Danica Patrick is “in the final stages of a deal to run a full-time Nationwide Series schedule with JR Motorsports and limited Sprint Cup Series races" with Stewart-Haas Racing for the ’12 season, according to sources cited by Jenna Fryer of the AP. A source said that the talks “also include her continuing to run the Indianapolis 500.” Patrick has driven the No. 7 JR Motorsports Go Daddy Chevy in the Nationwide Series the last two seasons as part of a part-time schedule, but JR Motorsports co-Owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. last weekend said that he “wants Patrick to run a full Nationwide schedule with his team.” Earnhardt: "I would like for her to run fulltime, and I'm sure she is considering that, and I think she would enjoy it." Fryer noted the potential to continue to race the Indianapolis 500 “is a new wrinkle, considering JRM co-owner Kelley Earnhardt has said that it would be difficult for Patrick to run that race and compete for the Nationwide championship” (AP, 8/2). YAHOO SPORTS’ Dan Wetzel writes the '12 Daytona 500 is “an obvious choice for her first” Sprint Cup Series start. Danica “has made her name -- and her millions -- on the image of being America’s take-no-prisoners, high-speed temptress.” Wetzel: “Here’s her chance to prove it’s more than a marketing plan. If you’re going to roll the dice on the Sprint Cup, why sit out the main event?” NASCAR “can only dream of what the ratings would be with Patrick in contention late in what is already its most-watched, most-hyped, most-important race” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/3). ESPN the Magazine's Ryan McGee reported a "big reason it’s taken her awhile to get this done (is) she still wants to run the Indianapolis 500, and I don’t think she’s going to sign anything until she has a guarantee that she can go back and try to win that race." McGee: "She wants to make sure she still has a shot at Indy. She doesn’t care about the other races on the Indy Racing League schedule” (“NASCAR Now,” ESPN2, 8/2).
COME ON, WE'RE WAITING: McGee also reported the future of Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards “literally touches everybody,” as once he signs with a team for the '12 Sprint Cup season, other drivers will be signed. McGee: “What Carl does ... has a lot to do with what Roush Fenway is going to do as far as what sponsors they’ll have. That certainly could affect something some other marketing people are working on in another team” ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 8/2).
WHEELS & DEALS: Richard Petty Motorsports announced an associate partnership with weight loss water beverage TrimFit that will display the brand on uniforms as well as RPM’s No. 43 Sprint Cup Series Ford driven by A.J. Allmendinger. The company's logo additionally will be on the uniform of RPM driver Marcos Ambrose. TrimFit will have a presence with both RPM Sprint Cup teams for the remainder of the ‘11 season (RPM)….Common Ground Alliance announced a partnership with 3M and Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle to promote the 811 "Call Before You Dig" phone number on Biffle’s No. 16 car at this weekend's Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 race at Pocono Raceway (CGA).