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I found this race very encouraging, though my heart dropped when she lost 8 spots on the first lap. These freight trains are hard on my nervous system.

When I returned after the rain delay – I think it was about lap 38 – Danica was, I believe, in something like P21. I was very impressed with her driving from that point on. Lap after lap, she seemed very accurately to scan the field in front of her and pick the best line in the best lane, even when there were longer lines elsewhere that I would have thought preferable. She obviously had a very fast car and for the most part was able to move forward by herself till she hooked up with the tail end of the group she was aiming for, which usually turned out to be a fast-moving line, and when it wasn’t, she was able to do it again. Gradually she moved forward till she was in P7, running consistently in the top ten.

Unfortunately, she skidded the tires on what (if I remember right) was her last pit stop, so what was to have been a quick two-tire stop became a longer four-tire stop, and she came out P25. But again she started moving from lane to lane, and line to line, working her way up toward the front. It was a lot of fun to watch her when Austin Dillon came up alongside her in the 3. He passed her, and then she passed him back, and he passed her back, and they diced back and forth till on lap 144 – very shortly after it was announced that Dillon had just set the fastest lap of the race, something like 204 mph – she passed him again and got ahead of him and stayed ahead of him. (Somewhere along in there she passed Ricky’s 17 car, too.) And then, of course, the usual "big one." The ending was a disappointment, but the race as a whole told me that both she and the team have improved a lot. It seems to support what Mark Martin said, that Danica doesdn’t need a driving coach, she’s already "driving her tail off." All we need to do, he said, was give her faster cars. And today’s race sure seemed to prove that true. At least for restrictor plate races.

I agree this was a good race (minus getting caught up in someone else's issues) for Danica & the GoDaddy team. They really seemed to execute well and after the rain delay she moved her car through the field. She really seemed to be a bit more aggressive in switching lines, etc... Plus, she led a couple of laps under green I like to see that even if it was primarily due to pitting strategy.

But isn't it ironic that Petty mouthes off all SpeedWeeks about Danica's ability and one of his cars ends up taking her out... So she was hit twice today once in the big wreck and once on pit road...common denominator RPM cars the 43 and 9. Maybe the King should keep his mouth shut going forward...

I would say it was, but I wasn't surprised - the drivers of the 9 and 43 are average at best.

As for the driver of the 3, he faded to mid-pack almost immediately, hit everybody but the pace car and still got a top 10? Really?



Becky said: But isn't it ironic that Petty mouthes off all SpeedWeeks about Danica's ability and one of his cars ends up taking her out... So she was hit twice today once in the big wreck and once on pit road...common denominator RPM cars the 43 and 9. Maybe the King should keep his mouth shut going forward...

She's past due in the luck turning department, so hopefully that all starts at Phoenix next weekend :)



Becky said:. At some point her luck is going to turn...

Thought that was amusing how quickly he dropped back. Of course, he meant to do that according to the tv report (sorry don't buy it because as a rookie why wouldn't you stay up front)... :)  


Damon said:

As for the driver of the 3, he faded to mid-pack almost immediately, hit everybody but the pace car and still got a top 10? Really?

I know but if I keep saying it then her luck will change right? Oh well, on to Phoenix. :)

Damon said:

She's past due in the luck turning department, so hopefully that all starts at Phoenix next weekend :)



Becky said:. At some point her luck is going to turn...

D made the old guy smile last night. Solid race !!  

Yes, her luck has got to change at some point. She has had enough practice hitting the wall head-on at Daytona. Let somebody else do that for a change. 

I have never questioned Danica's ability to drive her tail off. Her biggest problem over the years, in my opinion, has been the equipment. The Go Daddy team gave her a fast, comfortable car last night and they made me proud I'm a fan. 

The laugh I got last night happened while her wrecked car slid to a stop. She looked dazed and mumbled, "What the hell happened?" At least Ricky didn't hit her this time.

Looking way down the road to the next plate race at Talladega, I sure hope her car is faster there and she can start in the top 12.

A lot easier to race when you're at the front and have fewer obsticles to deal with, even on a plate track. See last year's Daytona 500 as a prime example.

WHAT, YOU DIDN'T LIKE HOW I RACED YESTERDAY THE 500?

DID YOU SAY I SUCK?

DID YOU SAY I'M A JOKE?

SO, COME HERE AND TELL ME THAT IN MY FACE, I'M DANICA PATRICK, I'M YOUR MASTER AND YOU CAN'T LIVE WHITOUT HATE ME AND LOVE ME

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