Patrick to run at least 12-race NASCAR schedule
IndyCar star Danica Patrick will compete in at least 12 NASCAR races this season and could make her debut in the season opener.
JR Motorsports announced Patrick’s schedule Thursday. Her first race, though, is still uncertain. Patrick is waiting to decide whether to race in the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 13.
The team says it will decide after Patrick makes her stock car debut in the Feb. 6 ARCA race at Daytona. If she feels comfortable, she could race the following week in NASCAR’s second-tier series. It would be a daunting NASCAR start considering more than a dozen Sprint Cup regulars, including team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., drive in that one.
“Like I’ve said before, we just want to be smart and calculative about this process,” Patrick said. “The tracks we’ve selected not only complement the IndyCar schedule, but will give me quality seat time at a variety of facilities.”
If Patrick doesn’t drive the Nationwide race at Daytona, she will make her debut the following week in Fontana, Calif.
Her remaining schedule includes Las Vegas (Feb. 20), a four-month hiatus to focus on the IndyCar Series and her return to NASCAR at New Hampshire (June 26).
She also will race in 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).