Danica Patrick to host 2018 ESPYS

Danica Patrick will become the first woman to host the ESPYS with this year’s edition of the ESPN’s awards show in July.

Patrick, who is retiring from auto racing after Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, succeeds Peyton Manning, who hosted the 2017 edition of the show.

The 36-year-old is the only woman who has led laps in the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500. She competed in the Indy 500 from 2005 through 2011, when she moved full time to NASCAR.

Her highest finish at the Indy 500 was third in 2009. She won her only IndyCar race in 2008 in Japan and while she won the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013, she finished eighth.

The first woman to compete full time in NASCAR’s highest level, her career-best finish in the Cup Series was sixth at Atlanta in 2014. In 2015 and 2016, she finished the Cup Series season in 24th place, her best overall season finish.

The 26th annual ESPYS will take place July 18 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

The athletes who spoke out against abuse by Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor, will be awarded this year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ceremony.

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is presented annually at the ESPYS to someone whose contributions transcend sports. Named after the tennis icon, the award has been given to athletes who’ve broken barriers such as Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King and Pat Summitt.