May 30, 2012 10:30AM
Updated: July 3, 2012 11:49AM
Logging nearly 400 miles across four hours of running stock cars in oppressive heat at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Danica Patrick endured a vigorous warmup Saturday for the Coca-Cola 600.
It also might have been a dress rehearsal for an Indianapolis 500-Coke 600 doubleheader in 2013.
After finishing 14th in the History 300, Patrick confirmed an ESPNW.com report that her management team is formulating a plan to run both Memorial Day weekend classics next year in what’s expected to be her rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series.
“Oh, that’s not a mystery that if I did the Indy 500, that’s what it would be,” said Patrick, who has expressed a desire to return to Indy many times. “As long as everything works out, and we’re able to transition to Cup, that would be awesome. It would have been some sort of double if I’d done it this [year]. That’s just the way it would go down, and that would be a hell of a lot of work, but I’m sure it would be pretty fun.”
The first woman to lead the Indy 500 hasn’t finalized her 2013 schedule and said the planning was in the early stages. But moving up to NASCAR’s top series won’t be a deal-breaker.
“Indy is special to me,” said Patrick, who moved to NASCAR full time this year after seven seasons in the Izod IndyCar Series. “The greater the distance between the last time I drove an Indy car and the next time, I wouldn’t like that to be too big.
“If I were to attempt it, I wouldn’t want to do anything that would tarnish all my great memories and the successes that I’ve had there by going out in an attempt that wouldn’t be comfortable for me. So, yeah, that would be awesome.”
Gannett News Service