Danica Patrick left the IndyCar Series, not just to casually dabble in NASCAR, but to become a serious contender with the heavy, fendered cars that she has quickly learned to appreciate and enjoy driving.
Patrick likes everything about NASCAR owners, drivers, teams and, of course, fans.
She finds it a much different environment than what she was used to as an open-wheel driver, but one she really wants to be part of.
Many think much has been handed to her, thereby giving her advantages that she doesn't deserve. She does have strong financial support from her sponsor that makes her desirable as a driver.
The fact is that, if she doesn't perform well and continue improving as she gets seat time in both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series, big bucks won't matter.
Certainly, Patrick has been fortunate to align herself with strong teams in both of the top NASCAR series she will race in.
This is a driver who is a quick study and is very confident in her ability. She is committed to doing well, and the consensus from those who will be racing with her is that she is going to be a contender for wins.
She will run the full Nationwide series, but her 10-race Cup schedule is strictly to get her used to that style of racing and the difference with the cars.
She will be racing at tracks that may test her the most during the 2012 season with her No. 10 GoDaddy.com Cup car.
There will be those who doubt her ability. And, even though she has already proven herself in many ways with her accomplishments, her talent will be questioned.
Patrick already has become very popular with NASCAR fans, and her full-time commitment to the sport is a very good thing.
Patrick doesn't intend to fail on her mission to become a respected driver in NASCAR racing, and there are many reasons why she will be a serious competitor in 2012.
Here are 12 reasons to take her seriously in 2012.