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Indianapolis 500 Deal Is Set, Formal Unveiling To Come

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:50 am
by HiddenHollow
By Brant James | Published: Feb 12, 2018

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Danica Patrick’s arrangement to finish her racing career at the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil this May is complete, she told on Sunday.

Patrick, 35, revealed in November that she is retiring from full-time racing after competing for seven Verizon IndyCar Series seasons – winning her only race in 2008 – and the past five full seasons for Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR’s top series. In that emotional press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway three months ago, Patrick outlined a plan to race in the marquee events for both NASCAR and INDYCAR, dubbing her participation in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 the “Danica Double.”

A public announcement of which team will field her entry in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in May is not imminent, she said.

“No, I just needed to make sure it (the deal) was done,” she said. “The rest I don’t really care about.”

Patrick became a national media force in 2005 when she started and finished fourth as an Indy 500 rookie – at the time a record for a woman driver – for Rahal Letterman Racing, leading 19 laps – another first. She finished third in 2009 but has not competed in the event since 2011.

Although Patrick’s “Double” venture has been aided by a reunion with long-time sponsor GoDaddy, her business team did not secure and announce until January a Daytona 500 ride. Unable to land with a top-tier team, she qualified 28th-fastest on Sunday for Premium Motorsports, which has one top-five and five top-10s in 1,015 starts in NASCAR’s top three series combined.

The announcement for her Indianapolis 500 ride will, she said, “be a bit of a bigger deal.”

“Obviously, the start of this (NASCAR) season didn’t happen any different than last season did, where I showed up and I hadn’t been in the car since Homestead (the 2017 season finale). It’s no different than that,” she said.

“But Indy is obviously totally different. We’ll do something a little more substantial for the announcement and the unveil.”

Patrick doesn’t hesitate when considering which of her final two races she would rather win.

“Yeah, it would be Indy,” she said. “There’s nothing against Daytona, but just from being a young little girl, I had always wanted to win the Indy 500. It’s not to say that Daytona is not an enormous deal.

“But I have to go with what feels like the most important in my heart and I came from open-wheel racing, I wanted to win the Indy 500 from being a go-kart driver when I was a kid and came close a few times. It’s kind of what started it all for me, so there’s just a lot more history there.”

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Re: Indianapolis 500 Deal Is Set, Formal Unveiling To Come

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:12 pm
by HiddenHollow
Danica Patrick To Race Final Indy 500 With Ed Carpenter Racing

By: David Malsher, US Editor
Co-author: Jim Utter, NASCAR Editor

Danica Patrick, the first woman to lead laps in the Indianapolis 500, has apparently let slip that the sign-off to her racing career will be at the wheel of an Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet at Indy.

Speaking to media members at the Daytona 500 Media Day, when quizzed on her Indy 500 prospects Patrick responded, "Actually I didn't have time to meet up with Ed and the people that ... Oh, did I say that out loud? I've never done that in my career."

She then walked away, apparently annoyed with herself.

Representatives from Chip Ganassi Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing all confirmed to yesterday that they would not be running Patrick in the 500, and all indications suggested she would run a third ECR car.

Carpenter, a two-time Indy 500 pole-winner and the only fulltime owner/driver in the IndyCar Series will thus enter three cars for the 102nd running of the Memorial Day Weekend classic – for himself, Spencer Pigot and Patrick.

The deal – which was rumored to be made official at an unveiling in the IMS Hall of Fame Museum next month – means that Patrick’s final two races will be at the wheel of a Chevrolet-badged vehicle. She will compete at the Daytona 500 in a Premium Motorsport Camaro.

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