Patrick enjoys personal best in Texas

Danica Patrick drove to a personal best on the Sprint Cup series in Texas on Sunday. (REUTERS)

Danica Patrick drove to a personal best on the Sprint Cup series in Texas on Sunday. (REUTERS)

Dean McNulty, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:57 PM ET

 

When it comes to Danica Patrick's foray into NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, everything is relative.

On the plus side no one really expects her to come into stock car racing's top circuit and challenge for a win.

On the other side every time she wrecks, or finishes a bunch of laps behind the leader the critics cry that she doesn't belong on the same race track as the big boys.

At the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday Patrick had the best result of her short Cup career finishing on the lead lap in the No. 10 Chevrolet, in 24th place.

That was ahead of such Cup veterans, and former race winners as Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose and Juan Pablo Montoya.

At one point she even passed her team owner and three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart on the track.

And if it weren't for a series of late cautions Patrick could have had her first Top 20 finish.

"I felt like it was a nice progression of the weekend where I actually felt like I knew I why I went faster and I knew why I went slower," she said of her race. "Those yellows at the end, I just didn't do a good enough job on those restarts and lost a whole bunch of spots."

It was Patrick's first Cup race with new crew chief Tony Gibson and her final Cup race this season before she goes full time next year.

"It was a really nice first weekend with the new GoDaddy crew," she said. "Tony did such a good job. I'm really looking forward to next year."


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