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Why is Danica Patrick retiring from NASCAR?

Omnisport
NEWS
157   //    19 Feb 2018, 01:34 IST
Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick's final career NASCAR race will see her behind the wheel of the GoDaddy Premium Motorsports No. 7 Chevrolet in the Daytona 500. 

Patrick, who competed full time in NASCAR's Cup series for just over five seasons, announced her retirement from the sport at the end of last season. She said she wanted to run the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 this season as a farewell, in what has been dubbed the "Danica Double."

With funding from GoDaddy, her longtime sponsor in IndyCar and NASCAR, Patrick has the funds. She has a ride for the "Great American Race" thanks to Premium Motorsports, which has the charter from Premium's No. 15 car last year. She started 28th. 

The No. 7 car number for Patrick is the same number she drove when she entered NASCAR in 2010. Her crew chief for the Daytona 500 is also a familiar face, former crew chief Tony Eury Jr.

Why is Danica Patrick retiring from NASCAR?

Patrick's NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), had issues with sponsorships for Patrick last season and agreed to terms with Smithfield, a meat-processing company for sponsorship in 2018. Patrick was not in Smithfield's plans, thus SHR had to part ways with the 35-year-old Patrick, who did not have a full-time sponsor lined up for this season. 

Despite being in top physical shape, Patrick has acknowldeged the dangers of racing stock cars. Ahead of last season's Daytona 500 Patrick estimated she's had a dozen concussions in her career. She was candid about the state of concussions in NASCAR and praised Dale Earnhardt Jr. for leading by example.

How many wins does Danica Patrick have?

Patrick never won in NASCAR, leading 64 laps with seven top-10 finishes in just over five full seasons. Despite the mediocre finishes, Patrick has been a trailblazer in the male-dominated sport. She owns the most starts, laps led, and top 10s among women in NASCAR history. 

Patrick’s Daytona 500 career is filled with history-making superlatives, as she is the first female to win a pole, lead laps and score a top-10 finish in The Great American Race. All of those came in the 2013 race.

Patrick did win the 2008 Indy Japan 300 for her only IndyCar win before making the jump to NASCAR in 2012. She is one of just 14 drivers in history to lead laps in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.

Who replaced Danica Patrick in NASCAR?

Aric Almirola and sponsor Smithfield joined SHR this season to take over the No. 10 Ford. He has one win in 244 career starts in NASCAR's top series.

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