There are few personalities in the world of motorsports that move so many passions, and follow-up as Danica Patrick. For many years, the u.s. has carried the banner of the women pilot at the media level, becoming one of the athletes best paid in the united States thanks to its many advertising contracts. However, since you changed the IndyCar for NASCAR in 2012, their results have never been commensurate to the popularity, a spiral that led him to stay without a main sponsor and without a seat for 2018.
Now, about to turn 36 years old in march, and no prospects of getting a seat competitive, a Patrick visibly excited and announced this Friday in-wheel prensaque will no longer compete full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series after the dispute of the final race in Homestead this weekend, and that, by 2018, will retire after competing in the two big races of the american motorsports scene, the 500 miles of Daytona and the Indianapolis 500-mile race, a test in which he participated for the last time in 2011. The latter would mean his return to the IndyCar more than six years after his last race, the infamous test of Las Vegas where Dan Wheldon lost his life in an accident 15 cars that Patrick was fought by the hair.
[email protected] was emotional as she announced that she will no longer compete full-time in @NASCAR after this season. #ThanksDanica pic.twitter.com/y8xQzknb6W
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) November 17, 2017
In statements to Associated Press, prior to the press conference, the american pilot, he confessed that all stemmed from the lack of opportunities in NASCAR: “Anything that offered to me, I was excited, so three weeks ago, I thought: ‘And what about Indy? Acabémoslo with the Indy 500’. This rekindles something in me, but, after may, I will have finished. I don’t want to force me to anything, and things sometimes change around, especially with my situation of sponsors. Never had happened to me, I had always had a sponsor. Makes you think about things, and nothing was popping up easily”.
Since its launch in 2012 until just a couple of months, Patrick always denied the possibility of returning to the IndyCar series or, even, to the Indy 500, claiming that its passage through the category was already history, and that they only had in mind to be successful in NASCAR. Patrick ensures that he has changed his mind, and retire in Indianapolis is the right decision: “I Know that I’ve always said I would not return to Indy, and I was always being honest. Well, things change. I know that you can never say never, but this seems appropriate, and it looks good”. Although Danica has not revealed the identity of the teams that will race in Daytona or Indianapolis, all indications are that Chip Ganassi Racing could be your destination for the Indy 500, being its exquipo in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is another option.
The reflection on the state of his career after a season even harder than the previous ones, in which it occupies the 27th position in the overall NASCAR, has been instrumental in his decision: “I’ve been mulling over the head, wondering: ‘How am I going to be able to utter those words and say that it has finished?’. And, believe me, I’ve been down many times by it. If not I think I can go better than where I am, I don’t want to do it, and there have been times in which I could not have been more miserable. This is not what I came for, and I think it takes away pretty much all of what I have achieved. I don’t want to be remembered for the things that have not gone so well, I want to be remembered for the things that went well”.
Danica Patrick made his debut in the IndyCar series in 2005 with Rahal Letterman Racing after being third in the Formula Atlantic. Its 23 years, the american pilot caused a sensation from the beginning, the to qualify and finish fourth in his first Indy 500, in which he led 19 laps and came to lead to lack of 7 laps to the end, and scoring three pole positions, finishing the year in 12th place. After being ninth in 2006, ended up in the powerful team Andretti Green in 2007, where he achieved his first podium finishes, and was seventh. In 2008, he broke the last barrier to become the first female rider to win a race of a great motor racing at the oval in Motegi, and in 2009 signed his best season to finish fifth overall and third in the Indy 500.
In the following two years, however, the results came more sporadically, and Patrick could only be tenth in both seasons. The increase of the circuit permanent, to the detriment of the ovals, where she obtained her best results, and the siren song of NASCAR, in which he began to try his luck in 2010, ended up take effect, and the pilot of the american left to the stock cars in 2012. After being tenth in their first season in the Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series, the second category of NASCAR), made the leap to full-time to the Cup Series in 2013 with Stewart-Haas Racing, and returned to monopolize headlines, to achieve the pole for her first 500 miles of Daytona, in which she finished eighth. That, however, was only a mirage in what would be the general tenor of their results.
In the 189 races of the NASCAR Cup Series, that has been disputed, Patrick has only finished in the top ten on seven occasions, being a sixth in Atlanta in 2014 his best result, while his companions were getting 22 victories in that same period, and without moving from the 24th position in the general. The loss of her main sponsor GoDaddy in 2016, and the tumultuous sponsorship of Nature’s Bakery, which was close to ending up in court for non-payments, have been the high end for a pilot who faces the end of his career with more shadows than lights, but you could find a final redemption, amen of a renewed media exposure, in his ode end, in the career that was born as a star, in which he finished in six of their seven entries in the top 10, and of which so much abhorred in the past few years.