Danica Patrick will drive in her final NASCAR and IndyCar races with the colours of long-time sponsor GoDaddy.
Patrick announced her retirement from motorsport on the eve of last year’s season-ending NASCAR race at Homestead, where she revealed that she would see out her career in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500.
The 35-year-old had been known to be talking to IndyCar and NASCAR outfit Chip Ganassi Racing about the program but had been unable to reach a deal.
Though Patrick admitted that the process was taking longer than expected, the returning sponsor should help her make progress.
GoDaddy backed Patrick in IndyCar from 2006 and through her transition into stock car racing, before pulling out of motorsport sponsorship at the end of the 2015 Cup season.
“This is definitely the way I want to finish my racing career – at these two iconic races, backed by my iconic, long-time sponsor,” Patrick said.
“GoDaddy was there for me when my career was just really starting so it’s exciting to be getting back in the GoDaddy green for my final two races.
“Our brands have always been powerful together, and I think it’s awesome to have them at my side when I go all in with my businesses after racing.
“I don’t think I could have written a better ending to my racing career, driving my last laps on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway… although winning it with GoDaddy would obviously be the icing on the cake.”
No details were released about a prospective deal with any IndyCar or NASCAR team.
“You could say, ‘we’re getting the band back together,” said GoDaddy chief marketing officer Barb Rechterman.
“We have always believed in Danica and how she is inspired to set big goals, even in the face of adversity.
“We invite everyone to join us in watching how this next chapter unfolds out on the track, and then stay tuned for how she reinvents herself post-racing.”
Leading IndyCar teams such as Andretti, Penske, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Ganassi had initially ruled out running Patrick in the Indianapolis 500, while it is understood several NASCAR organisations have also been reluctant.
Schmidt Peterson co-owner Sam Schmidt recently told Autosport he feared the attention around Patrick’s swansong races would be “too much of a distraction with all the fanfare”.
However, he was confident Patrick would be competitive wherever she ended up.
“I think she’ll do an excellent job, she’ll float back in where she was before but it’s all the stuff that comes up with it,” Schmidt added.
Patrick’s deal with GoDaddy is also with a view to a business partnership outside of NASCAR, which she has openly said will be the next stage of her career in the past.