Danica Patrick gets funds for 'Danica Double' but a critical element still missing

Brendan Marks, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Auto Racing

When Danica Patrick tearfully announced her retirement from NASCAR in November, it came with a caveat: that she would run two final races -- the Daytona 500 in February and the Indianapolis 500 in May -- as a send-off to her fans.

While that idea sounded nice, there were some logistical issues, such as: Who would sponsor Patrick? Which team would give her a spot? What car would she run? And as talks broke down with Chip Ganassi Racing, it appeared Patrick's driving career might not have the farewell she hoped for.

But now, Patrick is one big step closer to actually achieving that "Danica Double" ... and it comes courtesy of her old sponsor.

The 35-year-old driver announced Thursday that GoDaddy, the internet domain company that sponsored her for the bulk of her IndyCar and NASCAR careers, would again sponsor Patrick for the "Danica Double." GoDaddy first signed Patrick in 2006 while she was with IndyCar, and the company continued to sponsor her when she made the move to NASCAR in 2010.

GoDaddy left motorsports in 2015.

"I am fitting back into spaces where I am more familiar with people and I think that is a critical element," Patrick told the AP about her reunion with GoDaddy. "We'll have more to announce on the team side soon, but with GoDaddy being the sponsor, knowing how they work, having that level of a familiarity from a working and friendship standpoint, helps."

Patrick's and GoDaddy's partnership was perhaps best-known through a series of commercials the two shot together.

Still, Patrick has been unable to secure a ride from one of the major racing teams, meaning she will likely race under a smaller, less well-funded team if she does indeed find a ride (although having a sponsor should be a huge boon to any team considering signing her).

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 (which takes place Feb. 18) begins in about three weeks, so Patrick will need to act fast if she has real hopes of accomplishing her "Danica Double."

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