In what will likely be her last session with reporters until after Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, Danica Patrick made two things very clear during Thursday’s Media Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
First, Sunday is, without a doubt, her very last race of any type, period. Win or lose, when she climbs out of her No. 13 GoDaddy-sponsored Indy car Sunday afternoon, she will never climb back into another race car ever again.
Second, while some say her foray from IndyCar into NASCAR may have ultimately been a mistake, Patrick doesn’t see it that way.
When asked if she regrets anything in her life, Patrick replied:
“No, I don’t. Unless I ate something I wasn’t supposed to, then I regret that.
“One of my favorite statistics is the fact that I’m one of a short list of drivers that have led both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500. I couldn’t have that if I didn’t do it (raced in NASCAR).
“There were some high points in NASCAR. It wasn’t a complete failure by any means. I mean, having a Daytona 500 pole is cool. I’ll remember some of those other races that were big for me as far as how it went.
“Maybe they weren’t wins or they weren’t vying for the win and not getting it, but they were great for me. I’ll remember those things.
“Also coming back and having this be my final race, it wouldn’t have been possible if I would have finished up in a normal way. Normally, usually when you choose your retirement, you finish up at the end of a season. I would have finished up in NASCAR. It would have been over at Homestead. That’s how it would have gone.
“Also the fact that it kind of felt like it wasn’t really finished properly, that’s what led me to think, ‘What else can I do to finish it up?’ That also has brought me back here (to Indy). It wouldn’t be so dramatic if I wasn’t gone for seven years. I’m sure I would probably have a few less people standing here.
“It’s kind of made the story what the story is. I’m just grateful I’m in a position where I have a fast car. I can see Indy on the way out the way I saw it on the way in hopefully.”