Emotional Danica Patrick Bids Farewell To NASCAR Following Daytona 500

(NASCAR Wire Service)

By Holly Cain NASCAR Wire Service

Danica Patrick during Daytona 500 media day last week (Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – There was no mistaking the love. Danica Patrick got one of the largest applauses when introduced for Sunday’s Daytona 500 – her last NASCAR race – and then made her ceremonial lap around the famous Daytona International Speedway soaking in the cheers, and good wishes and genuinely moved by the standing ovation she received from the sold-out crowd.

Unfortunately her time in the race car ended a lap past the halfway mark of NASCAR’s greatest race as she was collected in a multicar accident that also ended the day for race favorites Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick among others.

Patrick was uncharacteristically emotional – wiping away tears even – when she announced last November that she would run this final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race. But ever the focused competitor, she managed a smile and logical dissection of her day when speaking to the media after her crash.

She seemed at peace.

“It just wasn’t meant to be today,” Patrick said after getting the “all-clear” from Daytona’s infield care center. I am proud. We raced the whole race other than a little bit at the end of that first stage when it looked silly with all the cars with tires and no tires.

“Other than that, we raced it and the car was competitive. That is all you can do. That is the gamble at Daytona. It can go so well, and it can go so awful.

“I’m grateful for everything. Thank you to all the fans. Still have one more. It is not a stock car, but still have one more.”

Her crew chief Tony Eury Jr. came out off the sideline specifically to work with Patrick again as she closed out her NASCAR career – a proper bookend to the pairing. The two had been together when Patrick first started racing stock cars, even as she was completing her IndyCar career.

“We didn’t want things to end like that,” Eury said, standing in the garage with the Premium Motorsports crew next to Patrick’s damaged car. “Definitely one of our biggest goals was just to come in here and finish the race and if we could get a solid top-10 that was great, a win – that’s a story.

“The first wreck they had, she was running in the back of the field and I saw them dicing and I told her, ‘get away from them, they’re getting ready to do something’ and they did.”

Eury said he was touched that Patrick asked him to lead her final NASCAR effort – officially a 35th-place finish, for the record.

“It just shows me I made an impact on her driving career in NASCAR and it makes me feel really good,” Eury said. “I told her I was really honored that she asked me to come to do this deal.

“The whole deal coming down here was we’re going to have fun and try to run the best we can and she had a lot of confidence I would bring her a good Daytona 500 car and everybody here at Premium is really good as far as making this happen really quick.

“We were right where we needed to be but had to finish to pull it off.

As pre-race festivities winded down earlier in the day before Patrick’s final NASCAR green flag, Patrick stood alongside her bright green No. 7 GoDaddy Chevrolet on the starting grid, surrounded by family and close friends. Her parents Bev and TJ were there, as was her new boyfriend, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers and her sister Brooke and Brooke’s two young daughters.

Patrick enthusiastically posed for photographs with her loved ones in front of her car and seemed truly at ease with the big day. Rogers gave her a kiss just before she slid her long hair into a ponytail and climbed into the car.

“Funny story is when she first started at 10, I told my wife, ‘she’s going to change racing,’ her proud father said while standing beside her car on the starting grid.

“I’ve been in racing my whole life and I saw that she was different.

“She’s done a lot. Would we like to have better results? I think every driver would.

“Hopefully this has opened the door for some little kids but mainly what I feel is, you don’t have to be a girl, it could be the boys, but [she’s shown] you can do whatever you like if you really, really, REALLY try.’’

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Comments

  1. A lot of good cars got collected in what appeared to be dumb, unnecessary moves by young drivers. Patrick had a good car and a good clean run going. The important thing is she was recognized for her contribution to NASCAR and setting the bar for women that will undoubtedly be broken. Soon I hope.

