Danica Patrick crashes out of 2018 Indianapolis 500

IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick prior to the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Danica Patrick's professional driving career came to a close on Sunday after crashing out of the Indianapolis 500. Not long after she lost control of her vehicle it slapped the outside wall.

Patrick, 36, had those same thoughts as she returned to Indianapolis after her 2005 debut at the track that sparked her career.

"It's an entire career, but what really launched it was this, so it's both of them", she told ESPN.

"I do feel like it was pretty unexpected, but on the other hand the vehicle was a little bit positive today and was turning a bit more than I wanted to", Patrick said. (She finished third in 2009.) But before Sunday, she had never come home lower than 22nd, which she did exactly a decade earlier in 2008. The race capped her "Danica Double", which began at the Daytona 500, where she also crashed out well short of the finish.

Patrick has been a polarizing figure in racing, and that increased exponentially when she moved from IndyCar to NASCAR. She got a one-off for the Daytona 500 with Premium Motorsports and was caught in a multi-car crash just past the halfway point. The new kit changed the tenor of racing, as predicted by drivers, with turbulent air in traffic, aggressiveness on restarts and handling in corners becoming a critical factor. Patrick's auto had a tire problem in the 2017 season finale at Homestead and she slammed the wall and her vehicle caught on fire.

Patrick's No. 13 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet spun on its own during Lap 68 of 200 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, slamming into an infield wall.

Before her start on Sunday, Patrick posted a photo to Instagram saying, "This is just a chapter in the book". Ahead of Sunday's race, Patrick had a four lap average of about 228 miles per hour, earning her a top spot, starting in 7th at the beginning of the race. She started and finished fourth in her first Indy 500 back in 2004-her career best start, and her second best finish.

Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

"I've had a lot of good fortune here and still had some this month".

  • Rosalie Stanley