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Danica Patrick will make NASCAR debut this weekend in Daytona

February 8, 2010 | 10:10 am

Danica Recent stock-car convert Danica Patrick will make her NASCAR debut this weekend in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Patrick overcame a spin to finish sixth in an ARCA race at the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval on Saturday. The decent result convinced Patrick and JR Motorsports that Danica is ready to compete in the Nationwide Series. Patrick and the team were initially weary of entering the race because of the top-level talent it attracts as the biggest race of the season.

"I think Danica proved to everyone that she can compete in stock cars at a high level, and right now seat time is extremely important," said Kelley Earnhardt, general manager of JR Motorsports, a team she owns with brother Dale Earnhardt Jr. "She has worked extremely hard during the past two months for this opportunity. Her dedication and work ethic is infectious."

The former IndyCar driver is scheduled to race in a total of 14 Nationwide Series races, including the Feb. 20 race at Auto Club Speedway.

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: Danica Patrick. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas / US Presswire