Danica Patrick announced today that she will not be racing in the Indianapolis 500 this year.
Patrick will race in the 2012 Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway instead. The Coca-Cola 600 takes place the same day as the Indy 500.
USA Today reports that Danica announced her move to NASCAR last August. Patrick did say that she would return to the Indy 500 in the future and might even attempt to do an Indy 500 / Coca-Cola 600 double.
“I hope to do (the Indy 500) in the future. Maybe it’ll be a double. But at this point, after a lot of conversations, it’s just going to be the Coke 600. I think it’s going to be a big challenge, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Sprint Cup team owner Tony Stewart said that the decision to miss the Indy 500 was Patrick’s. Stewart said:
“We didn’t tell her she couldn’t run the 500. Obviously, she’s running the Nationwide car full time, and it’s a good weekend to get a lot of laps in the car… I’d say it was probably an easier decision for her to not do it because she’s running the Nationwide race. She’s got a lot of stuff going on. To run the Nationwide side and the Cup side would be really impossible.”
Danica Patrick has raced seven Indy 500s. She was the first woman to lead the race when she was a rookie in 2005. She earned her best result at the Indy 500 in 2009 when she finished third.
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