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updated: 8/26/2011 4:41 PM

Stewart wants to run 3 full-time teams next season

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  • Driver Danica Patrick displays Thursday the car that she will drive full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit and select Sprint Cup races. After months of skirting speculation, Patrick announced Thursday that she's leaving IndyCar in 2012 to run a full Nationwide schedule with JR Motorsports and up to 10 Sprint Cup races for Stewart-Haas Racing.

      Driver Danica Patrick displays Thursday the car that she will drive full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit and select Sprint Cup races. After months of skirting speculation, Patrick announced Thursday that she's leaving IndyCar in 2012 to run a full Nationwide schedule with JR Motorsports and up to 10 Sprint Cup races for Stewart-Haas Racing.

 
Associated Press

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) -- Tony Stewart wants to run three full Sprint Cup teams next season regardless of how many races Danica Patrick enters.

Patrick is set to drive eight to 10 races for Stewart-Haas Racing next season when she moves from IndyCar to NASCAR. It's expected to be preparation for a full Cup schedule in 2013.

But Stewart said he'd like to get that team up and running immediately and is looking for another driver and sponsor to fill the 36-race schedule.

"If we can put together a package to run somebody in the rest of the races, we would love to do that," Stewart said at Bristol Motor Speedway.

"It's in everybody's best interest to do that and I know it would be good for us as a team to run that car full time next year if that opportunity presents itself."

Stewart would not say which races Patrick will run next year, although it would make sense for her debut to be in the season-opening Daytona 500.

"We're working on her schedule," Stewart said. "We've got a lot of stuff to do. There's a lot of stuff not done yet."

Patrick will race the full Nationwide Series schedule next season for JR Motorsports. It's undecided if she'll drive in the Indianapolis 500, but JRM co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he would not stand in her way.

"She can do whatever she wants to do, it doesn't matter to me," Earnhardt Jr. said. "If I had any experience in those cars, I might know a little bit more about the answer. But, whatever she feels like she wants to do, she ought to do it."

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