Thursday, 25 August 2011 17:10
Andretti Autosport and Danica Patrick announced today that they have a mutual agreement to part ways at the conclusion of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series.
Patrick, who has driven for Andretti Autosport since 2007, will pursue 'other interests' in 2012.
Michael Andretti, president and CEO of Andretti Autosport, said he wishes Patrick nothing but the best in her upcoming endeavours and that she is always welcomed to come back to his organization.
"Danica enjoyed the most success ever by a female driver in the world of motorsports and was a leading marketing force within IndyCar. I wish her only continued success in her career. I want to thank Danica for her valued time with our team."
Patrick became the first female driver to win a major open wheel event in April, 2008 when she drove the No. 7 Andretti Autosport car to victory at the Twin Ring Motegi oval track in Japan.
In addition, she recorded 16 top five finishes and 45 top tens in her five years at Andretti Autosport. She placed fifth in the 2009 final IZOD IndyCar Series point standings.
"While I'm excited for what lies ahead in the coming year and beyond, I also have to thank Andretti Autosport for the opportunities they've given me over the past several seasons. I've grown a lot as a driver with Andretti Autosport and I'm thankful I was able to be a part of the organization.
"It's great to be competitive each week and I was in large part because of my crew and engineers and their dedication to success. I earned my first major auto racing victory with the Team in Japan in 2008 and that wouldn't have been possible without the Team's hard work and support."
Andretti Autosport is one of the nation's leading sports properties and plans to announce the status of long-time sponsor GoDaddy in the near future.
Statement from NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France
“We are pleased Danica Patrick has chosen to race full time in NASCAR in 2012. She has demonstrated a strong desire to compete and NASCAR provides the best opportunity to race against the top drivers in the world with the largest and most loyal fan base in motorsports on a week to week basis. Danica has shown solid improvement in NASCAR and we believe her decision to run full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, with additional races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be exciting for our fans and a great challenge for her.”
Statement from INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard
"Danica has always been a great ambassador for INDYCAR, and there is no doubt she has left a positive impression on our sport. She has touched millions of fans and many that were new to motorsports. Danica attracted a fan base that every athlete and sports property in the world would love to have. We should give her a great farewell the rest of this season as she opens a new page in her career and wish her continued success with her new direction."