  2. Look out for Dexter she can drive

  3. Danica’s effect on the sport is great. More women are racing and watching races but it may take years until the full impact of her presence is realized but I’ll bet Stewart Haas is already feeling the effects without all the merchandise money she brought

  4. Crazy in NY says:

    The important thing is she was recognized for her contribution to NASCAR and setting the bar for women that will undoubtedly be broken. Soon I hope.

    ( I can type now that I started to breath again after reading this). R U 4 real?
    Yes girls all it takes is to stuff your mediocre or less talent but nicely shaped tush into a bikini
    for the shoot and you too can punch your ticket to the “show”. Kyle Petty had it right.
    bye bye Danni Pat. Bring on Dillon Nation!!!

  5. Man Crazy I love reading your posts. You’re almost a brand now. Universally dour, prickly, hyperbolic and negative on virtually any topic. Kyle Petty, really. A woman that carves her own brand out in not one but two male dominated series vs the redneck hippy son of a legend that couldn’t carve his own path never straying too far from his fathers shadow. That expert opinion. Ya, good luck with that.
    You know what we share Crazy? You and me we’re not the future. The future is woman in racing and maybe more people of color like Darrel Wallace. I hope anyway. I never was a Danica Inc fan but you’re reducing her to a sex symbol and making it sound like that is the sum of her ability is just so blindingly the past and insulting to our generation for it’s ignorance and pettiness.
    But I still love to see what Crazy in NY has to say about anything. Hopefully some day it will be some great insights on the ROC that gets scant attention here.

  6. Crazy in NY says:

    Doug LOL.. you spend a lot of time with your amateur analysis of everybody here but maybe you should find a mirror. I reduced her to a sex symbol? LOL that’s choice. She’s the one that’s done the photo shoots, she’s the one in cardboard in the grocery to hawk products for what? her racing accomplishments or her sexy figure? I love watching woman compete. Lindsey Vonn, is gutting it out tonight in the downhill final. I live 20 miles from metal winner Erin Hamlin and like everybody else can recognize and appreciate the heart of a lion they have. Danni Pat is a product of NASCAR’s Madison Ave mentality that is driving lots of current and former fans away in numbers. Thank you for not including me in “the future” if the future is what was on display at this years 500. For those keeping score that “redneck hippy son of a legend” has 8 more career NASCAR wins than your lady love. Flap on Dougy boy. The ROC you say? Nobody here on Raceday CT give a crap about the ROC . It’s WMT and how great it is with the diversity it has with the 01 out there “competing”. Curious thing about us conservative old farts, we actually appreciate talent and results over fluff and frills.

  7. Conservative, gosh, who even knows what that means now. It used to mean social values and fiscal responsibility. Republicans were conservative and had values. Now, love him or hate him, we have a president that has conducted himself the opposite of what most would consider conservative social values and conservative evangelicals support most anything he does or says. Go figure. Republicans in Congress enacted tax cuts and a big spending 2 year budget that will explode the deficit so fiscal conservatism is down the drain as well.
    So when you Crazy in NY say you’re conservative just after you reduce a professional driver to a tush in a bikini and say it’s OK because there are other women that have earned your respect including Lindsey Vonn I pay attention. Then I do a search for Lindsey Vonn and what do I find? An accomplished woman reduced to sexy shots in bikini’s and not just any bikini a thong bikini. In Lindsey Vonn and Danica Patrick I see similarities. Accomplished women who’s best years are in the past that are on the field of battle currently not doing so good. That have been used by the media with regard to their relationships and physical attributes and in turn have used the media themselves with their relationships and physical attributes. But you can’t see it. One you respect, one you don’t. That’s not conservative, that’s hypocritical.
    Now I’m a geezer and can recall what conservatism used to mean and referencing woman in the context of sex and referring to them with pejorative name changes like Danni Pat is not conservative. It’s backward and juvenile. As is the big sweeping statement referring to the demise of NASCAR being the fault of Madison Avenue thinking. What does that even mean? There’s an array of complex reasons for the demise of a lot of spectator sports including football and PGA golf that can’t be reduced to a simple phrase.
    No I’m not judging everyone here, I’m judging you specifically right now. And to be clear only because you accused me of making a statement you felt was ridiculous. That’s right. Crediting a retiring woman and paraphrasing what people like Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon and others said about Patrick that got you all worked up. A simple little statement being positive on a retiring woman you teed off on.
    But I still love you man. Your almost perfect adherence to negative posts is near perfection. But it isn’t conservative.

