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Danica Patrick lands ride for her NASCAR farewell race – the Daytona 500

NASCAR driver Danica Patrick has found a ride for the Daytona 500 in February, so she can race once more in front of her NASCAR fans. She’s still looking for a ride for the Indianapolis 500.
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick has found a ride for the Daytona 500 in February, so she can race once more in front of her NASCAR fans. She’s still looking for a ride for the Indianapolis 500. AP

It appears Danica Patrick will get her shot at the Danica Double (or at least half of it), after all.

Patrick, a longtime NASCAR driver, announced her retirement from the sport in November at the Homestead, Fla., championship race. But her emotional announcement came with a caveat – she would still try to run February’s Daytona 500 in February and May’s Indy 500 so her fans could watch her in two final races.

But for a while, it appeared Patrick’s desire to complete the ‘Danica Double’ wouldn’t come to fruition, as talks with Chip Ganassi Racing broke down.

Then last week, Patrick announced her former sponsor GoDaddy would sponsor her for the races, meaning a major piece of the puzzle was solved. All she had to do was find a ride ... and for Daytona, now she has.

According to motorsports.com, Patrick will join Premium Motorsports for the Daytona 500. The NASCAR charter she’ll run under, now owned by Premium, used to belong to Tommy Baldwin Racing, for whom Patrick drove 10 Cup Series races for in 2012 while driving full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

“I keep saying, I couldn’t have written a better story about how this would all fall into place,” Patrick said. “Going with the flow is working out beautifully.”

Because most of the larger teams already had their cars and rides soldified, Patrick had to find a smaller organization to run with for February’s race. Patrick has had success at the Daytona 500 before, even winning the pole in 2013.

In addition to running the race for Premium, Patrick’s old crew chief, Tony Eury Jr., will rejoin her for the Daytona 500. Qualifying for the 500 begins in about three weeks, with the race set to run on Feb. 18.

Brendan Marks: 704-358-5889, @brendanrmarks

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