Danica Patrick has been asked innumerous times and in numerous ways about her auto racing future since leaving her Scottsdale, Ariz., home to climb into a stock car early this year. Heck, it's probably played out in her dreams.
The veteran IZOD IndyCar Series driver -- much like she did a few years ago in the final year of her contract with Andretti Autosport -- acknowledged that three months into the new year she doesn't have direction. She'll continue her limited NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
"I've always gone with what my gut tells me and where I have the best chance to win races, and it always tends to unfold as the year goes on so I don't have any preconceived ideas what I want to do," said Patrick, who will make her 100th IZOD IndyCar Series start April 10 in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. "To me, the most important thing is to perform each weekend and get the most out of it and have the best results possible. Then, opportunities will come from that.
"My job is just to be a driver."
Patrick closed the 2010 season with three consecutive top-10 finishes, including tying her season best of second in the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. She expects a carryover in the No. 7 GoDaddy.com car.
"My goals for this season are to win and that's the point," said Patrick, who in 2008 became the first female to win a major closed-course race. "I think we can make that happen. I've heard a lot of positive things from the team that they have done good work over the winter and the cars are a tick better than last year."
Patrick joined teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Mike Conway for testing last week at Sebring International and will work with engineer Tino Belli (new to the No. 7 entry this season) during the Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park this week in preparation for the March 27 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.