(workingonmyredneck file photo)
Danica Patrick could still run the Indianapolis 500 even if she makes a full-time move to NASCAR, The Associated Press has learned.
Two people familiar with Patrick’s 2012 plans said she is in the final stages of a deal to run a full-time Nationwide Series schedule with JR Motorsports and limited Sprint Cup Series races with Stewart-Haas Racing, the team owned by two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The people spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because the deal won’t be finished until she has secured a release from Andretti Autosport.
The talks also include her continuing to run the Indianapolis 500, one person told AP.
JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. said last weekend he wants Patrick to run a full Nationwide schedule with his team. She has driven 19 Nationwide races for his team over the last two seasons and has six more scheduled starts this year.
“I would like for her to run fulltime, and I’m sure she is considering that, and I think she would enjoy it,” Earnhardt said at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I feel confident that she’s content where she is and happy with what we’re doing. I think things are looking positive for us to put something together.”
Earlier this year, Stewart said he would love to work with Patrick but only in the Sprint Cup Series. He has wanted to expand his two-car Stewart-Haas Racing organization but had no interest in fielding a Nationwide car.
“Anybody that’s got a Cup team that would have the availability would jump at the chance to do something with her,” Stewart said in May. “You would be crazy not to entertain an offer like that and an opportunity for her to drive a race car for you.”
So it readily appears that Danica is about to sign a deal with JR Motorsports for a full season of Nationwide Series calendar with a few races in the Sprint Cup Series with Tony Stewart’s Stewart-Haas Racing.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!