KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Danica Patrick has confirmed she will not return to Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Patrick made the announcement on her personal Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon. It comes on the heels of the announcement that Smithfield would join Stewart-Haas as a sponsor in 2018. As part of that announcement, the team confirmed a new driver would be joining the team.
“It has been my honor to drive for Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for the past six seasons,” Patrick said. “Together we earned a Daytona 500 pole, seven top-10 finishes and we also had some exciting racing along the way. My time driving for them, however, has come to an end due to a new sponsorship arrangement in 2018.
“Sponsorship plays a vital role in our sport, and I have been very fortunate over the course of my career, but this year threw us for a curve. Our amazing partners, such as Aspen Dental and Code 3, stepped up in a big way on short notice this year and I am incredibly grateful.
“I wish SHR the best of luck with their new sponsorship and driver. Thanks for the memories. Right now, my focus is on the remainder of the 2017 season and finishing the year strong. I have the utmost faith in myself and those around me, and feel confident about my future.”
Patrick started her career in open-wheel racing, spending seven seasons racing in what is now known as the Verizon IndyCar Series. She made history in 2008, becoming the first female winner in series history by winning at Japan’s Twin Ring Motegi.
Following the 2011 season Patrick left IndyCar to pursue a career in NASCAR. She raced part-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2010 and 2011 and raced full-time in the series in 2012 while also making 10 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts.
She moved up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2013, winning the pole for the season opening Daytona 500. She’s made 180 Cup Series starts with a best finish of sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2014.