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Gossage: Patrick can use celebrity

11/5/2009 - NASCAR

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage believes Danica Patrick needs to take advantage of her entry into NASCAR by doing more to promote her involvement.

"She needs to understand that she has to take an active role in the promotion of the sport," Gossage said Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway. "If I were one of her advisors, I would encourage her to do a lot more."

Patrick is close to reaching an agreement to drive a partial Nationwide Series schedule next season for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his JR Motorsports team, while she continues to race full time in the IndyCar Series.

Gossage wants to see Patrick make the most of her NASCAR debut by helping track promoters, sponsors and NASCAR take advantage of her mainstream celebrity status.

"That's something that I don't think some people around her in Indy car emphasize to her as much as they should," Gossage said. "I think people in NASCAR will encourage her to take a more active role."

Gossage was asked to give some examples of what she should do.

"For one thing, she needs to do more advance work before events," Gossage said. "She does that at some IndyCar races, but not many. Let's put it this way: I don't think she's tired or anything."

Some might argue Patrick is recognizable because of all the things she does to market herself, from magazine photos shoots to numerous television commercials.

But Gossage isn't talking about personal promotion. He believes Patrick should do more to promote her profession.

"The people who don't want to do that stuff don't make it in this business," Gossage said. "Every driver I know [in NASCAR] is reasonably accessible in promoting our races, and in turn, it's promoting their sponsors. It's good for each other.

"I don't think that is universally understood in IndyCar racing."

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com