Learners will deepen their understanding and appreciation of ways in which race, ethnicity and cultural diversity have shaped American institutions, ideology, law, and social relationships from the colonial era to the present. Race and ethnicity are ideological and cultural categories that include all groups and individuals. Hence, this course is designed in significant part to take a broad look at the ideology of race and cultural diversity in America’s past and present. The primary focus is on the historical and social relationships among European Americans, Native Americans, African Americans, Latino/as, and Asian/Pacific Americans. Issues of race and ethnicity are examined across different ethno-cultural traditions in order to interweave diverse experiences into a larger synthesis of the meaning of race and ethnicity in American life. In this course, we conceive of “race” and “diversity” as references to the entire American population, even as we recognize that different groups have unique historical experiences resulting in distinctive and even fundamental cultural differences. We treat race and ethnicity as dynamic, complex ideological and cultural processes that shape all social institutions, belief systems, inter-group relationships, and individual experiences.
Patrick at the 2015 Toyota/Save Mart 350
|Born||Danica Sue Patrick|
(1982-03-25) March 25, 1982 (age 35)
|Height||5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)|
|Weight||100 lb (45 kg)|
Multiple firsts for women in American auto racing, including first to win an IndyCar Series race, first to clinch a pole position in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the most starts, laps led, and top-tens in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.Highest finish by a woman in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. One of only 14 drivers to have led both races.
|Awards||2005Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year|
2005 IndyCar Series season Rookie of the Year
IndyCar Series Most Popular Driver2005–2010
2012NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver
|Monster EnergyNASCARCup Series career|
|191 races run over 7 years|
|Car no., team||No. 7 (Premium Motorsports)|
|Best finish||24th (2015, 2016)|
|First race||2012Daytona 500 (Daytona)|
|Last race||2018Daytona 500 (Daytona)|
|NASCARXfinity Series career|
|61 races run over 5 years|
|Best finish||10th (2012)|
|First race||2010DRIVE4COPD 300 (Daytona)|
|Last race||2014DRIVE4COPD 300 (Daytona)|
|IndyCar Series career|
|115 races run over 7 years|
|Best finish||5th (2009)|
|First race||2005Toyota Indy 300 (Homestead)|
|Last race||2011IZOD IndyCar World Championship (Las Vegas)|
|First win||2008Indy Japan 300 (Motegi)|
|Statistics current as of February 18, 2018.|
Danica Sue Patrick (; born March 25, 1982) is an American professional racing driver, model, and advertising spokeswoman. She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing—her victory in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 is the only female win in a IndyCar Series race. Considered to be a pioneer for women in motorsports by the media, Patrick's achievements allowed her to break the gender barrier in an industry that is predominately male, and have been influential to many women who have taken up a career in auto racing.
Born to a working-class family in Beloit, Wisconsin, Patrick began karting at the age of ten and achieved early success by winning her class in the World Karting Association Grand National Championship three times in the mid-1990s. She dropped out of high school with her parents' permission in 1998, and moved to the United Kingdom to further her career. Patrick competed in Formula Vauxhall and Formula Ford before returning to the United States in 2001 due to a lack of funding. For 2002, she competed in five Barber Dodge Pro Series races for Rahal Letterman Racing. Patrick later raced in the Toyota Atlantic Series for the next two years. Her best effort was third in the championship standings for the 2004 season where she became the first woman to win a pole position in the series.
She first drove in the IndyCar Series with Rahal Letterman Racing in 2005, and took three pole positions, equaling Tomas Scheckter's record of poles in a rookie season. She was named the Rookie of the Year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series. She improved over the next two years with Rahal Letterman Racing in 2006 and later Andretti Green Racing in 2007. In 2008, Patrick followed up her first victory to place sixth overall in the drivers' standings. She improved on this to secure fifth the following season, which saw her finish a career-high third at the Indianapolis 500, the best performance by any woman at the race. Patrick's overall form declined during 2010, but she still managed two second-places at oval tracks before stepping away from IndyCar after the 2011 season to focus full-time on stock car racing.
