Danica Patrick says deal to race 2018 Indianapolis 500 is done
Danica Patrick will officially say goodbye to racing at this year's Indy 500. The driver herself confirmed that a deal is now in place to run the mythical race but also remained coy about the name of her part-time employer.
Patrick had long ago unveiled plans to race at this year's Daytona and Indy 500 as part of a "Danica Double" before retiring from the sport. Although she had already secured financial backing from internet giant godaddy.com and sorted out her entry for NASCAR's premier event (to be held on 18 February) quite some time ago, an Indy deal was still pending.
"I just needed to make sure it [the deal] was done, the rest I don’t really care about”, Patrick told IndyCar.
While she made it clear that an announcement on which team this deal binds her to is not imminent, the driver promised that it would be "a bit of a bigger deal” than when her stock car outing was confirmed.
The likeliest destination for Patrick at the Brickyard is Indy-specialist outfit Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. Observing fans also noted that Robert Wickens had switched his car number between the tests at Sebring and Phoenix to 6 from 7, which Patrick used in her latter years in the IndyCar series before switching to NASCAR.
When asked about which of the two races she'd rather win, Patrick did not mince her words. “There’s nothing against Daytona, but just from being a young little girl, I had always wanted to win the Indy 500. It’s not to say that Daytona is not an enormous deal, but I have to go with what feels like the most important in my heart and I came from open-wheel racing."
"I wanted to win the Indy 500 from being a go-kart driver when I was a kid and came close a few times. It’s kind of what started it all for me, so there’s just a lot more history there.”