Citing her commitments as a full-time NASCAR driver in the Sprint Cup Series, Danica Patrick will not be competing in the 2013 Indianapolis 500, she acknowledged Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.
Instead, the priority that day for the highest finishing woman in 500 history will be focusing her attention on the Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"I can confirm to you today I will not be doing the Indy 500," Patrick said at Daytona. "The team and I decided to focus on Cup. It's going to be plenty of work as it is. It's going to be important for me running for the championship full-time for the first time to really keep myself focused on the Cup car.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver did say, however, that if she were to run the 500 again she would be doing so with longtime backer Go Daddy as her sponsor.
Patrick's comments came during a three-day test at the 2.5-mile oval where the kinks are being worked out of NASCAR's new "Gen 6" car in preparation for next month's Daytona 500.
In the first practice session of the day, Patrick posted the third-fastest time overall and was pleased with the progress her team made considering they had a brake issue that slowed the No. 10 Chevrolet earlier in the morning.
"(The team) found that the brakes were dragging so, pushed the brakes back for the last run," Patrick said. "They pushed me out, it probably looked like I was doing a full qualifying run, but we really just pushed the brakes back to see if that is exactly what it was. Sure enough we popped up the speed chart pretty well. It's nice to know that the speed is there so now we will just start with our test plan. They feel like they have it figured out what is going on with the brakes so we will get going this afternoon."
The switch to the brand-specific car is a good thing in Patrick's opinion as she feels it puts her on a relatively even slate with the rest of the garage and her lack of experience in a Cup car won't be as much of a hindrance.
She was also pleased with chemistry she has developed with crew chief Tony Gibson, who joined her team late last season.
"I know the most important thing I feel with any team - whether its racing or any sport - is that the team itself is critical," Patrick said. "It's important to have good energy together, understand each other well and work well together. And I feel like the switchover to Tony Gibson and his team at the end of last season for the last two races was a really good change, and I feel like I saw some real potential about having a good year this year.
"... I think we're all real confident going into this year and I think we need to be optimistic, keep our heads down and stay positive when it gets tough."
Patrick also confirmed that she has been talking with Turner Scott Motorsports about running a limited Nationwide Series schedule for the team. However, negotiations are still underway in regards to the number of races, and who would sponsor the effort.