Danica Patrick ditches IndyCar for NASCAR

The AP reports that IndyCar driver Danica Patrick's officially ditching the IndyCar series — perceived by many as the "small-time" — for a full-time NASCAR Nationwide gig and a few select Sprint Cup races. But she just can't quit IndyCar completely — as there's still going to be a possible Indy 500 run thrown in the mix.

Patrick's NASCAR career so far has resulted in no wins in 19 races despite leading briefly at Daytona in July, but she's performed on par with other rookie drivers. Perhaps more importantly, Danica is already the third highest-paid female athlete in the world and NASCAR gives her a larger stage and audience for herself and her potential team JR Motorsports.

All of this is based on anonymous sources but isn't particularly earth-shattering. The biggest remaining question is would she be allowed to run in the Indy 500, where she finished third in 2009, which would mean missing up to three Nationwide races and sacrificing points in the Nationwide championship.

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