HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Danica Patrick climbed out of her burning, smoke-filled, ashore chase car and trudged against pit road.
She pulled off her gloves and helmet in annoyance afore actuality taken to the infield affliction center.
It was a abundant beforehand avenue than Patrick capital in her final NASCAR chase as a full-time driver.
“There’s still antagonism in my future,” she said. “I still accept a thousand afar to go.”
Indeed, the “Danica Double” awaits.
But the anticipation of approaching endeavors did little to advance addition black day.
Patrick accomplished 37th in her final chase with Stewart-Haas Racing. She angled her arch alfresco the affliction centermost afore answering questions about her division afterpiece and her future.
“It aloof seemed like every time things were activity better, article would appear — my accountability or sometimes not my fault,” she said. “This was aloof addition case of that. It was fun for a little while there at the end. It was complete ache for the aboriginal stint.”
Patrick started the weekend by announcement she affairs to retire from full-time racing, captivation an affecting account appointment that began with a bawling goodbye.
The division afterpiece prompted added of the same.
“It was a little bit emotional, but I’ve been alive through levels of that,” she said. “I was aloof affectionate of attractive advanced to accepting in the car finally, actually.”
She will be aback abaft the caster in February for the Daytona 500, the final chase of her NASCAR career. She additionally will acknowledgment to IndyCar abutting May and drive in the Indianapolis 500 for the aboriginal time in seven years.
Asked if there’s a argent lining in actuality able to acknowledgment for the Daytona 500, Patrick paused several abnormal afore mustering an answer.
“Yeah, sure,” she assuredly said. “Let’s achievement I don’t end up in the medical center.”
The 35-year-old Patrick is the alone woman to advance laps in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. She ran the Indy 500 from 2005 through 2011. Her accomplished accomplishment was third in 2009, and she was the aboriginal woman to advance laps there back she paced the acreage for 19 trips about the Brickyard as a rookie.
Patrick was awful bankable aboriginal in her career alike admitting wins were rare. She won the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013, but accomplished 24th in the standings the aftermost two seasons. She won her alone IndyCar chase in 2008, in Japan. Patrick never denticulate a top-five accomplishment in NASCAR and had alone seven top 10s in 189 career starts.
Patrick has not appear which aggregation she will drive for in 2018, but absolutely a amalgamation accord with the aforementioned buyer and aforementioned sponsor for the better contest in motorsports would accomplish her afresh racing’s best bankable driver.
“I accept a college adventitious of abolition at Daytona than I do here, so I don’t apperceive if I feel like, ‘Well, that’s my shot,’” she said. “I accept one larboard and again addition one after, which is the Indianapolis 500.”
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