NASCAR

Danica considering return to Indy 500

Share This Story

   
 

INDIANAPOLIS (AP)

Danica Patrick is back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Could a return to the Indy 500 be next?

best of danica

DANICA'S BEST

There's no one like Danica, both on and off the track. Check out some of our favorite photos of Danica in action.

As Patrick spent Thursday preparing for the Nationwide race at Indianapolis on Saturday, she also was looking ahead to next season, when she plans to move up to a full-time Sprint Cup Series schedule. And as part of that move up to Cup, she'd apparently consider ''doing double'' duty next May - running the Indy 500 and NASCAR's race at Charlotte on the same day.

''I would love to do it,'' Patrick said. ''I've said that all along. I love this track, I love the race, I feel like I've had really good races. I feel like it was always one of my strongest races of the year in IndyCar. So I feel like that's something that I would love to do, and maybe it'll happen and maybe it won't.''

Jet-setting between two cities to run 1,100 miles of racing in two remarkably different styles of cars would be an impressive feat - but not an unprecedented one. Drivers Tony Stewart - who will be Patrick's team owner in Cup next season - Robby Gordon and John Andretti have done both races in the past.

Patrick has raced in seven Indy 500s, finishing a career-best third in 2009. She skipped the race this year, preferring to concentrate on making the transition from IndyCar to NASCAR.

Patrick says she still has fond feelings for Indy and is happy to be back, even if she's driving a stock car this time. The Nationwide Series makes its debut at the historic 2.5-mile oval this weekend, with the Sprint Cup Series' Brickyard 400 on Sunday.

''I don't care what I drive around this track, I love being here,'' Patrick said. ''I just like everything about it. I like the facility, obviously. And to me, the special thing about Indy is, obviously I've had great experiences, but it's about the track. So it doesn't matter what kind of car I come in here (driving). I've had great experiences, memories. That's what I like so much about it.''

Patrick said she is developing an even deeper appreciation for the track's traditions.

''The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what's important and what matters and what means the most here,'' Patrick said.

Patrick even expressed fondness for the track's notorious ''yellow shirt'' security guards.

''I see all the yellow shirts, and they all wave and hug me,'' Patrick said. ''I think you just have to be really nice to them - you have to smile, wave, `How are you doing?' Just show them some love, you know? That's what I always did around here, and I come back, and they hug me.''

All that makes Patrick want to come back for the Indy 500. But besides having a ton of logistical issues to solve to make that happen, Patrick also says she wouldn't want to race Indy unless she had a car and a team capable of winning.

''I can tell you that the only way it's going to happen is if it's with someone that I really feel like we can go out there and have a shot to win,'' Patrick said. ''Because I think it's unfair to the history I've had here and to my memories to do anything less than that. I wouldn't want to wreck anything I've experienced here with something to take away from that. So if we do it, it will be with a shot to be able to win.''

Meanwhile, Patrick's Nationwide team hopes she'll return to run a partial schedule next season.

JR Motorsports team co-owner Kelley Earnhardt-Miller says Patrick has expressed interest in running again in Nationwide and that the team is trying to finalize sponsorship and a driver for the No. 7 car.

Earnhardt-Miller says a best-case scenario would be keeping Cole Whitt in the No. 88 car, while putting Patrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and others split time in a fully funded No. 7 car.

''We haven't decided,'' Earnhardt-Miller said. ''There is interest on her side to run with JR Motorsports. ... The key for us is to work through all of the other opportunities.''

Tagged: Danica Patrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NASCAR Videos

CUP: Kyle Busch Shatters Track Record in Qualifying - Loudon 2014 Posted: Jul 12, 2014
Kyle Busch reacts to winning the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

5 For Fun: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Posted: Jul 11, 2014
When was the last time Dale Earnhardt Jr. got a speeding ticket? The NASCAR star...

Let It Ride: Loudon NASCAR Odds Posted: Jul 10, 2014
Todd Fuhrman is in-studio to talk with Danielle Trotta about the Vegas odds for ...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Danica_Patrick/browse/featuredproduct/974547/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_974000/ff_974547_xl.jpg&w=100 26.95 Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal
    Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Kyle_Busch/browse/featuredproduct/1011659/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1011000/ff_1011659_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Matt_Kenseth/browse/featuredproduct/1011661/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1011000/ff_1011661_xl.jpg&w=100 9.99 Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Carl_Edwards/browse/featuredproduct/1041164/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1041000/ff_1041164_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash