DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Danica Patrick rarely gets flustered during interviews, but she was certainly annoyed — at herself — Wednesday when she accidentally indicated she will drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in the Indianapolis 500.
During the Daytona 500 media day, Patrick was asked about when she will start getting into Indianapolis 500 mode.
“I didn’t have time to meet up with Ed and the people that …” she said before pausing.
The 35-year-old Patrick had not said which team she would drive for at Indy because a big announcement was planned for what is expected to be the final race of her career.
At first it appeared that maybe she had said it on purpose, almost joking about all the speculation. But then it was clear that she didn’t mean to let it slip four days before the Daytona 500, her final NASCAR race.
“Did I just say that?” she said. “I’ve never done that in my career.”
She ended her media session less than a couple of minutes later.
“I better shut up and leave,” she said. “I’m going to be in trouble.”
Ed Carpenter Racing is expected to have a three-car team at the Indianapolis 500 with Spencer Pigot and Ed Carpenter behind the wheel of the other two cars. Pigot said a couple of weeks ago that he would welcome having Patrick as a teammate for the 500 if the deal came through.
Patrick finished third in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 and eighth in the 2013 Daytona 500 — both the highest-finishing result for a woman in those events.
“She’s obviously had a very successful career and was very good at the speedway,” Pigot said.
The 102nd running of the Indy 500 will be May 27.