Danica Patrick Driving for Tommy Baldwin Racing Guarantees Daytona Debut

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JANUARY 12:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet during Daytona Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway on January 12, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

A collaborative partnership has been announced by Stewart-Haas Racing that will have Tommy Baldwin Racing field the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Impala for all 10 of Danica Patrick's NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2012.

The alliance will guarantee a starting spot for Patrick's Cup racing debut in the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.

Dave Blaney drove the TBR No. 36 Chevrolet to 33rd place in the points during the 2011 season and that car will become the No. 10 car with David Reutimann driving the remaining 26 races that Patrick is not driving.

Matt Borland, vice president of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing said, "It's a Chevrolet team led by a racer who knows every inch of a racecar. That kind of technical expertise, along with a company mindset that is similar to ours, provides the ideal environment for Danica to learn and succeed."

TBR was formed as a single-car team in 2009 and has matured to a two-car team for 2012 with a NASCAR Nationwide team as well.

Tommy Baldwin is a former crew chief who secured five Cup series wins including the 2002 Daytona 500 with Ward Burton behind the wheel.

This agreement means TBR will work with GoDaddy.com and Baldwin stated, "Look how they've supported Danica over the last six years. GoDaddy is a sponsor who knows how to get things done right."

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JANUARY 13:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, drafts with Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Deopt Chevrolet, during Daytona Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway on January 13, 2012 in Daytona
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Baldwin maintains a hands-on presence and will work closely with Greg Zipadelli, director of competition at SHR. Both men have similar backgrounds, having grown up in the Northeast.

Zipadelli said, "We both grew up together and competed against each other in Modifieds and we did the same thing when we got to Sprint Cup."

He went on to say, "To finally be able to work with each other and help Danica Patrick make a successful transition from Indy cars to stock cars is a challenge we're both looking forward to."

The 2012 season is all about getting Patrick comfortable on a variety of tracks with as much seat time as possible.

Nine of the 10 races have been announced for the GoDaddy.com driver. The remaining race will be announced later in the season based on need and competitive reasoning.

Tony Stewart, co-owner of SHR, said, "Our goal with Danica is to maximize her 10 races so that she's as prepared as she can possibly be for a full-time Sprint Cup schedule in 2013."