Fan Vote gives Danica Patrick a chance to fine-tune a balky car

Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service Sunday, May 17 1455
Sometimes it’s more productive to figure out what’s wrong with a race car, rather than what’s right.

At least Danica Patrick hopes that’s the case.

And, fortunately for Patrick, winning the Sprint Fan Vote on Friday night gave Patrick’s crew a chance to work on her car in preparation for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (on FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET).

That race, in turn, affords Patrick an extra 110 laps to try to improve her equipment for next week’s Coca-Cola 600. Though Patrick won’t run the same car she uses for the All-Star Race in NASCAR’s longest event, the knowledge should transfer.

“I found a lot of things I didn't like,” Patrick said after finishing ninth in Friday night’s Sprint Showdown. “So that usually helps springboard it to the next night... I wasn't happy with it, so I hope that means that it's going to be that much easier to make it better for (Saturday) night. We'll just have to see.”

Patrick said she and her entire team could use a test session at a 1.5-mile intermediate speedway. Since NASCAR no longer allows discretionary testing, logging laps in the Sprint All-Star Race, courtesy of her fan base, is the next best solution for Patrick, who is both grateful for the opportunity and determined to make the most of it.

“I'm extremely fortunate to have some great fans,” Patrick said. “They're very active all across all the social media platforms and just in general cheering for me out loud at the racetrack.

“I'm just extremely fortunate. I don't take them for granted for a second. That's why I want to do well, 'cause I want to do well for all those people that wear my shirt and wave my flag and wear my hat.”