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Patrick unlikely to race at Daytona

Team boss warns not to expect IndyCar convert Danica Patrick to make Nationwide debut at season-opener.

Danica Patrick will make her competitive stock car racing debut at the 6 February Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA Re/Max event at Daytona International Speedway, but, lest anyone thinks success in that race will lead to a start in the Camping World 300 Nationwide Series race a week later - an event heavily populated with Cup drivers - car owner Kelley Earnhardt offers a cautionary note.

"It's going to be her decision after the ARCA race," Earnhardt said Wednesday after a Nationwide announcement on the media tour, "The thing that we've all discussed is that the Nationwide Daytona race is basically a Cup race and, with someone like her, that may not be the best situation to put her in.

"My expectations for her are to go out and run in the top 20. We provide her a competitive car, she's a capable driver, and she's done well at the test. The key will be her being around 42 other cars and how she'll handle that, so we'll see."
By Reid Spencer

by Reid Spencer / Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service



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Indy Racing League.  July 31-Aug. !, 2009. Kentucky Speedway. Sparta, Ky. USA. Danica Patrick.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS advances to the Champion 4 with his second place finish. Harvick is joined with Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field onto pit road due to rain during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrates on pit road after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the crew of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet team celebrate in victory lane after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(L-R) Team owner Rick Hendrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and crew chief Greg Ives celebrate in victory lane after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(L-R) Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and crew chief Greg Ives celebrate in victory lane after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(L-R) Amy Reimann celebrates with Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, in victory lane after Earnhardt won the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, wins his second 2015 Texas victory Sunday, November 8, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion delivered another Chevrolet SS milestone with it`s 50th win today at Texas Motor Speedway in 106 starts. Johnson delivered the 6th Gen race car`s first win in it`s 2013 Daytona 500 debut. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet SS finished in third place and Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finished in seventh place.  The second round of the Eliminator 8 continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his second 2015 Texas victory with a burnout Sunday, November 8, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion delivered another Chevrolet SS milestone with it`s 50th win today at Texas Motor Speedway in 106 starts. Johnson delivered the 6th Gen race car`s first win in it`s 2013 Daytona 500 debut. The second round of the Eliminator 8 continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, races to his second 2015 Texas victory Sunday, November 8, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion delivered another Chevrolet SS milestone with it`s 50th win today at Texas Motor Speedway in 106 starts. Johnson delivered the 6th Gen race car`s first win in it`s 2013 Daytona 500 debut. The second round of the Eliminator 8 continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his second 2015 Texas victory Sunday, November 8, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion delivered another Chevrolet SS milestone with it`s 50th win today at Texas Motor Speedway in 106 starts. Johnson delivered the 6th Gen race car`s first win in its 2013 Daytona 500 début. The second round of the Eliminator 8 continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 23, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish with Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS who finished in seventh place and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Tarkett/Menards Chevrolet SS who finished in sixth place Sunday, October 25, 2015 in the final round of the Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Truex, Jr. advances to the Eliminator 8 round of the Sprint Cup Series Chase race. Earnhardt, Jr. and Menard did not advance. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet, lead the field during the pace laps prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 25, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, lead Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 25, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, and John Wes Townley, driver of the #05 Zaxby`s Chevrolet, lead a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 24, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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