Patrick began racing stock cars in 2010 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series) with her best result coming in the form of a fourth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. She placed a career-high tenth in the 2012 season standings, and was the second woman to clinch a pole position in the Nationwide Series since Shawna Robinson in 1994. Patrick started in the Sprint Cup Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) in 2012. She became the first woman to win a Cup Series pole position by setting the fastest lap in qualifying for the 2013 Daytona 500, finishing eighth. Patrick bested Janet Guthrie's record for the most top-ten finishes by a woman in the Sprint Cup Series in 2015. She announced her intention to step away from full-time racing after the 2017 season, but competed at the 2018 Daytona 500 and will compete at the 2018 Indianapolis 500. Patrick drove the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Premium Motorsports at the former.
Patrick was born on March 25, 1982, in Beloit, Wisconsin. She is the daughter of working-class parents Beverly Ann (née Flaten) and Terry Joseph "T. J." Patrick Jr. Her parents met on a blind date at a snowmobile event in the 1970s when Bev was a mechanic for a friend's snowmobile. T. J. raced snowmobiles, motocross, and midget cars. They have owned a Java Hut and a plate glass company. Patrick has a younger sister, Brooke, a pediatric physical therapist. She was raised in nearby Roscoe, Illinois. Patrick was a cheerleader at Hononegah Community High School in Rockton, Illinois in 1996, and spent her off-time babysitting for a family down the road when she was not racing. When the girls were ten and eight respectively, their parents sought a hobby that would bring the family closer together. They saved money to purchase a pontoon boat, but its owner did not respond to their offer. The sisters told their parents of their wish to race go-karts after a friend of Brooke's allowed her to drive one; they were both given a go-kart.
Patrick began karting at Sugar River Raceway in Brodhead, Wisconsin.[a] Her father acted as her crew chief while her mother kept statistics on her racing. Patrick had no role models or idols; she was never "striving to achieve female goals," but aspired to "be the best [she] could be." In her debut race, she crashed into a concrete wall at 25 mph (40 km/h) due to a brake failure. She emerged from the wreck uninjured. Patrick improved to finish second out of twenty drivers at the year's end after a twenty-two race schedule. She gradually improved her eye to foot coordination, allowing her to set numerous age track records at Sugar River Raceway and Michiana Raceway Park. At age 13, Patrick asked her parents about moving to California so she could compete throughout the year; they declined, citing business commitments. Nevertheless, her father flew her to the Midwestern United States, and the rest of the country, to enable her to race. To help defray travel expenses, the family sold merchandise featuring Patrick, and imposed a rule that prevented her from undertaking activities that would harm her public image.
She won ten regional karting titles, and the World Karting Association Grand National Championship in the Yamaha Sportsman, and later HPV class three times: in 1994, 1996 and 1997.[b] Patrick was accepted into the Indianapolis-based Lyn St. James Foundation Driver Development Program in 1996. She was taught auto racing's business ventures, and her driving abilities were further refined. Her father often contacted newspapers weekly to chronicle his daughter's performance. Additionally, ABC and MTV ran television segments on Patrick in 1997. This exposure led to her being hired by John Mecom Jr. (introduced to Patrick by St. James two years earlier) to compete in the United Kingdom racing circuit. Patrick and her father visited Mecom's family who agreed to sponsor her on the condition she was sent to a high-quality driving school for further refinement of her racing abilities. She ended up attending three driving schools, including Track Speed School at Sebring International Raceway and the Formula Ford driving school. Patrick later competed in a Sports Car Club of America race at Daytona International Speedway in May 1998.
