Danica Patrick is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing, and is one of the most famous and recognized female athletes in the world. She is the only woman to ever win in the IndyCar series as well as holding the highest finish by a woman (3rd place) at the Indianapolis 500. Growing up in Roscoe, Illinois, Patrick started go-kart racing at the age of ten, and became a world go-karting champion by her mid-teens. She left high school at the age of 16 to move to England to train for and race in the British national series, where she earned a second-place in Britain's Formula Ford Festival, the highest finish ever by an American. After returning to the States, Patrick started driving for Rahal Letterman Racing, and in 2005 she became only the fourth woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500. She led the race for 19 laps, a first for any woman in racing. Patrick was subsequently named Rookie of the Year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season. She continued to make history with her first place finish at the Indy Japan 300 on April 20, 2008, becoming the first woman ever to win an Indy car race. She later placed 3rd in the 2009 Indianapolis 500, which was both a personal best for her at the track, and the highest finish by a woman in the event's history. Patrick holds the IRL record for most consecutive races running at the finish. In 2010, Patrick began racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and in 2012, Patrick left the IndyCar series to compete full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports and part-time in the Sprint Cup Series for Stewart-Haas Racing. She continues to set records for women in racing, and remains a sought-after advertising spokesperson and model.