You don’t have to follow NASCAR to know the name and face of Danica Patrick. Voted NASCAR’s most popular driver of 2012 by fans, the Super Bowl commercial star has gone virtual in Sega’s new Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Patrick talks about her new game in this Prima exclusive interview.

How involved were you in the look and feel of your character in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed?

I was definitely involved with the look and feel of how I appear in the game. You know, the color, what I look like, my special power of being able to shoot flames out of my car. And also my voiceover work and being able to put a real racing twist on it and saying things in the game that are what we would say or do in real life, so everything about the character feels very authentic. That’s when things are really successful, when you really get into it and you put yourself into it a little bit.

What was it like experiencing E3 earlier this year when Sega unveiled your car at its booth?

I had never been to a video game convention until E3. That was a really amazing show. It was so visually entertaining. There was so much to see, and then to have my special Sonic racecar there and to be able to have Sonic the Hedgehog with me was I’m visually cool for people to see.

How did you come up with some of the trash talk in the video game?

When it came to really contributing to the character, and no only doing the voiceover but then what words were said, I definitely played a part because it’s a racing game and they wanted authenticity. I told them what things would make the most sense and what we would normally say out on the track, or what I’d normally be thinking. I definitely contributed from that perspective. When it came to special powers and what I was going to be able to do, I definitely played a part. But it’s also a game, so there were certain parameters and certain things that were possible. When it came to the idea of shooting fireballs out of my car, I thought that’s perfect for me.

What was it like to drive a Sonic-emblazoned racecar in a NASCAR race this year?

When the game idea came up and the idea to have a Sonic car, it all makes sense. It’s a perfect way to promote the game and it’s a perfect way to translate that speed of the game to the speed on the track and to be really involved. There’s such a link between the game and me now. I can’t wait for it to come out and see if people love it.

What advice do you give to someone who picks up this new Sonic game?

I’m in the game. I’m myself in the game and I’m really a fast, fast, fast car, so you’re going to want to play as me. As a plane or a boat or on land, I’m a fast character. I win. Pick me!