Originally written on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 9/14/14
Danica Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson learned what they needed to learn, then played it safe and finished 17th in their Budweiser Duel qualifying race Thursday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The Budweiser Duel consists of twin qualifying races that set the 43-car field for the season-opening Daytona 500, but Danica Patrick was already locked into the Great American Race. She will start from the pole for the 55th Daytona 500, as she set the fastest lap in qualifying last Sunday, which locked her into the No. 1 starting position. Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), had nothing to gain in the Budweiser Duel other than experience and information. She got both, starting on the pole and staying up front for the first 10 laps of the 60-lap race around the 2.5-mile superspeedway. After learning how her car performed in the draft, she dropped to the rear of the field to avoid any potential accidents, ensuring that the sa...

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