Danica Patrick Keeps Ties To Indy 500 But Is Focused On NASCARby Camille Jones February 17, 2016 0 comments
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – As the 100th Indianapolis 500 approaches, rumors swirl of which NASCAR drivers are looking to try their hand in a ride for the prestigious race. Danica Patrick, driver of the Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS, will not be one of them.
Entering her fourth full season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, Patrick looks to focus on building communication with her new crew chief, Billy Scott and working towards consistent results in her primary ride.
“When it’s mentioned that it’s the hundredth 500, it is a little bit thought provoking,” said Patrick during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway. “I have a lot going on in NASCAR. I have a new crew chief. I have things that I want to accomplish over here.”
The race won’t be left unnoticed by the Indy 500 veteran, though. With seven starts under her belt, she leaves no mystery that the good memories of open-wheel racing at the Brickyard have followed her throughout her career.
“I had a great time in IndyCar,” Patrick said. “I was given great opportunities. I’m okay with not doing it is what I’m saying. Just kind of like people talk about a year being a pivotal year, every year was like that at Indy for me. I don’t think anyone is saying, Oh, you only won the 76th running, like that’s no big deal. Every one of them is a big deal.
The hundredth will be a great media exposure for the series, for the race itself, the drivers involved. But anything beyond that, I mean, I would have been happy to have won any of them. I mean, the hundredth is just a marker. But it does help me remember my good times.”
The good times came often for Patrick at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In her rookie season, she led 19 laps and finished fourth to earn the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award in 2005. In 2009, she beat her own record with a third place finish. In seven starts, Patrick only had one finish outside of the top-10, her only unfinished Verizon IndyCar Series race at the track, due to a crash on pit lane.
As her career in NASCAR builds and the memories of the Indy 500 become more distant, she is able to maintain ties to her former series through her sister, who’s husband is a manager for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
“I do love to hear about it,” Patrick said. “I love to hear how people are doing. I love to hear what’s going on. I care about that sport. I especially care about the Indy 500.”
Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images