IndyCar driver Danica Patrick revealed Thursday the worst kept secret in sports: she’s moving to NASCAR full-time. However, the highly paid female sports sensation says it’s not about money.
“If it was about money, I’d have gone a long time ago,” Patrick said from the Arizona headquarters of her main sponsor, GoDaddy. “I just go where my heart tells me, where my gut tells me to go, where I’m enjoying my life the most, where I feel like I can have the most success. I’ve truly enjoyed my experience in NASCAR, to the point that I want to do it full-time.”
However, some of her fans aren’t happy to see her make the switch from IndyCar to the NASCAR circuit.
“Danica has always been a great ambassador for IndyCar, and there is no doubt she has left a positive impression on our sport,” IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said Thursday. “She has touched millions of fans and many that were new to motorsports. Danica attracted a fan base that every athlete and sports property in the world would love to have. We should give her a great farewell the rest of this season as she opens a new page in her career and wish her continued success with her new direction.”
As for NASCAR, some prominent racing names have some advice for their new colleague.
“The thing you see in Danica right away is how determined she is to be good at what she does. She’s very dedicated to taking the time and effort to make the transition from Indy cars to stock cars,” driver Tony Stewart said. “She has talent, she has the right mindset and she has the proper drive and determination. It doesn’t matter who it is you’re looking for, those are the key attributes that you look for in a driver, and Danica’s got them.”
Ultimately, Patrick will bring more fans to NASCAR, thanks to her popularity and mass appeal.
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