Making her start in racing go-karts almost twenty years ago, Danica Patrick is making her move from the IndyCars Series to a full-time NASCAR driver in 2012. Following her career highlights of being the first woman to win an Indy car race in the Indy Japan 300 in 2008, and placing third in the Indianapolis 500 in 2009 (highest finish by a woman in the event’s history), Danica began driving part-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010.
Patrick drove the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Impala for JR Motorsports during her part-time run. She is currently driving the #7 GoDaddy.com Honda/Dallara for Andrett Autosport and has an equity stake in her #7 team. When she transitions full-time to NASCAR in 2012, she will be driving for JR Motorsports again also in a GoDaddy.com sponsored car.
Patrick’s popularity and advertising value to the sport actually put her above the current racing circuit favorite, Dale Earnhardt Jr., according to one marketing study (the Davie Brown Index). She is in the top five most popular race car drivers according to DBI, along with Petty, Earnhardt, Stewart and Gordon. Her job as a spokesman for her racing sponsor GoDaddy.com puts her name out in the public in places most race drivers aren’t seen, so her fan base is larger.
With her placing high in the rankings of the races and in the hearts and minds of fans spending money on the sport, NASCAR is welcoming Patrick with open arms to the family. It can only make the sport more popular and increase its viewership.