While an official announcement is still pending, it looks as though Danica Patrick will be racing full-time for NASCAR in 2012.

The news should come as little surprise to those who have been speculating about a possible move since the spring.

Patrick will drive the No. 7 Chevy for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series. She will continue to be sponsored by GoDaddy.com.

She will race a few Cup events next season for SHR but will maintain her rookie status in Cup for 2013, ESPN reports.

ESPN writer Terry Blount called that a good decision. 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, McReynolds said. 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, Smith said.

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 continued. Some people may disagree with that. They's wrong. She does. Her brand is big. So it will bring more eyes.

Although it has not been confirmed, it looks as though the switch will prevent Patrick from running the 2012 Indianapolis 500.

Dave Furst, Sports Director at WRTV-6 (ABC) in Indianapolis, tweeted Wednesday: Sources telling me, #Danica will likely NOT return for #Indy500 next year.

A report on the 6News Website Wednesday said, there is still a chance Patrick could race in the 2012 Indianapolis 500, but because of her contract, she would have to do so with her current team, Andretti Autosport.

Patrick placed fifth in the 2011 Indy 500 race. She was leading for ten laps until she was forced to stop and refuel.

Every time I've been to Indy it makes me want to be back even more, Patrick told AP sports writer Chris Jenkins. I was saying after the race that every time I come and I don't win, I get more mad every time. I think you just realize how close it can be so many times and that's what, I think, makes so many people want to come back to Indy.

An official announcement from Patrick  is expected within the week.

 

[Additional Source: SBNation]