Danica Patrick seeking new racing team, could consider retirement

Martin Truex Jr

"Will likely take decades to see anyone even challenge her legacy", Brad Keselowski posted on Twitter. In those 180 races, she only has 71 lead-lap finishes and 25 DNFs. It is possible that Patrick doesn't return to the sport as a driver after this season ends.

There had been plenty of speculation that Patrick, who had lost her primary sponsor at the start of 2017, would not be able to fulfill sponsorships heading into the 2018 season.

"I'm sure they're saying everything from really great to really bad, and that's just part of my daily life", she said.

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One can't fault Tony Stewart and Gene Haas for impatience. She has driven for Stewart-Haas Racing throughout her entire NASCAR career, and while her contract originally ran through 2018, the team did not have an anchor sponsor for her for next year. "In NASCAR, you're better off with a group of guys or girls that are working day and night and diligently for you".

Almirola won't race for Richard Petty Motorsports after the current 2017 season concludes, Lee Spencer of Motorsport.com reports. When she won the pole at Daytona in 2013, the 9.9 Nielsen rating was the highest it had been since 2008 and higher than it's been since. And considering that she barely scrapped enough funding together to keep the No. 10 afloat this season, it means her options are limited if she wants to remain in a competitive seat.

If this is the end of Patrick's time in NASCAR, other competitors recognize her contributions. Her sponsor, Aspen Dental, hosted an event Wednesday in Streeterville that offered free go-kart rides and the opportunity to receive driving tips from Patrick. When she met with reporters last month and was asked about a potential IndyCar and NASCAR mixed schedule for 2018, Patrick said she had not heard of any talk of that type of plan. She is discussed more than most any other driver not named Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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The immediate impact of the Patrick/Almirola put more dominos in play for NASCAR's silly season.

Patrick says she has no interest in returning to IndyCar, where she had her greatest career successes, but has learned to never say never. "She loves the competitiveness of it and has been doing it for a long time, so I think if it was up to her she would try getting in a competitive auto and keep going out and competing", Stenhouse said Wednesday. I've been on the good side for a really long time.

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