Get a good look at Danica Patrick, NASCAR fans, because she won’t be around much longer.
During a press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, Patrick announced that she plans to retire as a full-time driver after this season. However, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver did confirm reports that she’ll compete in next year’s Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500, the latter of which will mark the end of her racing career.
Patrick apparently got quite emotional while revealing her decision, according to NASCAR reporter Jeff Gluck.
While the writing appeared to be on the wall for Patrick, her decision to retire is nevertheless continuing a troubling trend for NASCAR.
Many have speculated that Patrick, like the also soon-to-be retired Dale Earnhardt Jr., would pursue a career in TV. But while she’s not entirely ruling it out, Patrick said TV doesn’t interest her “right now,” per Gluck.
Since making the jump from the Verizon IndyCar Series to NASCAR in 2010, Patrick has yet to win a NASCAR race. Capturing the pole and finishing eighth in the 2013 Daytona 500 remains Patrick’s greatest on-track accomplishment in NASCAR.
Still, despite Patrick’s relatively unimpressive resume in stock-car racing, NASCAR will have an awfully difficult time replacing one of the most popular drivers it has ever seen.
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images