Is NASCAR next for Patrick? By Ed Hinton The Orlando Sentinel Danica Patrick's contract expires with the IRL's Rahal-Letterman Racing team at the end of this season. MARY ALTAFFER - ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO Danica Patrick's contract expires with the IRL's Rahal-Letterman Racing team at the end of this season.
JOLIET, Ill. (MCT) - Danica Patrick could become the next star driver to defect from another major racing series to NASCAR.
"I'm trying to get her here (into NASCAR)," said T.J. Patrick, father of the woman who dazzled the motor racing world last year by nearly winning the Indianapolis 500, but has struggled with a mediocre Indy Racing League car ever since.
T.J. Patrick, who has managed his daughter's career since her childhood, was at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, holding exploratory talks with some Nextel Cup teams and sponsors about the possibility of Danica leaving the IRL for NASCAR as early as next year
Her contract expires with the IRL's Rahal-Letterman Racing team, co-owned by TV comic David Letterman, at the end of this season. In addition to considering NASCAR, the Patricks are negotiating with other IRL teams - and appear unlikely to renew with Rahal-Letterman next year.
Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman racing, declined comment through a spokesperson.
The Patrick family is from Roscoe, Ill., but Danica, 24, now lives in Phoenix with her husband and wasn't at Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 NASCAR race.
T.J. and Danica's mother, Bev, came to the Joliet track because "we've had some inquiries" from NASCAR teams, T.J. said.
Young American open-wheel drivers have been steering steadily away from IndyCars and into NASCAR for the past decade_from Jeff Gordon to Tony Stewart to Ryan Newman to Kasey Kahne.
They come for much more money, fame, what they consider more intense competition, and the sheer volume of racing.
The Patricks were in the Nextel Cup garage area as guests of the powerful Roush Racing team, which fields Fords for Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray and Mark Martin.
There have been other women in NASCAR.
Janet Guthrie, also an Indy-Car pioneer, was the first, competing in 33 Winston Cup races between 1976 and 1980 with five top-10 finishes.
Patty Moise of Jacksonville raced in the Busch Series in the 1980s.
Shawna Robinson ran a limited Winston Cup schedule in the late 1990s. And Erin Crocker is a promising developmental driver who currently competes in the Craftsman Truck Series.
New Toy Demo Colin Farrell (Miami Vice) India.Arie (CD, "Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship")
Tuesday, July 25 Greg Kinnear (Little Miss Sunshine) Reptile expert, Dr. Darrel Frost Tapes 'n Tapes (CD, "The Loon")
Wednesday, July 26 Scarlett Johansson (Scoop) Paul Teutel Sr. and Paul Teutel, Jr. (American Chopper)
Thursday, July 27 Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) The Spinners
Friday, July 28 Jamie Foxx (Miami Vice) Comedian, Tom Dreesen
I remember years ago, David decided it would be funny to publicize a fictious motorcycle jump that was to occur in front of the Ed Sullivan theater... Johnny Depp was going to jump a motorcycle over three school buses... all these publicity people kept ringing up & telling him it was not going to happen
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist
Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are set to publicly end their two-year-old feud as guests of US chat show king David Letterman. The beloved TV host has offered to play peacekeeper after inviting The Simple Life stars to appear together on his The Late Show program in September. The two former pals fell out amid reports Richie aired a private viewing of Hilton's controversial sex tape. Both girls have refused to go into detail about their bust-up, with Hilton repeatedly telling journalists, "She knows what she did." Hilton and Richie agreed to team up on TV again for the third season of reality show The Simple Life - but refused to work together onscreen.