Danica signs with Dale jr racing
Danica Patrick, the most popular driver in Indy-style auto racing, finally confirmed today that she will try her hand at NASCAR stock-car racing next year in a car co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's most popular driver.
Patrick, 27, said she would drive a No. 7 Chevrolet in a "limited number" of races in NASCAR's lower-level Nationwide Series in a car owned by JR Motorsports, a team owned by Earnhardt and his sister Kelley Earnhardt and Rick Hendrick, who owns Hendrick Motorsports, one of NASCAR's most successful teams.
The exact number of races has yet to be decided, but they will be mainly before and after the March-to-October schedule of races in the Izod IndyCar Series, Patrick said at a news conference in Phoenix, where she lives.
As a stepping stone to her Nationwide races, Patrick said she would start by driving in a race Feb. 6 in the second-tier ARCA stock-car series at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
Her decision ended months of speculation -- fomented in large part by Patrick's public statements -- about whether she would try to compete in NASCAR, the nation's most popular form of motor racing.It remains to be seen whether Patrick can reach NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series where the likes of Earnhardt, reigning champion Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and others compete.
"There's no necessary time frame on that," Patrick said. "It's going to be a challenge and I have a lot to learn. This is a great opportunity to learn as fast as possible."