Danica Patrick's NASCAR career comes to a close

Danica Patrick's NASCAR career comes to a close”

NASCAR drivers Danica Patrick, Chase Elliott and former Cup Series champions Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick all crashed with 18 laps to go in the second stage.

"I said earlier today that I feel like the whole thing was picture ideal with Godaddy on the auto ... but it just wasn't meant to be I guess today", Patrick said after the crash.

After Patrick was evaluated and released from the in-field care center following the wreck, she summed it up simply: That's what happens at this track.

Patrick will make her return in May to IndyCar and race in the Indianapolis 500 before calling it quits for her racing career.

NASCAR President Mike Helton recognized Patrick during the driver's meeting before the race.

As Danica Patrick prepared to strap in for her final NASCAR race at the Daytona 500 on February 18, she found the time during Speedweeks to spend with those she cares about the most.

In Sunday's race, Patrick said she didn't have the fastest vehicle but felt she could be competitive.

While Patrick has drawn support from her fans across the country, NASCAR's first woman to lead at Daytona will have a little extra motivation this time around.

Patrick ends her career with 64 laps led with seven top-10 finishes in just over five full seasons in NASCAR. "And I say that because we're all competitors, and it's hard for us - even if we try going in to just enjoy the experience - it's hard for us to not get competitive and not want to do our best". "That's the gamble about Daytona, it can go so well and it can go so bad".

"I'm grateful for everything. It's not stock cars, but I got one more".

Cheryl Wray covers sports for the Alabama Media Network.

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