NASCAR Buy or Sell: Danica Patrick returning in 2018?

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NASCAR Buy or Sell: Danica Patrick returning in 2018?

Known for her fitness off the track, Patrick posted a time-lapse video of her intense workout - complete with a bright sunset beaming through the window behind her - to her Instagram, just hours after the announcement that she won't return to Stewart-Haas Racing next season.

Richard Petty did not mince words Tuesday in expressing his anger and disappointment over losing sponsor Smithfield Foods to rival Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Stewart-Haas Racing.

SHR is the only Cup Series team Patrick has ever driven for and she has seven top-10 finishes in 180 career Cup Series races. She has seven top-10 finishes in 180 career starts and is now 28th in the standings, the lowest in her Cup career. "Thanks for the memories", Patrick continued.

Patrick, who has been with the NASCAR Cup team for the past six seasons, announced via Facebook that she would not continue driving for the team in 2018. "Our incredible partners, such as Aspen Dental and Code 3, stepped up in a big way on short notice this year and I am incredibly grateful".

Of her seven top 10s, Patrick's best result was sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2014. She won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500, won an IndyCar race in 2008, is the highest finishing female driver in Indianapolis 500 history with a third-place run in 2009 and is the only woman to lead laps in both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500. "I have the utmost faith in myself and those around me, and feel confident about my future".

"Smithfield has activated heavily and successfully within the sport, and we're honored to be a part of the brand's forward initiatives and strategy", SHR team President Brett Frood said.

Patrick has driven for Stewart-Haas Racing her entire Cup career.

Patrick, the only woman driver at NASCAR's top level, has endured a disappointing 2017 season and is 28th in the points standings. "I believe in certain things like the law of detachment - detaching from the outcomes that I think are supposed to happen and just like letting things go and letting things flow".

Earlier this season she told NASCAR.com: "I said this a year ago, it's not any fun to run 20th or 25th".

There had been plenty of speculation that Patrick, who had lost her primary sponsor at the start of 2017, would not be able to fulfill sponsorships heading into the 2018 season. Almirola's best 2017 finishes came at the Daytona 500 and the spring race at Talladega Superspeedway. She says she's being dropped due to a "New sponsorship arrangement" for next year.

Patrick, along with teammate Kurt Busch, entered the year with contract's expiring at the end of the season.

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