Danica Patrick crashes out of her final Indianapolis 500

13 Comments

INDIANAPOLIS – Danica Patrick’s racing career ended with a heavy impact in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

Patrick, who became the first woman to lead the Indy 500 in 2005, lost control of her No. 13 Dallara-Chevrolet and slammed the Turn 2 wall on the 68th lap. She was able to walk to a waiting ambulance, which transported her to the track care center for a routine evaluation.

Today was really disappointing for what we were hoping for and what you want for your last race,” Patrick told ABC. “I’m very grateful for all of it. I just wish I could have finished stronger.

“I’m not really for sure what happened. There was a little lift in the middle. A little understeer back to it, and (the car) just swung.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Danica talks about her life after racing

She will finish 30th in the race, which will be her career worst at the 2.5-mile track. Patrick had six top 10s in eight Indy 500 starts, including a best finish of third in 2009. She led 19 laps in her ’05 debut at the Brickyard, finishing fourth.

Patrick said that was what “really launched” her career.

“I’ve had a lot of good fortune here,” she said. “I still had some good this month. It just didn’t come on race day, but we had some good moments.”

Patrick also was the first woman to lead a lap in NASCAR’s premier series in the 2013 Daytona 500, where she was the first female to capture a Cup Series pole position

Patrick wrecked in the final two races of her career. She finished 35th in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, her final NASCAR start.

Danica Patrick kisses Aaron Rodgers before the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

She also crashed and finished 37th in the Nov. 19, 2017 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, her last race as a full-time driver.

Patrick had been enjoying a solid month at Indy after a few anxious moments in her first practice after ending a seven-year layoff from the Indy 500.

She seemed in good spirits on the starting grid before the race, laughing while standing beside her car with a small circle of family and friends that included her parents, her sister and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, her boyfriend.

“Let’s go, Danica!” a fan shouted during prerace ceremonies, bringing a smile from Rodgers and other members of the entourage.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.