Not the Farewell Danica Patrick Envisioned
After eight years in the IndyCar Series and seven years in the NASCAR Cup Series the career of the most successful female race car driver in history came to an end with Sunday's Indy 500. When Danica Patrick announced that last year would be the final full season of her career she said that the NASCAR Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 would be her final races before retiring. It's probably not the way she dreamed of closing out her career.
Danica failed to finish either of her final two races after crashing in both. She finished 35th out of 40 racers at Daytona and 30th out of 33 drivers at Indy. She was a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time at Daytona when Chase Elliott tried to pass race leader Ryan Blaney and it triggered a 7-car pileup ending the day for Danica and several other drivers.
At Indy she lost control on Lap 68, hit the outer wall, then spun across the track before hitting the inner wall. In both cases, she was able to walk away unhurt.
But among her accomplishments over the years:
- 1st woman to win an IndyCar race (2008 Japan 300)
- 1st woman to win a pole position in a NASCAR Cup Series race
- Highest finish by a woman in the Indy 500 and Daytona 500
- One of only 14 drivers to have led both the Indy 500 and Daytona 500
- 7 Top-10 finishes in both IndyCar and NASCAR Cup Series races
- Most starts by a woman in NASCAR Cup Series
- Most laps led by a woman in NASCAR Cup Series
- Most Top-10's by a woman in NASCAR Cup Series
- 2005 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year
- 2005 IndyCar Series season Rookie of the Year
Danica Patrick posted a photo on Instagram with the words, "This is just a chapter in the book. Today feels heavy, but only because the chapter finishing has meant so much to me. Thank you for the memories. I am at a lack of words today."
Congratulations on a great career Danica Patrick.