Danica Patrick, who as a rookie seven years ago became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500, will not compete in the event this year, opting to focus on NASCAR racing and the same day Coca-Cola 600.
Patrick, who late last season announced her decision to focus on NASCAR racing, had left the Indy 500 as an option. Now, Patrick who finished fifth in the 2005 Indy 500 and a career-best third in 2006, has furthered distanced herself from Indy cars.
"I hope to do it in the future, the Indy 500 that is, and maybe it will be a double," Patrick said Jan. 23. "But at this point in time, after a lot of conversations, it's just going to be the Coke 600 and I think it's going to be a big challenge. It's just is something that didn't work out, as far as the business side of things. … For this year, it just didn't happen."
Patrick has now confirmed nine of her 2012 races. The Coca-Cola 600 iThe Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 are both May 27.
"We continue to wish Danica the very best on this new phase in her career. The door is always open should she wish to run the Indianapolis 500 in the future," IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said in a statement.