It appears one of the biggest names in Indy Car will be making the switch from open-wheel racing to stock cars.
According to ESPN, Danica Patrick is nearing the completion of signing a two-year deal with JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., to race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series starting in 2010. Sources close to the contract negotiations are saying that the two sides are in the "final phases."
Other sources close to the negotiations are saying the deal is moving forward, and could put Patrick on the track in a Nationwide car for Speedweeks at Daytona.
Currently, Patrick is racing for Andretti-Green in the Indy Car Series, and signed a three-year extension to her contract through 2012. The schedule for the open-wheel season is relatively light. It only has 17 races over seven and a half months, compared to the Nationwide Series which runs 34 races in a ten-month period.
This is not the first time that Patrick has been in the news regarding NASCAR. Earlier this year there was rumors that she could sign with Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, or Hendrick Motorsports.
Hendrick helps support JR Motorsports in cars and engines. Also, current JR Motorsports driver Brad Keselowski is sponsored by GoDaddy.com, who Patrick is associated with.
In NASCAR's 61-year history, no woman has ever won a race in the sport. This could be the sport's biggest opportunity to have a female in victory lane.
It is also another opportunity to have an open-wheel driver try stock cars. The most successful driver to defect from Indy Car to NASCAR is Juan Pablo Montoya, currently fourth in the Chase. The other notable driver in Sprint Cup that has raced open-wheel is Sam Hornish Jr., driver of Penske's No. 77 Mobil One Dodge.
Both Patrick and JR Motorsports representatives declined to comment.