Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Danica Patrick is at peace with her retirement from NASCAR: 'I'm ready'

Danica Patrick is at peace with her retirement from NASCAR: 'I'm ready'

The young driver posted three top-10 finishes, won a pole and led 200 laps in 10 races.

20 drivers are eligible to race in the Clash, but only 17 will compete; Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have retired from Cup racing, while Danica Patrick intends to do the same following the 2018 Daytona 500.

The pole was the second of Bowman's career and comes a year after Earnhardt won the pole for the 500 in his final season before retirement. This week, he dishes on one of NASCAR's best wheelmen-and his choice to take the checkered flag at The Great American Race. And that's given John Probst, NASCAR Managing Director for Competition and Innovation, some peace of mind as the system makes its debut in the days leading up to Sunday's Daytona 500 (Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM).

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"Just a little nerve-wracking", he said. I do it basically before I get to the racetrack, and it's fun. He has coursework due every Monday, but in anticipation of being focused on preparing for the Daytona 500 he turned in his assignments early before traveling to Daytona International Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole in 2015, Chase Elliott won it the past two seasons and now Bowman has the honor. Never would have thought it would have happened after the path my career took. Bowman turned a lap at 195.644 miles per hour Sunday to earn the top starting spot for the Daytona 500.

"I don't know if we quite figured it out yet".

The story gets a heck of a lot better if she performs well.

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"Imagine when you leave here on Sunday, you don't have anything to do really for a couple of months". Harvick finished third in 2017 and had two wins last season. With the unpredictability of plate races, it is hard to guess who will win the 500, but several drivers have made names for themselves as "plate ringers" with plenty of success at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway, including Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brad Keselowski. He joins a Hendrick Motorsports organization that is very much in transition coming off a disappointing 2017 (by its standards) and has retooled both its driver lineup and behind-the-scenes personnel with numerous changes. "We've run well over 220 scans by this point and so far, so good".

But she's not. Just days before her last stock auto race, Patrick is at peace with leaving the track.

"It all came together too late", she said Saturday. She will re-connect with long-time sponsor GoDaddy for the race.

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