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Danica Patrick To Compete In NASCAR Sprint Cup Series For Stewart-Haas Racing
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Racing superstar Danica Patrick will run a limited NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2012 with sponsorship from Go Daddy, the world’s largest Web hosting company and domain registrar in the world.
The number of races and specific venues where Patrick will drive an SHR-prepared Chevrolet Impala will be announced at a later date. Her car number will also be revealed in the near future.
The limited Sprint Cup schedule will augment the full NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule Patrick will run in 2012 for JR Motorsports, the team she has driven for in select Nationwide Series events in 2010 and 2011.
“We can finally put the rumors to rest,” Patrick said. “I’m going to drive full-time in NASCAR with Go Daddy next year. I’m going to run a full Nationwide Series schedule and a limited Sprint Cup schedule in my GoDaddy.com Chevrolet next season. I’m very fortunate to have a forward-thinking powerhouse sponsor like Go Daddy. Go Daddy is definitely committed and focused, which is why they are at the top of their industry.”
Like SHR co-owner Tony Stewart, Patrick comes from the IZOD IndyCar Series and burst onto the scene in 2005 when she started fourth, led 19 laps and finished fourth in the 89th Indianapolis 500. In 2008, she became the first woman ever to win an IndyCar race by taking the checkered flag at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
In 2009, she finished third in the 92nd Indianapolis 500 to score the best finish ever by a woman in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Six times in seven starts at Indianapolis Patrick has finished in the top-10, and she has led 29 laps at the 2.5-mile oval – the only woman to have ever held the point in the Indianapolis 500.
Since 2010, Patrick has competed in a limited Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., while also continuing to drive full time in the IndyCar Series. She has 20 Nationwide Series starts with three top-10 finishes – all of which have occurred during 2011, including a fourth-place result in March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the best finish ever for a female driver in NASCAR’s top-three divisions.
In July at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Patrick started seventh and led 13 of 100 laps en route to a solid 10th-place result.
“I think Danica making a full-time commitment to NASCAR will help her tremendously,” said Stewart, who won the 1997 IndyCar Series title and the 2002 and 2005 Sprint Cup championships. “It tough to go back and forth between two completely different types of cars, so I think it will be very helpful for her to be in a stock car full time. We’re happy to have her compete with Stewart-Haas Racing in the Sprint Cup Series and I know the entire team is ready to work with her and give her the best equipment possible.
“She obviously has a lot of talent. She gives really good feedback and she’s always asking questions and trying to get better. You can’t ask for much more than that.”