Danica Patrick confirmed Thursday what anyone who'd been paying attention already knew.
Patrick announced her breaking news that will shock the world in a news conference with sponsor Go Daddy. We're excited to announce that Go Daddy will be taking me full-time into NASCAR next year, said Patrick. I'm just excited to finally say it! she added.
As ESPN reported last week, Patrick said she will have a partial schedule in Sprint Cup.
ESPN writer Terry Blount called that a good decision in a story last week. Patrick has yet to race a full season in NASCAR, and needs time to get used to the grind and learn the tracks before moving full time to Cup.
If she is going to make the move from IndyCar to NASCAR, now's the time to do it, said Larry McReynolds of Fox Sports.
I think Danica truly wants to be in NASCAR. And you know what? NASCAR needs Danica Patrick, said McReynolds. The sport needs a female or minority driver that will be in good equipment -- no matter whether it is in Nationwide, Trucks or in Sprint Cup.
Marty Smith of ESPN partially disagrees.
NASCAR doesn't need Danica Patrick, at all. But do they benefit from her being in their arena? Absolutely, said Smith.
She's a huge brand. Her brand transcends all of racing. She's a huge bonafide A-list star in this country. So it brings more eyes to the sport.
It also really brings more of the female demographic to the sport, Smith added. Some people may disagree with that. They's wrong. She does. Her brand is big. So it will bring more eyes.
But Patrick says her decision has nothing to do with branding.
If it was about money I would have gone a long time ago, said Patrick at the news conference. I always....go where my heart tells me to go, where my gut tells me to go, where I'm enjoying my life the most.
She didn't comment about what the move means for next year's Indianapolis 500. Although it hasn't been confirmed, most sports journalists agree the switch will prevent Patrick from running the 2012 Indy 500.
Patrick placed fifth in the 2011 Indy 500 race. She was leading for ten laps until she was forced to stop and refuel.