Let's play Word Association. Alright quick, when I say "NASCAR," you say ___ ? Pit stops. Wrenches. Race fuel. And, naturally, the word "romance" comes to mind… uh, right?!
Well, guess what? As we found out here on Valentine's Day, if you're Danica Patrick and new boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr., then you're putting the spark into spark plug.
The competing drivers weren't just opening up with the Daytona media about their romantic relationship, but comparing their story to Romeo & Juliet?
"Initially, it was a little bit of a mental hurdle of like, `We compete against each other,' " Patrick said of being fellow drivers. "It's like the Capulets and Montagues with (me in) Chevy and (him in) Ford, this just doesn't work. But you can't tell your heart who to like or not like."
The 30-year-old Scottsdale resident will be competing against her 25-year old-boyfriend this season for Sprint Cup rookie of the year.
"I'm just relaxed," Patrick said. "I feel happy. I feel like I am enjoying my life. It makes me smile to talk about him. I feel like I'm on 'The Bachelorette."'
When asked what attracted him to Patrick, who filed for divorce in early January, Stenhouse replied "she's hot!" before adding that "she loves to cook, and I love to eat."
In fact, Patrick shared that she planned to cook for Stenhouse Jr. on Valentine's Day. Thing is, Stenhouse might find himself moving from the driver's seat to the back seat, at least when it comes to the headlines.
"I'm fine. The headlines don't say anything about me," he said. "I'm taking this seriously. But if I win a race, it might be `Danica's boyfriend won a race."'