Danica Patrick not feeling emotional ahead of final Daytona 500
Danica Patrick is saving her tears this time around.
Patrick was weepy when she announced her retirement from racing at the end of last season, but didn't feel as sentimental on Saturday ahead of practice at Daytona International Speedway.
"I actually felt like Homestead was that (last race)," Patrick said, via ESPN. "I know it wasn't the last one, but just with the announcement, there was so much loaded emotion in that weekend, that to me, that had a lot of a feel for kind of the end, on some level, of racing in the Cup Series."
Patrick, who drove full time in NASCAR's Cup series for five seasons, will compete in her final career NASCAR race behind the wheel of the GoDaddy Premium Motorsports No. 7 Chevrolet at the Daytona 500 next Sunday. She will also race in the Indianapolis 500 in May, though her ride has yet to be announced.
While she is more concerned about her family getting choked up, Patrick knows emotions will be running high when she hits the track.
"When I think next Sunday comes, I'm sure I'll be a lot more retrospective or introspective and emotional about the finality of it, and just have a little bit more perspective," Patrick said. "But right now, I'm fine. I'm good. I'm excited about it all. I made the decision last year that this is what I was good with. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been doing it. So, I've had a lot of time to mentally transition. And that transition started last year.
"Maybe it's a little harder because women have not proven themselves as much as men, but every driver has to prove themselves to their team. There is still that responsibility, and that challenge is still at hand for every single driver, to find a group that believes in them and gives them what they need and puts them in the right scenario."
Patrick finishes her racing career as the highest-finishing female driver in the Daytona 500 (eighth, 2013) and Indy 500 (third, 2009).