Danica Patrick will be the first woman to moderate the ESPYs and break another barrier when she takes over the microphone for the 26th ESPN Awards Ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on July 18th.
"My first ESPYS was in 2005 and I'm a fan and come back every year," said Patrick. "It's the biggest night of the year for sports and every year I feel so inspired! I'm looking forward to being in the sport of celebrating, laughing and crying over the past year with all of you together. It's going to be a great night and [ Patrick, a pioneer in auto racing, retires from the sport after making her final appearance at Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend.
Patrick, 36, was the first female rider to drive 500 Indianapolis races in 2005 to claim a top five place finish. She was the first woman to win an open wheel race in a North American series. She is the only woman to win a pole in the NASCAR Cup series when she finished the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500 in 201
Patrick has a special connection to the ESPYs. She said that she was first introduced to her current friend, quarterback of Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers, at the ESPYs.
"We met at ESPYs in 2012. We remember we met," Patrick told Sirius Radio on Tuesday. "I got his e-mail address … It was not recently that we actually had phone numbers – we called ourselves Chicago and Green Bay, it was very cute."
Former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning hosted last year's awards. Samuel L. Jackson hosted four times, the last one in 2009.
The ESPYs award the Arthur Ashe Courage Award 2018 to women athletes who shared stories of sexual abuse by the American gymnast and Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar. 19659009]