HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Danica Patrick finished her Stewart-Haas Racing tenure emotional before the race and then angry with herself for a tire rub that resulted in a crash, ending her day in disappointing fashion after 139 laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Patrick spent time prior to the season finale taking photos with crew members in her final race after five-plus seasons with SHR. She will end her career in 2018 with NASCAR’s Daytona 500 and then make a return to IndyCar for the Indianapolis 500. She hasn’t announced which teams she will drive for next year.
Patrick finished the race 37th and likely will finish the season 28th in the standings.
“It’s kind of felt like the story of the year and what has pushed me to the decision I ended up making — it just seemed like every time things were going better, something would happen, my fault or sometimes not my fault,” Patrick said. “This is another case of that.”
Uninjured in the accident that finished with her car catching fire, Patrick said she was upset with herself.
“I’m feel angry — I’m disappointed that it was my fault that I got the tire rub as I caught the wall in [Turns] 3 and 4,” Patrick said. “And for not really any good reason, either, I just kind of slid up there and did ol’ dirt track, jumped the cushion [by the wall] and just right-sided it [against the wall] a little bit.
“There was smoke in the car. [The team] thought it looked all right, but it wasn’t.”
Patrick cried Friday when announcing this was her last full-time season.
“I was a little bit emotional [today], but I’ve been working through levels of that,” Patrick said. “I was just kind of looking forward to getting in the car finally. … There is still one [NASCAR race] left and then another one left, which is the Indy 500.
“There is still racing in my future and still 1,000 miles to go.”