Chris Graythen/Getty Images
It’s hard to keep news that many fans care about under wraps, and that’s the case with Danica Patrick and the team or teams she’ll ride for at Daytona and Indianapolis.
The Indianapolis Star reports that two teams acknowledge talking to Patrick about racing in Indianapolis — Ed Carpenter Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. The newspaper referred to them as “frontrunners.”
Team co-owner Dennis Reinbold said he’d like to run two cars at Indy and that the team has talked to Patrick. Carpenter said he’s talked with Patrick about driving his third Indy 500 entry,. He added, though, “it has to be a deal that is beneficial to both parties.”
Carpenter’s cars have had success on the track, starting in the front row three of the past five years. Reinbold’s tea has struggled recently.
As far as Daytona goes, Patrick is hinting that she’s going to be in a big time ride for Daytona.
Patrick told ESPN she’s confident she’ll be competitive at Daytona. “We’re definitely pretty close on all that stuff, especially on the NASCAR side,” Patrick said. “We’ll be announcing that as soon as we can. I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t going to be a situation that would give me an opportunity to run up front and win the race.”
Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal reported that Patrick hopes to make an announcement in a week or so:
All of the big teams have their rides allocated for Daytona, so it will be interesting to see what ride this is, and whether it’s a team that can really compete for the front of the pack. There is also no word on whether she’ll have to qualify for the race.
The Patrick buzz hit warp speed after she announced this morning, via Twitter, that her original sponsor, GoDaddy, will sponsor her in the Daytona and Indianapolis 500 races this season.
How perfect is this? I’m so excited!
Getting sponsorship is a huge first step that will now allow her to negotiate from a position of strength.
Both Dayton and Indy, with her in them, are sure to be ratings winners, as her fans — whether they be race fans or casual fans who want to see her final race on the track — tune in. She’s also been expanding her business empire and picking up followers who may be curious about these last races.
Patrick, 35, left Stewart-Haas Racing last year and said she wanted to finish her on-track career by racing in what is now being referred to as the “Danica Double” — the Daytona 500 in February and the Indianapolis 500 in May. But the plans haven’t materialized as quickly as Patrick thought, and she admitted that it was taking longer than she imagined it would.
Over the past few months there have been numerous teams that have had talks with Patrick — of those Chip Ganassi Racing comes to mind. CGR is one of the only teams to run cars in both NASCAR and IndyCar, but the talks have since come to an end between the two sides.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had a spot open up in one of their Indy cars but said Patrick running it for the Indy 500 isn’t an option because it would be a distraction according to team co-owner Sam Schmidt.
Now, with sponsorship, we’ll see which team she ends up with.