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Danica Patrick To Retire After Daytona 500, Indy 500 Next Year

Danica Patrick To Retire After Daytona 500, Indy 500 Next Year”

An emotional Danica Patrick announced Friday that she would not be returning to NASCAR as a full-time driver next season.

After regaining her composure, Patrick said she would still race next season's Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500, an IndyCar Series event.

Since coming to NASCAR, Patrick had a best finish of sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2014. It took "months" to come to the realization that retirement was in her future.

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Patrick is the only woman to have led laps in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. She can't go back to Stewart-Haas Racing, her soon-to-be-ex-team, since that organization will already be fielding four cars at the 2018 Daytona 500.

Again, however, much like the case is for her Daytona 500 effort, Patrick did not say the team for which she would be driving in the Indianapolis 500.

Patrick would not reveal who she will drive for in either race next year, but Chip Ganassi Racing is the likely ride at Indy.

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"I don't care if you remember me as a girl", Patrick said after wiping away tears at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday.

As far as her Indianapolis 500 history goes, she has driven in the race seven times with a top finish of 3rd in 2009 and just one finish outside of the top 10. The team is replacing her with Aric Almirola after Sunday's race. But I definitely was faced with situations at the beginning of the year that I had never faced before.

Danica Patrick might not be done racing in NASCAR - or even IndyCar, for that matter. If I don't feel like I can run better than where I am, then I don't want to do it.

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