Tony Stewart hopes to field three cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013. He says they are still working on sponsorship for the No.39 of Ryan Newman after the Army announced they were pulling out of NASCAR just a few weeks ago. Stewart says they are “still pushing forward” and “doing whatever we can to get that done.” Stewart admitted that the Army leaving was a huge blow but not something that Stewart Haas Racing (SHR) couldn’t recover from.
Stewart’s plans are for NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS)/Former Indy Car driver Danica Patrick to run full time in the Sprint Cup in 2013 for SHR.
The ideal plan for Stewart would be a sponsor looking to place their name on the No. 39 of Ryan Newman. Stewart figures to have the bulk of his 2013 season filled by existing sponsors and Patrick will bring almost a complete slate of races sponsored by Go Daddy.
Patrick is running her first full NNS season and a part-time schedule in the Cup this season. In the NNS she has ran 18 races and has finished in the top ten one time. Her average finish is 19.6. She has raced in three Sprint Cup Series events; Daytona where she finished 38th, Darlington where she finished 31st and Charlotte where she finished in 30th position.
Danica running the Indianapolis 500?
Danica Patrick also has not fully decided if she will run the Indianapolis 500 in 2013. When she was asked Patrick said “Fair chance. I’ll say 50-50. We’re working on it.” If she decided to run the 500; she would be running it back to back with the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte. The NASCAR race starts only a few hours after the Indy 500 ends. Qualifying and practice for both races, and the All Star Race are all around the same time but doable. Patrick would most likely have to sacrifice practice somewhere. Looking at Patrick’s finishing spots in her 2012 Sprint Cup starts, Stewart and Patrick both agree that practice time can’t afford to be missed.
The last driver to compete in both events was Robby Gordon in 2003 in which he finished 22nd in the Indy 500 and 17th in the Coca Cola 600.
Danica Patrick is scheduled to make her fourth Sprint Cup Series start under the lights of Bristol Motor Speedway in late August.
Photo Credit: (February 21, 2012 – Source: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)