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Danica Patrick Says She Won’t Drive In Indy 500

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, January 23 2012

Danica Patrick opts out of the Indy 500. (Photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)

CONCORD, N. C. – Danica Patrick announced Monday that she will not drive in this year’s Indianapolis 500.

Instead, she will race in the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend.

Patrick made the announcement during the first day of the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour in North Carolina.

“I hope to do it in the future,” Patrick said. “But at this point in time, after a lot of conversations, it’s just going to be the Coke 600. It’s going to be a big challenge.”

Patrick, previously a regular in the IndyCar Series who has driven in the Indy 500 the last seven years, has decided this year to devote her attention full time to NASCAR.

She is scheduled to drive a full Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports and a partial Cup schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Over the past couple of months, she has indicated that she would like to continue driving in the Indy 500. But on Monday, Patrick said 2012 is out as far as the 500 goes.

“It was just something that didn’t quite work out on the business side,” Patrick said.

Patrick’s best finish in the 500 came in 2009 when she finished third driving for Andretti Green Racing. She finished fourth in her rookie year of 2005. Only once in her seven starts in the race did she not finish in the top 10.

She will attempt to start her first Cup race next month at Daytona.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, January 23 2012