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Published:December 22nd, 2009 18:54 EST
Danica Patrick Headed to NASCAR - A Future Champion?

Danica Patrick Headed to NASCAR - A Future Champion?

By Ron G Anselm

Danica Patrick has made the transition from the Indy car series to NASCAR on a part-time basis.  She has really made her mark at the Indy circuit becoming and earning the Rookie of the Year title in both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and 2005 Indy Car Series. In 2008, she also added to her fame on the Indy car circuit by becoming the first woman to win the 2008 Indy Japan 300.

     Patrick is planning to race the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010 and will be driving the number seven race car with the logo GoDaddy.com for JR Motorsports. She will be driving part-time for NASCAR and JR Motorsports. With her track record at Indy, why would she want to completely leave that circuit for NASCAR? Who knows maybe she will also build an impressive resume for NASCAR and become one of the top female drivers for the NASCAR circuit and also make the complete transition from the Indy Series to the NASCAR Series on a full-time basis.

     Earlier this month, Danica drove the track at the Daytona Motor Speedway in her new felt NASCAR series for the ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) test driving a stock car versus her more familiar open-wheel car she was driving on the Indy circuit.

     She is still getting used to driving the stock cars and is in the learning stages of how the stock cars handle. After her first 40-lap run she commented on some of the changes she has to make now driving the NASCAR stock cars. Patrick had this to say, I felt most disoriented with how the heck I`m supposed to get my stuff on. I can`t get in the car with all that stuff. I`ve got to buckle my belts, and I can`t do that with my helmet on.  (Patrick, 2009, scenedaily.com). She also is learning to make adjustments with dealing with her long hair by saying, So, I get in the car, and have to tuck my hair down the back of my suit. And I can`t do it because I`m strapped in. And I am awfully confused. So, I`ve decided I needed to put everything on but my helmet and then get in the car.  (Patrick, 2009, screendaily.com).

     Well, I`ll tell you what, Danica " all us racing fans are rooting for you to get the initial first step problems out of the way by, yes, putting on your suit correctly, getting your hair situated, strapping in and then graduating to step two, starting the car and flying around the track at high speeds. 

     Patrick was getting used to the size of the NASCAR tracks compared to the Indy series. She commented on the NASCAR track is a little longer then she is used to and the top of the oval corners of the NASCAR track is something she has to get used to hitting those corners at high speeds.

     She plans to plans to keep her name out there in the NASCAR series by racing up to 13 nationwide events within the next two years all at the same time she is racing full-time in the IZOD Indy Car Series. She is also planning on competing in the ARCA event at Daytona on February 6 and to make her NASCAR debut on either the Nationwide Series Race at Daytona on February 13 or the nationwide race at Auto Club Speedway on February 20 which will be held in California.

     I think it is great to have the diversity now in professional racing no matter what circuit the race is being held on. It used to be a male dominated sport and still is but now with Danica Patrick making her mark we should be seeing more female race car drivers competing in the big events in the future.

     Patrick is not unfamiliar with the sport of racing, at 10 years old; she began go carting and won several World Carting Association championships. When she turned 16 years old, she moved to England to in the Formula Ford and Formula Vauxhall and came in second place in the British Formula Ford Festival. She has also raced in the Rahal Letterman Racing series, Barber Dodge Pro Series, and the Toyota Atlantic Championship. 

     Now, with the number of wins and the number of past events Patrick has raced in she must be used to driving fast. I recently heard through the grapevine that she made a comment that now since she is driving in the NASCAR series, she will have to drive a lot slower than what she is used to driving. I`m not saying she did make the comment or not, I just heard she did make the comment and I`m not sure if she meant, she is going to have to drive a lot slower than what she is used to driving a race car? Or, on the city streets in her personal car? I never go here where I am about to go because I am sure if I did I would be in the doghouse with all the ladies out there and would probably open my E-mail in the morning and have lots of nasty E-mails from all the female drivers out there but I am only kidding when I say this. Women seem to drive faster than most men, heck, when I was married I had to get a second job to pay for all the speeding tickets my wife at the time had. And we`re not talking just ten miles an hour over the posted speed limit, we talking just about the speed to take the ticket and offense to reckless driving!

     Come on now, there are a lot of great female drivers too "my ex-girlfriend was a great driver, she just had the nickname Lead Foot. When I rode with her, I would have to take a change of underwear with me because she would drive has fast as if we were at the Talladega Motor Speedway on Sunday. She got used to hearing, uhh, sweetie, can you slow down a little, and I think you just broke the sound barrier at the last exit!"

    All kidding aside, I think Danica Patrick is going to prove to be a great race car driver at the NASCAR Series and will win many more big events in the future. She is already setting and making her mark in the NASCAR events and I am sure she will work out the little (don`t sweat it) details of being able to keep her hair out of the way when she puts on her race suit, buckle up correctly, and she will get used to racing on a longer track with hair pin turns at high speeds. Can`t wait to see you, Danica when you make your NASCAR debut, it would be great to come out the winner in that first race.

      
 

                                                                   References

Pockrass, Bob, (2009) Associated Editor, Scendaily.com - Danica Patrick learning as much as she can in Daytona ARCA test. The quote by Danica Patrick used in the article.

(http://www.scenedaily.com/news/articles/nationwideseries/Danica_Patrick_learning_as_much_as_she_can_in_Daytona_ARCA_test.html)

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