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Volume 24 No. 156
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Danica Patrick "Open-Minded" About Next Racing Opportunity, But Wants "Chance To Win"

NASCAR driver Danica Patrick said she would like to continue her racing career, but only for a "competitive team." Patrick will not return to Stewart-Haas Racing next year, and she said right now for her, "It's figuring out what to do next, how it looks and if I'm going to race for another team, if I'm going to keep going, if I'm not going to keep going." Patrick added she is "very open-minded" and is "in a 'go with the flow' mode" in terms of her racing career. Patrick: "I keep in mind all the things I want for my life and everything will fit in according to that." She added, "No. 1, if I continue, it's going to be with an opportunity that gives me the chance to win" (“NASCAR America,” NBCSN, 10/11). In Dallas, Gerry Fraley reports SHR "hopes to field a fourth team next season, with Patrick's replacement to be determined." Meanwhile, team Owner Tony Stewart said he and SHR had "taken" Patrick "as far as" it could take her. Stewart added that he was "'disappointed' in media coverage of Patrick throughout her Cup career." Stewart maintained that she was "harshly judged for mid-level finishes." Her best annual average finish was 22nd last season. Stewart: "She can run 20th, and everybody says she's not performing well. She's still out-running 20 guys who have decent cars. From day one, she's done a great job" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/12).