SCOTTSDALE, AZ - AUGUST 25: Danica Patrick speaks about her full transition to NASCAR at a press conference at the GoDaddy.com Headquarters on August 25, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Danica Patrick will race a full-time NASCAR schedule in 2012, leaving her Indy car roots in the proverbial dust. For more NASCAR news, check out SB Nation's NASCAR page. For more discussion and analysis head over to NASCAR Ranting and Raving.
After months of speculation racing personality Danica Patrick officially announced her full-time commitment to NASCAR in 2012 at the Go Daddy headquarters in Scottsdale, AZ on Thursday. Danica will race for her current Nationwide team, JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., as well as "eight to ten" Sprint Cup races with Tony Stewart's Stewart-Haas Racing. She did not divulge which Sprint races she will take part in.
"I've truly enjoyed my experience in NASCAR to the point that I want to do it full-time. I feel like in the last year, I've really come around much more on the track and top-10s are happening much more frequently. I feel like I'm getting it more and more all the time. ... I feel really confident I can be successful in the future."
Danica made a name for herself on the Indy car circuit, but stated that her move to NASCAR full time was much more about her enjoyment of that style of racing compared to Indy cars, not the boat loads of money associated with NASCAR races.
"I made this decision because of how much I enjoy driving stock cars and, in particular, how much I enjoy racing stock cars," she said. "The races are so interesting. There are so many pit stops, there are so many strategies that play out. You have to take care of your car, you have to know when to push with it.
Danica will keep her #7 car in the Nationwide series, but will have to race under another for the Sprint Cup as Robby Gordon currently holds it. She also hasn't completely ruled out running the Indy 500 next year on the Indy circuit. This is huge news for NASCAR and it's fan base as one if it's most popular faces will be seen much, much more during the 2012 season.