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|Danica Patrick to drive Daytona 500 for Premium Motorsports|
| Nascar Series |
|Posted by: Harry on January 22, 2018 at 3:32pm|
Danica Patrick will have a familiar face working with her in her final Daytona 500.
Patrick will drive for Premium Motorsports and have Tony Eury Jr. as her crew chief for her final NASCAR race. The No. 7 car will use that team's charter (the No. 15 car last year) to have a guaranteed spot in the field Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.
Eury was crew chief for Patrick in the Xfinity Series during her partial schedules in 2010 and 2011 seasons and most of her full season in 2012.
"I'll be back in GoDaddy green, driving the No. 7 Chevrolet with Tony Jr. in my ear again," Patrick said in a news release. "It all makes my last NASCAR race just that much sweeter." Eury has spent the past few years building race car chassis.
"It wouldn't be just any opportunity that could coax me back to the pit box," Eury said. "Working with Danica and GoDaddy again at Daytona is going to be fun -- when you can do what you love and be in your element ... well, I can tell you, it doesn't get any better.
"Danica and I have shared success before in Daytona, and she has a lot more experience under her belt now, so I look forward to seeing what we can achieve during Speedweeks."
The team will receive technological support from Richard Childress Racing and will use ECR engines.
Patrick announced Thursday that she had sponsorship from GoDaddy for the final two races of her career -- the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The 35-year-old owns the highest finish for a woman in both events -- an eighth in the Daytona 500 (2013) and a third in the Indianapolis 500 (2009).
Although she has some funding, securing it so close to the Daytona 500 -- qualifying is set for Feb. 11 -- likely kept her from potentially landing with one of the consistently stronger NASCAR Cup organizations. Premium Motorsports was 34th in the team owner standings in 2017, but Michael Waltrip drove its Daytona 500 car to an eighth-place finish a year ago.
Patrick has not announced an Indy 500 team yet but has indicated that she felt good about her prospects in both races.
"The good news that is something with Daytona, and even something like the Indy 500, is that the number of drivers that have an opportunity to win the race tends to be higher with both of those races just as a matter of what race it is and what it entails as well as the length of time that you spend [at the track]," Patrick said Thursday.
"I'm in good shape."
Although eligible for the preseason Clash at Daytona thanks to her 2013 Daytona 500 pole, Patrick will not compete in that exhibition event scheduled for Feb. 11 after Daytona 500 qualifying.
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