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Patrick To Leave IndyCar Behind For NASCAR

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (AP)  Danica Patrick is officially headed to NASCAR.

After months of skirting speculation, Patrick announced Thursday that she’s leaving IndyCar in 2012 to run a full Nationwide schedule with JR Motorsports and up to 10 Sprint Cup races for Stewart-Haas Racing.

One of auto racing’s most marketable stars, Patrick says she hasn’t mapped out which races she’ll run in Sprint Cup and didn’t rule out a return to open-wheel racing for the 2012 Indianapolis 500.

Patrick had her highest finish at the Indy 500 when she took third in the 2009 race and became the first woman to win an IndyCar race when she took the checkers at Japan in 2008. She has driven 20 races for JR Motorsports the past two years and has five more scheduled with the team this season.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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