Danica Patrick to end racing career at next year's Indy 500

She stated that she was grateful for all the many opportunities and that it was an "honor" to compete at the highest level of racing.

It was since widely speculated that Patrick may perhaps be retiring from her racing career since her chances of finding another full-time ride in the Cup Series were slim.

It's hard to believe it's been six years since Danica last competed in the Indy 500, and we can't wait to see the excitement that will surround her return to "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing!" Patrick moved from IndyCar to NASCAR after the 2011 season, and has been racing Cup cars for SHR since 2012. The 2018 Indianapolis 500, meanwhile, takes place on May 27.

"I feel like I should be doing this", Patrick said after regaining her composure.

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An emotional Danica Patrick announces this will be her final season as a full-time driver.

"I think we heard I could TV, but right now, no", Patrick said. She has not yet announced which team she will drive for, but did say that she does not anticipate a return to NASCAR. Through 189 races she has seven top 10 finishes. Her performance there won her the 2005 Rookie of the Year award for both the Indianapolis 500 as well as the full IndyCar season.

Patrick's fame was launched in IndyCar, and her relationship with former sponsor GoDaddy made her one of the most recognizable female athletes anywhere, from Super Bowl commercials to race days in the green-and-black firesuit.

Patrick will not be driving in the Daytona 500 for Stewart-Haas Racing, team co-owner Tony Stewart told AP.

  • Regina Holmes