Motorsports pioneer Danica Patrick will be the first woman to host the ESPY Awards
Motorsports superstar driver Danica Patrick will be hosting the ESPYS Awards this year. Presented by Capital One it will be broadcasted live on ABC on Wednesday, July 18 from 8 pm-11 pm EDT. It will be held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The trailblazing racecar driver will be joined by top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments, and saluting the leading performers and performances.
She will officially become the first woman to host the show. "My first ESPYS was 2005, and I have been a fan, coming back every year since. It is the biggest night of the year for sports. Every year I leave feeling so inspired! I am excited to be able to help celebrate, laugh and cry about the past year in sports with everyone. It’s going to be a great night and one full of more than a few surprises," she said.
Patrick, who recently announced she will retire from racing following the upcoming Indianapolis 500, has built a career punctuated by firsts. She is the first female driver to lead laps and score a top-five finish at the Indianapolis 500, after leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in 2005.
She is also the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series following her victory in the 2008 IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
Apart from these accolades, she is the first woman to win a Nascar Cup Series pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500 and then finished in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman.
Throughout her Nascar career, she broke the record for most top-10 finishes of any woman in the Nascar Cup Series in 2015 and holds the new mark with a total of seven top 10s to her credit. She owns the most starts, laps led and top 10s among women in Nascar history.
Maura Mandt, the executive producer of the ESPYS, said, "We are thrilled to have an icon like Danica bring her talent and fresh energy to the 25th anniversary of the show."