Danica in Daytona

Danica Patrick will be the talk of NASCAR next season now that she’s leaving the IZOD IndyCar Series for NASCAR’s Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series. She’ll get started at the Daytona 500 and then go from there. She’ll be running in 10 Sprint Cup races next year and you can bet she’ll be a huge story at each one. Her schedule was unveiled last month.

In addition to her full-season schedule in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series with JR Motorsports, also in a GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, Danica Patrick makes her Sprint Cup debut at the start of the 2012 campaign in the 54th annual Daytona 500 on February 26th at Daytona International Speedway.

The balance of her Sprint Cup schedule includes Darlington on May 12th, Bristol Motor Speedway August 25th, Atlanta Motor Speedway on September 2nd, Chicagoland Speedway on September 16th, Dover International Speedway September 30th, Texas Motor Speedway November 4th and the penultimate race of 2012 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 11th.

“Between our schedule and her full Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports, Danica will gain a lot of experience quickly. At the same time, we’ll monitor her progress, and if we feel there’s a particular venue or style of track where more seat time would be beneficial,” Stewart noted, “we have two races where we can call an audible and enter her in those events.”

It will be fascinating to see how she does, and you know there will be a ton of interest from the Vegas sports books. Who knows, we could even see a record for Daytona 500 betting next year.

Either way it’s a huge loss for IndyCar and a big win for NASCAR.


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