Danica unveils NASCAR Nationwide schedule—Daytona a possibility
By Brandon Reid
Former Roscoe resident Danica Patrick, who in 2008 became the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race, has released her NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.
Patrick’s Nationwide Series debut, driving JR Motorsports’ No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Impala, is scheduled to be Feb. 20 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. From there, she is scheduled to race at Las Vegas Feb. 27, and then take a four-month break from the Nationwide Series to participate in her sixth IndyCar Series season.
Patrick will return to the Nationwide circuit at New Hampshire June 26 and then race at Chicago July 9, Michigan Aug. 14, Dover, Del., Sept. 25, Fontana Oct. 9, Charlotte Oct. 15, Madison, Ill., Oct. 23, Texas Nov. 6, Phoenix Nov. 13 and Homestead, Fla., Nov. 20.
“We just want to be smart and calculative about this process,” Patrick said in a release. “The tracks we’ve selected not only complement the IndyCar schedule, but will give me quality seat time at a variety of facilities.”
Some have speculated the schedule leaves open the possibility of a Nationwide debut at Daytona the day before the Sprint Cup Series’ Feb. 14 Daytona 500.
The JR Motorsports’ No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Impala is entered in the Daytona Nationwide race, but, according to a Fox Sports report, “JR Motorsports says its driver for that car won’t be named until after Patrick’s ARCA race on Feb. 6 [at Daytona].”
Patrick announced late in 2009 that she will drive full-time in the IndyCar Series and part-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The Nationwide Series, which includes 35 races between February and November, is part of NASCAR’s national series and is the junior circuit to the Sprint Cup Series.
Patrick will drive the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Impala in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick. She has an equity stake in her No. 7 team.
In the IndyCar Series, Patrick drives the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Honda/Dallara for Andretti Autosport.
Patrick began her IndyCar career in 2005 driving for Rahal Letterman Racing. That season, she became the fourth woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500, following Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James and Sarah Fisher. Her fourth starting position in the 2005 Indy 500 was the highest ever attained for the race by a female driver, and she also became the first woman to lead an Indy 500, first when acquiring it for a lap near the 125-mile mark while cycling through pit stops, and late in the race when she stayed out one lap longer than her rivals during a set of green-flag pit stops. She finished the 2005 season 12th in points and was named the series’ Rookie of the Year.
Patrick again drove for Rahal Letterman Racing in 2006, finishing ninth in season points. In 2007, she switched to Andretti Green Racing, finishing seventh in season points. She finished sixth in season points in 2008 and fifth in season points in 2009, including a third-place finish in 2009 at the Indy 500—both a personal best for her at the track and the highest finish by a woman in the event’s history.
Print This Article