Patrick missed feeling 'relevant' in IndyCar while racing in NASCAR

Danica Patrick says she missed being "relevant" in IndyCar because her name was not mooted as a race winner after she moved into the NASCAR Cup series

Patrick missed feeling 'relevant' in IndyCar while racing in NASCAR

The one-time IndyCar race winner will end her career after the 2018 Indianapolis 500 as part of a planned swansong that took in the NASCAR's season-opening Daytona 500 and IndyCar's flagship race.

Those two races were chosen due to Patrick's career highlights, leading laps and taking a top-three finish at the Indy 500 in 2009 and grabbing pole at Daytona four years later.

Patrick's NASCAR career proved to be difficult, with her best result being sixth at Atlanta in 2014, and her final season was blighted with sponsorship issues that led to her walking away from the series at the end of '17.

After her high-profile transition from single-seaters to stock cars, Patrick missed both the Indy 500 and her relevance in the category.

"I remember watching the Indy 500 the first year I wasn't in it and I missed it," she said. "I remember that feeling.

"And as time wore on I missed that relevancy of being in the game and being someone [who] before the race [they asked of] - 'who do you think is going to win today?'

"My name did not pop up in NASCAR. Then that first Daytona 500 when I was on the pole, other than that most of the races weren't like that.

"I missed being relevant, so I'm going to try to be that here this month [at Indianapolis]. It's going to be hard because everybody is really good and I wasn't for a while.

"The car seems like it has some good, natural speed and we're not really pressing the issues too much [in early testing].

"So, build confidence and not break it today [in manufacturer testing] and come back in a couple weeks and see where we go."

Patrick added that her Ed Carpenter Racing deal for the Indy 500 feels better prepared than her late Daytona tie-up with Premium Motorsports, which ended in a quarter-distance pile-up during the race.

Patrick drove for ECR for the first time in yesterday's veteran refresher test.

"I would say from a preparation standpoint, on the car side with Ed [Carpenter] and the whole team, I feel more prepared on that side of things," she said.

"This is a well thought-out, timed, planned, full-fledged effort. Daytona came pretty quick and the team did a great job massaging the car, and I felt we were competitive in the race.

"We weren't the fastest car but we were competitive. I feel it was still a good effort, but this is one that had more time to go through the details and be prepared."

shares
comments
Kanaan tops wind-hit Indianapolis manufacturer test

Previous article

Kanaan tops wind-hit Indianapolis manufacturer test

Next article

Dale Coyne wants Pietro Fittipaldi Indy 500 replacement by next week

Dale Coyne wants Pietro Fittipaldi Indy 500 replacement by next week
Load comments
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021