Danica Patrick ‘This Girl is on Fire’

The 14-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Alicia Keys co-wrote the song “Girl on Fire” for her fifth studio album in 2012. The powerful song climbed the Billboard charts and received critical acclaim as an anthem brimming with self-confidence and empowerment.

As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Food City 500 in support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer, Keys’s song could also be considered an anthem for Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

She’s just a girl, and she’s on fire

As Patrick enters the eighth race of the Sprint Cup season, her early season statistics speak for themselves. She’s earned three top-20 finishes in a row and a four so far this year. That’s double the amount Patrick had scored in the same timeframe her previous two full-time Sprint Cup seasons.

Oh, she got both feet on the ground

And she’s burning it down

Patrick’s average starting position is 20.1, a significant improvement over her 33.3 in 2013 and 25.6 in 2014.

Oh, she got her head in the clouds

And she’s not backing down

She has an 18.9 average finish this year. That’s six positions better than two years ago and eight better than last season.

This girl is on fire

So far this season, Patrick is ranked 17th in the Sprint Cup driver standings with 176 points. In 2013, she was 26th with 135 points. In 2014, she was 29th with 121 points.

She’s walking on fire

According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Patrick has completed 143 quality passes in 2015. That statistic counts only passes made while in the top-15 and under green-flag conditions. Two years ago, Patrick had 97 and last year she had 65.

Looks like a girl, but she’s a flame

So bright, she can burn your eyes

This season Patrick has run in the top-15 for 455 laps, which is 21.2 percent of the laps completed. Those figures are more than double her rookie season, when she was in the top-15 for 225 laps and 9.7 percent of the laps run. Her 2015 totals are also more than six times the figures she posted last year when she raced in the top-15 for 66 laps and 2.8 percent of the laps run.

Everybody stands, as she goes by

Cause they can see the flame that’s in her eyes

Prior to the start of the Food City 500 in support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer, each driver will walk out to a song of their choosing for driver introductions. For this weekend’s race, Patrick tasked the members of her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team with selecting the song she will walk out to. Perhaps her early season success and confidence is the reason why the team chose Keys’s “Girl on Fire” as Patrick’s anthem for Sunday’s introductions. 

This girl is on fire


Speedway Digest Staff

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