On Tuesday, renowned female race auto driver Danica Patrick announced via Facebook that she will no longer be competing with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) after her sixth season with the team. What will shake out of Smithfield Foods leaving Richard Petty for Stewart-Haas?
Danica Patrick won't return to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018, leading to speculation that her NASCAR career will be over at the end of this season. Together we earned a Daytona 500 pole, seven top-10 finishes and we also had some exciting racing along the way.
For 2013, she made the move up to the NASCAR Cup Series full-time with Stewart-Haas Racing. "If I have the opportunity to drive for a team that is going to give me a chance to win, then I'll do it". If she doesn't make up any ground over the final 10 races, it'll tie for her worst season at NASCAR's top level. Tony Stewart called her "fearless" in his first comments about her upcoming departure from his race team. It's fun to get to see her away from the track. Her best finish in a NASCAR race was when she placed sixth in Atlanta in 2014. Despite the fact that she's routinely ranked in the mid-to-high 20s overall, Patrick still thinks she can do better.More news: Hurricane Jose Could Near US East Coast Next Week
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"You're only going to get it so good, and they don't drive very good in traffic because you can take the air off of people really easy, and she's still learning that". When she qualified on the second row for the 2008 Indy 500, four years into her IndyCar career, the 4.6 was better than it's been in the nine years since - including for the 100th running (3.9) and for Fernando Alonso-mania (3.4). Patrick just isn't there. In 180 career Cup starts, she never won a race. When she met with reporters last month and was asked about a potential IndyCar and NASCAR mixed schedule for 2018, Patrick said she had not heard of any talk of that type of plan.
"I want to continue racing if I have an opportunity to do well", Patrick said August 16. She would not, however, consider a part-time ride. "She loves the competitiveness of it and has been doing it for a long time, so I think if it was up to her she would try getting in a competitive auto and keep going out and competing", Stenhouse said Wednesday.
She has set the bar for women drivers, and frankly, there aren't many in the NASCAR pipeline who appear ready for Cup in the next three years.