Patrick moving in fast company during NASCAR Weekend

Move over Jimmie Johnson. Take a backseat, Junior. Sorry, Busch brothers, even you hometown boys get second billing this time around.

The main attraction for this year’s NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is Danica Patrick, the IndyCar star who is making her third start in NASCAR’s second-tier Nationwide Series on Saturday, Feb. 27, as she continues her transition to stock-car racing.

Patrick, who intends to compete in all 18 IndyCar Series events this year, plans to run in 12 Nationwide Series races in 2010, driving the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, a team co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

In her NASCAR debut on Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway, Patrick, 27, was involved in a 12-car wreck (wasn’t her fault) just past the race’s halfway point and finished 35th. She made it to the finish line in Fontana, Calif., on Feb. 20 in her second Nationwide race, but ended up 31st.

Las Vegas native Kyle Busch, meantime, seeks a repeat victory on his home track in the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 28. But he will face stiff competition from older brother Kurt, four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Johnson and fan favorite Earnhardt.

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