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Danica Patrick Not Running in This Year’s Indy 500

Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 Tissot/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Danica Patrick says she does not plan to race in this year’s Indianapolis 500 because she wants to concentrate on her first full-time season in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series.

Patrick also skipped the Indy 500 last year, instead running in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day. She said Thursday that she will do the same in 2013.

Speaking on the opening day of testing of NASCAR’s new “Gen 6″ cars at Daytona International Speedway, Patrick said that her schedule also could include some Nationwide series events, although she has not yet signed a deal with a racing team or sponsor.

Meanwhile, AJ Foyt Racing has signed Takuma Sato to drive the No. 14 Honda in this year’s IndyCar season.

The signing announced Thursday fills the seat left open by Mike Conway, who said he didn’t feel comfortable racing on ovals during practice for last September’s season finale at Fontana.

Foyt said Sato’s aggressive driving style caught his attention in last year’s Indianapolis 500. Sato charged to the front of the field and challenged Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon in the closing laps, only to crash trying to pass Franchitti for the win on the final lap.

The Japanese driver has completed three seasons in IndyCar, winning two poles and five top-five finishes in 49 starts. His best finish was second in 2012 at Edmonton.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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