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Owners Points deal for Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick
Stewart-Haas Racing has acquired owner points for Danica Patrick's Sprint Cup team heading into 2013, but likely not enough to ensure that Patrick doesn't miss the Daytona 500. Patrick drove the #10 Chevy in 10 races last year but she will not have those points from last season. Instead, Stewart-Haas Racing has struck a deal with Robinson-Blakeney Racing to acquire the owner points from its defunct #49 team.

Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing have acquired 2012 owner points for Danica Patrick to help ensure she makes the first three races of 2013. The #49 car, which was driven primarily by J.J. Yeley, was 42nd in owner points, which likely would do little to help Patrick make the Daytona 500 should she have problems in qualifying or the qualifying races. The deal, though, could possibly help her team if rain washes out qualifying for the following races at Phoenix and Las Vegas. Patrick, who is running the full Sprint Cup schedule for the first time this year, drove the #10 car in 10 races last year through a partnership between Stewart-Haas and Tommy Baldwin Racing, which will keep those points (33rd overall) for its two-car organization entering 2013.

The starting lineup for the Daytona 500 is set by a mix of qualifying speed and results in the two Budweiser Duel qualifying races. In the next two races at Phoenix and Las Vegas, the fastest 36 cars make the field on speed with the rest of the field set by 2012 owner points, with one spot available for a past champion or another by owner points. Stewart-Haas could have swapped the points of team co-owner Tony Stewart with Patrick and have Stewart, a three-time champion, rely on a past champion's provisional if he wrecked in qualifying, but that would have impacted bonus money for the team. Also, past champion's provisionals will be limited to one for every six races attempted in 2013. Sporting News
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