Danica Patrick is a former racer who is best known for racing in IndyCar and in NASCAR. Although she was a more prominent figure in IndyCar, she also raced in NASCAR for a few years. Ahead of the 2020 Cup Series race at the Phoenix Raceway, Patrick returned to the NASCAR paddock.
On this occasion, though, she was there merely as a spectator.
Following the race’s conclusion, she paid a small tribute to the outgoing Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, and Chad Knaus. Knaus is set to leave his role as crew chief and move to a higher role with Hendrick Motorsports.
Meanwhile, Johnson is set to mirror Patrick’s move. The only difference is that he moves to Indy from NASCAR, while she started off in Indy and later moved to NASCAR. Finally, Bowyer is set to take up a commentary role from the 2021 season onwards.
Truthfully speaking, Patrick did not really have a very successful stint in NASCAR. Her highest ever position was sixth place at Atlanta in 2014. However, she did have a bit more success in IndyCar, where she took her one and only race win at Motegi in the 2008 season.
Danica Patrick likely hit her peak years from 2007 until the 2010 season. Within that timeframe, she bagged six podiums and that solitary win. Additionally, in the 2009 season, she had a career-best championship finish of 5th place.
However, her career has often been mired in criticism, owing to largely sub-par results. Many actually considered her a publicity stunt to try to promote women in racing.
She did manage to silence most of the critics with her 2008 win at Motegi, though the talks flared up once again when she was unable to repeat that feat.
All said and done, Danica Patrick has definitely paved the way for women in NASCAR and IndyCar. She will be pleased to know that there are a few female racers who are willing to take the fight to their male counterparts.