorcycle-like vehicle Danica says makes you feel, "...naughty! You're out on the road and you're like 'Wait! There's nothing around me! Is this legal? Trust me, it's very fun." For more information check out canamspyder.com.