Patrick assured Daytona 500 start

Jan. 31, 2012 at 7:11 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A transfer of owner's points will guarantee Danica Patrick a starting spot in this month's Daytona 500, race team officials said Tuesday.

Patrick was assured she'll be in the field of the Feb. 26 season-opening race in Florida after Tommy Baldwin Racing transferred points to Patrick's team, Stewart-Haas Racing.

The announcement came after Tommy Baldwin and Stewart-Haas formed a partnership. Under the deal, TBR will field Patrick's No.10 GoDaddy Chevrolet during her Sprint Cup Series races.

The team said David Reutimann can take over as the driver of the No.10 car in the 26 races Patrick is not penciled in.

"We're very proud of what we've established at Tommy Baldwin Racing, and the opportunity to partner with Stewart-Haas Racing and aid in the development of Danica Patrick is a testament to all the hard work we've put in over the years," Baldwin said.

Patrick announced last week she will skip this year's Indianapolis 500 to instead compete in the 600-mile Sprint Cup race at Charlotte, N.C.

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