Are Danica Patrick’s options dwindling for her Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 attempt or are teams just slow-playing negotiations?
Chip Ganassi Racing president Steve Lauletta said Thursday night on SiriusXM that the team and Patrick were no longer talking about fielding cars for Patrick in the final two races of her career. Patrick retired from full-time competition at the end of the 2017 season and will run the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 before quitting driving for good.
“We’re not talking any longer,’’ Lauletta said via NBC Sports. “I think it would have made sense, and we did have conversations if she wanted to run in both races, the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500, and ultimately we couldn’t come to a solution that worked for both of us.”
Ganassi made a lot of sense for Patrick because Patrick could drive both races for the same team. She needs to find a NASCAR team that doesn’t already have four cars and Ganassi has two. And Ganassi fields two full-time IndyCar teams, so it already has the infrastructure in place there too.
The only other team that offers both full-time Cup Series and IndyCar teams is Team Penske and it doesn’t seem like a possible destination for Patrick. Penske fields three full-time IndyCar teams for Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud and will field a car in the 500 for Helio Castroneves.
If Ganassi isn’t an option then Patrick will probably have to drive for different teams in the races. Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing are already ruled out for her in the Daytona 500 because they each field four cars full-time.
Patrick said earlier in January that it was taking longer than she’d like to find rides for the races.
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