DARLINGTON, S.C. (Nov. 4, 2011) – IndyCar sensation turned NASCAR driver, Danica Patrick, will make her first trip to Darlington Raceway a memorable one. Patrick announced today that she will run in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Southern 500, and NASCAR Nationwide Series Darlington 200 at the track Too Tough To Tame.
Patrick will make her first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start in the season-opening Daytona 500 followed by a the Southern 500 at Darlington. The challenge of racing on arguably the toughest track on the NASCAR circuit is not lost on Patrick.
“Darlington’s going to be an awful lot of fun,” said Patrick. “The expectation levels will be low, which is probably a good thing.”
“To be honest, from my perspective, I did not want to start my year in a Cup car – for the races I was going to do – at someplace like Darlington,” continued Patrick. “Everybody’s going to be watching, especially at my first Cup race. And there’s going to be more news about it, so I didn’t want Darlington to be my first one.”
“We are excited to be part of Danica’s limited NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2012,” said Darlington Raceway President, Chris Browning. “She is a very talented driver and having her in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at Darlington will make for a very exciting weekend for our fans.”
Patrick is not the first female competitor to take to the famed 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval. Janet Guthrie was the first female to compete at Darlington Raceway logging a 16th-place finish in the 1977 Southern 500. More recently, Shawna Robinson competed in the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 in March of 1992 finishing 42nd.
In 115 starts in the IZOD IndyCar Series Patrick has recorded one win and seven podium-finishes. Patrick made her NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in 2010 and has posted three top-10, and one top-five finish in 22 starts.
Darlington Raceway, or the track Too Tough To Tame as it is known to many, is where the purest of NASCAR competition meets true southern hospitality. A NASCAR staple since 1950, Darlington Raceway has seen some of motorsports most talented drivers thunder to Gatorade Victory Lane. On Mother’s Day weekend, May 11-12, 2012, NASCAR’s biggest stars return to battle the track Too Tough To Tame in the Sprint Cup Series Southern 500® and Nationwide Series Darlington 200.
Tickets for events at Darlington can be purchased by calling the Darlington Racewayticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at http://www.darlingtonraceway.com/tickets/.