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Danica Patrick confirms 2012 Cup schedule

Danica Patrick has unveiled eight of her ten Sprint Cup appearances for 2012, with the former IndyCar star set to make her Cup début at the Daytona 500 season opener.
Danica Patrick has announced eight of the Sprint Cup races that she will compete in for Stewart-Haas Racing during 2012, as part of a limited programme of Cup racing running alongside her full-time Nationwide Series campaign with JR Motorsports.

Patrick will make her Sprint Cup début at the first championship race of the season, the famous Daytona 500 on February 26. After that she will not be back until the May 12 race at Darlington.

The next races that have been confirmed at this stage are Bristol Motor Speedway (August 25), Atlanta Motor Speedway (September 2), Chicagoland Speedway (September 16) and Dover International Speedway (September 30).

The final two confirmed races of the season are Texas Motor Speedway (November 4) and Phoenix International Raceway (November 11). Patrick will also take part in two further races, which will be decided after assessing Patrick's progress in Cup and Nationwide events and "based on need and competitive reasoning."

In deciding the eight races identified so far, "The most weighted factor was places that might be a challenge - places that had unique characteristics, that would be good to get some extra laps at," said Patrick. "That was pretty much the biggest thing, at this point in time.

"Sometimes guys like to do races at places they're good at, so they can just have fun - like Junior at Bristol," she added, referring to her JR Motorsports team boss Dale Earnhardt Jr. "But for me, it's going to be about laps."

Those Cup laps will be in the #10 car - which will startle the many fans who have come to expect to see Patrick in a car with a "7" on it.

"Obviously, a lot of people associate the #7 with me because it's what I ran in IndyCar and it's what I run in Nationwide. But before the #7, there was the #10," she said, referring to her racing experience in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and Toyota Atlantic. "The #10 is what I started with, and to have that number back with me as I start my Sprint Cup career shows how everything has come full circle."

Patrick said that thus far she hasn't has much chance to co-ordinate with the Stewart-Haas team, considering that Tony Stewart has emerged as one of the leading Cup contenders as the Chase approaches its climax.



Related Pictures

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Danica Patrick prepares for a NASCAR Nationwide Series race. [Picture credit:  John Sommers II/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 GoDaddy.com/DanWheldonMemorial.com Chevrolet, looks on in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 4 in Fort Worth, Texas. [Picture Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images]
Danica Patrick unveils her #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for the 2012 season with team owner Tony Stewart following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 4 in Fort Worth, Texas. [Picture Credit: NASCAR Media]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt jr. after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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