Danica Patrick’s NASCAR career has been the stuff of nightmares.
While her career started out promising by winning the pole for the 2012 Daytona 500 and then finishing ninth in her very first Cup career start, things quickly went down hill after that and she really has never fully recovered from the downward spiral. Unfortunately for Patrick, things have only gotten worse this season as the SHR driver only has one top-ten and keeps getting taken out before the end of the race.
Adding to the unfortunate circumstances for Patrick is the fact that there is an opt out option in her contract this season and while some are hopeful that she will continue to drive for Stewart Haas Racing in #10 Aspen Dental Ford, a new comment from Gene Haas is making that scenario a lot less likely. In fact, Haas, who is co owner at SHR, seemed to single out Danica Patrick in his interview about the teams future plans.
“If we can have a driver that wins races — and with a reasonable sponsor, Gene Haas told Motorsports.com in a recent interview, “all the teams can be profitable,” “And that’s what we’re here for is to try to make a little money at this.” With that comment in mind, it looks like the writing is on the wall and if Patrick doesn’t win a race in 2017, she will be shown the door at the end of the year.
Even if she does win a race and somehow does make the playoffs, which her best chance to do that would probably be either at Daytona, Watkins Glen or Indianapolis Motor Speedway, she is still in danger of not having a sponsor either. Whether Haas and Patrick can court another sponsor by years end to give her another shot in The Cup Series is anyone’s guess, but its got to be difficult to sell a company on a floundering team.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to tell us if you think Patrick will be done at the end of the 2017!