Danica done: Patrick set for final race of NASCAR career

From FOX Sports - February 18, 2018

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP)Danica Patrick walked a red carpet alone, head down and with a steely focus on the final NASCAR start of her career.

The countdown was on for the first leg of the ballyhooed Danica Double.

Patrick was ready to race Sunday for the final time in NASCAR at the Daytona 500. Shell make a return in May to IndyCar and race the Indianapolis 500 before Patrick calls it quits on her racing career.

She was a driver at peace with her decision and ready to transition into the next chapter of her life with new boyfriend Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers star watched Patrick race this week from the top of her pit box and will attend Sundays race.

She tweeted, Ready to go!!!!!! with a green heart emoji hours before the race at Daytona International Speedway. On Instagram , it was a photo of her eyes peering through her race helmet with the caption, Going to have to keep my eyes wide open today in the race. These cars and guys are going to do crazy things.

Patrick has moved on from both NASCAR and longtime boyfriend and fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Patrick and Stenhouse, once NASCARs it couple, used to sit next to each other at the pre-race meeting. This week, the exes were kept separated on media availability schedules.

Patrick posted a photo on Instagram on Saturday of her and Rodgers with her family at the beach. She wrote Doing Daytona with all the people that mean the most to me. Stenhouse had his own take on the race and Patrick, a fitness fanatic and author of a workout book, had an Instagram post, as wellof rows of chocolate iced and glazed sour cream cake donuts at Krispy Kreme with the caption, pre Daytona 500 prep.

She leaves the sport winless in 190 career Cup starts, a total more than double the total number (78) of the 15 other female drivers who made at least one start.

Her influence as a female trailblazer will serve as her true lasting impact in racing.

Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron , the honorary starter for the Daytona 500, said she was cheering for Patrick. The 35-year-old Patrick is the only woman to start the Daytona 500 from the pole, lead laps in the race and is the highest-finishing female in the 60 years of the race.


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