Danica Patrick’s speeding into a new role.
The 36-year-old race car driver will be the host of the next ESPY Awards — and the first woman to do so.
“I have a thing for doing things for the first time as a woman,” she said during her Tuesday night appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” where the announcement was made. “So I’m going to be the first woman to host the ESPYs.”
Fallon, a practiced host not only of “The Tonight Show” but of the Emmys and Golden Globe awards, applauded the news. “You’ll be fantastic,” he said.
“Oh, my God, I need some advice, talk to me,” she joked back.
Patrick is known for breaking through gender barriers in motorsports, having been the first — and so far only — woman to win an IndyCar Series race, which she did in 2008 in Japan.
Previous ESPY Awards hosts over the last few years have included sports personalities and celebrities, including Peyton Manning, John Cena, Drake and Jon Hamm. Samuel L. Jackson has hosted four times in the show’s 25-year history.