Danica Patrick and GoDaddy.com made if official today in Phoenix. The Indy car star who recently signed a two-year contract extension with Michael Andretti in the IRL will run a partial NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2010 and at least one ARCA race.
Patrick will drive the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet through 2011 for the JR Motorsports (JRM) team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick, Kelley Earnhardt and Tony Eury Jr.
It was one of auto racing’s worst-kept secrets. Both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick had talked in recent weeks about the possibility of the first woman to lead laps at the Indianapolis 500 and the first woman to win an Indy car race starting her stock car career with their team.
"It’s been a long time coming, but the stars finally aligned for me with Go Daddy and JRM," she said today just before the official announcement was made outside Chase Field in downtown Phoenix.
“I have always said I love to drive and if I could make it work to race in both IndyCar and NASCAR . . . then I’d love to drive in NASCAR."
Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons said, "We’re thrilled to expand our long-standing relationship with Danica into NASCAR.” The Internet domain registrar and web hosting company also sponsors Patrick in Indy racing and plans to continue its relationship with Earnhardt Jr.
Patrick’s NASCAR races will take place before and after her Indy car races. Said Andretti: "Danica and I are both working hard for a win at the Indianapolis 500. Keeping the race schedules separate will help keep her focused."
Patrick’s first stock-car start will be the ARCA stock car race at Daytona on Sat., Feb. 6.