Danica Patrick to drive in Daytona 500

Nov. 4, 2011 at 9:13 PM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Tony Stewart, co-owner of the Stewart-Haas Racing team, said Friday Danica Patrick would make her Sprint Cup debut at the Daytona 500 in February.

Patrick plans to drive in at least 10 Sprint Cup series races next season. She will drive the No. 10 Chevrolet for SHR.

Patrick has spent the bulk of her career to date racing in the IndyCar series, although she has competed in the NASCAR Nationwide series on a part-time basis during the last two seasons.

She appeared at a news conference Friday in advance of the Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.

"I'm excited," Patrick said. "There's a lot that I'm worried about, but on the other hand, as I've felt with my Nationwide races so far, it's that expectation levels at some times are not quite as high.

"You have the ability to make mistakes. There's going to be mistakes and there's going to be learning curves. It's about making the most complete future possible with the limited schedule of experience."

After the Daytona 500, Patrick is expected to race at Darlington (May 12); Bristol (Aug. 25); Atlanta (Sept. 2); Chicagoland (Sept. 16); Dover (Sept. 30); Texas (Nov. 4); and Phoenix (Nov. 11). Two other races will be added to her schedule.

Patrick will drive in the final three Nationwide races this season, one of them in Texas this weekend.

Stewart said he hopes Patrick will drive full-time in the Sprint Cup series in 2013.

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