Door closes at Ganassi for Patrick’s hopes of ride at Daytona and Indianapolis

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By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

Danica Patrick’s hopes of running the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 have come to a close with Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR). Team president, Steve Lauletta, went on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Thursday night.

“No, we’re not talking any longer,” Lauletta said. “I think it would have made sense, and we did have conversations, if she wanted to run in both races, the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Ultimately, we couldn’t come to a solution that worked for both of us.”

During Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Patrick told reporters that she would be running the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 to close out her racing career as she moves on to other endeavors. At the Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis, Chip Ganassi told a group at a breakfast that talks between the two parties had broken down.

Just last week, Patrick told SiriusXM’s “The Morning Drive” that the process of finding a ride for both prestigious events was taking longer than expected but believes she will find a ride in time for both events.

Although the talks with Ganassi have reached the end, Lauletta believes that Patrick will be able to participate in both events.

“I ultimately think she will,” said Lauletta. “She’s been fairly successful in some of the races she has run at those places. She knows her way around. There are teams that just run the Indianapolis 500 because of the size of the event itself. I think they will be able to put something together. I certainly wish them luck. I think it would be great for the sport of IndyCar racing to have her come back and run the Indianapolis 500 from an exposure standpoint”

With the speculation that Patrick could join CGR now dead, the focus of the organization shifts back to their current programs in IndyCar and NASCAR.

“We’re going to stay focused on the task at hand … which is getting the [Nos.] 1 and the 42 in Cup and the [No.] 42 in Xfinity into Victory Lane as much as we can with the hopes of winning a couple of championships,” Lauletta said.

“And the same thing on our IndyCar program. We’ve got cars that were testing yesterday in Sebring, and we’re going to stay focused on that rather than put another temporary effort together and not doing it up to the standards that we would want to. So, I don’t think you’ll see that [Patrick] happening with us in 2018.”

Patrick has a little over a month to find a ride for the 60th running of the Daytona 500.

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