Danica Patrick's NASCAR career ends on a big wreck at the Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Danica Patrick's final NASCAR race ended abruptly Sunday late in the second stage of the Daytona 500 when she was wrecked by Chase Elliott. Elliott went spinning on the backstretch and absolutely totaled his car, taking out Patrick, Kasey Kahne, Michael McDowell, David Ragan and Vegas favorite Brad Keselowski in the process. Kevin Harvick also took on a considerable amount of damage in the wreck.

For Patrick, the wreck ends her record-breaking NASCAR career as the most successful female driver in the sport. Over five seasons, Patrick earned seven top-10 finishes and one pole coming during the 2013 edition of the Great American Race. The 35-year-old is the first woman to lead laps under green in the Cup Series as well as lead a lap and qualify on the pole. 

"The guys -- the whole team -- did a really good job. I know we pulled this together not that long ago -- a month ago -- that's a tall order to get a car ready for a superspeedway that's competitive. But it was. I said earlier today that I feel like the whole thing was picture perfect with GoDaddy on the car and it being that green again," Patrick said on the live Fox broadcast. "But it just wasn't meant to be today. But I am proud -- we raced the whole race -- other than a little bit at the end of that first stage when I just looked silly with all the cars with no tires and tires. Other than that, we raced it. It was competitive. That's all you can do. That's the gamble about Daytona."

Harvick attempted to come back on the track after the wreck, but timed out on pit road and is done for the day. Later on in the stage Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spewed steam out of his car but was able to bring it down pit road and get back out on the track.

Patrick still has one race left to go in her career: the Indianapolis 500 in late May. Before Sunday's big race, she posted a photo from the beach in Florida on her Instagram with her surrounded by her family and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, her current boyfriend. 

The couple also shared a pre-race kiss. 

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Rodgers gives Patrick a kiss before Sunday's big race.  USATSI


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