Danica Patrick Hoping to Enjoy the Marathon Coca-Cola 600

From 2005 to 2011, Danica Patrick looked forward to the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on Memorial Day weekend.

She led 19 laps and finished fourth in 2005 and scored five other top-10 finishes, including a career-best third in 2009.

And with the race averaging about three to three-and-a-half hours, she was usually done with everything by 5 p.m. as the race starts at noon.

Now, 5 p.m. is about when her day really gets started as she prepares for Sunday’s marathon Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

The race begins at 6 p.m. and can last up to four or five hours, depending on the cautions brought out in NASCAR’s longest race.

But while the race lasts a long time, Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing appear to be ready to go.

Two weeks ago, Patrick enjoyed a career-best seventh-place finish at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. She drove in the top-10 for the entire race and had arguably the best performance of her Sprint Cup career.

She’s driven well before, with a 12th-place run last spring at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and an eighth-place run from the pole in the 2013 Daytona 500. But never on an intermediate track has she run so smoothly, and she definitely raised the eyebrows of more than a few observers.

Patrick drove a brand new car at Kansas and will drive another brand new one this week. And she’s hoping that car will bring even more success to the GoDaddy team.


Speedway Digest Staff

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