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Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/ Dan

Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:29 pm

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Tony Stewart is searching for a driver and sponsor that will split the 2012 Sprint Cup schedule with Danica Patrick, who announced on Thursday she will drive eight to 10 races next year for Stewart-Haas Racing.

The purpose would be to keep Patrick's car ranked in the top 35 in points, guaranteeing her and sponsor GoDaddy.com a spot in the starting lineup each week.

"We'd love to,'' Stewart said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "If we can put together a package to run somebody in the rest of the races we'd love to do that. It's in everybody's best interest to do that.

"It would be good for us as a team to be able to go ahead and run that car full-time if that opportunity presents itself.''

Among the drivers who have surfaced is Mark Martin, who is driving the GoDaddy.com Cup car for Hendrick Motorsports this season.

Martin, 52, is looking for a part-time ride in 2012, when he is replaced at HMS by Kasey Kahne.

Patrick, who will drive a full Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports next year before moving full-time to Cup at SHR in 2013, told ESPN.com she'd heard rumors of Martin's interest, but, "I really don't know.''

"It could be a great thing, though, to be able to have somebody to drive that car every week and keep it in points so I'm always in the race,'' she said. "They (GoDaddy.com) supported Mark obviously at Hendrick. Maybe that's something they are looking into.''

Sources said the key for Martin would be finding a sponsor. GoDaddy.com CEO and founder Bob Parsons was noncommittal when asked if he would sponsor the remainder of the season for the third SHR car.

Stewart said he has not set Patrick's Cup schedule yet, although Patrick said the odds of her debut coming in the 2012 Daytona 500 were good.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. , who owns Patrick's Nationwide car, said, "Daytona would be a tough deal to turn down.''

"Whatever happens is going to be good for everybody,'' he said.

Stewart said he has been working on hiring personnel for Patrick's arrival for almost a month.

"I'm excited about it,'' he said of Patrick joining SHR. "She's putting 100 percent into it and that's something that we're excited about. She definitely is deserving of an opportunity like this, and we're excited and honored that she chose us to do it with.''

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:34 pm

Mark Martin would be an easy person to speculate on driving the car....he's reliable, doesn't tear his equipment up, and runs in the top 20 in points every year, and he's osing his seat next year (buying into retirement with him is like buying into retirement w/ Brett Favre :arrow: :lol: )

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:18 pm

I think Mark would be perfect and they could maybe keep the Go Daddy sponsorship going all year

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:40 pm

personally i dont see the ceo of godaddy picking up the tab to fully sponsor two race teams, thats is a lot of cash to fork out to make sure a car is in the top 35 in points....

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:50 pm

michaeljohn wrote:personally i dont see the ceo of godaddy picking up the tab to fully sponsor two race teams, thats is a lot of cash to fork out to make sure a car is in the top 35 in points....



I totaly agree.

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:33 pm

what i would do is, let her sit out the 1st half of cup races, so she could use to the routine of driving every weekend and getting up to speed with the NW car, than when they hit daytona in the summer have her qualify in on time at tracks she may have had success in the NW series, unless tony can get somebody like mark martin or one of the hot shots from RFR NW series, i would hate to see them have a so so driver fill the space

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:45 am

how come not tell her that the race is n another state.. :P

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:51 am

maybe they should tell tony that with the way he qualified yesterday, :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:10 am

Ricky St enhouse Jr.!

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:25 am

that is who i was thinking about, but i had a brain fart last nite and couldnt remember his name... thanks.........

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:20 am

As for Martin driving the Cup races Danica doesn't for Stewart, "I would love to have him," Stewart said. "The biggest thing is us getting the financial backing to run the remainder of those races. I would love nothing more than Mark in all the races that Danica doesn't run next year."



So pending sponsorship, Martin is his man? "He would be the leading candidate right now for sure," Stewart said.

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:13 am

jamo14 wrote:As for Martin driving the Cup races Danica doesn't for Stewart, "I would love to have him," Stewart said. "The biggest thing is us getting the financial backing to run the remainder of those races. I would love nothing more than Mark in all the races that Danica doesn't run next year."



So pending sponsorship, Martin is his man? "He would be the leading candidate right now for sure," Stewart said.


They should use Danica as "sponsor bait". Since she'll be driving the car also, just have a dual/multi sponsor car(like Mark has now) and have Danica do some print ads and a commercial...maybe even try to get GoDaddy to let her drive a few(or at least one) race with the "other sponsor" as primary. It'd be a good angle...everybody wants a piece of Danica!!!! ;) :D

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:24 pm

Notes: Stewart hopes to pair Martin with Danica
SHR needs backing to run third car full time; rain expected from tropical storm
By Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM
September 03, 2011 3:15 PM, EDT


HAMPTON, Ga. -- Following the news that Danica Patrick will run between eight and 10 Cup races in a third car for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2012, speculation is running rampant as to who might get behind the wheel for the remainder of the season.

When asked if Mark Martin could be a possibility for the role, Tony Stewart said he's definitely "a leading candidate."

"I would love to have him," Stewart said. "The biggest thing is us getting the financial backing to run the remainder of those races. I would love nothing more than Mark in all the races that Danica doesn't run next year.

"I've been a Mark Martin fan for a long time and trust me I would love nothing more than to have Mark in one of our cars."

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:11 am

I knew it. Tony loves Mark and Mark has said that he thinks that Tony Stewart is the best driver of this era. It just makes too much sense.

Re: Stewart Seeks Driver to split '12 Sprint Cup schedule w/

Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:19 am

Adding Mark would be great! The problem is going to be sponsorship... show me the money. ;) :lol:
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