Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Danica Patrick ended their relationship in December after five years together, but don't expect to see any sparks fly when they race against each other for the final time in next month's Daytona 500. 

Stenhouse told reporters Tuesday that he isn't going to race Patrick any differently in what will be the final NASCAR race of her career. 

“I don’t think I’ll race any different," Stenhouse said. "I try to respect everybody around me, especially at those speedway races. You don’t really want to put anybody in a bad spot because you put the whole field in a bad spot, but I think I’ll go out and race just like I’m racing everybody else and see how it plays out. 

"Heck, when we first started racing together we got in crashes anyway, so it is what it is. I’ll just go out and compete as hard as I can and I plan on putting myself in a position to win the race.”

Patrick announced her retirement from motorsports last season, but said she'd run the 2018 Daytona 500 and Indy 500 as a farewell. She will be behind the wheel of the GoDaddy Premium Motorsports No. 7 Chevrolet for the "Great American Race" after searching for funding and a ride this winter. 

While Stenhouse won't race Patrick differently in the Daytona and Indy 500, it doesn't mean others won't.

"There are drivers that get mad if she is faster and is going to pass them," Stenhouse told Omnisport about Patrick in October. "I think they race her harder, and I see it throughout the weekend. She is very aware of it and is like, ‘Hey, I don’t want anyone to pass me on the race track, so I really don’t care about what anyone else thinks.'

"I look at what she does in a race car and I think she performs at a high level. Getting in our cars is not something that is easy to do. Heck, there are a lot of weekends that she is faster than I am and it’s awesome. I think it shows that she's got the talent to do this sport, and she has set a great example for a lot of young women in auto racing. There are a lot of people that look up to her, and so many girls that race go-karts that come up and talk to her throughout the weekend. They want to be just like her, and I think that it’s awesome."

Stenhouse, 30, is also happy Patrick, 35, has found funding for arguably the two biggest motorsports events of the year. 

“I felt like it was just a matter of time," he told reporters Tuesday. "Like I always said, I think it’s a cool way to go out if you’re gonna retire for somebody that’s done the Daytona 500, running NASCAR, running IndyCars. Her passion has always been the Indy 500, so I think it will be cool for that to be her last race and to hit the two biggest races of the year in the same year will be pretty cool.”

Patrick confirmed last week she was dating Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the two met at the 2012 ESPYs. Stenhouse and Patrick have not revealed why their relationship ended but the two were not together in November for the NASCAR Cup Series awards ceremony. Rodgers ended a his three-year relationship with actress Olivia Munn in 2017.