Junior formulae (1998–2004)
Her parents gave Patrick permission drop out of high school midway through her junior year in 1998, and obtain a GED certification. She moved by herself to England to advance her racing career, and resided in the Buckinghamshire town of Milton Keynes. Three-time Formula One world champion Jackie Stewart helped Patrick, and she socialized with drivers such as Jenson Button. Being both American and female, she was met with much opposition, but this experience helped her develop a stronger sense of independence and learn to overcome adversity. Patrick received some financial backing from the Ford Motor Company, although she later lost Mecom's support after one season following rumors that she was living an extravagant lifestyle. She successfully persuaded her father to underwrite her career.
During the three years Patrick spent in the United Kingdom, she raced in Formula Vauxhall and Formula Ford, coming ninth in points in the 1999 British Formula Vauxhall Championship. She competed for Haywood Racing in Formula Ford, and was the lead test driver for Mygale. Patrick was uncompetitive in Formula Ford, claiming the equipment she received was of poor quality. Nevertheless, she came second in the 2000 Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in an outdated Haywood Racing vehicle, tying Danny Sullivan's best performance by an American in the event. That strong result led to her receiving a Formula Three test with Carlin in 2001. Jaguar Racing team principal Bobby Rahal organized a second test for her with the expectation it would lead to her being put in the Paul Stewart Racing development program, but it was cancelled in the summer of 2001, after new owner Niki Lauda fired Rahal. That year, she was awarded the Gorsline Scholarship Award as the most aspiring road course competitor, and was recognized as the top female open wheel race car driver with experience on the international scene.
Patrick had a difficult season as the Mgyale cars she drove did not suit her smooth driving style, and was outpaced by her teammates. Ford later terminated her program as they suspected the capital they gave her was being misused, and felt she was not getting enough technical support. Patrick returned to the United States later that year after her funding dried up. She began negotiations to drive a BMW M3 for Team PTG in the American Le Mans Series in 2002, which ended when BMW withdrew over a technological dispute. Her 2002 campaign began with the fund-raising Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, where she defeated Tommy Kendall to win the professional class, and placed third overall. Patrick and her father traveled to race tracks on weekends with expectations of her being hired by a team owner. She spoke to Rahal about a race seat in June that year; he signed her to a three-year contract at Milwaukee Mile. That month, Patrick tested the ppc RacingFord TaurusNASCAR Busch Series car in a two-day test session at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.
She took part in five races in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, placing 13th with a best finish of fourth at Molson Indy Vancouver. Patrick switched to the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2003, and was the first woman to race in the championship since 1974. The season saw her secure the first podium for a woman in series' history at the season-opening race in Monterey. She improved on this by coming second in Miami at the year's end. Patrick placed sixth in the drivers' standings with five top-five finishes. In June that year, she made her sports car debut at the Grand Prix of Atlanta (part of the American Le Mans Series), partnering Jérôme Policand in the No. 80 GTS-class ProdriveFerrari 550, finishing fourth in class and tenth overall. In 2004, Patrick competed in the Toyota Atlantic Series for the second consecutive year, becoming the first woman to win a pole position in series' history at the Portland International Raceway race. She took the points lead after finishing second, making her the first woman to lead the championship standings. Patrick ended the season third in points with ten top-five finishes in twelve races.
IndyCar Series career
2005–2007 (Rahal Letterman Racing and Andretti Green Racing)
In December 2004, Rahal Letterman Racing named Patrick to their IndyCar Series roster for 2005 after the team found the resources to run a third car. She debuted at the season-opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, starting ninth, and crashing out heavily, which led to her being hospitalized for a mild concussion. In the season's fourth race, the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi, Patrick started second, and led 32 laps before settling for her best finish of the season, fourth. After setting the fastest overall practice speed at the Indianapolis 500, she started fourth and missed out on winning the race as she was required to conserve fuel. She came fourth after leading 19 laps and achieved multiple firsts for women at the track. Patrick took her first career pole position at the season's eighth race at Kansas Speedway, becoming the second woman in IndyCar Series' history to achieve the feat after Sarah Fisher in 2002. She took two more pole positions at Kentucky Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway to match Tomas Scheckter's record for the most pole positions in a rookie season. Patrick ended 2005 with an 18th-place finish at California Speedway after a clash with Jaques Lazier, finishing her rookie season with 325 points (12th in the points' standings) and seven top-ten finishes. She was named Rookie of the Year for both the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series.