  8. YouTube Danica Confused. It’s a bunch of her in car rants. She really didn’t have a clue on track. I didn’t realize how bad it really was. She has a place in history but Kyle Petty was never proven wrong in his statement.

  9. I know what I appreciate about these threads is motivating each of us to do research and learn more about the topic we are making recollections about. My question is are the recollections even handed and well intended or are they cherry picked to suit a conclusion.`
    Danica on youtube. Let’s see what we can find.
    Here’s one of drivers uncensored on the radio and in person.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_vJON4H2go
    Ouch! Danica is not the only one to act like a petulant child it appears.
    We know about Petty’s quotes 4 and 8 years ago about Danica. They’re right on youtube. But how about this one just recently.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt9uAzTCB6w
    “Danica did the most for the sport”

    It would be nice if all we men and mostly old men would at least on occasion not live up to the backward, narrow minded cliche’s and stereotypes that are so blindingly predictable. She’s retiring for Pete’s sake. Would it kill you to say something nice like Kyle Petty did.

  10. Thanks for that, Mark !!!! lol

  11. darealgoodfella says:

    NH Mark… oh dear!!!! I watched the YouTube you recommended. Okay, she was given every benefit of every and any doubt. I guess she was kept around as long as she brought in sponsorship$$$$. She just never improved.

  12. Crazy in NY says:

    Doug I’m out of breath reading that diatribe. God you’re good. You have my politics all figured out because of my conservative declaration. FYI I didn’t vote for Trump and I’m still waiting for him to Make America Great again. zzzzzzzzz I’ll not hold my breath either…..now back to Danni Pat ( The title of this thread). You think I’m alone in my view of her being a mediocre talent that gets by more on her looks than her accomplishment? ( btw please list them). Lindsey Vonn is in a gold medal position tonight as I write this but that’s the point. She actually gets the job done. She’s not on that hill because she the 26th best of anything she’s a winner. And has been one. I don’t care if she has some bikini pics out there, she doesn’t lead with that. I don’t care either if your hero DP sells her fanny to “promote” herself . Good for her if she can earn doing that but please spare me the “she’s been great for the sport” line. They ( NASCAR) and Danica have both profited from the exchange but it’s not racing… Waltrip, Gordon and Mike Joy have a vested interest in promoting what NASCAR wants . My God can’t you even see that? If you don’t get the Madison Ave reference their isn’t much I can help you with. Lots of people get what it means. Anyway.. it looks like she quit too early it seems. Only 36 cars entered for Atlanta this week. Maybe a Bubba Wall victory will save the day. Gotta go buddy. My annalist just called.

  13. Never attached you to the president not did I say anything negative about him in this thread other then referencing his questionable social values that I believe is a pretty universal notion. I was referring to conservatism which I either expressed badly or you missed. You connected old and the past with some kind of higher wisdom you labeled as conservative. My point was conservative doesn’t mean anything any more.
    Whether it’s your references to Danni Pat, Dougy, annalist,my girlfriend or any of the other tools of mockery you enjoy using I know one thing. Challenging anyone that uses them is futile and in your case it suits you well.
    Your assumption and a tactic often used is it always has to be a zero sum game. Vonn vs Patrick. All I did was suggest there were similarities. You rejected that or missed the point or both. But I appreciate the merits of Patrick and Vonn and in my view both are women of substance. Vonn won a bronze and good for her and went off course in her final Olympic race. Were I you I might mock her for that. But I see her career in total and celebrate her for it. Especially the bronze considering her age and injuries.
    Whether it is disparaging Joy, Waltrip or Gordon. Saying Vonn’s sexy pictures are different then Patricks. Assigning simplistic labels to things you may not fully understand or care to investigate it all boils down to one thing. You’re an old guy that knows what you know. You’re a stereotype, a cliche. I am too. The only difference I try to fight it.

