Danica Patrick has shown no fear throughout her racing career, so why start now?
The first woman to win a major open-wheel race and lead the Indianapolis 500 is doubling down against superstition in her final race, when she will drive the green No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 27.
Patrick, a Verizon IndyCar Series regular from 2005-11, announced last November that she would retire this year after completing the “Danica Double” by racing in NASCAR’s Daytona 500 in February and following it up with the Verizon IndyCar Series’ pinnacle race, the Indy 500.
GoDaddy, a longtime sponsor through her career, stepped up to back the effort. Patrick inadvertently let it slip at Daytona that she would drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in the Indy 500, so the outstanding issue to be decided was the car number.
Patrick made the selection herself. Though generally considered unlucky, she selected the No. 13 simply because she liked it. The car’s livery has yet to be revealed, but the color will be the familiar green of GoDaddy she often ran in INDYCAR.
“Back in the day, the color green was also said to be bad luck in racing,” Patrick said. “I think it’s cool. I’m a firm believer that superstitions are only real if you believe them.”
ECR also announced that Patrick will turn her first Indy car laps in seven years on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in a team car during a Chevrolet manufacturer test day on March 29.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – to be the team to power Danica in her final race and to do it together here in Indianapolis is especially significant for ECR,” said team owner Ed Carpenter. “When you consider the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is where Danica first made her mark in racing, it’s easy to see why this is the perfect way for her to end her career.”
In her rookie Verizon IndyCar Series season in 2005, Patrick qualified fourth – a record for a woman – and led 19 laps in the Indianapolis 500 before finishing fourth for Rahal Letterman Racing. She topped that four years later when she finished third with Andretti Green Racing.
She finished in the top 10 in all but one of her seven Indianapolis 500 appearances. In 114 career series starts, Patrick scored 63 top-10 finishes before moving to stock car racing in 2012.
“I love how everything is coming full-circle,” Patrick said. “I am going to close out my racing career at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the place where so many amazing things have happened for me. I’m back in GoDaddy green and joining a great team. Ed Carpenter Racing is consistently competitive at Indy. I can’t think of a better way to finish out my racing career than at the Indianapolis 500 with this team and GoDaddy.”
Practice for the 102nd Indy 500 begins May 15, with two days of qualifications set for May 19-20. The race airs live at 11 a.m. ET May 27 on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. For ticket information, visit IMS.com.