Patrick returned to Rahal Letterman Racing for the 2006 season. In January, she made her endurance racing debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona, co-driving a Howard-Boss MotorsportsDaytona Prototype-class Pontiac Crawford shared by Rusty Wallace, Allan McNish and Jan Lammers. The quartet was in contention for the victory, but retired from overheating problems. Although she qualified third for the season-opening Toyota Indy 300, her team withdrew after teammate Paul Dana was killed in a practice session accident on the day of the race. Thus, Patrick's 2006 IndyCar campaign began at the first road course round of the season, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, where she finished sixth; she came eighth at the Indy Japan 300 at Motegi. At the Indianapolis 500, she started tenth. Patrick finished the race in eighth position. The rest of her season was modest with four top-tens, which included a season-high placing of consecutive fourth-position finishes: first at the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Speedway, and then the ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225 at Milwaukee Mile. Patrick came ninth in the final standings with 302 points. In November, the March of Dimes awarded her the title of Sportswoman of the Year in celebration of her dedication and success.
Before the 2007 season, Patrick moved to Andretti Green Racing, in place of Bryan Herta in its No. 7 Dallara-IR05Honda. She opened her account of the season with two top-ten finishes in the first four races (eighth at St. Petersburg and seventh at Kansas). Patrick started the Indianapolis 500 in eighth position. She raced competitively with the leaders, and finished in the same position she started, when the race was halted by rain after 166 laps. Patrick clinched her second consecutive eighth-place finish at the ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225 which was overshadowed by a physical confrontation with Dan Wheldon; the two reconciled after privately meeting with IndyCar president Brian Barnhart. She took her then best career finish with a third at the Bombardier Learjet 550, and improved on this result by clinching second at the season's penultimate race, the Detroit Indy Grand Prix at Belle Isle Street Circuit. Patrick closed off the year by coming eleventh at the season-closing Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, to place seventh in the drivers' standings with 424 points and eleven top-ten finishes.
2008–2009 (First victory and peak performance)
To begin the 2008 season, her second with Andretti Green Racing, Patrick scored her then best career Homestead finish of sixth. She followed that up with another top ten by scoring a tenth-place finish at St. Petersburg. At the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi on April 20, Patrick moved to the front of the field with three laps remaining after the previous leaders were forced to make pit stops for fuel and held the first position to secure her maiden IndyCar victory. This triumph made her the first woman to win a top-level sanctioned open wheel car racing event. At the season's fourth round at Kansas Speedway, Patrick finished 19th after a hubcap failure. After qualifying fifth for the Indianapolis 500, she retired from the race early after a collision in the pit lane. As Ryan Briscoe exited his pitbox, the two cars collided, and both were eliminated from the race. Thereafter, Patrick finished within the top ten for five of the next six races in the season. At Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, she had an incident with Milka Duno in practice. Patrick walked to Duno's pit stall, and confronted her before walking away. She ended the season with three further top-ten finishes with a best of fifth at Infineon Raceway. Patrick finished sixth in the final standings with 379 points, the highest placed American over the course of the season.
In the 2009 off-season, she made her second appearance at the 24 Hours of Daytona and teamed up with Casey Mears, Andy Wallace, and Rob Finlay in the No. 2 Daytona Prototype class Pontiac Crawford DP08 fielded by Childress-Howard Motorsports, finishing eighth in class and overall after overcoming several mechanical issues. Patrick again returned to Andretti Green Racing for the 2009 season. She placed 19th in the first race of the season, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, after clashing with Raphael Matos while in ninth place. Patrick recovered to finish fourth and fifth in the next two races of the season, at Long Beach and Kansas. She took her best career finish in five attempts at the Indianapolis 500 by finishing in third position. Patrick set a new record for the highest finish in Indianapolis 500 history. For the rest of the season, she scored seven more top-ten finishes with her best efforts being a pair of fifth positions at the Milwaukee and Richmond races. Patrick finished the season fifth overall in the point standings, her highest finish to date. This fifth-place finish was not only the highest of any of the Andretti drivers, but of any non-Penske or Chip Ganassi Racing driver for the season. In December, she signed a contract extension that would see her through the next two seasons, with the option for a third in 2012.
