DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Danica Patrick’s NASCAR career is officially coming to an end with a lot of torn up sheet metal.
Patrick’s tenure at Stewart-Haas Racing ended with a crash because of a blown tire at Homestead in November. Sunday’s Daytona 500 — Patrick’s final NASCAR start — she got caught in a wreck that wasn’t of her own doing.
Chase Elliott violently slammed into the wall after contact from Brad Keselowski as the drivers were running second and third. The crash then collected others including Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Patrick and David Ragan.
“I said earlier today that I feel like the whole thing was picture perfect with Godaddy on the car … but it just wasn’t meant to be I guess today,” Patrick said after the crash.
Patrick ended her time as a full-time NASCAR driver when her contract at Stewart-Haas Racing expired. At 35, Patrick put together a deal for the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 for 2018 before retiring from auto racing and pursuing other opportunities involving her lifestyle brands.
Sunday’s race was with Premium Motorsports, where she was reunited with former crew chief Tony Eury Jr. Patrick ran in the middle of the pack for most of the race and was proud of how competitive her team was until the crash.
“That’s the gamble about Daytona is it can go so well and it can go so awful,” Patrick said.
Patrick’s boyfriend, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, was in attendance at the race. The two shared a kiss on the grid before the race began.
Patrick will race the Indianapolis 500 for Ed Carpenter Racing.
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