There is one final race in Danica Patrick’s driving career – the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. It was made official today when Ed Carpenter Racing announced that she will drive the No. 13 Chevrolet for the team. Danica has always had fast cars at Indy, and this year will be no different. Carpenter started on Pole in 2013 and 2014, and nearly earned his third last year, but had to settle for 2nd. JR Hildebrand earned three straight top-ten finishes driving for Ed’s team.
The team will be fast, and her experience will help, even if she hasn’t driven an IndyCar since 2011. Over the course of her career at Indy, she has led more laps than Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Sebastien Bourdais, combined. She has more top-five finishes than Newgarden, Carpenter, Hildebrand, Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud, Takuma Sato, and James Hinchcliffe. In fact, only two current drivers have a better average finishing position (8.7) in the race. She will drive at IMS on March 29 during a Chevy manufacturer test. The full release from today is below.
[Ed Carpenter Racing Press Release]
Ed Carpenter Racing has finalized their 2018 Indianapolis 500 lineup with the addition of Danica Patrick, one of the most successful female racing drivers in history. Patrick will conclude her motorsports career carrying the familiar colors of longtime sponsor GoDaddy, the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. Patrick will compete in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 in the No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing.
Patrick announced her intentions to finish her racing career by competing in two final 500-mile races. Dubbed the “Danica Double,” she participated in the 2018 Daytona 500 in February and has now turned her focus to the Indianapolis 500 with Ed Carpenter Racing. “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will also mark her return to the Verizon® IndyCar Series, where she scored 63 top-10 finishes over a seven-year career before moving to stock car racing in 2012.
“I love how everything is coming full-circle. 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,” stated Patrick. “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.”
Ed Carpenter Racing is the eponymous team of Ed Carpenter, the only driver/owner competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series. As one of the most experienced drivers in the field, 2018 will be Carpenter’s 16th season of Indy car competition and his seventh year of team ownership. Ed Carpenter Racing has qualified a car on the front row of the Indianapolis 500 four of the past five years, including Carpenter’s back-to-back pole positions in 2013 and 2014 and his second-place qualifying effort in 2017.
“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,” remarked 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 addition to being the only woman to win a Verizon IndyCar Series race, the Indy Japan 300 in 2008, Patrick brings an impressive resume back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She raced into the spotlight as the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 in 2005 and was awarded Rookie of the Year honors. In seven attempts, Patrick has earned six top-10 finishes in the world-renowned race, qualified on the second row in 2008 and finished third in 2009.
For the 2018 Indianapolis 500, Patrick chose her car number herself. Though generally considered unlucky, she selected the No. 13 simply because she liked it. “Back in the day, the color green was also said to be bad luck in racing,” she said referencing the GoDaddy green from her Indy cars that has since become iconic. “I think it’s cool. I’m a firm believer that superstitions are only real if you believe them.”
Since Ed Carpenter Racing’s inception in 2012, the Indianapolis-based team has brought an all-American driver lineup to the Indianapolis 500. Patrick, from Roscoe, Illinois, will join two teammates to complete the team’s three-car lineup. Indianapolis native and hometown favorite Carpenter will drive the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet in his 15th “500.” Spencer Pigot of Orlando, Florida, will be competing in his third Indy 500 and first with ECR in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet.
At the conclusion of Patrick’s racing career in May, GoDaddy will continue to support her by powering the online presence for her business endeavors related to health, apparel and wine.
“Let there be no question about Danica’s ability to go out with a win at what is arguably the most recognized race in the world,” said GoDaddy EVP and CMO Barb Rechterman. “The best parts of all this for us is Danica’s moxie, her commitment and her ability to compete at the highest levels of a male-dominated sport. Now that she’s on the verge of retiring to pursue her own businesses and entrepreneurial interests full-time, like so many of our customers, we are aligned better than any time in our decade-plus long relationship. It’s all so poetic from our perspective.”
Patrick will be back behind the wheel of an Indy car on March 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She will spend the day testing an Ed Carpenter Racing team car on the 2.5-mile oval during a Chevrolet manufacturer test. Official practice for the Indianapolis 500 begins on Tuesday, May 15 with the 500-mile race taking place on Sunday, May 27.