Danica Patrick is saying goodbye to professional racing. Patrick officially announced her retirement from auto racing earlier today (Nov. 17). She plans on racing in next year's Daytona 500 (NASCAR) and Indianapolis 500 (IndyCar) only.
"I feel like this is where my life should be headed, and sometimes we just get kind of nudged there," Patrick said. "Sometimes it's big nudges and sometimes it's little."
Patrick has known for at least a month that she will end her career next season at the Indianapolis 500, a decision that will bring her full circle and return her one last time to the storied track that made her famous. Discussing her decision with The Associated Press a few hours before her announcement, Patrick was giddy with excitement and thrilled at the chance to take one more spin around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Patrick is the only woman to have led laps in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Patrick ran the Indy 500 from 2005 through 2011. Her highest finish was third in 2009, and she was the first woman to lead laps in the race when she paced the field for 19 trips around the Brickyard as a rookie.