Danica Patrick will miss the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona International Speedway in February, and plans to make her NASCAR debut a week later in California at Fontana's Auto Club Speedway.
The IndyCar Series racer recently announced that she will make her NASCAR debut in 2010, competing on a partial basis in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports, a team co-owned by Rick Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Although Patrick will be at Daytona in February for the ARCA RE/MAX Series event, where she is set to make her stock car race debut, she will not enter the Nationwide Series event. The race takes place on the day before the Daytona 500 and usually a high number of Sprint Cup drivers compete in it, something that makes Patrick hesitant about it being the right event to make her NASCAR debut.
"The race is basically a Cup race, some 30-odd drivers in Cup run in it," said Patrick. "So, is that the right time for me to start or not? You only get one grand opening, so I've heard. We want it to be the right opportunity."
The IndyCar Series star now plans to make her Nationwide Series debut at Auto Club Speedway on Feb. 20, and she will also enter the following event at Las Vegas, where she will drive the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet with sponsorship from GoDaddy.com.
Patrick still has to confirm her full NASCAR schedule for next year, which may include up to 13 events.