Danica Patrick‘s hopes of racing in this year’s Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 have been given a significant boost today after the announcement that she will reunite with former long-term sponsor GoDaddy.
Patrick announced prior to last year’s NASCAR Cup Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway that she will be retiring from full-time competition after having been replaced at Stewart-Haas Racing by Aric Almirola. She also announced that she would be taking part in the Daytona and Indy 500’s in 2018 as a farewell tour before her retirement.
However, Danica has had a hard time recently trying to secure a drive for both events, with many teams such as Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announcing that they would not be fielding an extra car for her.
Today’s news makes the possibility of Patrick taking part in the races a lot higher, with GoDaddy’s backing possibly opening the door for teams in both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Verizon IndyCar Series.
“This is definitely the way I want to finish my racing career – at these two iconic races, backed by my iconic, long-time sponsor,” Patrick said in a GoDaddy statement today, “GoDaddy was there for me when my career was just really starting so it’s exciting to be getting back in the GoDaddy ‘green’ for my final two races. Our brands have always been powerful together, and I think it’s awesome to have them at my side when I go ‘all in’ with my businesses after racing.”
The partnership between Danica Patrick and GoDaddy – a world-famous web domain company based in Scottsdale, Arizona – goes way back to Patrick’s years competing in IndyCar full-time. The company first backed Patrick in 2006 and remained with her when she made the transition to stock car racing in 2012.
The combination of Patrick and GoDaddy became almost iconic over their years working together. During that time, Patrick was able to become the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500, the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race at Motegi SuperSpeedway in 2008, the first woman to win the Daytona 500 pole position on her full-time NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2013 and the first woman to lead laps at both Daytona and Talladega. Additionally, Patrick and GoDaddy repeatedly hit the public eye with numerous popular and controversial Superbowl commercials.
However, the dream partnership finally petered out at the end of the 2015 NASCAR Cup Series when the company announced that they would be ending their sponsorship of Patrick due to a refocus toward smaller businesses and international markets. The deal with Patrick no longer made economic sense to the company, which led to a series of short-term sponsorship deals between Patrick and groups such as TaxAct and Nature’s Bakery.
Now, GoDaddy will re-enter the world of motorsports sponsorship after a brief absence for one last hurrah with Patrick in two of the world’s biggest races.
“You could say, ‘we’re getting the band back together,” said GoDaddy chief marketing officer Barb Rechterman, “We have always believed in Danica and how she is inspired to set big goals, even in the face of adversity.
“We invite everyone to join us in watching how this next chapter unfolds out on the track, and then stay tuned for how she reinvents herself post-racing.”
Patrick is still yet to confirm who she will be driving for in both the Daytona 500, which takes place next month, and the Indianapolis 500 that takes place in May.