Danica doing dirt
Danica Patrick has tamed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and taken on Daytona International Speedway.
This June, Patrick will tackle Eldora.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie will compete in the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway on June 6.
“I’ve heard a lot about Eldora, but have never been there,” Patrick said. “I know it’s a special place and a lot of famous names have raced on that dirt. I’ve raced at Indy and Daytona, so I’m excited to add Eldora to my list of tracks.”
Patrick was one of six drivers announced Wednesday, along with Ryan Newman, Bobby Labonte, Kenny Wallace, Ty Dillon and Aric Almirola.
Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Dave Blaney, Tony Kanaan, Ron Capps, Jimmie Johnson, Just Allgaier, Bill Elliott, Ray Evernham, David Gilliland and Cruz Pedregon were previously announced.
The drivers will compete in late models on Eldora’s historic half-mile track in the eighth running of the event. Proceeds benefit Feed the Children.
“I raced on dirt once before in a go-kart when I was young, but that’s about it,” Patrick said. “It’s going to be a challenge for sure, but I know (Eldora owner) Tony (Stewart) has offered to help in any way possible. I’m excited about it, but I’m also nervous. It’s a totally different style of racing, so I’m not sure what to expect. But, it’s for a great cause with Feed The Children benefiting from the money raised this year, so I’m ready to give it a shot.”
Patrick, the IndyCar Series rookie of the year in 2005, is focusing on her NASCAR career this season. She’s running a full-time Nationwide Series schedule with JR Motorsports and a limited Sprint Cup schedule with Stewart-Haas Racing.
“Obviously driving for Tony, I wanted to participate because I know how much the event means to him and certainly the charitable aspect is important to me as well with Feed the Children being involved,” Patrick said. “In the past the schedule didn’t work for me to participate, but this year we were able to make it happen, so I’m excited to do it.
“I have not had a chance to watch the Prelude in the past, other than some quick highlights on SportsCenter or SPEED, but from the little I’ve seen, it’s an incredible event. A lot of big names have participated in it and for so many drivers to give up their time, it must be a pretty big deal.”
For ticket info, call the Eldora Speedway box office at (937) 338-3815 or order online 24 hours a day at www.EldoraSpeedway.com.