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Patrick to announce NASCAR plans

Danica PatrickDanica Patrick is set to unveil her NASCAR plans for 2010 during a press conference on Tuesday.

After months of speculation about the IndyCar race winner adding a NASCAR programme next year, her sponsor will confirm a deal for Patrick to contest a number of Nationwide Series races in 2010 for JR Motorsports, a team co-owned by Rick Hendrick and Sprint Cup star Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Patrick is expected to enter the season-opener for NASCAR's second-tier series at Daytona in February, but a first sample of a stock car at the 2.5-mile oval may happen as soon as next week.

The 27-year-old could participate in an ARCA RE/MAX Series test from December 18 to 20, in order to start familiarising herself with the heavier car, taking a similar approach to other open-wheel drivers who have started their NASCAR apprenticeship in a super speedway and in an ARCA car.

Last week when announcing her new three-year IndyCar deal with Andretti Autosport, Patrick stressed that the single-seater category would remain her priority, but left the door open to focusing on NASCAR before and after the shorter IndyCar season.

"It's not necessarily an event amount that I'm limited to, but the focus would be to run before and after the IndyCar season," Patrick said. "That's the best opportunity."

Earnhardt Jr's former Sprint Cup crew chief Tony Eury Jr is expected to work alongside Patrick in the team next year.

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