Danica Patrick to Retire After Indy 500

Danica Patrick to end racing career at next year’s Indy 500

Danica Patrick to Retire After Indy 500

The NASCAR Cup Series season finale - Sunday's Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway - will be Patrick's last race as a full-time driver, she announced Friday at the track.

Jenna Fryer of the AP says that Patrick informed her that she will run the 2018 Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 and then call it a career. Danica Patrick is leaning in that direction as well, but she still has the biggest race in NASCAR and open-wheel racing to run before she does.

Danica last competed in the Indy 500 in 2011, when she finished 10th. Discussing her decision a few hours before her announcement, Patrick was giddy with excitement and thrilled at the chance to take one more spin around Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 in 2005, and she was the sport's Rookie of the Year that same season.

"I'm really excited about (competing in those races)", said Patrick, holding back tears.

Patrick didn't reveal which teams she would drive for in 2018 but "nothing's final yet". Through 189 races she has seven top 10 finishes.

The first woman in history to win a Verizon IndyCar Series race has announced plans to retire.

"I'm not totally done", Patrick said. Her best finish came in 2009, when she landed on the podium, finishing third. Her best finish in the standings is 24th, which she pulled off in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

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

Stewart also credits Patrick for helping him expand the Stewart-Haas Racing team to four cars. "Especially with me and the sponsor situation".

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