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Tony Stewart 'interested' in Danica

Sprint Cup driver and team co-owner Tony Stewart has said he would be interested in signing Danica Patrick to his team - but Danica's still denying anything is decided.
Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart has said that he would be interested in talking to Danica Patrick about the possibility of her joining the NASCAR Sprint Cup team he co-owns with Gene Haas.

"Anybody that's got a Cup team that would have the availability would jump at the chance to do something with her," Stewart said Wednesday during a sponsor appearance. "You would be crazy not to entertain an offer like that and an opportunity for her to drive a race car for you."

Stewart was quick to add that he had not had any discussions with Danica to date and that none were currently in the works about the possibility of her signing up with Stewart-Haas.

When asked whether he thought she was ready for a full-time switch to NASCAR and to the Sprint Cup series in particular, Stewart said that she just needed time to make the adjustment.

"I didn't think I was ready for Cup and Bobby Labonte and Joe Gibbs said, 'Yeah, you're ready,'" Associated Press reported him saying. "It took me running some Cup races before I realized I was ready. I'm not sure you know until you get out and do it. She's smart enough. She didn't get to this level by making bad decisions.

"That's not an easy decision to make, but you have to think about what is best for you long term," Stewart continued. "She's the only one that knows what she wants to do. Whatever decision she makes, she's going to have a reason for it."

For his own part, Stewart is certainly motivated to grow his team up from its current two-car line up - it currently fields the #14 for Stewart and the #39 for Ryan Newman. But Stewart-Haas has no Nationwide presence, nor is Stewart interested in adding one anytime soon.

Stewart-Haas receives engine and technical support from Hendrick Motorsports, which partners with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series for which Patrick currently drives part time alongside her full-time IndyCar work with Andretti Autosport.

Conversely, JR Motorsports does not have a Cup presence and Earnhardt himself drives for Hendrick in the senior series. Patrick could not join Hendrick for the limited Sprint Cup programme she is believed to want to undertake in 2012 as the team is already "full-up": Cup teams can only run a maximum of four drivers in the series and Hendrick will be fielding Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Earnhardt next year.




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Danica Patrick in her GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosports during practice on Thursday, May 19 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
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Tony Stewart - Stewart Haas Racing   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, wins, causing his crew to celebrate Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with a burn-out Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Busch is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, has an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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