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Archive for Friday, July 31, 2009

Patrick in no rush to decide future

July 31, 2009

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Danica Patrick knows it’s tempting to hurry up and make a decision about her racing future.

She also knows it probably wouldn’t be good for business.

The IndyCar star said Thursday while there’d be a sense of relief if she simply made up her mind about where she’ll drive next year — be it IndyCar, NASCAR or somewhere else — she’s in no rush.

“I think there’s that thought that it would be nice to finish things up and move on, on the other hand it’s a really big decision what I’m going to do,” she said. “I don’t want to string it along, but also what should I do? I really don’t know.”

Patrick is in the final year of her contract at Andretti-Green Racing, and she’s made little secret of her interest in NASCAR. She recently toured several NASCAR shops in North Carolina, including the home of points leader Tony Stewart.

“There’s a lot of sort of ways to weave the web,” she said. “We’re just trying to do the best job we can with it. It just takes time.”

There appears to be at least one NASCAR team with no interest in Patrick’s services despite the considerable buzz — not to mention marketing dollars — she would bring.

Chip Ganassi, who owns teams in both IndyCar and NASCAR, met with Patrick recently and said before last week’s Cup race at Indianapolis there’s likely no room for her in his NASCAR operation.

“If she wanted to do NASCAR on a full-time basis, I would tell her there are better places to go and do it,” Ganassi said. “I don’t think our team is in a position to do it.”

Ganassi told Patrick she should stick to IndyCars, where she has become one of the more consistent drivers on the track and the series’ most bankable star off it.

Still, Patrick took Ganassi’s advice with a grain of salt. Though his NASCAR team is starting to flourish with former Formula 1 star Juan Pablo Montoya battling for a spot in the Chase for the championship, Patrick feels Ganassi’s heart remains in IndyCar.

“I think Chip has always really been in IndyCar,” Patrick said.

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