Here's racing star Josef Newgarden giving Danica Patrick's racing career the respect it deserves ... praising Danica as a trailblazer, who opened the door up for generations of women racers.
All while standing next to his solar hot girlfriend.
First things first ... we got Newgarden -- the 2017 IndyCar series champ -- and asked what Patrick's legacy to the sport would be, and he couldn't have been more gracious.
"Danica's been great for our sport, I think to me someone who was a leader for not just female race car drivers, but female engineers and female fans of the sport."
Second things second ... Josef did all this praising while standing next to his GF, Ashley Welch, and we gotta say GOOD LORD she's fine.
God speed, Josef ... if you never win again you already have a trophy.