Patrick to call full-time driving quits

Logan Whitton/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

In an emotional announcement, Danica Patrick mentioned that this is her last race as a full-time driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

“I don’t think I was necessarily pushed into this. I should be doing this. I feel like this is where my life should be headed. Sometimes we just get nudged there. I was definitely faced with situations at the beginning of the year I have never faced before. I never had sponsor issues. It made me think about things. I am excited about the next phase, trust me,” said Patrick.

Those future plans will include running the 60th Annual Daytona 500 and the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

“I am really excited about that. I think it is going to be a great way to cap it off,” said Patrick of the opportunity.

Patrick did not decide yesterday that it was time to call it quits. The talks have come down the line, but nothing is set in stone yet. She would be open to running both races with the same organization.

When she left IndyCar, she always thought in her head that she would never return, but she never physically said never.

“I never thought I would do it. I always thought in my head never. I never said never because I know better. It was really a conversation with my agent, Alan,” said Patrick.

Patrick has mentioned numerous times throughout her time in NASCAR that she would be done when racing was not fun anymore. Patrick confirmed that racing is no longer fun for her.

“As I said, if it’s not going to get better I don’t want to do it because it is not fun. Here I am, it is not fun. My urgency to push to keep doing everything was not really there. If something that wasn’t really enticing didn’t come up, I wasn’t going to push for something else,” said Patrick.

Through this whole process, Patrick has been going with the flow of things. Her goal was to “go with the flow.”

“I have been much more in flow with it. I have not hoped and prodded asking many questions. I wanted this to all to unfold naturally. What was going to be was going to be,” said Patrick.

When asked about what she wanted her legacy to be, she wanted to be known as a “great driver, then to be remembered as a girl.”

After five full-time seasons in NASCAR, Patrick has only collected seven top-10’s and one pole.

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