Patrick Sheltra Comments On Upcoming Danica Patrick ARCA Entrance INDIANTOWN, Florida (December 10, 2009) - - The question has been answered. After months of speculation, IZOD IndyCar Series star Danica Patrick announced this week her plans to...
Patrick Sheltra Comments On Upcoming Danica Patrick ARCA Entrance
INDIANTOWN, Florida (December 10, 2009) - - The question has been answered. After months of speculation, IZOD IndyCar Series star Danica Patrick announced this week her plans to run a limited stock-car schedule with the primary focus being on the NASCAR Nationwide Series for 2010 and 2011 with JR Motorsports (JRM).
However, before Patrick enters the NASCAR Nationwide Series, she'll first tackle the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards which is often referred as the stepping-stone to NASCAR.
Patrick will join veteran ARCA driver Patrick Sheltra, his Sheltra Motorsports team and not to mention a healthy and impressive plethora of other drivers and teams expected to partake in the three-day open test session at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway beginning on Friday December 18 and concluding on Sunday December 20, preparing for next year's season opener.Sheltra, who just concluded his three consecutive season of ARCA competition commented on the recent announcement while also giving his opinion on his expectations for Patrick for the test and next season's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona set for Saturday, February 6, 2010.
PATRICK SHELTRA, No. 60 Buffalo Wings & Rings Dodge Charger: "I'm excited to have Danica Patrick be a part of the ARCA Racing Serieswhether if it'sfor one race, five races or a full-season. I know she is going to bring a lot of publicity to the series and that in-turn should bring publicity to the other drivers competing on the tour. Obviously, she has a lot on her plate and everyone has high expectations for her but I'm going to do anything I can to help her (if she wants it). The move from me from dirt to stock cars was massive and I'm sure the transition from IndyCar to stock-cars won't be a piece of cake either.
For any driver making their debut at Daytona will be no easy task. I know she is used to speed but there is a big difference between the two series. I don't know if she willfully understand the draft in a stock-car compared to an IndyCar. I will be watching her and her team very closely at the test next weekend. She really needs to with the help of JR Motorsports get a good feel for the car. She may not be my first choice to draft with for the race in February but when push-comes to shove, she will have a good car and as a team we're going to have to look at heras a possible drafting partner. I just hope she understands how the draft works and how to use it appropriately when it's go time. I think if she can go out there for the test and the race and learn, talk to the some of the experienced ARCAdrivers and don't do anything over her head, she'll have a successful stockcar debut.
Finally, I've been listening, reading and hearing about all the controversy about Danica Patrick making the move to ARCA and NASCAR. Here's my two cents. She is not afraid. She is coming here with an open-mind and if she makes it, she won'tbe the first or the last to make the transition successfully. If she doesn't make it, she at least tried and again, she won't be the first nor the last to make a jump from another form of Motorsports and not succeed. Nonetheless, I wish her all the best."