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Danica Patrick to drive NASCAR Nationwide race at Daytona

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Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) announced Wednesday in a team release that Danica Patrick will drive the TSM No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Camaro in the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 22. Veteran crew chief Mike Greci will be calling the shots from atop the pit box.

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Patrick made her TSM debut in last year’s season opener and surged to an early lead before an electrical failure forced her to retire early and resulted in a 36th-place finish.

Patrick will kick off the 2014 NASCAR season at Daytona Thursday morning when she meets with media members during the annual NASCAR Media Day before running in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver earned a spot in the non-points race by qualifying on the pole for the 2013 Sprint Cup Daytona 500.

NASCAR teams scrambled to get both cars and personnel to the Florida track Tuesday and Wednesday when a snow and ice storm hit North Carolina where most teams are based. Weather in Daytona turned windy and rainy Wednesday afternoon as jets could be heard landing at the airport near the track.

"I'm really looking forward to competing in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona once again and driving the No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Camaro,” said Patrick in a team release. “Turner Scott Motorsports is a great organization and I worked really well with Mike Greci and the whole team in both of the races I did with them last year. I know that I’m definitely capable of a win this year working with that group, it just comes down to making it until the end. I have to thank the Florida Lottery for coming on board; they’re giving me the opportunity to run this race and to support education in the State of Florida.”

The ARCA Lucas Oil 200 and the Sprint Unlimited are scheduled for Saturday and qualifying for the front row of the Daytona 500 will take place on Sunday.

Rosalie is in Daytona to attend events at the track starting with Thursday's NASCAR Media Tour. Follow her on Twitter @rthompsonwriter for updates from Daytona.

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