  14. Man I always get backed into supporting Patrick because in her retirement I try to be generous. What don’t I like about her. I don’t like the fact she dropped out of High School to pursue racing and especially don’t like that her parents let her. I never liked the Danica Inc thing, her surly, defensive interviews and the confrontation. Hearing about her relationships as they came and disolved, the cover stories and sexy pictures and all the marketing BS drove me nuts. The media used her and she used them and the result in my view was detrimental to racing and blatantly sexist since guys weren’t treated remotely the same. And finally I don’t like her fawning parents that even now drool over her career decisions and are convinced that she is destined for further greatness.
    That said she is retiring. She’s had a huge impact on NASCAR, had some ground breaking success and the fact she’s a woman is significant. She’s a symbol for young women that have an interest in the sport and has encouraged more women to view and enjoy NASCAR racing. And to all my fellow old farts that don’t get it or don’t feel like you can afford to be generous I say you don’t have to. At least not in this forum since none of the people that she affected positively come here.

  15. You stuck a toe in RichC. Where’s the rest of you. Did you check out the links that I provided about Petty? Did you LOL a ignorant, outdated comment? Clearly you like cherry picking but are you interested in building out the information? You want to mix it up on the career and words of Kyle Petty regarding Danica Patrick let’s. It’ll be fun.

  16. Doug,

    Don’t pull me in to your bull. I don’t have a pony in this race. I simply responded to the link that Mark posted to let him know I thought it was funny. I would have done the same thing if it had been about Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Dale Jr., or Jeff Gordon. They were funny clips. As far as Kyle Petty goes? At best an average driver with a pedigree, similar to Dale Jr. Neither one of them ever lived up to their family pedigree. Sons of the 2 best stock car drivers ever to live. I probably know more about Kyle Petty and the Cup than you give me credit for, but certainly not an expert.

    Now, please leave me out of your ranting.

  17. Danica has a net worth north of 60 million. She will be just fine moving forward.

  18. My my RichC we are defensive today aren’t we. Now that sounded like a rant. All I asked is if you wanted to build out a chat on Kyle Petty and you say you don’t. But your words belie the fact that you do cause you did. You just wanted it to be the last word. It won’t. I’m also a little hurt you aren’t thanking me for providing the actual one click link to videos that may amuse you.

  19. ” Did you LOL a ignorant, outdated comment? Clearly you like cherry picking but are you interested in building out the information? You want to mix it up on the career and words of Kyle Petty regarding Danica Patrick let’s.”

    You’re trying to start another argument with me, but I don’t want to play. Last post to you ( on this topic ).

  20. I had no preconceived notion of what you know or don’t know about Kyle Petty RichC. I know I had my unfavorable impression of him but few facts until Crazy used him as a resource.
    In 2010 Petty opined on Patrick coming into NASCAR basically with the message she was a fast and qualified well but was not a race car driver. He also mentioned she was a “hot marketing” personality. It was not mean spirited. In 2013 he again pushed the same messages and this time referenced “the King” in the notion that not all drivers can race. He didn’t think she could but still felt she was great at marketing her brand. This was after she qualified on the pole in the Daytona 500. Just this year in a appearance on Fox Business he spoke glowingly about her importance to the sport with regard mostly to influencing woman and attracting female fans.
    Kyle Petty’s Cup career extended from 1979 to 2008. He started with Petty Enterprises then Wood Bros, Sabco, PE2 and finished with Petty. He won 8 races, had 8 poles and no championships.
    I confess to a irrational dislike for legacy drivers of which Petty is a prime example. He thrived in his fathers shadow trying to build his own brand as the modern, hip Petty but in the end I doubt he would of had a career at all if not for his father. His own team PE2 was a bust. The interview he had on Fox Business discussing Patrick was pathetic in that he reversed himself mainly because he was on representing an Insurance Company. His original message that Patrick was fast but not a race car driver was laughable as well because of his career. Much of it with class A equipment and sponsorship with marginal results. He could have said I understand Danica cause I was just as mediocre.The only difference being I was mediocre for decades.
    Bottom line is Patrick paved her own way and the redneck, hipster dufus Kyle Petty rode the Petty magic carpet to success. Thank you Crazy for bringing up Kyle Petty. Turns out my general impression of disdain for him may have been correct. Now that was a rant.

