Danica Patrick announces retirement as full-time driver

Ross Houston
November 17, 2017

Danica Patrick broke down in tears as she announced she will retire from full-time racing next year after running the Daytona 500 and then the Indianapolis 500, closing her career at the storied track that made her famous. But as she came to terms with the fact that she might be forced in that direction - and indeed, there haven't been any real strong rumors of her linking up with a full-time NASCAR Cup Series ride for 2018 - she came up with the idea to go big before she goes home. She owns the highest finish for a woman in both races: a third-place finish in the 2009 Indy 500 and an eighth-place finish in the 2013 Daytona 500.

Stewart also credits Patrick for helping him expand the Stewart-Haas Racing team to four cars. And she dazzled in multiple appearances in the Indy 500, qualifying and finishing fourth in her rookie start in 2005. I said I wouldn't. Sometimes we just get kind of nudged there.

But she's not totally finished with racing. Patrick would not reveal who she will drive for in either race next year, but the Indianapolis contender would be Chip Ganassi Racing.

She will always hold the distinction of becoming the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race, becoming "the first woman to" on numerous occasions during her career, including being the first woman to lead both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, the two races in which she will finish her full-time career off at. I always thought in my head, 'Never, ' but I never said never because I know better. Then, she expects to call it a career. But I definitely was faced with situations at the beginning of the year that I had never faced before. And, there have been times that I could not have been more miserable. "I want to be remembered for the things that went well".

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