It was initially the USF1 deal that emerged the media earlier this year, as Patrick was regarded as one of the favorites to secure an F1 deal with the North American outfit for 2010. However, in recent weeks, it has emerged that Ganassi would be very interested in signing the Indy Car race winner from 2010 onwards.
In addition to those rumors, the latest one links Patrick to a move to NASCAR, as her immense popularity within the North American racing fans would trigger some impressive sponsorship agreements inside the famous stock car racing series. Regarded as both a promising driver and an efficient marketing product on the North American racing scene, Patrick is reportedly eyed by several NASCAR teams.
Although she admits she will only evaluate her options for 2010 at the end of the current season, Patrick admitted a move to NASCAR sounds like a great challenge. If that happens, she'll join Dario Franchitti, Sam Hornish Jr. or Juan Pablo Montoya as former Indy drivers to make the switch to NASCAR racing.
“We've definitely had many conversations about what I'm looking for and my goals, but really, it's kind of about collecting information at this point and seeing what our options are, and then we'll talk deeper after that,” said Patrick
“NASCAR has so many viewers and so many partners. There are just lots of options both inside and outside the car. And it looks like fun. There are 40-odd guys that do it every year. Obviously, it's a good time. Oval racing is always fun. It's you racing against everyone else, it's very competitive.”
“(...) Then aside from that and after that there has to be thoughts to the brand side of the situation, and being able to make the most of myself as an athlete and as an endorser of products and gaining exposure so that in due time I'm able to explore other things outside of racing. So, all of that comes afterwards. The most important thing is kicking butt out there,” added the AGR driver.
Patrick has become the first female driver to win a major North American open-wheel event last year, when clinching her maiden Indy Car win at Motegi, Japan. Also, she became the first female driver to ever record a podium finish in the famous Indy 500 race (3rd place in 2009).