during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 29, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia.

Here are the most memorable moments of Danica Patrick's career


When Stewart-Haas Racing decided not to renew Danica Patrick's contract for the 2018 season, there became a very real possibility that Patrick wouldn't have a job in the Cup Series next season.

Patrick's NASCAR Cup Series career hasn't produced a win, but she has broken many barriers throughout her career in NASCAR and the IndyCar series.

Related: Danica Patrick has just made a huge announcement about her future

Here is a list of the five most memorable moments of Patrick's racing career, which began in 2005 in the IndyCar ranks.

IndyCar

  1. Patrick was the fourth woman to ever race in the Indianapolis 500, and she became the first woman to ever lead during the race. She didn't win, but made history by leading a lap at the Indianapolis 500.

 

2. She was named IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year in 2005.

3. In 2008, she became the first woman to win an IndyCar race. Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 on April 20, 2008 for the only win of her IndyCar career.

Cup Series

4. Patrick won the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013, becoming the first woman to ever win a pole in a Cup Series race. She also became the first woman to lead the Daytona 500.

5. She was voted the Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series in 2012.

If this season is in fact the last year Patrick races, she will have left behind an important legacy for the future of the sport.

While she didn't win any Cup Series races, her ability to compete at the highest level of stock car racing for several years has been monumental in the diversification of NASCAR.

Patrick has paved the way for other female drivers to possibly compete in NASCAR in the future. There's still a chance a team could sign her for next season, but she's still left behind an important legacy for the future of the sport.