Its just been one of those years.
The kind of year where absolutely nothing goes in a drivers favor on or off the track and they are also in danger of losing their ride at the end of the season. The kind of year that turns supposed hall of famers and ground breakers in the sport to nothing more then a flash from the past or even worse , a failed experiment that is finally in its final months and will soon be known as nothing more then a failure.
Unfortunately for Danica Patrick, she currently finds herself in such a situation and while absolutely anything can happen between now and the end of the season, including a surprise win from the first ever female Daytona 500 pole winner in NASCAR, it looks like she is preparing for her eventual departure from SHR and has already listed a condition for any potential team in need of her services.
“Cup only, Patrick told reporters during her Darlington throwback theme reveal earlier this week. The conversation later turned to whether she was worried about her time in Cup coming to an end, she didn’t really seem to mind it all that much. In fact, she even told the press that she didn’t come to the sport for the thrill of getting sideways, but to run up front and win races.
Interestingly enough, she hasn’t really managed to accomplish that throughout most of her career in The Cup and Xfinity Series, which is why there is rampant speculation that SHR will exercise their opt out option with Patrick at the end of the season. Patrick does still have a chance to ride for SHR in Cup however , but the deal is contingent on SHR and Patrick bringing a sponsor to the table.
While Patrick did come into the sport of NASCAR with a big deal from Godaddy.com and had a few decent finishes at JR Motorsports in The Xfinity Series, her career started to enter a downward spiral following her first year in The Cup Series. Sure, she nabbed the pole in her first ever Daytona 500 start and had her career best finish of 7th a few years later , but she has never been able to top that accomplishment and seems to continue to struggle year after year.
“I have no interest, as I’ve said for years now, to run 25th,” Patrick told reporters about her future in The Cup Series, “It’s not fun. So if I don’t feel like I can have the opportunity to move on from there and have a better opportunity, then honestly I don’t care. It’s just because it’s not fun. I don’t drive because I love the thrill of getting sideways. In fact, I don’t like getting sideways. That’s not why I do it. I’m just letting things evolve the way they can without being forceful about anything.”
With all that being said, Danica Patrick will have to prove her worth to SHR or other potential teams if she hopes to land a competitive Cup ride at the end of the season. Of course SHR could always keep her until the end of the 2018 season and use that time in order to groom the next big thing at SHR, but is it worth keeping her there for that to happen? Furthermore, aren’t there a lot of cars already that deserve that spot over her?
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below a