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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Danica Patrick finally pulled the curtain back

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. &#040AP&#041 - Danica Patrick finally pulled the curtain back on the worst-kept secret in car racing, revealing her programs to leave IndyCar up coming year and race complete time in NASCAR.

The deal, announced Thursday, will put her in a Nationwide Series ride total time for JR Motorsports and a component-time gig in Sprint Cup for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2012 - and definitely send reverberations across the two most significant motorsports series in the U.S.

"I have been waiting for Danica to make the dedication to NASCAR and now that she has, I feel she will shock a lot of skeptics," NASCAR Hall of Famer and Fox analyst Darrel Waltrip explained. "She is a extremely centered driver and now with no the distractions of an additional series she can put all her efforts into it. In a very quick period of time and with extremely constrained encounter, she has proven me she has the talent to be very successful in NASCAR.

"Can she win? You bet."

The news that Patrick was switching to fendered autos came as no shock.

One particular of the most marketable stars in auto racing Patrick Kane Jersey, she had been rumored to be headed to NASCAR even prior to she ran her first stock race, at an ARCA series occasion at Daytona in 2010.

Even although racing restricted Nationwide schedules the previous two many years for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s group, Patrick had deflected talk of leaving IndyCar for much more-lucrative NASCAR, but it grew to become far more and much more clear over the past couple of months that she would make the switch.

It became official on Thursday, when Patrick signed a contract with chairman Bob Parsons in front of Tv cameras and a few dozen cheering business personnel.

"If it was about money, I'd have gone a lengthy time in the past," Patrick explained from GoDaddy's offices in north Scottsdale. "I just go exactly where my heart tells me, exactly where my gut tells me to go, in which I am enjoying my daily life the most, where I really feel like I can have the most good results. I have really enjoyed my encounter in NASCAR, to the level that I want to do it total time."

Patrick will run most of her races in the reduced-tier Nationwide Series with only a handful of Sprint Cup races, but her switch to NASCAR should be a huge boost to a sport that's been harm by a sagging economic climate and a dip in acceptance from its heyday just a number of many years back Andrew Shaw Jersey.

With her telegenic appears, mass appeal, not to mention racy Super Bowl advertisements, Patrick brings anything which is tough to come by: star power.

"We are pleased Danica Patrick has selected to race full time in NASCAR in 2012," NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France stated in a statement.

"She has demonstrated a robust desire to compete and NASCAR supplies the ideal chance to race against the best drivers in the globe with the greatest and most loyal fan base in motorsports on a week-to-week basis. Danica has shown reliable improvement in NASCAR and we believe her decision to run complete time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, with additional races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be interesting for our followers and a fantastic challenge for her."

On the other side of the wheel, Patrick's decision leaves a large void in IndyCar

The series has produced some large strides beneath the path of CEO Randy Bernard, who has aggressively reshaped the sport with progressive advertising approaches.

But for all the successes IndyCar has had, Patrick is nonetheless possibly the sport's largest star - certainly it really is most recognizable - and shedding her will likely place a dent in the sport's momentum.

"Danica has constantly been a excellent ambassador for IndyCar, and there is no doubt she has left a optimistic impression on our sport," Bernard stated in a statement.

"She has touched millions of fans and several that were new to motorsports. Danica attracted a fan base that every single athlete and sports activities property in the planet would adore to have. We need to give her a excellent farewell the rest of this season as she opens a new webpage in her job and want her continued achievement with her new course."

Patrick has run 20 races in two years with JR Motorsports and has 5 a lot more on the schedule this season. She plans to run amongst eight and 10 Sprint Cup races with Stewart-Haas, with an eye on a total season in 2013.

Patrick would like to race at the Daytona 500, even though the crew hasn't mapped out where she'll start or which races will fill out the routine this yr, and didn't rule out an additional run at the Indianapolis 500 - even following Andretti Autosport announced it had reached a mutual agreement to part techniques with her after the 2011 season.

"We're thrilled with Danica Patrick's choice to join us for the 2012 season and looking forward to seeing her behind the wheel of a NASCAR Nationwide Series vehicle on a steady basis," explained Matt Jauchius, chief marketing and advertising and method officer for Nationwide Insurance coverage. "Her presence will continue to make our Series more powerful and much more competitive. She has established to increase awareness amounts of our sport, sponsors and competitors and which is very good for everybody involved."

Patrick will leave IndyCar following a respectable run

She grew to become the 1st lady to win an IndyCar race at Japan in 2008 and was the first to lead the Indy 500, when she did it in 2005 - the very same 12 months she earned the pole at Kansas. Patrick also had a large finish of third at the Brickyard in 2009 on her to way to a profession-very best fifth in the season standings.

Patrick is 12th in the IndyCar standings, with seven top-ten finishes.

"The point you see in Danica correct away is how established she is to be good at what she does," Stewart-Haas owner Tony Stewart explained. "She's very devoted to taking the time and energy to make the transition from Indy autos to stock automobiles. She has talent, she has the correct mindset, and she has the proper drive and determination. It isn't going to matter who it is you happen to be searching for, these are the essential attributes that you search for in a driver, and Danica's acquired them."

Patrick had a sharp learning curve when she first began racing stock autos, but has acquired ground this yr.

Right after that 1st ARCA race at Daytona, she struggled with the nuances of the Nationwide automobile, her greatest finish a 19th at Homestead with an regular finish of 28th.

Patrick has been much smoother this season, posting 3 best-10 finishes, with a occupation-very best of fourth at Las Vegas - the ideal finish by a woman at a national NASCAR race. She's made very good progress as a part-time driver and expects to get better with a full-time shot.

"I feel like in the last year, I have really come all around significantly much more on the track and the top-10s are occurring a lot more regularly," Patrick mentioned. "I come to feel like I'm obtaining it far more and more all the time. I still have a good deal to discover, that is for certain, but I truly come to feel assured that I can be productive in the future."

There is no turning back now that the secret's officially out.

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