Patrick Announces She Will Race In The 2018 Daytona 500 And The Indianapolis 500

Danica Patrick all smiles as she discusses her 2018 plans. [Joe Jennings Photo]

By Joe Jennings

Homestead, Fla. – In a highly emotional press conference at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Danica Patrick tearfully announced that while her full-time ride in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series ends on Sunday, she will race in the 2018 editions of the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 with the latter ending her racing career.

Her teary-eyed comments were directed toward the end of her full-time Monster Cup run. “This will be my last season as a full-time driver,” she uttered before bursting into tears. “My sister told me there would be days like this.”

Regaining partial control, the star driver thanked a long list of people and sponsors that had supported her, including Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his sister Kelley. She went on to say that losing a sponsor, as happened early in 2017, triggered some soul searching, and “it made me think about things but trust me I am excited about the next phase.”

Turning around in her chair, Patrick regrouped and when she once again faced the assembled media, she sported a wide grin.

“I am excited to tell you I am not totally done. I will do the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 next year, and then that’s it,” she said. No teams or related information were available but she did say “we are down the line with our plans but nothing is final yet.”

She credits her agent with spawning the idea for 2018. He suggested Daytona and Patrick added Indy to the drawing board. Her last Indianapolis 500 was in 2011 and her best finish was third in 2009.

Patrick admitted to having some trepidation about Indy since the cars have changed so much in recent times. “I do have a level of fear and nervousness about it as it has been so long,” she added.

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