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Danica Patrick seeking new racing team, could consider retirement

Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images
Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images

(NEW YORK) — After announcing Tuesday that she would not return to Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2018 season, Danica Patrick says she could retire if she can’t find a competitive racing team.

On Wednesday, Patrick said she learned earlier this summer that Stewart-Haas Racing wouldn’t field a car for her next year if she didn’t find sponsorship. “There wasn’t a lot of push to make it happen, but it’s okay,” Patrick said in a phone interview. “I’m fine. I believe everything happens for a reason, and you never know how good something can be until you try it.”

“So, whether that’s of course with another team or whether that’s doing something completely different, I’m open. I just want to do what feels right and what will give me the best chance — if I’m racing, will give me the best chance to perform and get in the winner’s circle.”

Patrick, 35, has seven top-10 finishes in her 180 career races. Her car owner Tony Stewart released a statement supporting Patrick and teammate Kevin Harvick said Wednesday that he hopes Patrick continues to compete in NASCAR.

Still, Patrick struggled this season, sitting 28th in the standings.

She did say, however, that she doesn’t want to return to IndyCar racing. “I am just way too old to say never,” she said, adding “that’s definitely nothing I’m seeking.”

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