A multi-car wreck on Lap 101 of the Daytona 500 brought an end to Danica Patrick’s career in NASCAR.
Patrick’s No.7 Chevrolet suffered heavy front-end damage when a crash broke out in Turn 3 of the 60th annual event. Close contact at the front of the field between Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski triggered the accident with Patrick among seven drivers being swept up.
“The car was a lot better than it was in the Duel, so Tony Eury Jr., my crew chief, did an awesome job,” Patrick said after being released from the infield care center. “The whole team did a really good job. I know we pulled this together not that long ago and that’s a tall order to get a car ready for a superspeedway that’s competitive – but it was.
“I said earlier today that I feel like the whole thing was picture perfect with GoDaddy on the car and being green again. But it just wasn’t meant to be, I guess, today.”
Patrick said she was proud of how strongly her Premium Motorsports team had raced until her accident.
“It was competitive, so that’s all you can do,” she said. “That’s the gamble about Daytona. It could go so well and it could go so awful. I’m grateful for everything. Thank you to all the fans…and, yeah, still got one more. It’s not a stock car, but still got one more.”
Sunday was Patrick’s 191st race in NASCAR and scheduled to be her last after announcing her plans to retire from motorsports this season. The last event she will compete in will be the Indianapolis 500 in May.
In five full seasons at the Cup Series level, Patrick finished a career-best 24th in points with seven career top-10 finishes. In 2013, she became the first female to win a pole in the premier series at the Daytona 500, in addition to the first female to lead laps in the event while earning the highest finish for a female (eighth).
Patrick made her NASCAR national series debut in 2010 in the Xfinity Series.