ESPYs: Danica Patrick to Host Sports Awards Show

Danica Patrick attends The 2017 ESPYS - Getty-H 2018
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

The professional racing driver will be the first female emcee of the ceremony.

Professional racing driver Danica Patrick will host the 2018 ESPYs, serving as the first female host of the sports-driven awards show.

“My first ESPYs was 2005, and I have been a fan, coming back every year since,” said Patrick in a statement. "It is the biggest night of the year for sports. Every year I leave feeling so inspired! I am excited to be able to help celebrate, laugh and cry about the past year in sports with everyone. It’s going to be a great night and one full of more than a few surprises.”

Patrick recently announced that she will retire from the sport following the upcoming Indianapolis 500. The motorsport pioneer is the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series, as well as the first women to win a NASCAR Cup series pole following her accomplishment of meeting the fastest time to qualify for the Daytona 500. Throughout her time as a NASCAR athlete, she has broken the record for the most top 10 finishes of any woman in the 2015 NASCAR Cup Series and currently has seven top 10s.

“Now, Danica Patrick continues her trailblazing career trajectory when she takes the stage on July 18 as the first woman to host The ESPYS,” said ESPN's vp Alison Overholt, in a statement.

ESPYs executive producer Maura Mandt added, “We are thrilled to have an icon like Danica bring her talent and fresh energy to the 26th anniversary of the show.”  

The ESPYs honor the past year in sports while recognizing major achievements, looking back at memorable moments and paying tribute to leading athletes. It was previously announced that the sexual abuse survivors that stood up against former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State team doctor Larry Nassar will receive the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.

The 2018 ESPYs will be broadcast live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 18, at 8 p.m. ET.