Danica Patrick Rules Out Indy 500 Attempt in 2013
- Danica Patrick confirmed she will not race in this year's Indianapolis 500.
- Patrick is a former star of the Izod IndyCar Series who switched to NASCAR.
- Three drivers have raced at Indy and in Charlotte's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Former IndyCar star Danica Patrick, now entering her first full season of competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup stock car series, confirmed Thursday she will not attempt to race in the 2013 Indianapolis 500.
Patrick, who has two top-five finishes at Indianapolis, had said earlier that she was interested in returning to Indy, possibly to attempt double-duty in the famous open-wheel race and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600, both held on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
Three drivers, including her Sprint Cup team owner Tony Stewart, have done the double.
"I am just going to do the Coke 600," Patrick said Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, where she is taking part in testing of the 2013 NASCAR racecars.
"The team and I decided to focus on Cup," she said. "It's going to be plenty of work as it is. It's going to be important for me running for the championship full time for the first time to really keep myself focused with the Cup car.
Patrick ran full-time in the second-tier NASCAR Nationwide Series last year driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports and competed in a limited number of Cup races in a car owned by Stewart.
Stewart had the greatest success of the drivers who have attempted the same-day marathon. He is the only one to complete all 1,100 miles of racing, finishing 6th at Indy and 3rd at Charlotte in 2001.
The former IndyCar and three-time Sprint Cup champion turned down a chance to do the double this year. Roger Penske, whose cars have won 14 Indy 500s, offered Stewart a ride in this year's 500 during the NASCAR awards banquet celebrating Penske's first Cup Series title with driver Brad Keselowski.
Edmunds says: Patrick and Stewart are two drivers with enough prominence and demonstrated ability in both types of racing that they will likely get more opportunities to race at Indianapolis in the future. Too bad organizers of the two races cannot do a better job of accommodating crossover entries, to stimulate interest in both.