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Friday, November 4, 2011

Danica Patrick reveals 2012 Sprint Cup plans; will honor Dan Wheldon Saturday

Andretti Autosport's Danica Patrick at the 201...Image via Wikipedia
On to Feb. 26, 2012, where there will now be three drivers to root for at Stewart-Haas Racing at the 2012 Daytona 500.

In addition to Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick has announced that she will start the 2012 season with a limited Sprint Cup schedule in the #10 GoDaddy car, beginning at Daytona.

Patrick will also be driving full time in the Nationwide Series in 2012. Won’t it be fascinating to watch this capable  woman racing in a stock car? She will start by running the last three races of this year’s Nationwide season, just to get additional seat time before her season officially begins.

Patrick will contribute to Dan Wheldon’s Memorial Trust Fund

Patrick said today, “she will be happy to have a roof over her head,” referring to the open-cockpit cars of the IndyCar series she is leaving behind. The last race Patrick drove, which had been her plan, was the season finale at Las Vegas Oct. 16. That race was cut short after the horrific 15-car crash that claimed the life of two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon.

In this Saturday’s race at Texas, Patrick will honor Wheldon with a special paint scheme on the hood of her Nationwide car. It will bear the same image that Wheldon wore on his helmet.

Her helmet will also be specially designed to pay tribute to Wheldon. Following the race Patrick's helmet will be auctioned off. The proceeds will go to the Dan Wheldon Memorial Trust Fund. Patrick will also donate her prize winnings from Saturday’s race to the fund.

The fund was started when Graham Rahal donated his helmet to be raffled off in what he thought would be a small gesture to benefit Wheldon’s widow and their two young sons. When Rahal announced his intentions on Twitter the response from the motor sports community was overwhelming. In three days, more than $200,000 was raised. Since that time, the fund has continued to grow.
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