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Lucky 13? Danica Patrick to race in 12 - and possibly 13 - Nationwide races this year

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JR Motorsports driver Danica Patrick (right) chats with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. during a recent ARCA test. (photo by Motorsports Images and Archives)

By Lee Montgomery
lee.montgomery@nnsracing.com

JR Motorsports released Danica Patrick's 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule on Thursday, with the IndyCar star making 12 events - and possible 13 - this season.

Patrick could still make her NASCAR debut later this month at Daytona International Speedway, where she is entered in the ARCA race next weekend. JRM will determine after the ARCA race whether to enter Patrick in the Camping World 300 Nationwide event at Daytona.

"We want to give Danica the best opportunity to compete at Daytona, and that includes making sure she is 100 percent comfortable in that driver’s seat," JRM co-owner Kelley Earnhardt said in a press release. "The Nationwide race there is perhaps the most competitive race of the year. Once the ARCA race is complete, we will get with Danica and make a decision based on the best interests of her, the team, and our sponsor Go Daddy. I’m extremely pleased with the working relationship between Danica and (crew chief) Tony Eury Jr. They are communicating well and working extremely hard in preparing for this season."

Beyond Daytona, Patrick’s 2010 confirmed races start with the Feb. 20 event at Auto Club Speedway and the Feb. 27 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Patrick will then take four months off to focus on her IndyCar schedule, returning to NASCAR on June 26 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The remainder of her schedule includes Nationwide races at Chicagoland Speedway (July 9), Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 14), Dover International Speedway (Sept. 25), Auto Club Speedway (Oct. 9), Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 15), Gateway International Raceway (Oct. 23), Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 6), Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 13), and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 20).

"I’m thrilled to announce our 2010 Nationwide Series schedule," Patrick said in a press release. "Like I’ve said before, we just want to be smart and calculative about this process. The tracks we’ve selected not only compliment the IndyCar schedule, but will give me quality seat time at a variety of facilities."

GoDaddy.com will serve as primary sponsor for 10 of Patrick’s 12 races in the No. 7 Chevrolet in 2010.

Danica Patrick’s 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Schedule

Date Venue
2/13 Daytona International Speedway (TBD)
2/20 Auto Club Speedway
2/27 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
6/26 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
7/9 Chicagoland Speedway
8/14 Michigan International Speedway
9/25 Dover International Speedway
10/9 Auto Club Speedway
10/15 Charlotte Motor Speedway
10/23 Gateway International Raceway
11/6 Texas Motor Speedway
11/13 Phoenix International Speedway
11/20 Homestead-Miami Speedway