Tony Stewart: Danica Patrick one of the 'most fearless people I've ever met'

A day after Danica Patrick announced she was leaving his race team, Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart said he continued to be a believer in Patrick’s ability.

Patrick is parting ways with SHR at the end of the season after the team has piecemealed sponsorship for her throughout 2017 after the abrupt departure of her planned sponsor.

Stewart posted this statement to Facebook on Wednesday and noted how well she’s done transitioning from the IndyCar Series to the Cup Series. Stewart was an IndyCar champion in 1997 before he hastened his transition to NASCAR.

“I’ve always been a believer in Danica’s ability as a racecar driver and that continues to be the case. She’s one of the most fearless people I’ve ever met. She has never backed down from a challenge. In fact, she’s sought out new challenges throughout her career, and that’s what brought her to NASCAR and Stewart-Haas Racing.

“Making the jump from INDYCAR to NASCAR is not easy, yet she had the courage to do so and put up better numbers than a lot of other drivers who have tried to make that same transition. I’m proud of how hard Danica has worked during her time at Stewart-Haas Racing, and she continues to work hard.

“My support for Danica is unwavering. We’re going to end this season strong and make the most of these last 10 races.”

SHR is the only Cup Series team Patrick has ever driven for and she has seven top-10 finishes in 180 career Cup Series races. Between Stewart’s arrival to the Cup Series in 1999 and Patrick’s in 2013, IndyCar (and CART) drivers like Dario Franchitti, Christian Fittipaldi, Sam Hornish Jr. and AJ Allmendinger had tried their hand at NASCAR. Allmendinger currently drives full-time for JTG-Daugherty Racing and made the playoffs in 2014 via his win at Watkins Glen.

Allmendinger currently drives full-time for JTG-Daugherty Racing and made the playoffs in 2014 via his win at Watkins Glen. Hornish drove in three Xfinity Series races this year.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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