NASCAR driver Danica Patrick will retire from racing after she competes in the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 next year.
Danica Patrick announced on Friday that she is stepping away from racing full-time after Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in Homestead-Miami on Sunday.
This isn’t a surprise since Stewart-Hass Racing announced last week that Aric Almirola will replace Patrick in the team’s No. 10 car next year. Howe, er Patrick will compete in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 next year before she retires from racing, according to Bob Pockrass of ESPN.
“This will be my last season as a full-time driver,’’ Patrick said, via Holly Cain of NASCAR.com. “My sister said I wasn’t supposed to get emotional. I said I wouldn’t. But I’m grateful for all the opportunities. It’s not like this is a conclusion I just arrived at. I started thinking about all the situations that could come my way in January. And there was a moment in the middle of the year that I was like is the team just going to shut me down? Maybe. I had to pretty quickly face the music of, ‘what if this is the end?’”
Patrick won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500. She has seven top 10 finishes in 189 career starts, with a best finish of sixth at Atlanta in August of 2014. This year she has just one top 10, which came at Dover, and is 27th in points.
In IndyCar, Danica won one race, in Japan in 2008, and her best finish in the Indy 500 is third in 2009. In seven Indy 500 starts, she has finished in the top 10 six times.
So what will Danica do after she’s done racing? According to A.J. Perez of USA Today, representatives for Patrick and NBC have had discussions about her joining the network’s NASCAR coverage. However, Patrick doesn’t have plans for a TV career right now.
“I think we heard I could TV, but right now, no,” she said. “Never say ‘never.'”
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is running his final race on Sunday, will be a part of NBC’s NASCAR coverage next year.