Danica Patrick on NASCAR learning curve

Danica Patrick is relying on her IndyCar experience at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as she...

Danica Patrick is relying on her IndyCar experience at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as she transitions to NASCAR. (Getty Images/AFP)

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:55 AM ET

INDIANAPOLIS - Danica Patrick’s fame and subsequent fortune is inexorably tied to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It was at the 2.5-mile oval in 2005 that she became the first woman to lead a lap in the Indianapolis 500 and the highest-finishing woman when she earned a fourth-place result.

It was that result that propelled her into superstardom, not only in the IZOD IndyCar Series, but also in the much wider world of sports in general.

So when she quit open- wheel racing for good after the 2011 season to go NASCAR racing, her return to Indianapolis in a Sprint Cup car this season was highly anticipated.

She did run a Nationwide race at IMS last season, but was a victim of a crash only 38 laps into the 100-lap event and said she doesn’t remember much about it.

This time around it is much different racing in stock car’s top loop, but she is still able to draw on her IndyCar experiences at IMS.


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