Danica Patrick guaranteed Daytona 500 start as Stewart Haas partners with Tommy Baldwin Racing
|Wednesday, February 1st 2012, 11:54 GMT|
Danica Patrick's participation in the Daytona 500 has been guaranteed after her Stewart Haas team formed an alliance with Tommy Baldwin Racing.
Under NASCAR Sprint Cup rules, the top 35 in the previous season's owners' points standings are assured of qualifying spots for the opening five rounds of the season. As Baldwin's #36 entry finished 33rd with driver Dave Blaney last year, its status is being transferred to Patrick's #10, which will be fielded in a partnership between Stewart Haas and Baldwin in her 10 Cup appearances. David Reutimann will drive the #10 for the balance of the season.
Stewart Haas' vice president of competition Matt Borland said Baldwin's team was a good match for Patrick's needs as she makes the switch from parallel IndyCar and NASCAR campaigns to a full-time stock car career.
"Tommy Baldwin Racing has proven to be a very strong organisation and it's a good fit with Stewart-Haas Racing," said Borland.
"It's a Chevrolet team led by a racer who knows every inch of a racecar. That kind of technical expertise, along with a company mindset that is similar to ours, provides the ideal environment for Danica to learn and succeed."
Patrick will also contest the full NASCAR Nationwide Series with JR Motorsports.