  21. Crazy says this is NWMT country and no one cares about the ROC. Is that true? As is happens there could be an opening at racedayct for more press releases regarding the ROC if management has a mind.
    Here’s a good follow up to Emerling and his last night crash at New Smyrna.
    http://speed51.com/emerling-leaves-florida-with-wrecked-car-and-injured-shoulder/

  22. Hey crazy if Danica just raced against the women in her sport she might have a few wins like Lindsey does too,

  23. Crazy in NY says:

    Hey crazy if Danica just raced against the women in her sport she might have a few wins like Lindsey does too,
    That’s not sexist? Elect time for you to visit “Dr” Doug’s couch. As to Doug on Danni well … read it and weep. ( Not my words) >
    NASCAR Career Summary:

    Danica Patrick has displayed a modest level of talent on occasion. She has had a few good runs during her career. But far more often, she has not run well, and she has perhaps been the most consistently worst-performing member of any well-funded multi-car team in the garage. In some ways, I thought of comparing her career to someone like Paul Menard or Casey Mears. But even those two drivers, who had consistently mediocre careers, had significantly better stats than Danica (1 win, 10+ top-5s, and 50+ top-10s each).

    Upon closly analyzing her career, I have come to two basic conclusions. First, she has progressively gotten worse the longer she has raced in NASCAR’s Cup Series. Secondly, although she wasn’t spectacular in IndyCar either, she did seem to perform better in that series than she has in NASCAR. I think she is a better driver in IndyCar than she is in NASCAR, and she wouldn’t be the first driver to be in that situation. (Montoya, Franchitti, and Hornish come to mind, and though she doesn’t compare to their talent or accomplishments, all were clearly better in IndyCar than in NASCAR.)

    Final Conclusions:

    Danica Patrick is arguably the most polarizing driver in NASCAR today. Most people feel very strongly toward her, whether those feelings are positive or negative. On one extreme, some view her as one of the most amazing drivers in the world, but any objective person knows that is not in line with reality. Others act like she’s the worst driver in the history of NASCAR, but that extreme is not in line with reality, either. She falls somewhere in between those two extremes–but definitely toward the lower end of the spectrum.

    She obviously has received more attention than she otherwise would have because she is a woman, and she has gotten more sponsorship than she normally would have over the years for the same reason (though that is becoming more of a struggle now). Yet, there have also been plenty of other drivers who have reached the top levels of NASCAR because of their name, family money, etc., so she is not alone in that regard.

    In this article, I have attempted to present the facts of her racing career in an unbiased manner, and I hope I have accomplished that purpose. Danica Patrick does have some talent–but not an abundance of it. She arguably displayed more talent in the IndyCar series than she has since moving over to NASCAR, but she has generally been mediocre, at best, in either series. When her career comes to an end, she will likely be remembered for reasons other than her actual performance on the track.
    http://racing-reference.info/showblog?id=2986

    Last sentence BINGO….That’s all Crazy was saying.

  24. The Danica video may have been cherry picked but I have to say the best thing to come out of this thread was finding out those videos exist.Many driver it would appear. How about this idea. Put some races on cable, play the potty mouth drivers comments in sync with the on track action. Bet ratings would be outstanding.

