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DATE News (chronologically)
06/26/10
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Danica helps ticket sales in Loudon  Danica Patrick has become a NASCAR phenomenon without portfolio. Patrick is an IndyCar veteran who will make her fourth foray into the NASCAR Nationwide Series when she competes in the New England 200 tomorrow at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

NHMS general manager Jerry Gappens is thrilled having a wild card like Patrick in the warm-up act for Sunday’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301.

“I certainly think it’s one of the major story lines and we are calling it D-Day, that’s how we are promoting it,” said Gappens. “Coming into (Thursday) our ticket reports showed we are up 30 percent in advanced ticket sales for (tomorrow’s) race and the only difference from a year ago is that Danica is in the race.

“You have to give her credit for that drawing power and the curiosity. Since she announced she is going to race we’ve gotten calls from ticket buyers who had never been here before.”

While Danica Patrick has set the bar realistically low in NASCAR, the expectations of her growing legion of fans might be a little different. With the economy what it is and attendance down in most series, she couldn’t have come along at a better time.

“I feel lucky to have so many fans and lucky that people follow me,’’ Patrick said. “I heard that ticket sales were up 30 percent or something like that at Loudon.

“I know ratings were up in the races I was in at the start of the year and that’s great.’’

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