DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Danica Patrick said a few more words than she meant to on Wednesday during Daytona 500 Media Day, inadvertently letting slip that she’ll be joining Ed Carpenter Racing in May as she ends her career at the 102nd Indianapolis 500.
Patrick, who will end her NASCAR career in Sunday’s Daytona 500 driving the No. 7 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Premium Motorsports, was asked by the assembled media when she’ll begin to mentally “flip the switch” and start thinking about the second half of her self-dubbed ‘Danica Double’.
Her response was first met with shocked glances from around the room, and then she added a few choice words when it sunk in what she had said.
“Actually, I didn’t have time to meet up with Ed and the people that … Did I just say that out loud?” Patrick said. “I’ve never done that in my career. Oh, well.”
She then answered a handful of additional questions pertaining to the newer DW12 race cars that have been in use in the Verizon IndyCar Series for the past six seasons, adding that she’d likely hear a reprimand soon enough.
“(The DW12s) have more downforce than when I raced. It’s less than they had before, but it’s more than what I had when I raced,” Patrick explained. “I think it’ll suit me well. I think I’ve always done well with downforce. I’d better shut up and leave, though. I’m going to be in trouble.”
After Chip Ganassi Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing all confirmed to various media that none of them would field a car for Patrick in May’s running of the ‘Greatest Spectacle In Racing’, Carpenter’s team quickly became the odds-on choice for Patrick to end her career with.
Pending official confirmation from the team, Patrick will join team owner Carpenter — a two-time pole winner for the 500 — and young Floridian Spencer Pigot as one of three ECR-Chevrolet drivers for the Indianapolis 500.
An ECR deal for Patrick would also mean that her final two starts as a professional driver will be with Chevrolet race cars.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 24-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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