Danica Patrick has ruled out contesting the 2012 Indianapolis 500, but says she remains open to returning to IndyCar's premier event in future seasons.
When Patrick announced her full-time switch to NASCAR last year, she expressed a strong desire to still fit in the Indy 500 alongside her stock car program. But during NASCAR's preseason media tour today, Patrick said she would be focusing on the Charlotte NASCAR Sprint Cup event that takes place on the same May weekend as Indy.
She hinted that in future years she might attempt to run both races on the same day, but that for her rookie Cup season she would prioritize her stock car commitments.
"I'm not going to do the Indy 500," Patrick told reporters. "I hope to do it in the future. Maybe it'll be a double [Indy 500 and NASCAR race on same day].
"But at this point in time, after a lot of conversations, it's just going to be the Coke 600. It's going to be a big challenge."
Patrick hinted that it was more the lack of a suitable deal than a time pressure situation that had forced the decision, and reiterated her interest in returning to Indy in the future.
"As far as the business side of things, it didn't work out," Patrick said. "Again, I'm hopeful to do it again in the future, but for this year, it just didn't happen."
Patrick will contest the full Nationwide Series with JR Motorsports this year alongside a partial Cup program with Stewart-Haas Racing.