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Danica Patrick NASCAR press conferenceWeeks ago it leaked that Danica Patrick, arguably the  best-known racer in motorsports, would jump from IndyCar to NASCAR full-time beginning with the 2012 season.

Today, in a live teleconference, Patrick confirmed the badly kept secret. Not surprisingly, GoDaddy will continue to be her sponsor. Dressed in her signature leather-jumpsuit and high heels from the GoDaddy commercials, Patrick was joined by company CEO Bob Parsons when she made the announcement in Scottsdale.

“For breaking news that will shock the world, we are excited to finally announce that GoDaddy will be taking me full-time into NASCAR next year,” Patrick said.

Whether or not you like the GoDaddy Girls or the – some would say exploitive – commercials, Patrick and her sponsor acknowledge the two-way street and they do manage to use each other’s platforms brilliantly.

Patrick has spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons switching back and forth between the IndyCar series and NASCAR’s Nationwide series, running full-time in IndyCar and whenever her schedule permits in NASCAR.

In moving full-time to NASCAR, Patrick has some heavyweight backing. In addition to GoDaddy as her sponsor,  her Nationwide car will be owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s JR Motorsports, and her Sprint Cup car will be owned by Tony Stewart‘s Stewart-Haas Racing.

Patrick anticipates 8 to ten events in Sprint Cup in 2012, presumably marquee ones such as the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400, with plans to race Sprint Cup full-time in 2013.

She did not confirm earlier reports that she would be running NASCAR’s biggest race, Daytona 500, or whether  she’ll be able to jump back to the IndyCar series to drive in the Indianapolis 500 — a race she has been trying to win for several years and the event that made her famous.

Through 20 races so far in the Nationwide Series, Patrick has amassed one top-5 and three top-10 finishes, with all of those finishes in this year’s seven races.

“I don’t consider myself an underdog,” Patrick commented. “I’m just doing what I love to do.” She added that when she was growing up, her parents never pointed out that she was a girl – only that they wanted her to be the best.

So now it’s official.  Danica Patrick is coming to NASCAR and if the way the news is being received is any indication, the sport will never be the same.



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