NASCAR chairman Brian France says he would welcome Danica Patrick to his championships, amid continuing speculation linking the IndyCar star to a stock car debut in Hendrick Motorsports machinery next year.
Although Patrick is expected to continue to compete in Indy cars with Andretti Green next season, the female racer has openly admitted she is working on a parallel deal to race in NASCAR in 2010. JR Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Nationwide Series team, which is owned by him and Rick Hendrick, has revealed it has held talks with Patrick about giving her the chance to sample NASCAR next year.
France believes the arrival of Patrick would be good news for the NASCAR scene. "Danica has obviously taken a very hard look at this sport," said France. "She's obviously a very recognizable, accomplished driver in her own right. I would love to see her compete at the highest form of racing in the world. I think she's thinking about it.
"She has a lot of talent. She will be good for NASCAR. How well she will perform is like any other driver who comes through the front door and sits in the car: you never know until they do it. She probably doesn't know. We'll see what the future brings, but she's certainly very welcome in NASCAR. I've told her that directly and I know others have, too."
A week ago at Phoenix, Hendrick said no deal had yet been signed to run Patrick next year, although he confirmed talks were still taking place with her management about a possible agreement.