Danica Patrick's Martinsville finish has 'em talking

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Danica Patrick finished 12th at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday....

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Danica Patrick finished 12th at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. (Reuters/Files)

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:26 PM ET

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. - Ryan Hunter-Reay deserved all the kudos for his win from the pole Sunday at the IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

And Jimmie Johnson doing the same thing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway was equally worthy of praise.

Yet in the immediate aftermath of both, it was the 12th-place finish of former IndyCar star Danica Patrick at Martinsville that had tongues wagging.

After her stunning success — a pole and eighth place at the Daytona 500 — Patrick’s fortune’s this season had gone steadily down hill.

Her best finish in the next five races was 26th at Auto Club Speedway in California.

Expectations going into NASCAR’s toughest track — Martinsville’s half mile oval — were practically non-existent.

So coming out of that race with 12th was, in a word, spectacular.


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