Danica Patrick's first Sprint Cup race with her new crew chief has to be considered a success.
Patrick had her best finish in nine Cup starts this season, finishing 24th at Texas on Sunday and running every lap for the first time. Her No. 10 Chevrolet was the last car on the lead lap in the race won by points leader Jimmie Johnson.
Tony Gibson was Ryan Newman's crew chief for Stewart-Haas Racing, but is moving to Patrick's team next season. They're getting a head start with her final two races this season, at Texas and then at Phoenix next week.
''We had a really nice first weekend,'' Patrick said. ''It was really steady from the beginning. ... Tony Gibson did such a good job. I'm really looking forward to next year.''
Twice, Patrick took advantage of the wave-around to get back on the lead lap. And she was running at times with Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin.
''To come here and run on the lead lap, and a shot at a top 20, was pretty impressive,'' Gibson said.