26 Aug 2011

Danica Patrick to move to NASCAR

6:55 pm on 26 August 2011

Danica Patrick, the only woman to win an IndyCar race, ended months of speculation about her racing future by announcing that she will make a full-time move to NASCAR next year.

The petite American has divided her time between the two series for the past two seasons but had come under increasing pressure to commit to just one of the circuits to achieve more consistent results.

A long-time darling of American motorsport, Patrick will compete in NASCAR's second-tier circuit, the Nationwide Series, for JR Motorsports, her current stock car team which is owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, she will be with Stewart-Haas Racing, co-owned by double Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation.

Patrick, became the only woman to reach Victory Lane in an IndyCar race with a win at Motegi in Japan in 2008.

However, she has made no secret of her preference to race on oval circuits rather than on street courses in recent years as IndyCar has increasingly focused on street tracks.

Patrick has recorded three top-10 finishes in seven starts this season in the Nationwide Series. Her best result was fourth in Las Vegas.