Danica Patrick enters final year of contract but wants to stay at Stewart-Haas

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Car owner Gene Haas confirmed Tuesday that this is the final year of Danica Patrick’s three-year contract with Stewart-Haas Racing, but both Haas and Patrick want to extend that partnership.

“We would love to see Danica come back,’’ Haas said during the NASCAR Sprint Cup media tour. “We want to see Danica succeed as much as anybody does. I think NASCAR wants to see her succeed. So there’s an awful lot of vested interest to have Danica succeed in this man’s sport.’’

Patrick finished 28th in the points last year, her second full year in the Sprint Cup series, but said she made progress. Her best finish was sixth at Atlanta. It was one of three top-10 finishes she had last year.

“Stewart-Haas is an amazing team,’’ Patrick said. “It’s been the closest thing to family. Most every team says it’s family. Well, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t, but at Stewart-Haas for me it’s felt like that and they care.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have a sponsor like GoDaddy and have the faith of the people around me that I could really name the team I wanted to drive for, and Tony (Stewart) and Gene made it happen, and GoDaddy made it happen. I didn’t even want to run anywhere else. I didn’t pick to run anywhere else – and I still don’t. I believe in what they do and the hard work they put in and their philosophies and the way they take care of each other.’’