Danica Patrick, pictured at Martinsville Speedway prior to a practice session in March 2017. (Andy Marquis/Race22.com photo)

Danica Patrick may very well be competing in her farewell tour in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and, in spite of being winless, she leaves behind a legacy that is seen most in short track racing.

While Patrick herself has never competed in a Late Model Stock Car race, the discipline has seen more and more participation from women in recent years.   In just the past four years, the region has seen three women win Late Model championships.  The wins are becoming more frequent as well as more women pursue opportunities in racing.

“I feel like Danica has helped to normalize women’s presence in the sport, including in the garage, which is definitely a good thing,” NASCAR K&N Pro Series West competitor Julia Landauer said.

For her part, Landauer is working diligently to get to the next level.  Landauer won a championship in the Limited Sportsman division at Motor Mile Speedway in 2015 and has recorded several strong runs in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

“She is a role model for a lot of young girl drivers,” Kate Dallenbach, former Hickory Motor Speedway winner, said in an interview in 2015.  “She opened that up. Now little girls, young girls can say, ‘Oh, I want to do that when I get older,’ and they can now.”

Haley Moody, winner of the Limited Late Model championship at Southern National Motorsports Park in 2014, also feels Patrick has been a great role model.  Moody, who called herself a fan of Patrick, hopes the lone female on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit will continue to race in the series.

“I feel like she’s been a great role model and spokesperson for the women in the sport,” Moody remarked.  “I hope she continues to be in a car racing, but I would love to hopefully make it all the way to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.  It’s my dream and I feel like Danica has given a lot of women and young girls hope that it can be done.”

Earlier this season, Macy Causey became the first woman to win a Late Model Stock Car race at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.

“Danica’s definitely laid down a great path in our sport, but I think it’s time for new females and new talent to pick up where Danica has left off,” Causey commented.  “I don’t want to be the next Danica, or Dale, Jr.  I want to be Macy Causey.”

During a press conference at Dover International Speedway on Friday, Patrick said it was an honor that so many women in the sport look up to her.

“That’s an honor,” Patrick stated.  “At the end of the day, just as I have had to do and anyone that comes after me will have to do, they’ll have to prove themselves.  They’ll have to bring a lot to the table.  They’ll have to work really hard so, you know, what anyone after me brings will be just simple and easy, it’s going to be work.”

However, Patrick says it’s not a gender thing, reiterating that it’s just as hard for men to prove themselves in the sport as well.

“It’s work for every guy too,” Patrick continued.  “You have to catch the right moment with the right ride and the right sponsor.  When the opportunity presents itself, you need to be ready.”

Earlier this month, it was announced Danica Patrick would not return to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018, leading many to believe this could be Patrick’s last season in NASCAR racing.  She has not expressed desire to return to the Verizon IndyCar Series, where she had success, including a win in Japan in 2009, prior to moving to NASCAR.

Patrick’s most notable accomplishment in NASCAR racing was winning the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013.