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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]
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory Sunday, March 1, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jeffrey Earnhardt, driver of the #55 Fronius USA/Viva Auto Group Chevrolet, spins out during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies in second position Friday, February 27, 2015 for a front row position start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Team XTREME Racing #44 entry - driven in the Daytona 500 by Reed Sorenson (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development, speaks to members of the media after a testing session at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 26, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, interim driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finishes in sixteenth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finishes in fifth place, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finishes in 33rd place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gordon, who led for 87 laps,  was involved in a multi-car incident on the last lap. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS races to a third place finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finishes in fifth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS pulls into his pit on his way to a second place finish in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

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