2010–2011 (Final two full-time IndyCar seasons)
The 2010 season saw Patrick return to drive with the newly renamed Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar Series, as well as a limited schedule with JR Motorsports in the NASCARNationwide Series (now Xfinity Series). As in the previous year, her season began poorly as she could only muster a 15th-place finish at the inaugural São Paulo Indy 300 after spinning in inclement weather. Nevertheless, at the season's second round, the delayed Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Patrick made her first appearance in the top ten by placing seventh. At the Indianapolis 500, she qualified a career low 23rd; in the race, Patrick struggled with her car en route to finishing sixth. The Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway one week later was her best performance of the season, which saw her lead one lap and finish in second. At the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, Patrick set a new series record for the most consecutive races running at the finish with her 29th event passing without her failing to finish. She ended her season by equaling her best result of the season in the final IndyCar race at Homestead-Miami Speedway which enabled her to finish tenth in the drivers' standings with 367 points.
In January 2011, Patrick's contract required her to inform Andretti team owner Michael Andretti of her plans for 2012, and she told him of her intention to leave. The beginning of the 2011 season saw her struggle in comparison with her previous two years at Andretti. Patrick twice suffered car damage at the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, after collisions with Justin Wilson and J. R. Hildebrand relegated her to twelfth. She struggled in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. Because her car failed a technical inspection, she was placed at the back of the qualifying line, and took 26th despite rain threatening to stop her setting a lap time. Patrick led ten laps in the race and settled for tenth after conserving fuel. She then took a further six top-ten finishes heading into the final race of the season with her best finish (fifth) coming at the Milwaukee 225. At the season-closing IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Patrick was one of nineteen drivers who avoided a fifteen car pile-up that killed Dan Wheldon; the race was abandoned and she (and the rest of the field) was not scored. This was her final regular season IndyCar race as she announced in August 2011 of her plans to focus on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series full-time from 2012.[c] Patrick placed tenth in the drivers' standings with 314 points.
Stock car career
2010–2011 (ARCA & Nationwide Series)
Patrick began her stock car racing career by entering an ARCA Racing Series race in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway. She finished in sixth place after spinning early in the race. At the season-opening Nationwide Series race, the DRIVE4COPD 300, Patrick started 15th and finished 35th after being caught up in a 12-car crash. In the season's third race, the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, she finished 36th after colliding with Michael McDowell on the 82nd lap. Although Patrick struggled during her rookie season, she had her best finish of the year at the season-ending Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway where she came 19th. She finished 43rd in the drivers' standings, with 1,032 points in 13 starts. In September, Patrick entered the K&N Pro Series East race at Dover International Speedway to broaden her stock car racing experience. She finished sixth after briefly leading the race.
Patrick remained at JR Motorsports for the 2011 Nationwide Series, and ran a part-time schedule that consisted of twelve races. She finished 14th and 12th at the season's opening two races at Daytona and Phoenix International Speedway. Patrick became the highest-finishing woman in top-level NASCAR history at Las Vegas when she surpassed Sara Christian's 62-year record to place fourth in the Sam's Town 300 race (the highest in her Nationwide Series career). She took her third top-ten finish of the season when she came tenth in the Subway Jalapeño 250 at Daytona after leading a total of 13 laps before being involved in an multi-car incident coming to the checkered flag on the last lap of the race. Patrick's best performance throughout the rest of the season was an eleventh-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway; she came 26th in points, with 321 accrued.
