Originally posted on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 7/5/12

Love her or hate her, a Danica Patrick win would be hugely popular. And Danica being in Gatorade Victory Lane on Friday night isn't that far fetched.

Many people have jumped off the Danica bandwagon, but it's no secret she's at her best in a stock car on restrictor plate tracks.

In her four career NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Daytona she's finished 35th, 14th, 10th, and 38th respectively. Now, you may be wondering how is that successful, but consider that she's led in every one of those races and has been a contender for most, including leading near the end of last year's Subway Jalapeno 250. She had a shot at the win, but got caught up in a late crash which wasn't her fault.

In the Nationwide race in Daytona in February, Patrick started on the pole and was in contention before being wrecked in Turn 3 by her teammate Cole Whitt. Whitt tried to bump draft her into the corner and sent her into the outside SAFER barrier.

In her first race in 2010, she got caught up once again in a wreck that wasn't her doing and finished 35th.

Patrick also has run at Talladega, making one start there this season. Not surprisingly, she was a factor in the race and had a shot to win it. She got shuffled out of the draft late and got caught up in a wreck at the end, but still limped the car home 13th. Like at all the races she's run at Daytona, Patrick led laps in that race as well.

I think Daytona is the track where Danica will score her first win. I believe there are enough drivers in the field that will get over their egos and prejudices against a women winning and could push her to the checkered tomorrow night. If she can stay out of harm's way and be in contention in the end, I have no doubt the No. 7 Go Daddy Chevrolet will be the first car to the finish line. She's hungry for a win and said last week after the Kentucky race that she's "jealous of Austin's win and hungry for a win" of her own.

I think Daytona will be the beginning of a strong second half of the Nationwide season for Patrick. Don't be surprised to see her in victory lane.

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