It's official! Danica Patrick has joined Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JRM Motorsports and will enter the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010.
Patrick will be extremely busy in the New Year, fitting in her NASCAR Nationwide Series races in between her Indycar schedule.
"It's been a long time coming, but the stars finally aligned for me with Go Daddy and JRM. I have always said I love to drive, and if I could make it work to race in both IndyCar and NASCAR – with the right sponsor, like GoDaddy.com and the right team, like JRM – then I'd love to drive in NASCAR!" she said before the big announcement
Patrick will make her first NASCAR appearance in an ARCA event on February 6 in Daytona when she drives her No. 7 Go Daddy Chevrolet in her debut stock car race.
Michael Andretti, who owns Andretti Autosport – the team Patrick drives for in IndyCar – is confident that the sport’s highest profile star will still be able excel in Indycar.
"Danica and I are both working hard for a win at the Indianapolis 500 – keeping the race schedules separate will help keep her focused," he said.
But can the Indycar sensation make a similar splash in NASCAR? IndyCar drivers that have tried to make the switch in the past have struggled to come to terms with the move.
The Nationwide Series is one grade below the Sprint Cup Series, and it may take Patrick some time to get up to the top level in the sport.
However, that is the challenge that she has accepted, and NASCAR CEO Brian France thinks her decision to join is good for the sport.
"She has a lot of talent and would be goof for NASCAR . . . I've told her that directly," he said.