Found May 11, 2012 on
Danica Patrick knew Darlington Raceway would present a challenge.
Although Patrick "felt pretty comfortable" behind the wheel of her NASCAR Nationwide ride, once she climbed behind the wheel of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet and earned her first of several Darlington stripes, Patrick finally realized how difficult the transition to Sprint Cup would be.
"I'm chanting to myself, 'Be brave'," Patrick said on the radio nearing the end of Sprint Cup Happy Hour on Friday as she searched for the fastest line around the track. That was an improvement from being "a little freaked out" a couple of hours before when Patrick was last on the speed chart after first practice. Her fastest lap was 167.997 mph.
She lost valuable time dialing in the car during her first session after slapping the right side into the wall an hour into practice.
"I got the whole right side of the car that time," Patrick told her spotter Tab Boyd, who started with the team this week. Boyd replied, "Welcome to the club."
In Happy Hour, Patrick moved up to 24th on the speed chart with a lap of 170.851 mph.
"This is a tough place and everything they said about it is true," Patrick said later. "This lady in black is very intimidating. I'm just trying to get comfortable with what the car needs me to do. Where to brake, how heavy to brake and those kinds of things. I've got my Darlington stripes officially. It's all the way down the right side of the car. We got that one over with.
"Tony Stewart has been very helpful coming over and giving me advice and helping me out and giving me a few tips that helped. I'm very appreciative that (team owner) Chip Ganassi let Tab Boyd come over and spot for me for this Cup race. That's a big help because he's got a lot of knowledge. I've got everything in my corner, I just need time. I just need to get comfortable. It's definitely not going to be an easy, breezy night. Like Tony said, I'm probably going to hate him by the end of the weekend. Come the future, I'm going to be glad for it."
Patrick is currently 11th in the Nationwide points standings. Certainly, seat time in the Nationwide Series race Friday night will allow Patrick to acclimate to the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval. She was 17th in her JR Motorsports Chevrolet in Nationwide practice, but the Nationwide cars are 200 horsepower slower than the Cup cars.
Patrick qualified 15th for the Nationwide race with a lap of 168.498 mph.
"I can only imagine that once I finally get a good grip on it, I'm going to be much more confident out there and maybe the lady in black and I will become friends one day," Patrick said prior to that effort.
"Getting through the night with a respectable night is what I'm hoping for in the Nationwide car and as far as the Cup car -- I just want to finish. I just want to finish, which is going to be a challenge, I think. The cars definitely move around quite a bit and you're carrying a lot of speed through these corners and there's going to be a lot of other guys that are around you running really hard.
"It's a narrow track. Let's face it, it's got great big straightaways, but there's one lane going in and out. Just getting to the end of the Cup race is going to be the accomplishment for me. It's also going to be the best for experience."
BEST OF MAXIM
Danica Patrick held her own in her Darlington Raceway debut with a 12th-place finish in Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
As Patrick rolled off 15th on the warm-up laps, her crew chief Tony Eury Jr. offered the sage advice, "Race the racetrack." Eury and spotter T.J. Majors were joined by another familiar voice offering tips throughout the evening -- Patrick...
This entry of news and notes for the SportClips Help a Hero 200 from Darlington focuses in on JR Motorsports driver Danica Patrick and his #5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet. Patrick is coming off a 13th place finish at Talladega.
GIRL IN GREEN MEETS THE LADY IN BLACK – Patrick sees action for the first time at the treacherous Darlington Raceway beginning Friday. Patrick’s most noteworthy...
Johanna Takes a moment to herself during practice for the Nationwide Series race in Bristol. Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR.
By: Toby Christie – Follow on Twitter @Tobalical
Chances are if you’re a NASCAR fan, you know who Johanna Long is by now. But just in case you’ve been living under a rock I’ll get you up to speed. The 19-year-old (soon to be...
Tony Stewart has modest goals for protege Danica Patrick in her Darlington Raceway debut.
He knew ''The Track Too Tough To Tame'' was going to be difficult. That's why he put it on her Sprint Cup Series schedule. And Stewart would know: In 19 career starts, he's never won at Darlington. It's one of only two active tracks on the schedule where he's...
Coca- Cola gains another top NASCAR driver. Danica Patrick announced today that she has signed a multi-year endorsement contract with Coca-Cola.
Danica will begin supporting Coke Zero at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway with the logo on her Chevrolet and on her fire suit. She will also promote the movie “Battleship” which Coke Zero is endorsing at...
Danica Patrick isn't sure if NASCAR will penalize her for wrecking Sam Hornish Jr. at Talladega.
Patrick was angry after Hornish ran her up the track on the last lap of the Nationwide Series race. She retaliated on the cool-down lap, but insisted Thursday she did not mean to wreck Hornish.
Patrick says her intent was to hit Hornish's car in a way that let him know she was...
Danica Patrick may be behind the wheel of Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 10 Chevrolet entry in Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, but that doesn’t mean that the car’s regular driver, David Reutimann, will be relegated to the sidelines for the race. He’s slated to drive the No. 93 Toyota for BK Racing.
While the result shows Danica Patrick finished 31st in the Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, the valuable experience she gained can’t be summed up in a box score.
Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Impala for Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), had never...
Saturday night, “The Lady in Green,” Danica Patrick, driver of the green No.10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, will meet “The Lady in Black” for the very first time when she competes in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 Sprint Cup race at Darlington.
Last week Danica held a late lead at Talladega on Saturday, and remained in the top 10 inside 30 laps to go, but fell off to finish 13th...
Travis Kvapil will have an opportunity to race in the Southern 500, after all.
Kvapil, who has been driving the No. 93 BK Racing Toyota since the second race of the season at Phoenix, was expected to be sidelined this weekend as David Reutimann reprises his role in the car he drove in the season-opening Daytona 500.
However, the owners of BK Racing have decided to field a third...
In January, Danica Patrick made big news when she said she would compete in the Coca-Cola 600 on the same weekend as the Indianapolis 500. Yesterday, she made really big Coke related news again. (And on the same day she found out NASCAR wouldn’t punish Patrick or her bump of Sam Hornish Jr. at Talladega as well, good day for Team Danica).
from Market Watch:
NASCAR Sprint Cup...
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed her first laps at Darlington and other topics.
HOW DID PRACTICE GO? “It’s been a busy day so far running the Nationwide car and the Cup car. I think everything in the Nationwide car felt pretty decent. Went out there and I felt got up to speed pretty...