Danica Patrick to retire from racing after 2018 Indy 500

Danica Patrick has announced that the 2017 NASCAR season will be her last as a full-time driver.

Patrick will race in the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 next year before bringing the curtain down on her career.

The 35-year-old competed in the Indy 500 from 2005 through 2011, finishing as high as third in 2009, which marks the highest finish achieved by a woman.

Her eighth-placed finish in the 2013 Daytona 500 is the best finish by a woman in that race, which she started on pole. Patrick remains the sole female driver to earn pole in the NASCAR Cup Series.

"I'm grateful for all of the opportunities," an emotional Patrick said at a media conference.

"I'm not totally done. I think it's [racing in the Indy 500 and Daytona 500] going to be a great way to cap it off."

Patrick's contract with Stewart-Haas Racing will come to an end on Sunday after the season-ending NASCAR Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami. Aric Almirola will take her seat in 2018.

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