After weeks of insisting that no announcement about Danica Patrick's future career plans in NASCAR and IndyCar is imminent, the questions still aren't dying away. In fact the longer the uncertainty lasts, the more insistent the questioning - and not just about her immediate racing plans.
"There's no announcement today and there probably won't be for many months," Danica told the latest press conferences she had to face at the weekend, admirably masking any frustration and impatience she might be feeling at answering the same old question hundreds of times now. "It's just the kind of thing that takes a lot of time. I don't really know exactly what's going on at this point.
"I've just been told to do my job in the race car and drive as fast as I can and get the best results that I can possibility get. And that only helps things."
Rumours had been rife that her post-Indy 500 return to the Nationwide last weekend for the first time since March might be the ideal time to make an announcement, and speculation was ramped up after the CEO of her primary sponsor, GoDaddy.com, seemed to be pushing for a switch to NASCAR
as soon as possible. However, not only has Danica insisted there will be no announcement this week, she's also hinted that one might not come until the end of the year.
"Traditionally for me these contracts don't get announced until after the season ends," she said, for the first time setting some sort of expectation on how soon - or not - her future plans for 2012 will be revealed.
She also insisted that she really wasn't too bothered by all the questions. "In the positive sense, I'm really flattered people want to know that badly and people are that curious, so that's the real positive about it.
"But the negative is that I don't have anything to say," she finished.
And as if the questions about a switch to NASCAR aren't enough, now the media are starting to take the "and when are you going to have kids?" line that seems inevitable for a female professional sports star - perhaps inspired by the surprise exit from the cockpit of Sarah Fisher at the end of 2010, who subsequently announced that she is expecting her first child with husband Andy O'Gara - a daughter - at the end of September.
"I'm not someone who has a strong yearning for kids at all," Danica said emphatically. "I think more all the time that looks hard, that looks difficult, that looks like something I'm not ready for and doesn't interest me at this point."
In an interview with USA Today
, she told the anecdote of how her sister Brooke "did her eighth-grade graduation poster on what she wanted to do when she grew up, and it said, 'A mom!'" She added dryly, and firmly: "That's definitely not what mine said."
In fact, forward planning in general seems difficult if not outright impossible for Danica.