Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick traded jokes Wednesday at an event in Raleigh.
The event was honoring the 85th anniversary of Nationwide Insurance's operations in North Carolina. The insurer first opened its doors in the state as Farm Bureau Mutual in 1928.
Nationwide is one of Patrick's sponsors, and she's a spokeswoman for the company. As she sat on stage before the event, crowds of employees gathered to snap cellphone photos of her.
McCrory was seated next to her and spoke before her.
"It’s amazing how many people wanted my picture while I sat right there," he laughed.
"My wife is very envious of you because you get to wreck your boyfriend," the governor told Patrick, who dates fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., "There are times (lately) when my wife wants to hit me into the wall."
"It's not worth it," she told him.
Patrick returned the favor during her remarks, joking about Nationwide’s “On Your Side” slogan.
"Boy, Nationwide really is on my side when I get to sit up here next to the governor. I’m pretty sure that could help me with speeding tickets," she said, turning to look at McCrory. "Is that the case?"
Pausing for laughter, she persisted. "Can I get your phone number?"
"We can make that happen," the governor joked.
Patrick, an Arizona resident, said she considers North Carolina her adopted home because she spends so much time in Charlotte these days with her Sprint Cup team members.