The longtime female star on the track opened up about her future – especially amid sponsor troubles she has experienced throughout this last season. With such an uncertain future, Danica Patrick confesses to ESPN that she’s at peace with whatever path her career takes at this point.
During an event revealing her forthcoming throwback paint scheme for the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Patrick expressed that she only desires to continue racing in NASCAR‘s Cup Series and isn’t looking at taking up a position in the Xfinity Series for 2018.
A team-member on Stewart-Haas Racing, Patrick has encountered several big hurdles with sponsorship this year – and the biggest involving a $31 million lawsuit against her primary sponsor who pulled out just one year into their contract. Now, Patrick is left without a primary sponsor for 2018 – and that could leave her out of a ride.
“I want to continue racing if I have an opportunity to do well,’’ Patrick explained to NBC Sports. “I have no interest, as I’ve said for years now, to run 25th. It’s not fun. So if I don’t feel like I can have the opportunity to move on from there and have a better opportunity, then honestly I don’t care. It’s just because it’s not fun. I don’t drive because I love the thrill of getting sideways. In fact, I don’t like getting sideways. That’s not why I do it. I’m just letting things evolve the way they can without being forceful about anything.’’
But Patrick specifically said that nobody should take that statement to mean that she doesn’t care – because she cares – and she cares enough to get mad sometimes.
“When I was younger I used to get so mad all the time,’’ she said. “Trust me. I still get mad and throw things. I try not to do it in front of people. I still get fired up.’’
“I finally came to the conclusion a long time ago, and I’ve only just gotten better at it that I don’t have to look like I hate everything and hate everybody and be awfully unhappy about everything to do well on the track. In fact, sometimes it would get in the way if I was too unhappy. Me being more at peace with everything and not getting so fired up at certain points in time is just really because it’s unproductive, and I don’t need to prove to people that I care.’’
Patrick isn’t faring too poorly this season and has notched a foursome of Top 15 finishes, placing 22nd during the most recent NASCAR Cup Series race in Michigan. Of her improved stats, Patrick says that she thinks they’ve finally gotten “away from bad luck”, adding that they might even be experiencing a string of good luck.
While she is rising in the standings, and is at her best spot in two years – that still doesn’t equate to having a sponsor for 2018. Only time will tell if she can grab one before it’s too late.
Watch her interview with ESPN below and let us know what you think is in store for Danica Patrick in the comments.