Roush Fenway Racing isn’t looking to give Danica Patrick a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drive in 2018, but not for the reason many think.
Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark spoke to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Thursday to confirm that, although the team hasn’t talked to Patrick, her relationship with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. isn’t the reason.
Reports emerged recently, claiming that Newmark had said RFR wouldn’t sign Patrick because he didn’t want the two drivers working together. The rumors prompted heavy backlash on social media, with one person reportedly calling him “archaic.”
“We had a little bit of a chuckle on it, and I had to go correct the record: we have not talked to Danica or considered Danica,” Newmark told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “But it’s solely because we’re committed to being two teams and we have our two drivers, and we’ve got our sponsors lined up and all that.”
Although Roush’s commitment to its driver pairing of Stenhouse and Trevor Bayne is the reason it’s avoiding talks with Patrick, rather than who she’s dating, RFR’s president said that the team wouldn’t pass her over if it were in the market for a wheel(wo)man.
“If we were expanding to a third team there’s no doubt we would look at Danica as one of the talented free agents available out there,” Newmark said. “Although what we would do in that situation is I clearly would talk to Ricky about it, and gauge his comfort level, which is no different than if we were trying to hire the husband of one of our engineers, or the spouse of one of our crew chiefs. We would go and talk to them, as our loyalty and our obligation are to our employees, and talk to them about how they would feel in that situation.”
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