It is being reported by Sirius-Speedway sources Stewart Haas Racing (SHR) has purchased part of the Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) #36 car so that Danica Patrick can be guaranteed a starting spot in this year’s Daytona 500. Danica Patrick is scheduled to run the #10 SHR Go Daddy Chevrolet in 10 NASCAR Sprit Cup races this year. The cars number would be changed from #36 to #10.
The #36 car, which was driven by Dave Blaney last year, was in the top 35 in owner points, so it is guaranteed a starting spot in the first five races of this season, including the Daytona 500. In order for the owners points to transfer TBR will keep an minority interest in the car.
TBR plans to run the #10 car with David Reutimann in the races that Danica Patrick is not running. As part of the deal TBR will get technical and pit crew support from SHR. This will enable TBR to have access to better Hendrick Motorsports technology and could help TBR and its other teams to be more competitive. When Danica Patrick is in the car they will be SHR cars provided by Hendrick Motorsports and when David Reutimann is in the car they will be cars provided by TBR.
Beyond the simple fact that Danica will be locked into this year’s Daytona 500 is that this deal will also impact Danica’s future for next year. It is simply brilliant on SHR’s part that with their support and the #10 car running more of the other races the car might remain in the top 35 in points at the end of this season. They can use the car to groom the team that will support Danica Patrick in 2013. They may also be guaranteeing that Danica Patrick will be in next year’s Daytona 500.