With Danica Patrick's announcement that she will be racing a full Nationwide schedule in 2012 and possibly up to 10 races with Stewart-Haas Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, the already famous woman race car driver will now take her popularity to new heights.
That's all a given.
But what about being competitive, as if that matters.
Patrick is a competitive person, and now that she's all in when it comes to NASCAR, she's not going to be satisfied running back in 20-something or 30-something place a lap or two down. She wants to be a regular visitor to the top 10. But it won't be easy. While the limited NASCAR experience she has so far will help her, she knows she still has much to learn. But she's at least going about it the right way.
When Tony Stewart made the jump from Indy cars to NASCAR, he first spent a full season running the Nationwide (then Busch) series before even stepping into a Sprint Cup car where he found much success in his rookie season. So, Stewart will be a good teacher here, but be sure, Patrick's financial backing certainly won't hurt the rest of the team either.
Patrick is no dummy. She knows where the money is for her long-term career interests. But eventually, maybe after three or four seasons, she will need some success on the track, too.
Here's the announcement video: