Danica Patrick It’s Bristol Baby

Danica Patrick, crew chief Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy team have already worked a full day at the track this work week.

After three days of racing at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, they returned Monday to the 2-mile oval with nine other cars for a 2015 NASCAR rules test. The all-day test was held to work on potential rules for the upcoming season and beyond.

The team headed back to the Charlotte area Monday night and now prepare for the Irwin Tools Night Race Saturday evening at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Patrick has raced four times at Bristol in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and has steadily improved her finishing positon with each outing. She finished 29th in just her fourth Sprint Cup race in August 2012, but that was hampered by an accident not of her making.

After starting 43rd due to qualifying being rained out, Patrick calmly moved her way through the field and was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch.

She finished 28th in March 2013 and then 26th last August. This past March, she finished 18th, her best yet.

It was the same way with Patrick in the Nationwide Series as she finished 33rd in her first Bristol race, 19th in the second and a career-best ninth in her final race in August 2012.

She will look for a good run this week with the experienced Gibson guiding her.

His experience goes so far back, he was the car chief for Alan Kulwicki when they won the final Bristol race on asphalt in April 1992 before it was changed to concrete.

Both are hoping for their best finish yet at the “Last Great Colosseum.”

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Speedway Digest Staff

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