“It’s going to have to be a pretty stellar weekend.”
That's what Danica Patrick believes she needs this weekend if she it to make here NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Dayton February 13.
Patrick is entered for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA race this weekend ahead of a season where she is entered for a dozen Nationwide races for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsport squad.
Those dozen races, however, does not currently include the 300 mile race that opens the season for the second-tier Nationwide Series.
But she could still enter the race, depending on how she feels she fares in her stock car debut. And that, she insists, is not just a matter of finishing well, but is more about how she deals with the various and new situations she is bound to encounter on the high banked 2.5mile tri-oval.
“There have been some [IndyCar races] where I’ve walked away, I’m like, ‘Dude, I did a pretty good job,” she said. “I know I finished eighth today, but if you’d have known how that car felt, you’d see how much of a hero I was.”
“I’ll have to feel comfortable in all situations, it’s a much different animal from the Daytona 500 weekend with 30 Cup drivers and more cars and more experience. Every level you step up, if you’re not prepared, it’s just exponentially harder.”
“That way, whatever I decide, no-one can argue with me,” she joked.
Should she elect to enter the Nationwide race, she would join a field that will include several Sprint Cup drivers. The race is also named after a cause close to the driver's heart, with the news it will be called the DRIVE 4CORP 300.
Patrick is just one of several celebrities, also including Jim Belushi and former NFL player Michael Strahan supporting a scheme to screen people for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which confined Patrick's grandmother to a wheelchair.