IndyCar drivers weigh in on Danica Patrick's upcoming Indy 500

Danica Patrick started in 25th place but finished in 10th in the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Danica Patrick should have no problem racing for a new team in the Daytona 500. She has competed in stock cars for the past eight years, including the past six on a full-time basis.

But when she returns to the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since 2011, she will find cars that are totally different from the ones she drove seven years ago.

She will have the benefit that no one has driven the new 2018 IndyCar at Indianapolis so in some ways she'll be on equal terms. And IndyCar drivers at the Rolex 24 indicated that Patrick should not have too much trouble adjusting.

"I wish her well," said 2008 Indy 500 winner and four-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon. "She should be in for a fun May, and I'm sure she will be just fine.

"There's no doubt she has a massive attraction with what she does and how well she does. It's going to be good to see, I think, for the sport."

Patrick finished in the top 10 in six of her seven Indianapolis 500s. Her third-place finish in 2009 is the highest finish of any female driver in the race, and she has led 29 laps at Indy.

She has always been fast at Indianapolis -- qualifying in the top 10 in each of her first five starts.

"If she gets a good car, she can do decent," said two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya. "She always ran well there. The oval experience in NASCAR will help. I think it makes her a much better oval driver."

But the fact she will retire after that race has Montoya questioning her resolve. Patrick will compete in the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 this year and then call it quits.

"It's tough -- I think when your mind is set to retire, it's hard to go and put it on the line," he said.

The two teams most mentioned as potential Patrick landing points for Indianapolis are Ed Carpenter Racing and Dreyer and Reinbold Racing.

ECR full-time driver Spencer Pigot said he was ready for Patrick to be his teammate if the deal comes through.

"Yeah, sure," Pigot said. "She's obviously had a very successful career and was very good at the speedway."

And that is what everyone remembers.

"I have no doubt that she's going to do a great job. ... She's always done a great job at Indianapolis," Graham Rahal said. "I think she'll be just fine. It certainly is a lot more competitive today than five years ago, but I think she'll be right in the hunt."

It will depend on the quality of the car, Sebastien Bourdais said.

"It's always a question of what car you're jumping in," Bourdais said. "If your car is really good, things are easier. If the car is a handful and if you're really struggling to feel it and it's a moving target ... and it's super inconsistent and all, everything becomes much harder."

Bourdais, though, has no doubt Patrick will have an impact.

"Obviously she is great for the sport," Bourdais said. "There is no denying the fact that she attracted a whole lot of attention to IndyCar racing, and, when she went away, it was not a great thing for us, and NASCAR capitalized on it."

From the marketing side, it will be a big weekend with GoDaddy returning to sponsor Patrick. GoDaddy sponsored her during some of her greatest IndyCar moments as well as in her transition to NASCAR.

"It will be huge," said McLaren F1 boss Zak Brown, who has handled the marketing platforms for several companies in motorsports. "She will be big news. It's great to see GoDaddy supporting her, given they were a big contributor to her career.

"It will be much bigger news that she is in Indy than Daytona because she's been in Daytona the last 5-6-7-8 years. I think that's great."

Brown spearheaded Formula One driver Fernando Alonso's participation in the Indianapolis 500 last year.

"Coming out of the 100th [Indy 500], they got Fernando Alonso gift for 101 and now they've got the Danica Patrick gift for 102," Brown said. "So I think it will be good. She will be competitive."