While it was also widely believed that Patrick would never drive in IndyCar again following her leaving the sport after the 2011 season, she will be ending her racing career following her run in the 2018 Indianapolis 500, the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".
Danica Patrick is in talks with NBC Sports to potentially join the network in the coming months, although her driving career might not quite be finished, two people with knowledge of her future plans told USA TODAY Sports on Friday. "Everyone needs to put their mind there". She can't go back to Stewart-Haas Racing, her soon-to-be-ex-team, since that organization will already be fielding four cars at the 2018 Daytona 500.
While Patrick never won a top-level championship in IndyCar or NASCAR, she became one of the most visible women in racing and a role model to girls everywhere who suddenly saw that they, too, can fit into the racing world. "My plan is to be at Indy, and then I'm done".
The 2018 Daytona 500 will be held on February 18, 2018. Her best finish in the standings is 24th, which she pulled off in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. "Well, things change. I know now you can never say never".
But this seems right, and this seems good.. "I think it's a matter of evaluating options, but really being honest about what makes the most sense, what's going to feel good, what do I want to do, and then really kind of being the architect of my life".