By George Diaz, Tribune newspapers
September 7, 2011
As Danica Patrick makes the transition from the open-wheel world to NASCAR nation, she will have an excellent mentor. Tony Stewart will be her team owner while she races a select number of Cup races.
Another mentor couldn't hurt.
Mark Martin, anybody?
It seems like a great fit. Martin will be looking for a part-time ride after he steps aside for Kasey Kahne at Hendrick Motorsports.
"I would love to have him," Stewart said. "The biggest thing is us getting the financial backing to run the remainder of those races. I would love nothing more than Mark in all the races that Danica doesn't run next year.."
Patrick is scheduled to run eight to 10 races for Stewart's team, Stewart-Haas Racing.
In addition to the extensive knowledge Martin brings, he also could fill however many races the team is able to cobble together through sponsorships for Patrick's ride.
Stewart's team has been looking to run a third car, although it might only be for a limited schedule.
Yet UPS is interested in sponsoring Ragan's teammate, Carl Edwards, for four to eight races.
"I read it too, and I don't know anything other than what it said," Edwards told Sporting News. "I still don't know that it's anything more than a rumor."
"I was hoping he'd be a lawyer and I could hang out at the country club," mom Kim Burton said.
"It's hard watching your baby out there, but he loves it."
Adds his dad: "I have a passion for racing, and I love it, but he doesn't have to. If he ever wants to quit, we quit."
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