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Patrick considering the Indy 500-Coke 600 doubleheader

CONCORD, N.C. – On second thought, Danica Patrick isn’t ready to quit IndyCar racing after all.

While competing at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Saturday’s 300-mile race for the Nationwide Series and Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, Patrick said she would like to drive in the Indianapolis 500 and the 600 on the same day as early as next year.

“I’d be willing to look at that,” Patrick told Scene Daily. “Indy is special to me. The greater the distance between the last time I drove an IndyCar 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 of my great memories and the successes that I have had there by going out in an attempt that wouldn’t be comfortable for me.”

Patrick had been part of the Indianapolis 500 since 2005. By committing fulltime to NASCAR this year, she watched this year’s race on television before she embarked on the first 600-mile race in her career.

If she tackles the doubleheader, she will have to drive 1,100 miles in one day.

Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and John Andretti have done double-duty. All were able to arrive to Charlotte from Indianapolis minutes before the start of the race.

“As long as everything works out and we’re able to transition to Cup, that would be awesome,” she said. “That’s just the way it would go down.”

PIT STOPS: Jimmie Johnson wore a pair of white-framed sunglasses during driver introductions to honor last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon. Many drivers at Indianapolis did the same thing earlier in the day to pay tribute to Wheldon, who died last October in a racing accident at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway … Car owner Chip Ganassi didn’t hang around Indianapolis long to celebrate a victory by driver Dario Franchitti. Ganassi flew to Charlotte and was on Juan Pablo Montoya’s pit box for the 600.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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