Danica Patrick announced at the NASCAR finale in Homestead she would not return to full time racing in 2018. Instead, she would race the Daytona 500 in February and the Indianapolis 500 in May before hanging up her helmet.
Immediately after her announcement speculation turned to Chip Ganassi Racing as the likely landing spot for Patrick at the Indy 500. The CGR team downsized from 4 cars in 2017 to only 2 cars in 2018. That leads credence to the reason why everyone turned to CGR as the likely landing spot for Danica.
Chip Ganassi spoke with RACER on Wednesday and had this to say about the possibility of Danica running for his team. “Folks would like to see a lot of things. First and foremost, things like that have to make business sense to all the parties. I don’t want to discourage the idea, but I think it’s a small percentage of something happening. There’s nothing imminent.”
Essentially Chip says that she will not be racing for him in 2018. A shame for Danica and her team because a Ganassi car gives her the best shot at winning the 102nd Indy 500. Not sure how it doesn’t make business sense for CGR. Danica has to be bringing sponsorship with her to pay for the month of May. It’s a publicity dream to have her in the car. Maybe she doesn’t have the backing we all thought she did.
Will Danica Race The Indy 500 At All?
Part of what Chip said could be construed as he doesn’t think there’s much of a chance she runs the race. His “small percentage of something happening” could mean with his team or with the sport overall.
A team will definitely field a car for Danica, that will happen. Whether it is a competitive car remains to be seen. Danica isn’t going to hop in a Juncos or Lazier car for the 500. She is going to get into something competitive. Options are slim but there are a few out there.
After she announced this plan her dad spoke to IndyCar.com about his daughter’s plans. There is a third car open at SPM and he mentioned by name Dreyer Reinbold Racing by name saying they will be running 2 cars for the 500. Danica Patrick teamed with Sage Karam will be one hell of a 1-2 combination that will quickly turn into one car by lap 37.
One more interesting note, at the IndyCar pre-season meeting in Indianapolis this week Danica was absent. Karam, Buddy Lazier, Pippa Mann and other part-time drivers were there for the meeting. Why wouldn’t Danica show up for that meeting? She could just do a rookie orientation in May or one like Alonso, it’s still an interesting side note.
Danica will be in the Indy 500, with some team for one final run. Who? We have no clue.
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