What’s Next: Danica Patrick Won’t Be Returning to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018

In a Motorsport that is primarily dominated by males, Danica Patrick is a well-known and popular female figure in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. On top of that, she also has a history of being a successful female driver in the Indycar Series.

However, as fans and regular viewers of NASCAR will know – Danica hasn’t quite had that same success in the NASCAR Cup Series, and it has recently come to light that Danica will not be returning to Stewart-Haas Racing for 2018. It is still unclear as to whether she will continue to run in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series next season.

Danica released the following statement after the announcement of her departure from Stewart-Haas Racing:

“It has been my honor to drive for Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for the past six seasons… 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.”

So what’s next for Danica? Previously, she had spoken about retirement just a few months ago when commenting upon the risks of being a driver when Dale Earnthardt Jr was suffering from a concussion. She took the opportunity to share her own personal experiences and said this in relation to the topic:

“I love what I do, but I love lots of other things and I also love life and I’m too young to have it be over.”

Having raced half her life and no longer being a rookie, the end of 35-year-old Danica’s NASCAR stint may nigh. When asked about her new clothing line – Warrior by Danica Patrick on HSN – her racing career inevitably got questioned. Very honestly, she said the following:

“Every year I start the year, I always have hope that it’s going to be the year that things are going to click. I understand my career hasn’t progressed. Maybe it’s regressed? Why is that? Am I worse driver than I was a couple of years ago? Probably not. I don’t think anybody gets worse. So it’s really a matter of all the factors around you.”

Danica also reflected upon previous comments she made to NASCAR.com about her feelings towards her performance:

“I said this last year, it’s not any fun to run 20th or 25th.”

Danica has undeniably made improvements through her NASCAR career. They’re not ground breaking in that she’s never won a race or been in the top 5, but they’re improvements nevertheless. It certainly seems though that perhaps Danica could be willing to step away from the sport graciously in order to focus her attentions on other things.

However, it definitely wouldn’t be the last we see of Danica.  As a woman who has also gained the status of being a successful IndyCar driver, on top of being an incredible athlete with ventures in commercials, Yoga, TV show appearances, video games, music videos and magazines – there’ll be plenty more to see from her yet. For now, it may be time for Danica Patrick fans to prepare for her NASCAR departure at the end of this season.