Blog Entry

Official: Danica in 500 on points acquisition

Posted on: January 31, 2012 4:52 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 5:15 pm
Posted by Pete Pistone

Danica Patrick will begin her Sprint Cup career with a guaranteed starting spot in the Daytona 500.

Thanks to a "collaborative partnership" between Stewart-Haas Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing, Patrick gets a starting berth in next month's Daytona 500.

The No. 10 Chevrolet will now technically be fielded out of the TBR stable. TBR’s No. 36 car, which finished the 2011 season thirty-third in points, becomes the No. 10 for 2012.

For the 26 races where Patrick is not scheduled to drive, David Reutimann will pilot the No. 10 car. 

“Tommy Baldwin Racing has proven to be a very strong organization and it’s a good fit with Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Matt Borland, vice president of competition, SHR. “It’s a Chevrolet team led by a racer who knows every inch of a racecar. That kind of technical expertise, along with a company mindset that is similar to ours, provides the ideal environment for Danica to learn and succeed.”

TBR will field two cars in 2012 with Dave Blaney joining the No. 10 entry this coming season.

“We’re very proud of what we’ve established at Tommy Baldwin Racing, and the opportunity to partner with Stewart-Haas Racing and aid in the development of Danica Patrick is a testament to all the hard work we’ve put in over the years,” Baldwin said. “Danica will have a great teammate in Dave Blaney, who has been instrumental in getting our race team to where it is today. And with David Reutimann driving the No. 10 car in the races where Danica is not, the team will remain in a strong and competitive position throughout the year.”

Greg Zipadelli, who came to SHR this season to serve as the team's Director of Competition, will serve as Patrick's crew chief in her ten race schedule.

“Working with Tommy will be like old times,” Zipadelli said. “We both grew up together and competed against each other in Modifieds and we did the same thing when we got to Sprint Cup. To finally be able to work with each other and help Danica Patrick make a successful transition from Indy cars to stock cars is a challenge we’re both looking forward to.

“Partnering with Tommy and his team provides Danica with the foundation she needs to succeed. With a guaranteed starting spot, we can go into each weekend and simply learn. It’s all about getting her comfortable in the car, and with the variety of tracks she’s running, seat time will be incredibly valuable. A guaranteed spot in the race ensures that she’ll have the opportunity to make as many laps as possible.”

Patrick, who will also run a full Nationwide Series program for JR Motorsports in 2012, will run nine more Cup races in addition to Daytona this season.

“Our goal with Danica’s schedule is to try and maximize her 10 races so that she’s as prepared as she can possibly be for a full-time Sprint Cup schedule in 2013,” said Tony Stewart, co-owner of SHR. “There are short tracks, intermediate 1.5-mile ovals, and some unique tracks like Darlington and Phoenix. The point is to expose her to as many challenges as possible so that she’ll know what to expect in 2013.”

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Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2012 9:10 am

Official: Danica in 500 on points acquisition

Why did there need to be a point swap if DBR was already in the top 35 (at number 33?)

Since: Aug 30, 2011
Posted on: February 1, 2012 2:38 pm

Official: Danica in 500 on points acquisition

She is better than half the men in the field any given week in any given series. So many racers who have the talent dont have the money and support, and so many with the money and support dont have the talent. Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr and Steve Wallace are perfect example of MEN who lack the talent to be where they are at. Danica has been very impressive both in Indy Cars and in the Nationwide series, she would have easily finished in the Top 10 in points last year had she ran all the races, easily beating out most of the washed up men who werent worth a crud to begin with. Her ability to run good at Indy and to finish every race there in the Top 10 is most impressive, that track is very hard to run well at let alone to finish at.

While I will not say she is on the talent level of a Jimmie Johnson or Tony Stewart, she is easily as good as or better than half the field in ANY series she races in, many of you need to get a clue about how racing works, as a racer for many years I can tell you that a great car and a great crew chief can make many a men look great (Dale Earnhardt Jr in his prime before the 8 car lost its technical and crew advantages),  while others with the pure talent (Martin Truex Jr) get stuck in half ass equipment making them look like a monkey making love to a football. Either way Danica is no worse than most of these clowns, and I would wager she would have raced her way in anyhow given that she has some talent and will be driving top tier equipment, you act like she had no chance without the guarenteed spot, I would wager she would have easily made the races without that. Now she wont have to push the issue to get in to these races which is probably best for everyone involved.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:06 am

Official: Danica in 500 on points acquisition

Oh goodie for Danica, so instead of actually earning a spot, like your supposed to, she gets a spot handed to her by manipulation.  What a deal.  Who didn't know this was going to happen because, yes fokes, she's a woman.  She's pretty (at best) looks good for the camera in a racing suit so let's do everything we can to get her into the race.  Danica Kornicova (however it's spelled).  She has earned nothing in racing, has been a token all of her career, when is she going to earn things, look at how many are in the racing (minor leagues) and just waiting for a chance to race with the big guys, and here she is, racing with the world handed to her.  Go back to Indy racing, or better yet, start at the bottom and work your way up instead of letting your bottom get you to the top.

Since: Oct 12, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:53 pm

Official: Danica in 500 on points acquisition

NASCAR caving to the press and low attendance figures the past couple years. Where do all the other drivers with more experience and no rides go? I have nothing against women, but they must compete along wiith men, and it should be on an even playing field. You don't see Indy Cars crying about her going, do you. She's a hot headed little gal the uses her sex to get things. That's not professional sports guys!

Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:52 pm

Official: Danica in 500 on points acquisition

I really hate this rule.  I wish everybody had to earn their way into the 500.  The duels are basically useless since only about 4 or 5 cars a race are actually racing to make their way in instead everybody having to.  I'd rather see them go to an Indy 500 type format where only the fastest 43 make it on qualiyfing alone. 

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2012 8:57 pm

Official: Danica in 500 on points acquisition

Not that it matters or has anything legitimate to do with racing, but Danica is much nicer to look at than Reutimann, who only has eyes for Ashley!  I don't think she will ever win a D500, but who knows... I never thought Trevor Bayne would either.

Since: Nov 25, 2011
Posted on: January 31, 2012 6:12 pm

Official: Danica in 500 on points acquisition


Danica gets top notch equipment for ten races, while Reutimann gets second tier equipment for the bulk of the season. What will happen after the first five races if the #10 car isn't in the Top 35? I guess SHR will have to buy somebody else to keep Danica in the Top 35.

Frankly, I hope Danica does well enough to stay inside the Top 35. These "deals" are getting ridiculous to say the least.

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2012 5:57 pm

Official: Danica in 500 on points acquisition

"A guaranteed spot in the race ensures that she’ll have the opportunity to make as many laps as possible.”  okay - that's one way of looking at things.  I prefer to think of as "a guaranteed spot in the race, which she didn't earn by qualifying, puts all the other drivers at risk of getting caught up in one of Danica's mistakes.

"And with David Reutimann driving the No. 10 car in the races where Danica is not, the team will remain in a strong and competitive position throughout the year.”  Really???  Sounds like wishful thinking to me.  Personally, I think this team is going to tank quickly and she will tear up a lot of cars.  I see the team having trouble even making races after the first 5 guaranteed starts.

Anyway you look at it, Danica needs to show promise and not just be a cautious field filler running at the back. getting in everyones way.  She will have some of the best equipment and great support from Stewart-Haas. No more excuses. 

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