Danica Patrick has confirmed her NASCAR Nationwide Series debut, entering the season opener at Daytona next Saturday.
The IndyCar star had initially set her first outing in the second-tier series for California in two week's time, but following a successful stock car debut last weekend in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Daytona, JR Motorsports has now confirmed that she will enter the Nationwide event at the same venue.
"Racing in the Nationwide Series race was my goal during this entire two-month preparation process, but we wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do," said Patrick. "The ARCA race was a blast, and I'm not ready for my first Daytona Speedweeks to end just yet. I want more racing."
The female racer impressed while driving her squad's No. 7 Chevrolet to sixth place in the ARCA event last Saturday, making a great recovery in the late stages of the 200-mile event, after contact while battling for position with rookie rival Nelson Piquet Jr. almost brought her highly publicized stock car debut to an early end.
Next Saturday, Patrick will face a much tougher challenge than her ARCA debut, though, as several Sprint Cup drivers will be in the field for what her boss Kelley Earnhardt described earlier this year as the toughest race of the Nationwide Series' calendar.
While Patrick drives the No. 7 car, which has the start guaranteed in the event, team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be behind the wheel of JR Motorsports' No. 88 entry.