Danica Patrick signs autographs before her July 2 IRL race at Kansas. Credit: AP
Patrick rumored to be interested in NASCAR
IRL driver's contract with Rahal-Letterman expires this year
July 10, 2006
04:45 PM EDT (20:45 GMT)
Danica Patrick could be trying to find her way into a NASCAR ride, reports Ed Hinton of the Orlando Sentinel.
Patrick's father, T.J., who manages his daughter's career, was roaming the Nextel Cup garage area Sunday at Chicagoland during the USG Sheetrock 400, exploring the possible interest of teams and sponsors.
Inside the Numbers
Patrick's 2006 IRL stats
Race Start Finish
Homestead 17 17
St. Petersburg 14 6
Twin Ring Motegi 14 8
Indianapolis 10 8
Watkins Glen 16 8
Texas 14 12
Richmond 14 15
Kansas 12 11
Average 13.9 10.6
"I'm trying to get her here [into NASCAR]," T.J. Patrick told Hinton.
Danica Patrick, 24, exploded onto the Indy Racing League scene last year, nearly winning the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie driving for Rahal-Letterman Racing. But her contract with the team is up at the end of this season, and it appears she will not be returning to the team.
She reportedly is negotiating with other IRL teams as well as considering the possible jump to NASCAR.
T.J. Patrick and Danica's mother, Bev, were at Chicagoland on Sunday because "we've had some inquiries" from NASCAR teams, he told Hinton. They were guests of Roush Racing.
The possibility of the female driver coming to stock car racing comes on the heels of Sunday's announcement that Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya will drive the No. 42 Dodge next season for owner Chip Ganassi.
cool news. IMHO that is.