Danica Patrick, the 2008 IndyCar Japan 300 winner and 2013 Daytona 500 polesitter announced that following the 2018 Daytona 500 and 2018 Indianapolis 500 she would retire from full-time racing. That was Nov 2017. It is now Jan 2018 and the 35-year-old still has no drive for either race. However she’s been in the news a lot lately, so in this edition of the IndyCar Notebook, I bring you an all-Danica edition.
Let’s get to the Notebook.
Patrick announces relationship with Aaron Rodgers
All right, I would just like to preface this story by saying, I do not care. I don’t like to pry into athletes personal lives, because it’s their business not mine. That being said, with this past week’s announcement that Patrick is dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the news cycle has been all Danica, all the time.
Patrick’s relationship announcement with Rodgers, a two-time NFL MVP is rather convenient for her especially after she lamented that finding a seat for her “Danica Double” has been harder than anticipated. Whether this relationship is real or whether she is using her relationship with Rodgers to attract a seat in both premier North American racing events is yet to be determined.
GoDaddy announces Patrick sponsorship
For a majority of Patrick’s racing career, her primary sponsor has been GoDaddy, a web domain and hosting service. The bright green GoDaddy Indycars and NASCAR cars that Patrick drove, have became associated with her as much as her historic on-track performances. It was announced today that GoDaddy will sponsor Patrick one more time.
This move by the web hosting service has been met with praise by Patrick and fans—a sort of coming full circle. Patrick and GoDaddy came in together and GoDaddy will see her out, together. The question now becomes will she land a seat? Having her old sponsor back is great, but it doesn’t mean anything if there’s no car to sponsor.
Patrick is not in CGR, RLL, or Andretti’s Indy 500 plans
Chip Ganassi Racing announced they will not take on the Wisconsin native for the Daytona 500 or the Indy 500. The decision to not offer Patrick a CGR seat in either series serves as more of a blow to her IndyCar hopes than NASCAR.
Patrick’s chances of ending her career with an Indy 500 win would’ve been better with the three-time Indy 500 winning team than with a Indy-only entry. Patrick will also not race for her former IndyCar teams, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing or Andretti Autosport.
RLL will be fielding at least Graham Rahal and 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato. Andretti, the winners of the last two Indy 500s, are full after signing Carlos Munoz and Stefan Wilson; in addition to their regular season contracted drivers.
But even if CGR, RLL and Andretti aren’t going to seat Patrick; IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said Patrick still has IndyCar’s support and that they will help. Miles told AutoWeek that Dreyer & Reinbold Racing or Ed Carpenter Racing are most likely her landing spots. DRR has raced Sage Karam for the Indy 500 the last two years.
There also exists the possibility that Patrick simply will take the seat of a qualifier; as it is not the driver that qualifies for the 500 but the car. If that happens Patrick would just start from the back of the grid, although that is a last-ditch effort scenario.
Will Patrick be able to do the Danica Double? There’s 31 days until the Daytona 500 and 129 days until the Indy 500. Clock’s ticking.