If Danica Patrick doesn’t run in NASCAR’s top series next year, she won’t run at all.
Although nothing is confirmed for Patrick beyond this season, she insists she won’t step down to a lower level of competition if Stewart-Haas Racing bumps her out of the No. 10 Ford at the end of 2017. It’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series or bust.
“Cup only,” she told reporters in Kannapolis, N.C.
Patrick is in her fifth season competing full time in the Cup tour after running parts of three seasons in the Xfinity Series from 2010 to 2012. Worries over sponsorship have cast her future in doubt, however, creating speculation that she might need to step down to the cheaper Xfinity level again in order to keep racing.
But Patrick is not considering that option, nor does she sound content with her current status quo in Cup.
“I want to continue racing if I have an opportunity to do well,” Patrick said, via NBC Sports. “I have no interest, as I’ve said for years now, to run 25th. It’s not fun. … I don’t drive because I love the thrill of getting sideways. In fact, I don’t like getting sideways. That’s not why I do it.”
Patrick might not enjoy it, but she’s spent her fair share of time sideways this season. Despite a decent midsummer run, she is now posting an average finish of 23rd, right around her career average, and has posted only one top 10 this season.
Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images
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