Talladega Super Speedway has a long history of producing first-time winners. In all, 10 drivers have scored their inaugural Sprint Cup Series victory on the 2.6-mile oval and on Sunday, Danica Patrick has an excellent chance to join a group that includes Brad Keselowski and Brian Vickers.
If that seems like hyperbole, it's really not.
As demonstrated during Speedweeks at Daytona, where she became the first woman to win a pole at NASCAR's highest level and lead laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick has taken to restrictor-plate racing quite well.
And in a rookie year marked with poor results, her eighth-place finish in the "Great American Race" is one of the few highlights.
"Just being comfortable on these big speedways and comfortable with this pack-style racing that I was so used to in IndyCar on the ovals," Patrick said Friday at Talladega. "Having a feel for it, it is something that I probably caught on to quicker than anything in stock car racing. I guess I show up here and it's just a little bit more comfortable."
Patrick will be driving the same car this weekend at Talladega that she drove to great acclaim in February. While Daytona and Talladega are not identical, there are plenty of similarities between the two superspeedways that success at one track usually carries over to the other.
So while it may be a stretch to think that Patrick could become the first woman to win a national touring series race, it is in fact a reality that could occur Sunday.
"I suppose it's fair to say that there should be a little spike in expectation," she said. "But you also have to take into consideration on these big speedways that there is a whole lot of luck that comes into it.
"From what I remember last year even at Talladega, it was more of a pack race than Daytona even. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Obviously, this is a wider track than Daytona so when we start getting four-wide that is when stuff starts to get a little exciting. We will just have to hope that we are in the right place at the right time."
One thing Patrick does have at Talladega that she did not at Daytona is a deeper knowledge base of how a Cup car reacts running in the draft. On the final lap in the 500, she was running third but her inexperience proved costly when the field started jockeying for position behind her and she was indecisive on what to do.
"I learned that if I just stay in line and keep my foot down and don't try and come up with any kind of plan that you are kind of a sitting duck," Patrick said. "I have a better idea of what it is going to take, but it's also circumstantial."