Huffpost Divorce

Danica Patrick, NASCAR Driver, Wins Daytona 500 Pole After Divorce

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Less than two months after filing for divorce from husband Paul Hospenthal, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick hit a major career high on Sunday when she won the pole position for the Daytona 500.

The 30-year-old's personal victory was a historic one too, marking the first time a woman has ever posted the top qualifying time in the Sprint Cup Series -- NASCAR's top circuit.

In January, Patrick's personal life made headlines when she confirmed rumors that she was dating fellow NASCAR driver and Sprint Cup rookie, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

"Initially, it was a little bit of a mental hurdle of like, 'We compete against each other,'" Patrick told the Associated Press last week. "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. And so in the end, it ended up being something that I just didn't think was a big deal at all."

In November 2012, Patrick announced her plans to split with Hospenthal -- a physical therapist and her husband of seven years -- on her Facebook page. She made it official when she filed for divorce from him in early January.

The former couple tied the knot in 2005, after meeting in 2002 when he was treating her for a non-racing-related hip injury. They have no children.

But Patrick isn't the only high-profile person to become even more successful after a public split. Click through the slideshow below for eight others.

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