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PHOENIX - It's game on for Danica Patrick, JR Motorsports and

Patrick announced her deal to drive for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010 at Chase Field on Tuesday.

As first reported last month, Patrick will make her stock car debut during the ARCA test at Daytona International Speedway on Dec. 18-20 in preparation for the ARCA season opener on Feb. 6. She is then expected to run in the Nationwide Series opener a week later at Daytona, the day before she is featured in a pair of ads for during the Super Bowl.

"We've all been working very hard for some time now to bring this all together," Patrick said at a news conference. "There's much relief there, but I'm starting to get a little bit nervous that now it's time to do my part of the deal and get out there in these cars and perform. It's no doubt going to be challenging."

Tony Eury Jr. will be Patrick's crew chief.

Kelley Earnhardt, sister of JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., worked to bring Patrick into the fold. Asked about the team's expectations of Patrick, Kelley Earnhardt said, "I think it's reasonable for her to be in the top 15 of the series when she's running.
"Obviously, maybe the first few races, we'll see what that brings. She's got to get in there and get used to the cars. Hopefully, everybody will remember that and won't be so quick to judge, which is easy to do."

Patrick said she's more comfortable with the demands of a heavier schedule — something that she said she wasn't ready to do a few years ago when speculation began to grow that she was considering racing stock cars.

"I'm finally ready," Patrick said. "I think that the schedule doesn't intimidate me as much as it used to. It's going to be a lot to learn."

The IndyCar star formally revealed her plans to continue racing the No. 7 car for Michael Andretti in the newly reorganized Andretti Autosport last week. The 27-year-old Roscoe, Ill.-native finished a career-high fifth in the 2009 IndyCar point standings. In five seasons on the IndyCar circuit, Patrick has one win, 16 top-five and 46 top-10 finishes. Her average finish in 81 starts is 10.1. will sponsor Patrick in both IndyCar and NASCAR.

A subsequent announcement is expected to be held in North Carolina in the next week to unveil more detailed plans, which could include 12 to 15 races intertwined in her open-wheel schedule.

Earlier, also reported that JR Motorsports had two ARCA cars ready for Patrick, which are being stored in a secret room at the team's headquarters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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