Danica Patrick divorcing husband after 7 years of marriage

Danica Patrick and husband Paul Hospenthal are divorcing after seven years of marriage, the NASCAR driver announced on her Facebook page on Nov. 20, 2012. "This isn't easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this," she said. "He has been an important person and friend in my life and that's how we will remain moving forward." Hospenthal is a physical therapist who met Patrick while treating her for a non-racing injury. The two were married in 2005, and he is 17 years older than the 30-year-old driver. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Danica Patrick said Tuesday she and husband Paul Hospenthal are divorcing after seven years of marriage.

The NASCAR driver announced the split on her Facebook page.

"I am sad to inform my fans that after 7 years, Paul and I have decided to amicably end our marriage," Patrick said. "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."

Hospenthal is a physical therapist who met Patrick, 30, while treating her for a non-racing injury. The two were married in 2005. He is 17 years older than her.

Patrick just completed her first full season in NASCAR, running the full Nationwide schedule and 10 Sprint Cup Series races after leaving IndyCar.

She finished 10th in Nationwide points, becoming the highest-finishing female driver in the history of NASCAR's three national series. The previous record was held by Sara Christian, who finished 13th in 1949 in the Cup series.

On Monday night, Patrick won the Nationwide Series' most popular driver award, which is voted on by fans, and she remains one of the most recognizable drivers in auto racing. Patrick challenged for the Indy 500 win as a rookie, becoming the first woman to lead laps while finishing fourth. She was a career-best third in 2009.

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