  25. darealgoodfella says:

    Danica qualified well but could never survive a race. She did well when all on her own on the track, but didn’t play well with others. It was obvious. Kyle Petty stated the obvious. Then Danica had to resort to using her bikini body to sell herself to support her racing habit. She had to do what bikini clad women were used for did for decades in the racing world. Bikini clad women posing with a set of headers or an intake manifold, to arm candy in victory lane, Danica made herself, and let herself be used as, nothing more than eye candy. If she was a real driver, she would have refused the suggestion that she use her bikini looks as they were used by the advertisers. She let herself be objectified for her bikini body, the very thing that women and equal rights advocates have despised and fought against forever. Women have been fighting forever against the treatment Danica was doing to herself. Men will pay for it, some women will still sell it.

    And now with the recent rapid acceleration in the war against abuse and maltreatment, such as the #metoo movement and others, and that NASCAR itself is still trying develop an image other than an exclusive white male club, what Danica was doing to the women’s movement just didn’t fit. Nobody could be a victim of others as often as Danica was. NOBODY. And that she couldn’t race well with others didn’t help.

  26. Outstanding Crazy Clearly I don’t agree with all but a lot I do and well said. And nary a body part mentioned. I loves me that Crazy guy that almost always sticks the landing after doing a few loops.

  27. Crazy in NY says:

    My God Doug even dareal gets it. Whoa is you.

  28. Crazy your last post makes more sense than your others ,I was just trying to point out you aren’t exactly comparing apples to apples,Lindsey may only be mid pack if men’s and women down hill were combined , but keep up the good work and I’m far from sexist by the way , maybe sexy!!!

  29. I don’t know who that is but if it’s someone that agrees with you why wouldn’t you say exactly what you did? Back to predictable I see. So sad.

  30. Normally you put quotes around other peoples work and make the attribution clear. The content provided by Crazy was from a comment written by mike501 on The Checkered Flag dated 4/12/17.
    My mistake for thinking Crazy did the work. Nonetheless I think it misses the point. That being not the Patricks career was mediocre in the absolute sense which most agree it was. But it was the highest level of achievement by a woman. I think it’s a big deal. Moreover if a good team and a sponsor are going to allow any person to drive at the highest level regardless of the reasons that counts as achievement as well. We don’t like to dwell on it but racing is as much about products and promotion as it is about on track performance. Just being in the show is an achievement.
    So it’s on to the Indy 500 and I for one will be rooting for her. I agree with mike501, she was stronger in Indy cars and hopefully there is less chance she gets collected in a wreck and finishes.

  31. I have no idea why you are explaining yourself Elect. Your brief comment was relevant and on point. Crazy used the sexist label as a deflection when what you said was the opposite of sexism. It’s identifying the women in Olympic skiing are segregated from men. For good reasons clearly but it still is the ultimate sexist bias.

  32. Crazy in NY says:

    The content provided by Crazy was from a comment written by mike501 on The Checkered Flag dated 4/12/17.
    My mistake for thinking Crazy did the work.
    What??? What ever made you think I might have done the work when I prefaced the cut and paste with the words ” Not my words” and then linked the source. Don’t have clue where you are going with this.
    The historians of this sport have and will document her place as we go
    for forward. I think Mike 501 has it nailed pretty much. You may not agree. More power to ya. As to Elects comments I stand by my thoughts on it being a sexist statement. One of the best things about woman and men competing heads up as in motorsports is there is no gender bias in a racing machine. You can either do it or you can’t. No more glowing example is that of three time NHRA champion Shirley Muldowney. Over came the obvious sexism of racing at the time she worked hard to reject the Cha Cha label by going out and beating the best in the game in her day. Danni Pat also didn’t break the gender barrier in NASCAR either as everybody knows. You have a jones for her that’s apparent but I think she’s an overhyped product of where the sport is unfortunately going,

  33. OK I tried. Wrong audience. Onto more fertile ground.

  34. darealgoodfella says:

    Crazy, with Douggie, less is more. Use less words, way less words.

  35. Crazy in NY says:

    Now THIS is feminine racing courage

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpGGJdcmt4o

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