Danica Patrick Explains Why She Burst Into Tears While Announcing Retirement

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Danica Patrick on Friday announced that the 2017 NASCAR season would be her last as a full-time driver, and in doing so got very emotional.

But tears apparently weren’t part of the original plan.

Patrick broke down multiple times during the 15-minute press conference in which she announced that Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway would be her last race as a full-time driver, although she will race in the 2018 Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500.

The racing pioneer is known for her fiery personality, but she explained why the tears came Friday.

“I’m an emotional person, shockingly,” Patrick told USA TODAY, as transcribed by For The Win. “Have you ever said the things you don’t ever want to say out loud? Things that are sad? It’s hard to say things out loud. Period. I was just emotional.

“You see me as really (expletive) tough. You see me with my ‘tough’ face on. I’m not talking about emotional (expletive). The only emotional (expletive) that you see me talking about, makes me mad. Here I am with a different emotion, and I’m showing you that.”

Patrick will join Dale Earnhardt Jr. in stepping away from the sport after Sunday, and although she said she’s “not interested” right now, we still wouldn’t be surprised to see her follow Earnhardt’s path by heading into the broadcast booth.

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images

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