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Rumors of IndyCar's Danica Patrick dipping a toe into the stock car racing pool have been swirling for months, but a new report suggests that an end to the rumors is near. ESPN says that Patrick is on the verge of signing a NASCAR Nationwide Series contract with JR Motorsports, the operation owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Unnamed sources that spoke to ESPN call the talks "near their final phase" and comment that it'd be a "surprise if it didn't happen." In any case, don't expect a formal announcement until sometime after the Sprint Cup chase draws to a conclusion on November 22.

The potential move to JR Motorsports was made possible when driver Brad Keslowski jumped ship to join Roger Penske's NASCAR Sprint Cup team. According to ESPN, Patrick is angling to drive the number 7 car (the same number she runs in IndyCar), which would replace the current JR Motorsports number 5 car. Since Danica will continue to run the full IndyCar schedule as well, she'd be a part-time driver for JR Motorsports, sharing the race car with Junior and another unnamed driver. If the signing happens and NASCAR gives its blessing, Danica will make her first stock car appearance in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA race on Feb. 6 during the Daytona Speedweeks, and go on to drive in 12 to 13 Nationwide Series races during the 2010 season. Frankly, given NASCAR's feel for marketing and Danica's undeniable celebrity, we see no way that she won't be in place for a debut during the February Speedweeks, assuming she does indeed ink the rumored deal.

[Source: ESPN | Image: Robert Laberge/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      DP is not talented enough to win in the cup.

      also i am so sick of people talking about how Nascar and any circle track racing. my question for those who think that they suck is

      what do you enjoy about racing? I bet its the battles on the track between drivers. now you have to ask yourself if f1 or indy or endurance racing has better battles on the track than Circle track racing. i bet you will find its not.

      people who actually love racing like myself respect nascar for what it is. people who love racing will enjoy just about anything that has to do with it.

      but jump on the bandwagon and act like you love F1 and talk down to us "lesser foke"

      • 5 Years Ago
      What?! No comments about an overated Nascar driver gets a driver that is as overated as he is in IRL???? I am disappointed in the autoblog viewers.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sure you find any food beyond mac&cheese and chicken nuggets "boring" as well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well she is in for a wake up call. Remember how Dario Franchitti did? He was Indy 500 and IRL champ and had nearly won the CART title which in the late 90s was the most competitive racing in the world.


      Good luck to her! Nationwide is more of a wreckfest than Sprint Cup by a far margin. Steven Wallace won't be pulling over for her to pass.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a great photo of her. LOL!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope she does well. I hope she will end in in a sprint cup car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One of the most overrated drivers of all time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This will be great news for NASCAR fans!
      Now they can finally openly admit to being in love with their favorite driver!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope she does sign with NASCAR. She should do well as she's such a talented driver. Danica has more talent than a lot of the cup drivers. Other women have tried NASCAR and only been mildly successful. NASCAR needs her. I wish her well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Every comment will probably be a variation of one of these:

      1) She's hot
      2) She's not that hot
      3) She's overrated
      4) Nascar sucks
      5) I like nascar
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's pretty much the same for any comment in this site. just replace Danica and Nascar with whatever the article is about.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I vote #1, and #4.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Another vote for #1 and #4. Come on it's NASCAR. It's racing in a big circle. I find most forms of motor racing a total bore, but this is the biggest bore of them all. She is hot though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wish she'd stick with IndyCar. She's had a third at Indy this year, so why doesn't she persevere there, and actually get some wins? Somehow, I have a feeling it's about the money.
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