Danica Patrick's NASCAR career in pictures

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Danica Patrick's NASCAR career in pictures
Nick DeGroot
By: Nick DeGroot
Feb 18, 2018, 2:11 PM

The 60th running of the Daytona 500 will be Danica Patrick's 191st NASCAR Cup start, and her last. Here's a look back through the years on her career in stock car racing.

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2010 ARCA debut

2010 ARCA debut
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Danica Patrick made her stock car debut in the 2010 ARCA season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, finishing sixth.

2010 NASCAR Xfinity Series debut

2010 NASCAR Xfinity Series debut
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Danica Patrick's first go at an actual NASCAR-sanctioned race didn't go near as well, finishing 35th after getting swept up in the 'Big One' 69 laps into the race.

Getting more seat time

Getting more seat time
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Danica got more comfortable behind the wheel as she gathered more experience. Here she is going four-wide and rubbing fenders in the 2010 NASCAR Xfinity Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Best career-result in the NASCAR Xfinity Series

Best career-result in the NASCAR Xfinity Series
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Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

Danica scored her best finish in 2011 Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas, coming home in the fourth position.

First pole position

First pole position
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

In the 2012 Xfinity Series season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, Danica captured her first pole position. She went on to finish 38th.

Making the move up to Cup

Making the move up to Cup
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Danica made her debut in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series that same weekend in the Daytona 500, igniting a media firestorm.

A hit with the fans

A hit with the fans
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Danica Patrick was wildly popular even before she took to the track, thanks to extensive media coverage and the following she had already built up from her open-wheel days.

Abrupt end to Cup debut

Abrupt end to Cup debut
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Danica's MENCS debut came to a screeching halt on just the second lap of the rain-delayed Daytona 500, colliding with several cars in a multi-car accident. She finished 38th.

Making the transition

Making the transition
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Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Danica was far from the only open-wheel driver to make the switch to stock car racing. Champion drivers such as Dario Franchitti and Juan Pablo Montoya struggled to find much success in their time in NASCAR.

Learning the hard way

Learning the hard way
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Photo by: Getty Images

Danica's foray into Cup competition was far from easy with several hurdles along the way.

Never backing down

Never backing down
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Photo by: Getty Images

However, Danica had no problem standing up for herself when she felt wronged. She tangled with various drivers throughout her career. Here she is showing her displeasure with Regan Smith at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2012.

2013 Daytona 500 pole-sitter

2013 Daytona 500 pole-sitter
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Danica's proudest moment had to come in the 2013 Daytona 500 where she captured pole position for 'The Great American Race.'

Running up front

Running up front
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Danica led five laps in the 2013 Daytona 500, running up inside the top five for the majority of the race before finishing eighth -- her first top ten.

Going full-time

Going full-time
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Photo by: Action Sports Photography

2013 marked Danica's first full-time season at the Cup level. She was ranked 27th in the championship standings at the end of the year.

Impact on NASCAR

Impact on NASCAR
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Despite her struggles on the track, Danica continued to have a major impact on the sport, able to maintain a strong following and media attention.

Career-best showing

Career-best showing
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Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Danica's best finish at the Cup level came in the 2014 Atlanta race, crossing the finish line just one position shy of the top five in sixth.

Post-GoDaddy era

Post-GoDaddy era
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Photo by: Action Sports Photography

After a lengthy partnership with GoDaddy.com, Danica shed her bright green livery for the 2016 season.

Final season

Final season
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Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

Danica Patrick didn't have much to smile about in her final season with just one top-ten finish -- a tenth at Dover. She also suffered eleven DNFs.

Final start with Stewart-Haas Racing

Final start with Stewart-Haas Racing
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Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / LAT Images

Danica Patrick spent the entirety of her Cup career with Stewart-Haas Racing, but that came to an end in her 190th start in the 2017 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Back in green for the 'Danica Double'

Back in green for the 'Danica Double'
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Photo by: Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Although the sun was setting on Danica Patrick's career after 2017, she still had one more start left in her. She will contest the 60th running of the Daytona 500, returning to the familiar No. 7 and GoDaddy colors.

Reunited with Tony Eury Jr.

Reunited with Tony Eury Jr.
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Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

She even has Tony Eury Jr. back atop the pit box for her final race.

Where she'll start

Where she'll start
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Photo by: Logan Whitton / NKP / LAT Images

Danica will start her 191st and final MENCS race in the 28th position, competing in the Daytona 500 for the seventh time in her career.

The last ride

The last ride
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Photo by: Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Premium Motorsports is fielding Danica Patrick's car in the Daytona 500 with support from RCR and ECR engines.

Still a fan favorite

Still a fan favorite
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Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / LAT Images

Although the on-track success never quite came for Danica, she remained a fan favorite and during the offseason, she even attracted more media attention than the reigning Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr.

What's next

What's next
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Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Danica Patrick will officially end her racing career back where she first made a name for herself -- The Indianapolis 500, driving for Ed Carpenter Racing as she makes her first appearance in IndyCar competition since making the switch to stock car racing at the end of the 2011 season.

An unfortunate conclusion

An unfortunate conclusion
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Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / LAT Images

Danica's final Daytona 500 ended in calamity, swept up in a Lap 101 crash and unable to continue. She ended her NASCAR career in the 35th position.

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona 500
Location Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Danica Patrick
Author Nick DeGroot
Article type Special feature