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Danica Patrick and her husband Paul Hospenthal are divorcing after seven years of marriage. The auto racing star confirmed the split on Facebook Tuesday.

“I am sad to inform my fans that after seven years, Paul and I have decided to amicably end our marriage,” she said. “This isn’t easy, 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.”

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

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

On Monday, 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 the sport.

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.

There was speculation that her appeal with advertisers had waned, but earlier this month Go Daddy said Patrick will again appear in its Super Bowl commercials next year.

Here’s wishing her the best during this difficult time personally.

[Photo: WENN.com]