Danica Patrick Retiring From Full-Time NASCAR Racing, Adding To Star Turnover

Danica Patrick says she will run in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 next year and then end her full-time racing career. Patrick plans to run in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 as a way to cap off her racing career.

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. Patrick did have seven top 10 finishes in both the MONSTER Energy Series and Xfinity Series. "Let's end it with the Indy 500, '" she said. However, she couldn't shake the idea of ending it back at one of the races that catapulted her to fame: the Indianapolis 500.

Fryer's report also suggests that Patrick, as she has stated for months, initially was reluctant to give up on racing for a living.

Patrick was emotional during the announcement, and her family there with her was also in tears.

"I was talking to my agent, Alan (Zucker) about how I wasn't having any fun this year", Patrick said. She has not yet announced which team she will drive for, but did say that she does not anticipate a return to NASCAR. The team is replacing her with Aric Almirola after Sunday's race. Her best finish in the standings was 5th, which she pulled off in the 2009 season. She won the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013, but finished 24th in the standings the last two seasons.

While she has been racing for Stewart-Haas Racing since 2012, she will not be representing the team at the Daytona 500 in February.

"I don't feel like I was necessarily pushed into this".

Patrick's fame was launched in IndyCar, and her relationship with former sponsor GoDaddy made her one of the most recognizable female athletes anywhere, from Super Bowl commercials to race days in the green-and-black firesuit. But I definitely was faced with situations at the beginning of the year that I had never faced before.

  • Steve Townsend