2012–2014 (Switch to the Sprint Cup Series)
In 2012, Patrick raced full-time in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports and began competing a limited schedule with ten races in the Sprint Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing in an alliance with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) in the No. 10 Chevrolet Impala.[d] Because TBR moved its top-35 owner points from the No. 36 driven by Dave Blaney to the new No. 10, she was guaranteed a spot at the Daytona 500. Patrick began her season by qualifying on the pole for the DRIVE4COPD 300, making her the second woman to achieve this feat in top-level NASCAR since Shawna Robinson in 1994. Her participation in the Daytona 500 was over after one lap when she was involved in a four-car accident, finishing 38th, 74 laps behind race winner Matt Kenseth. Patrick closed off her first full-time Nationwide Series season with four top-ten finishes, and placed tenth in the final points standings. Her season's best result was at Texas Motor Speedway where she came eighth. Patrick's best road course finish in NASCAR career came at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, coming ninth and led a season-high twenty laps.
Team owner Tony Stewart invited Patrick to compete in the fund-raising Prelude to the Dreamdirt track race at Eldora Speedway in June. She finished three laps down in 15th place after hitting the wall and being off the pace. In her fourth Cup start, the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, she was running strong before she crashed on lap 436 from contact with Regan Smith, which became her first did not finish (DNF) in the series. Patrick had her first lead lap finish at the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing 24th, the last car on the same lap as the leaders. Her final race of the season at Phoenix was embroiled in controversy as her car leaked oil and NASCAR elected not to wave the caution flags, causing an accident between Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman. This decision was criticized by drivers and team owners. With no top-tens, two DNF's, and an average finish of 28.3 in her ten starts; Patrick was not classified in the final standings since she did not contest the full championship, so was illegible to score points.
In the 2013 season, Patrick returned to Stewart-Haas Racing to contest her first full season in the Sprint Cup Series. She was assigned teammate Ryan Newman's former crew chief Tony Gibson and his pit crew. Patrick became the first woman to clinch the pole position for the Daytona 500, and became the first female to achieve the feat in the Sprint Cup Series. She ran strongly in the top ten for most of the race, but fell back from third place in the final three laps to finish eighth, becoming the highest placing woman driver in the history of the Daytona 500. Having led 5 laps, she joined an elite club of only 14 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. In the May exhibition Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Patrick finished ninth and advanced to the Sprint All-Star Race by virtue of a fan vote. She started from the 22nd position and finished two spots higher than that.
Patrick struggled after the season opener, failing to finish in the top-fifteen in the next 28 races over the next seven months. In 36 races, she had one top-ten, an average finish of 26.1, five DNF's, and was 27th in the standings with 646 points. She was second in the Rookie of the Year standings after a season-long battle with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. In the Nationwide Series, Patrick drove the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 and the first of two races at Talladega Superspeedway, the Aaron's 312, in the No. 34 Turner Scott Motorsports car. She finished thirty-sixth and thirty-ninth after a respective engine failure and crash.
Patrick remained with Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series. As she won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500, she was eligible for the Sprint Unlimited, finishing sixteenth after being involved in a multi-car accident. Patrick started twenty-seventh for the Daytona 500, and led briefly during the pit stop cycle before Aric Almirola clipped her, sending her car into a wall that lacked a SAFER barrier; she finished 40th. She set three records during the season: the first came at the Aaron's 499 where she was the first female to lead at the track, and her finishing position of 22nd was the best for any woman at the circuit. Patrick had the best qualifying performance for any woman at a non-restrictor plate track when she put her car fourth on the grid for the Coca-Cola 600.
She clinched her best finish in the Sprint Cup Series with a sixth at the Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, making her the second woman to take a top ten at the circuit; this beat the record of Janet Guthrie's tenth-place finish in 1978. She was assigned teammate Kurt Busch's crew chief Daniel Knost and his pit crew for the season's final three races, and was later appointed her full-time crew chief for 2015. At the season's end, Patrick finished 28th in points, one position down from the previous year, although she finished with 89 more points than her rookie season. She also had an average finish of 23.7, 2.4 positions better than her rookie year, with three top-tens, and four DNF's. Early in the season, Patrick again drove for Turner Scott Motorsports in its No. 34 car at the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300, starting third and finishing 19th.
