Danica Patrick joins charity race

Updated: March 16, 2012, 3:14 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Danica Patrick has committed to drive in team owner Tony Stewart's Prelude to the Dream Late Model charity race at Eldora Speedway.

Patrick said the June 6 event will be only her second time driving on dirt. The other was in a go-kart on a track outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway when she was about 14 years old.

Patrick
Patrick

"I'm going into it with more of an attitude of having fun, enjoying myself and raising some money for kids and just kind of take it all in," Patrick said on Friday between Nationwide Series practices at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I realize I have zero experience and I have a lot of other things I need to put my focus in."

Stewart hosts the annual event with superstars from NASCAR, NHRA and other forms of motorsports to raise money to help needy children.

"I'm excited," Stewart said of having Patrick in the race. "I told her don't feel like you have to come do this. She said, 'No, I really want to do this.'

"I'm excited for her. I don't think it's something that she has had a chance to do very much. It will be fun to get her in an environment that is definitely new to her for sure."

Other drivers who have committed so far include: Ryan Newman, Kenny Wallace, Bobby Labonte, Ty Dillon and Aric Almirola.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter