CONCORD, N.C. — Danica Patrick will be too busy during Coca-Cola 600 weekend to pine for Indianapolis.
True, Patrick’s streak of seven straight Indianapolis 500s ends this year. True, in rare idle moments she may think about the vaunted Brickyard.
But Patrick is at peace with her decision to come to NASCAR racing, so much so that absence from Indy won’t bother her as she moves through a hectic schedule at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Patrick will run 300 miles in Saturday’s History 300 Nationwide Series race. On Sunday, 36 years after Janet Guthrie debuted in what was then the World 600 (now Coca-Cola 600), Patrick will become the second woman to compete in NASCAR’s longest race.
“The reason why I came to race NASCAR was to do all of these things,” Patrick said Thursday at CMS. “I was ready to leave IndyCar. I wanted to be here. When you are not missing something, longing for something, you don’t really think about it that much.
“It’s like that girlfriend you didn’t want to have anymore. You don’t think about her anymore. Or ex-husband — we all seem old enough to be at that point. You just don’t.”
Besides, Patrick has abandoned hope of racing at Indy in the future.
“Indy, I have lots of great memories from there, and probably the part of me that doesn’t feel quite as longing for it is that there is still a chance that I could do it again,” she said. “It’s not gone.”