A round-up of NASCAR news ahead of this weekend's Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series races at Michigan, while Nationwide heads to Canada and the F1 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course.

Danica: no news, but everything's in place

This week saw another spike in rumours that Danica Patrick will announce her exit from IndyCar open wheel racing in preference to a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series ride.

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Rumours have been sparked by arrangements for press conferences involving Patrick next Wednesday in Phoenix, Arizona - the home of Patrick's principle personal sponsor, internet hosting giant GoDaddy.com - which seem set to announce that she will take up a full time Nationwide ride with JR Motorsports and a number of select appearances at Cup level in a third car for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Both Danica and her prospective team bosses - Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart - have issued carefully worked non-denial denials that an announcement is imminent.

"I just have nothing new to report," said Patrick. "I wish I could give you something interesting but at this point in time, there's just nothing new to report."

"Ain't nothing to announce yet," said Earnhardt Jr, who said he was concentrating on his own Cup campaign and hadn't spoken to Danica about contracts since July. "So when there's something to announce, they'll announce it. We'll see and wait until that happens."

"When we have something to tell everybody, we'll tell them, but there's nothing to tell yet," said Stewart in a similar vein.

Patrick Carpentier's final race

Veteran racer Patrick Carpentier has announced that this week's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the F1 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course in Montreal will be his last professional motor race.

Carpentier, who has 157 open-wheel starts in Champ Cars and IndyCar as well as his 40 NASCAR Cup starts and 14 Nationwide races, has decided to hang up his firesuit after this weekend's swan song in his native Canada.

"I have been doing this for 27 years now. I am happy with the decision - it feels right," said the 40-year-old racer. "I want to spend more time with my family and become more involved in real estate. I know I will miss it, but in the last three years, the races have been few and far between. So at some point you have to realize it's time to move on and let the young kids have their chance.

"This weekend is going to be pretty special," he added. "It's going to be emotional, but hopefully we can win the race so I can go out in style."

Model racer makes her d?but

Maryeve Dufault will become the first Canadian woman to start a NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

The Quebec-born stunt driver and model will be driving the #81 Dodge owned by Pat MacDonald with sponsorship from the Quebec Dodge Dealers, normally driven by Blake Koch. The car is pre-qualified via owner points, guaranteeing Dufault a place on Saturday's grid.

Dufault has experience in motocross and open-wheel series including Pro Mazda Star Series and the Formula BMW USA, before moving to NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in 2010 and ARCA this year, with one top ten to her name in 12 starts.

Johnson wants Canada road course Cup race

Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has added his support to those calling for a Cup race to be held in Canada, with the F1 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course in Montreal favourite to hold the event.

"My perspective on heading north and into Canada to race is from a fan hunger standpoint. We have a huge racing audience in Canada," said Johnson. "I think a Montreal with the F1 presence and the Nationwide presence already being there ... we could really capitalize on it."

The NASCAR Nationwide Series is racing at the track this weekend, while Cup Camping World Truck Series drivers stay home in the US at Michigan, although Carl Edwards and Marcos Ambrose plan to make a dash by air to compete in the Nationwide race if possible.

Edwards hasn't made it easy for himself, however, admitting he's forgotten to pack his passport when setting off for Michigan: "We were going to send it in the mail, but if something happened we have too much on the line ... with the helicopters and all that stuff, if we have a hiccup we literally won't make the start of the race."

A friend is driving the documentation up from Edwards' home in Missouri.