Danica Patrick, the most popular and successful woman in auto racing, is now officially divorced from her husband Paul Hospenthal and free to pursue her public affair with fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Patrick filed to end the marriage Jan. 30, citing an "irretrievably broken" marriage, according to court documents obtained by ESPN
Following a 60-day waiting period, a judge in Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County signed the consent decree on April 15, which was filed two days later, reported ESPN.
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Patrick, 31, had announced her intention to divorce Hospenthal five months earlier via Facebook.
"I am sad to inform my fans that after seven years, Paul and I have decided to amicably end our marriage," she wrote. "This isn't easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this. He has been an important person and friend in my life and that's how we will remain moving forward."
In early February, Patrick publicly acknowledged her long-rumored relationship with Stenhouse.
Prior to the announcement, the pair, both of them Sprint Cup Series rookies, were often seen together at drivers meets and appearing in public at other race car events.
Following driver introductions at the Bristol Motor Speedway for a race in March, the 25-year-old Stenhouse referring to Patrick told a crowd, "Sorry guys, she's taken."
One day after the divorce was finalized on April 17, Patrick took to Twitter to celebrate her new relationship with Stenhouse.
Hospenthal, a physical therapist in Scottsdale, Ariz., had entered into a prenuptial agreement with Patrick prior to their 2005 marriage in which property interests were defined.
"My spouse and I did acquire community property during our marriage, and it will be divided as indicated on a settlement agreement which will be submitted to the court at a later date," Patrick said in the filing.
According to court documents, Patrick paid for all court costs herself.
Patrick is the first female NASCAR driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, a feat she repeated at the Daytona 500 in 2013.
"I was brought up to be the fastest driver, not the fastest girl," Patrick said reacting to the Daytona win.
"I've been lucky enough to make history, be the first woman to do many things. I really just hope that I don't stop doing that. We have a lot more history to make," Patrick added after sharing the credit with her racing team.
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Among her numerous accolades for racing, the Beloit, Wis. native was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and IndyCar Series season Rookie of the Year in 2005 and IndyCar Series Most Popular Driver from 2005 through 2010. In 2012, she was named NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver.
Patrick is also a prominent spokeswoman for the internet domain registration and web hosting company Godaddy.com
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