How Danica Patrick's exit will impact IndyCar

How Danica Patrick's exit will impact IndyCar

Danica Patrick's fame is vastly disproportionate to her success, but she kept IndyCar racing on the radar in its darkest days. So how good was she, how much will IndyCar miss her and why is she digging up her roots and switching to NASCAR?

It was the perfect storm: the vaunted Indianapolis 500 had lost its heart and its way since The Split and heroes on track were as scarce as major newspapers in the IMS press room. Indy needed an injection of adrenaline, an exciting storyline and somebody new to cheer for. It got all three in less than 10 minutes.

When Danica Patrick took the lead late in the 2005 Indy 500, the roar from the grandstands resonated across the country's television sets and all the way into barbershop conversations. This pretty, feisty, 100-pound American woman had driven open-wheel racing back into the mainstream and gave the comatose Indy Racing League an instant Q Rating.

To continue reading this feature...

You must have an AUTOSPORT+ subscription. Prices start from just $1.50 per week and give you full unrestriced access to all news and features. View package options? Magazine subscriber?

AUTOSPORT+

from just $1.50 per week

  • Get unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Explore every F1 stat in the world’s best motorsport database

Pay as you go

Read this feature right now for just

39c