Danica Patrick has announced her 2011 Nationwide schedule: 12 races, including four tracks she's never visited as a NASCAR driver, and enough hype and hope to float the Goodyear blimp. Like last year, she'll run in clusters in the beginning and end of the Nationwide season, popping in and out during the summer while she runs full-time in the IZOD IndyCar series. According to JR Motorsports, here's where Ms. Patrick's fans can watch her race:
• Daytona International Speedway (Feb. 19)
• Phoenix International Raceway (Feb. 26)
• Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 5)
• Bristol Motor Speedway (March 19)
• Chicagoland Speedway (June 4)
• Daytona International Speedway (July 1)
• Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Aug. 20)
• Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 9)
• Kansas Speedway (Oct. 8)
• Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 5)
• Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 12)
• Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 19)
Patrick gets no end of grief for the highly unbalanced attention-to-results ratio, and this year will be a significant one for her career as she gets more familiar with the Nationwide car. Another wrinkle: she's not the only driver who's more famous for work outside of NASCAR.
Travis Pastrana will make his Nationwide debut this year at Indianapolis, and plans to run seven Nationwide events in 2011 and 22 in 2012. Unlike Patrick's split season, most of Pastrana's events will come late in the Nationwide season. At Richmond, Kansas, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead, he and Patrick will share the track. Think there'll be any interest — or compare/contrast — in those races?