Danica Patrick's new Sprint Cup boss and teammate Tony Stewart welcomed the IndyCar racer to the NASCAR fold, following her announcement on Thursday. Patrick announced earlier today that she is set to enter the 2012 Nationwide Series season full-time with JR Motorsports, while attempting a partial schedule in the Sprint Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing.
Two-time Sprint Cup Series champion Stewart, who has raced against Patrick in Nationwide (LEFT), says his intention is to run her full time in Sprint Cup in 2013.
"We're very excited to have Danica Patrick and GoDaddy join Stewart-Haas Racing in 2012 for a limited NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule with the intention of us running her full time in Sprint Cup in 2013," said Stewart. "We're proud of the fact she wants to come and be a part of Stewart-Haas Racing and what we've built with Ryan Newman and myself and all of our partners. Having Danica and GoDaddy as a combination at SHR is something we're really looking forward to.
"The thing you see in Danica right away is how determined she is to be good at what she does. She's very dedicated to taking the time and effort to make the transition from IndyCars to stock cars. She has talent, she has the right mindset and she has the proper drive and determination. It doesn't matter who it is you're looking for, those are the key attributes that you look for in a driver, and Danica's got them."
NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France welcomed Patrick's decision, which he said was exciting news for the sport's massive fan base, while offering a new challenge for her career as well.
"We are pleased Danica Patrick has chosen to run full time in NASCAR in 2012," said France in a statement. "She has demonstrated a strong desire to compete and NASCAR provides her the best opportunity to race against the top drivers in the world with the largest and most loyal fan base in motorsports on a week-to-week basis.
"Danica has shown solid improvement in NASCAR and we believe her decision to run full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, with additional races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be exciting for our fans and a great challenge to her."