It sure looks like Danica Patrick accidentally released the news that she’ll drive in the Indianapolis 500 for Ed Carpenter Racing.
IndyCar announced that a deal was done for Patrick’s participation in the May race earlier in the week. But the sanctioning body said an official announcement regarding the details of Patrick’s arrangement — namely who she’s driving for — would be announced at a later date.
Wednesday at Daytona 500 media day, Patrick said the following when asked about the Indy version of the 500. The Memorial Day weekend race will be her final major-series race before she retires from driving.
“Actually, I didn’t have time to meet up with Ed and the people,” Patrick said. “Did I just say that out loud? Oh, well.”
There are no other IndyCar owners named Ed other than Ed Carpenter, who fields a full-time team in the IndyCar Series.
Sunday’s Daytona 500 is Patrick’s final NASCAR race. She’s driving the No. 7 car for Premium Motorsports and is sponsored by GoDaddy, her first NASCAR sponsor. The domain company started sponsoring Patrick when she was in the IndyCar Series with Andretti Autosport.
GoDaddy is also sponsoring her Indy 500 effort. Patrick’s got her own brands as associate sponsors on the car and she said that if GoDaddy didn’t sponsor her, she had serious thoughts of sponsoring herself.
“I literally thought to myself, I’m going to do this,” Patrick said. “The power of NASCAR, advertising, the platform is big. I’ve got other companies that need some publicity. I mean, it crossed my mind. It didn’t have to happen. It probably was not really going to happen. But, sure, I’d have done that, yeah.”
While Patrick’s lone IndyCar Series win came in Japan at Twin-Ring Motegi, the Indianapolis 500 may be her most successful IndyCar race. She’s finished in the top 10 in five of her six starts and was third in 2009. Patrick will have a competitive car from ECR; expecting a win is probably out of the question but she could be in contention for a sixth top-10 finish.
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