2015–2018 (Final years in NASCAR)
For 2015, Patrick again stayed with Stewart-Haas Racing. She began her season in the Sprint Unlimited by finishing tenth after escaping with collateral damage from a multi-car accident. Patrick started at the back of the field for the season-opening Daytona 500, and finished 21st. After scoring two top-tens (seventh at the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, and ninth at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway), she eclipsed Janet Guthrie for the most top tens by a woman in Sprint Cup Series history. Patrick led two laps of the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway during the pit stop cycle, and finished 16th, and at the Quaker State 400, she became the first woman to qualify to start a hundred Cup Series race. At the Fall Martinsville race, she had twenty-five owner and drivers points deducted, was fined $50,000, and put on probation by NASCAR until the end of 2015 for an intentional retaliatory crash against David Gilliland. In 36 races, Patrick scored 716 points, placing her 24th in the drivers' standings, the highest of her career. She had two top-ten finishes, an average finish of 23.5, and failed to finish four times.
On August 18, Stewart-Haas Racing announced at a press conference that Patrick had signed a multi-year contract which allowed her to stay with the team for 2016. She also switched crew chiefs from Daniel Knost to Billy Scott for the upcoming season. At the first race of the season, the Daytona 500, she retired when she made contact with Greg Biffle on the 184th lap, spun into some grass, and heavily damaged her car's front end. Patrick was fined $20,000 for gesturing to Kasey Kahne after he wrecked her car at the Auto Club 400. She was involved in a high-speed crash with Matt Kenseth at Talladega which necessitated a chest x-ray. Patrick struggled with form during the season, but did improve her average result for the fifth consecutive year to a career-high 22.0 in thirty-six starts. Her best result of the season was eleventh place at the fall Charlotte race, and she led a career-high 30 laps. Patrick was again 24th in the final drivers' standings, but had fewer points than the previous season, at 689 accrued, and did not finish three races she entered.
Patrick remained with Stewart-Haas Racing for the duration of the renamed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. She began her campaign with her best finish in any NASCAR Cup Series race with a fourth place at the Advance Auto Parts Clashexhibition race at Daytona. Patrick was credited with a 33rd-place finish for the season-opening Daytona 500 after she was forced into retirement from being caught up in a multi-car accident. She later took her first top-ten finish in seventy-seven races when she placed tenth at Dover on June 4. On November 17, Patrick announced that she would step away from full-time racing after the season finale at Homestead-Miami, though she also announced plans to compete in the 2018 Daytona 500 and 2018 Indianapolis 500. She retired halfway through when her right-rear tire blew after glancing the wall and she collided heavily with another barrier. Patrick finished the 2017 season with one top-ten, eleven DNF's, and an average finish of 23.8. She scored 511 points, putting her twenty-eighth in the drivers' standings.
For her final NASCAR race at the 2018 Daytona 500, Patrick was signed by Premium Motorsports to drive its No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 after discussions with Chip Ganassi Racing did not yield in a race seat. Her final Daytona 500 came to an early end when she was involved in a six-car accident on lap 102, placing 35th in the final results. Patrick concluded her NASCAR career without scoring any wins, and finished in the top ten in 3.6% of her 191 races.
On March 7, 2018, it was announced that her final Indianapolis 500 appearance would be in a third car for Ed Carpenter Racing.
Formula One speculations
Patrick was scheduled to test for Formula One team Honda in November 2008, but this was called off when the Honda team pulled out of the sport. In late 2009, the American Formula One team US F1 allegedly considered testing Patrick for a potential drive in 2010. However, she said she was not contacted by anyone from the team, and had no plans to leave the IndyCar Series for Formula One at the time.