March 1, 2013
Danica Patrick gets fresh startFrustration at Daytona 500 finish tempered by kind words
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency
It has been less than a week since Danica Patrick turned the world of NASCAR upside down with her performance in the Daytona 500.
Her pole-winning qualifying lap, her five laps led and her eighth-place finish put her in the record books as the first woman to accomplish each.
Now its back to the grind of a 36-race Sprint Cup schedule and expectations that are not nearly as high for the 30-year-old native of Roscoe, Ill.
There are still some questions, however, about Patrick’s decision-making at the end of last Sunday’s race when she chose to stay on the top line on the final lap rather than move down to partner with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
That decision dropped her to eighth from third and earned Earnhardt a second-place finish.
Patrick admitted Friday at Phoenix prior to practice for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Subway 500, she didn’t really have a plan on the final lap at Daytona.