NASCAR

Baldwin teammate has not met Danica

Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick will debut in the Daytona 500 this season.
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Holly Cain

Holly Cain has covered racing in all its forms for 21 years, winning multiple awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors and Society of Professional Journalists for feature and news writing. She chronicled NASCAR Champion Rusty Wallace's final season, authoring a book called "Rusty's Last Call." Follow her on Twitter.

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Danica Patrick's NASCAR media day session Thursday outdrew that of even five-time champ Jimmie Johnson.

Yet there's one person observing it all who has never met her — Dave Blaney, her new teammate at Tommy Baldwin Racing.

Blaney stood nearby watching a throng of 20-30 photographers follow Patrick's every move as she paused to shake hands and catch up with other NASCAR drivers. Blaney joked that one day soon, he figures there will be an introduction.

"Nope, never met her,'' Blaney said with a sheepish smile.

"I never ran the Nationwide (Series) races when she was running so just never ran into her.

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“No big deal. Who knows? Hopefully, we’ll be around her, needing to use each other drafting come Thursday or Sunday. ''

Although Patrick is employed by Stewart-Haas Racing for a 10-race Sprint Cup debut, the team has formed a "collaborative partnership" with Tommy Baldwin Racing, which will field the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevy for her. The move guarantees Patrick a starting spot in the Feb. 26 Daytona 500 because the car (formerly the No. 36) finished 33rd in owner's points last year.

“I think having her on the team is a good thing for Tommy Baldwin," Blaney said. "He’s trying to put together everything this year to help us in the long run, the big picture, and I think he has.''

Tagged: Danica Patrick, Dave Blaney

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