Danica Patrick joins Premium Motorsports for Daytona 500 effort

Brett Moist/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

The details of the first half of Danica Patrick’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series-Verizon IndyCar Series swan song have been revealed.

Premium Motorsports will field Patrick in the No. 7 entry with sponsorship from GoDaddy in the upcoming Daytona 500. The car will use the team’s charter, guaranteeing Patrick a spot in the field in the Feb. 18 race at Daytona International Speedway.

Veteran crew chief Tony Eury Jr. will serve as Patrick’s signal caller in the effort, reuniting a pairing that worked together when Patrick competed in what was then the Nationwide Series in partial seasons in 2010 and ’11, as well as a full season in 2012.

“I’ll be back in GoDaddy green, driving the No. 7 Chevrolet with Tony Jr. in my ear again,” Patrick said in a release. “It all makes my last NASCAR race just that much sweeter.”

Eury will serve as a Cup Series crew chief for the first time since 2013. The North Carolinian has two wins, 31 top fives and 56 top 10s in 159 races at NASCAR’s top level. He currently leads Fury Race Cars – a company that makes and sells Super Late Model and Modified race cars.

“It wouldn’t be just any opportunity that could coax me back to the pit box,” Eury said. “Working with Danica and GoDaddy again at Daytona is going to be fun — when you can do what you love and be in your element … well, I can tell you, it doesn’t get any better.

“Danica and I have shared success before in Daytona, and she has a lot more experience under her belt now, so I look forward to seeing what we can achieve during Speedweeks.”

Premium Motorsports will receive technological support from Richard Childress Racing and use ECR engines in the effort.

Despite her eligibility by virtue of a 2013 Daytona 500 pole, Patrick will forego the year-opening Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona to focus solely on the Daytona 500.

Monday’s announcement removes serves as the finalization of one half of Patrick’s planned retirement tour. The Roscoe, Illinois native announced her retirement from full-time racing in November, where she also voiced plans to race in both the Daytona 500 and the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 – the top races on the two tours she competed in throughout her career – in 2018.

Patrick announced on Jan. 18 that longtime sponsor GoDaddy would support her 2018 effort, but there was still speculation over which race teams would field her entry in each of the two races.

With the NASCAR side confirmed, all that remains for Patrick is to find an IndyCar ride for the Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Penske, Andretti Autosport and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have voiced that they don’t intend to field her in the race, but a small contingent of teams including Dreyer & Reinbold Racing – who have voiced interest in fielding a second car this season – and Ed Carpenter Racing could still potentially field Patrick in the event.

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