Patrick Returns To Indy: 1st Time Since ’11

Patrick Returns To Indy: 1st Time Since ’11
IndyCar driver Danica Patrick waits to drive at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Tuesday, May 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Danica Patrick’s IndyCar comeback got off to a troubled start. That steering wheel — so heavy! And all those buttons!

But after some quick reminders from team owner Ed Carpenter, Patrick passed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s two-phase refresher course Tuesday after driving an Indy car for the first time in seven years. After topping 215 mph around the storied oval, Patrick can focus exclusively on attempting to qualify for the 33-car starting grid in the Indianapolis 500 on May 27 — her final race before she retires.

“It’s been since the fall of last year that I’ve been thinking, what the hell is this going to feel like?” she said. “I’ve been waiting to get this day over with for a long time and I say that with love. It’s just the level of anticipation and not knowing.”

The wait took longer than expected, too. She actually wanted to compete at Indy in 2013, her second year in NASCAR, but was talked out of it. She didn’t contemplate a return again until last fall. READ MORE>