Patrick says she’s still looking for Indy 500 ride

Posted Sept. 07, 2012, at 7:41 p.m.

RICHMOND, Va. — Danica Patrick said Friday she is still looking for an opportunity to race in the Indianapolis 500 next season — if she can get a competitive ride.

“I’d like to if it’s with the right team,” Patrick said at Richmond International Raceway. “If it’s not, then there is no point for me. I feel like I’d still be able to get in a seat and get comfortable with the amount of practice time there is in Indy and have a shot to win the race. But again, if I don’t have a shot to win the race or feel like it’s a real opportunity, then I am not going to do it.”

Patrick made seven Indy 500 starts, with a best finish of third in 2009 — the highest ever finish for a woman in the field. She left IndyCar at the end of last year for NASCAR and is scheduled to run the full Sprint Cup season in 2013.

In that Cup job with Stewart-Haas Racing, Patrick would be committed to run NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day as the Indy 500. The last driver to run both races on the same day was Robby Gordon in 2003.

There is only a handful of team owners in IndyCar who could field a potential winning car for Patrick, since any effort would be just for her and for that race. Putting together a team and finding the sponsorship needed to fund the effort might not be easy.

“We’re working on it. I’d like to do it if we can,” Patrick said.

She also said she would like to run Nationwide races next season. Patrick ran a limited Nationwide schedule the last two years with JR Motorsports and is in her first full season this year.

“I would like to run some Nationwide races next year, for sure,” she said. “The big tracks because they definitely relate the closest, Daytona and Talladega. And I’d like to run some of the tracks that are more challenging and difficult, and tracks that benefit from just pure track time. Things like that are good for me to run next year and get that extra track time. Obviously it’s a matter of figuring out how that’s going to work in sponsorship, but I would like to run some.”

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