Patrick crashed on Lap 68 of the race, disabling her vehicle but leaving her unhurt. Thus ended a career that many believe is the greatest by a female racing driver in history, one that saw her become the highest-finishing woman in the Indy 500 (third in 2009) and the Daytona 500 (eighth in 2013).
She may now turn to her acting and voice-over career, which has seen numerous appearances as herself on talk shows, reality series and hosting gigs.
Patrick was making her first IndyCar race since 2011 (she defected to NASCAR in the interim) and was known before the race as the one where she chose to end her career.
“I’m a little sad,” Patrick said. “I will say that I’m for sure very grateful for everybody and for being able to finish it up like I wanted to. There still were a lot of great moments this month, a lot of great moments this year. … Today was really disappointing for what we were hoping for and what you want for your last race, but I’m grateful for all of it.”
Oh, yes – Australian driver Will Power won the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske. The 37-year-old driver took the lead with four laps remaining. It was Power’s 34th career IndyCar victory, but his first in its biggest race.