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Danica Patrick Retiring From Full-Time NASCAR Racing, Adding To Star Turnover

18 November, 2017, 02:04 | Author: John Swanson
  • Danica Patrick cries he speaks with the media during a news conference before Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Homestead Miami Speedway in Homestead Fla. Friday Nov. 17 2017

Danica Patrick is finishing up her last full-time NASCAR season and will finish her career as a driver next year.

Patrick's retirement is another major change in the landscape of NASCAR following this season.

Patrick told The Associated Press on Friday it took her months to come to the realization that her career is over.

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"I don't feel like I was necessarily pushed into this". Period. I was just emotional.

"I'm not totally done". She will also participate in the Daytona 500 in February prior to May's Indy 500. "I think it's going to be a great way to cap it off".

Patrick had been adamant she would never return to IndyCar or the 500, but changed her mind as she realized her competitive options were dwindling.

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"I don't care if you remember me as a girl", Patrick said after wiping away tears at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday. "Especially with me and the sponsor situation". "I'm excited about the next phase, trust me". It was announced that Patrick would be replaced by Aric Almirola in early November. Her highest finish was third in 2009, and she was the first woman to lead laps in the race when she paced the field for 19 trips around the Brickyard as a rookie. Patrick remains the sole female driver to earn pole in the NASCAR Cup Series.

She has competed in 189 NASCAR races but never found Victory Lane, her best result was a sixth at Atlanta in 2014. Kevin Harvick will try to win a second championship in four years for the organization on Sunday, and Stewart said Patrick has been a huge part of the team's success. I tried every approach I could to figure out how to make the vehicle go fast. I tried every approach, and, really, all that ended up happening was I lost my crew chief the first time around with Tony Gibson. "So here I am".

Graham Rahal, whose father Bobby ran Patrick in the Atlantic championship and the first two years of her IndyCar career, said recently that she would be welcome back at the Brickyard in an open-wheel vehicle.

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