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Andretti wishes Danica success in NASCAR

IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti has thanked Danica Patrick for her years with his team and said he wishes her "continued success" as she moves full time to NASCAR.
"For breaking news that will shock the world," she acknowledged with a wry smile, "I'm excited to finally be able to finally say it ... We can finally put the rumours to rest; I am going full-time NASCAR next year."

With the announcement that Danica Patrick is to move to NASCAR in 2012 with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports, and confirmation from Andretti Autosport that Danica was to leave that team at the end of the current IndyCar season, her current team boss Michael Andretti has issued a statement wishing her every success in her new venture.

"I want to thank Danica for her valued time with our team," said Andretti in a team press release. "Danica enjoyed the most success ever by a female driver in the world of motorsports and was a leading marketing force within IndyCar ... I wish her only continued success in her career."

Speaking at the press conference in Phoenix, Arizona where she made her announcement, Danica said that "I'll miss some of the venues" in the IndyCar series - presumably not meaning the road courses to which she has publicly objected in recent months. "Some of the people for sure," she added.

"I hope I don't lose fans who have been awesome supporters of mine and cheered through thick and thin ... I don't know if the fans will continue to follow me, but I hope so. Fans followed me for a long time in IndyCar."

There is still the question of whether or not Danica will attempt a one-off return to IndyCar to compete in next year's Indianapolis 500.

While asserting that it was still "the greatest race in the world" and that she would "love to continue," Danica said that this was "still uncertain" and would depend on how the schedule for the coming year pans out.

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard issued a statement after the Phoenix press conference, saying: "We should give her a great farewell the rest of this season as she opens a new page in her career and wish her continued success with her new direction.

"Danica has always been a great ambassador for IndyCar, and there is no doubt she has left a positive impression on our sport. She has touched millions of fans and many that were new to motorsports. Danica attracted a fan base that every athlete and sports property in the world would love to have."




Related Pictures

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Danica Patrick in her GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosports during practice on Thursday, May 19 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Marco Andretti in pit lane (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
AJ Foyt attends opening day for the Indianapolis 500 at IMS (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
AJ Foyt at IMS (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Conor Daly on track (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti and father/team boss Michael Andretti at IMS (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
IMS logo on a Firestone Tire (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti enters Turn 1 during the Oval Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves sets up for Turn 1 during the Oval Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Pit lane comes to life during the Oval Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti in the cockpit (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya crosses the line of bricks (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya flashes across the Yard of Bricks during the Oval Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya enters Turn 1 during the Oval Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power leads teammate Simon Pagenaud into Turn 1 during the Oval Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves on course during the Oval Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)

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