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Danica Patrick Focuses on IndyCar Series, Puts NASCAR Off Until June

March 16h, 2010-  By Chester O’Leary

Danica Patrick’s brief NASCAR endeavour is being put on hold temporarily as she gets back to her roots in IndyCar racing.

Patrick participated in three Nationwide races earlier this year, a lower division in the NASCAR Circuit.  She begins her IndyCar season this week, at the San Paulo Indy 300.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time running in NASCAR thus far,” she remarked to The Associated Press. “However, the IndyCar Series has always been my focus and winning the Indianapolis 500 is a lifelong dream. I’m looking forward to getting back into an IndyCar.”

Patrick says that she plans to keep with the IndyCar circuit over the next several months, with the idea of getting back to NASCAR in June.  During her three-race stint in NASCAR, Patrick compiled a 35th place finish, 31st and 36th.

“It’s always helpful to be behind the wheel, no matter what kind of car it is, seat time is seat time,” she remarked. “I think the main thing that NASCAR has done is provided me with a base to build my versatility as a driver.”

Patrick said she enjoyed her experience in NASCAR, and looks forward to another opportunity later this year.  Currently, she is under contract with the Andretti Autosport Team for the IndyCar Series through 2012.

“I’ve been fortunate enough in my career to be able to have driven several different race cars and each one has its own set of challenges,” Patrick remarked. “NASCAR has definitely helped me improve as a driver and I think it’s only made me more well-rounded on the whole.”

The IndyCar Series will be her chief focus for the next several months however, as she tries to build from everything she has learned since her NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway.

“I’m expecting a lot out of 2010. I always set high goals for myself,” she stated. “I think that consistency will be the biggest asset I have going into the year. I have the same race engineer, the same crew and the same race package. I think that will prove to be very useful as I’ve had an entire season working with this same formula and we have a solid foundation heading into the season.”

She tabbed a fifth place finish last year in the IndyCar Series season-long points race.  Her best career finish on the circuit is third.

“I think this season will be very competitive,” she said. “I’m still looking for a series championship and of course a win [at the Indy 500] is the ultimate goal. Obviously, I want to do well in both series, but for now IndyCar is the focus.”

Currently, Scott Dixon is the betting favorite on Online Sportsbooks to claim the IRL Indy Championship for 2010, going off at +300.

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