Danica Patrick chooses car No. 10, Tommy Baldwin gets No. 7 his father drove
Published Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:19 pm EST
Bob Pockrass Sporting News
CONCORD, N.C. — Tommy Baldwin Racing will field the No. 7 Sprint Cup car in 2013, taking the car number that the Baldwin family had raced Modifieds while also ending speculation that Danica Patrick might get the number she has used over the last six years.
Patrick will continue to drive the No. 10 for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Danica Patrick will stick with the No. 10 in Sprint Cup, allowing Tommy Baldwin Racing to race the No. 7. (AP Photo)
The No. 7 was available this year because Robby Gordon Motorsports, which owned the rights to the number, has not run a race since last June. NASCAR assigns car numbers and gives preference to full-time teams.
Baldwin’s father used the number 7NY — typically in Modifieds, several drivers can have the same number so letters also are used to help designate who is in the car — throughout his racing career. Tom Baldwin Sr. died in a 2004 crash at Thompson International Speedway.
"It is a very special moment today to announce the No. 7 on our Chevrolet SS,” Baldwin said in a news release. “The number has been in the Baldwin family for a long time and it is going to be pretty special to carry on that legacy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."
Dave Blaney will drive for TBR again in 2013. Blaney finished 33rd in driver points in 2012 and his team finished 35th in owner points. TBR also fielded the No. 10 car in conjunction with Stewart-Haas, which put Patrick in the car for 10 races last year.
While Baldwin has the No. 7, there had been some speculation that Patrick might want the number because she had driven with that car number in the IndyCar Series from 2007-2011 and in the Nationwide Series from 2010-2012. With the No. 7 not available in Cup last year, Patrick used the No. 10 in her Sprint Cup races for Stewart-Haas.
She will keep the No. 10 as she runs a full Sprint Cup schedule this year. Patrick actually wanted the No. 10, the number she used as a kid.
“(I’m) really excited … to talk about it being the No. 10 car and how just cool I think that is,” Patrick said in November 2011 when the number was unveiled. “I know it sounds silly, but I’ve never been able to choose my number in racing other than go-karts.
“Actually even in go-karts when I got to the A level, they gave you different numbers, so the last time I got to pick this number, I was probably about 15 or 14. Pretty cool.”