Danica Patrick’s team for the Indianapolis 500 has been confirmed by both parties following her slip of the tongue at Daytona.
Patrick will drive a third Ed Carpenter Racing entry for what is set to be her final motor race, an agreement which she inadvertently alluded to during the Media Day for NASCAR’s Daytona 500.
She will be a team-mate to owner/driver Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot, who was promoted into a full-time drive in the team’s #21 car for this season.
“I’m super excited to run for Ed,” Patrick told Indianapolis television station WRTV.
“He’s obviously been a great competitor over the years. We’ve raced with each other a tonne.
“Part of that relationship also came from Matt Barnes, who works for him, his head of engineering. He was my engineer back in 2009 (with Andretti Autosport). We finished fifth in the championship.
“Matt and I are very like-minded to kind of go for things. I’ve kept in touch with him since I left IndyCar.
“Between Ed and having a great team and always being competitive, qualifying really well, having fast cars and Matt being involved, it seemed like the perfect option.”
Carpenter likewise made the deal explicit when he spoke to another Indianapolis station, Fox 59.
He also expressed his confidence about Patrick’s potential in what will be her first Indianapolis 500 start since 2011.
“I wasn’t planning on talking about it,” Carpenter admitted.
“It interrupted Valentine’s plans a little bit, but excited nonetheless.
“I’m hoping Danica has a good Daytona 500 and then we can all get focused on having a great month of May together.
“She has high expectations; we have high expectations, as usual.
“When we look at running extra cars, we always want it to be a good situation and Danica certainly fits the bill there.
“She’s led laps, almost won the race before. She has a great track record there, so we’re excited to have her as part of the team.”
Patrick has one IndyCar win to her name, at Motegi in 2008.
She will race in the Duels later this morning (AEDT) as part of qualifying for her final Daytona 500.