Danica Patrick Guaranteed for the Daytona 500?

[box type=”info”] Article first published as Patrick Guaranteed for Daytona 500? on Technorati.[/box]

Danica PatrickCHARLOTTE, N.N. — If Tony Stewart has anything to say about it Danica Patrick will have a guaranteed starting spot for the Daytona 500. Few rookies get that opportunity.

If the deal comes together Patrick’s #10 GoDaddy machine could be on the track for much of the 2012 Sprint Cup season.

Stewart Haas Racing is  negotiating with with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) that would transfer the owner points accumulated by Dave Blaney last season to the #10 car owned by Stewart. The top 35 owner points get automatic slots into the first 5 races. TBR’s 33 points would give Patrick her guaranteed spot on the Daytona grid. Her starting position would be determined by qualifying speeds.

Patrick is contracted for 10 Sprint Cup races. She is scheduled to run full-time in the Nationwide series for car-owner Dale Earnhardt. TBR driver David Reutimann would drive the GoDaddy #10 in as many of the other 26 races as finances allow. When Patrick is at the wheel, Reutimann will drive one of the TBR cars.

As part of the arrangement TBR will benefit from technical and pit crew support from SHR.

Patrick expressed genuine concern about making the Daytona 500 field back in mid-January. “There’s not that many spots (open). You’ve got cars that they’ll put everything into just running this race. I’ve heard they tend to be pretty quick.

“You don’t want to take chances. It’s not the right time to do that. Everyone wants to get into the race, and I’m sure GoDaddy would like to be sure of that happening. Eliminating as many questions is probably a safe route.”

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