Danica Patrick Scores Career-Best NASCAR Finish In Daytona Nationwide Race

Danica Patrick recorded her career-best finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Saturday at Daytona International Raceway, finishing 14th and leading a lap under green.

Here are some of her comments after the race:

On the race and using the two-car draft:

It was pretty fun. ... It was really about pushing each other. I pushed a little bit at the end – a little too late. It was really cool when Clint (Bowyer) was pushing me, and they told me I led a lap, at least, so that was really cool. But that just showed me (the two-car draft) is what you gotta do and that's what they did up front all day.

On why she didn't push more often in the draft:

I tried to push at the very, very beginning on the start. And it didn't really work. Like I kind of kept bouncing off of them. ... At the end there when it was the most chaotic, I was OK to push. You can't really see, though. So that's the problem, and it was the worst time to try it, really.

Other times I was trying to, but when you're in a long train like that...you don't want to push someone going into the trioval – that's not the right spot to do it.

I think it's just going to take some practice, and it also helps when somebody wants to do it with you, and they can drag the brake to make it happen.

I don't know if anyone did that or not, but it didn't seem like it. So that made it a little more difficult.

On whether she was happy with her performance:

Yeah. I mean, led a lap. It was really cool that Clint pushed me. I would have loved to try and work with him, I just didn't really know what to do, you know?

I really ran up front most of the day. ... I'm probably not to the point where if I pull out, people are going, 'OK, she's going, I'm going.' That takes awhile to earn the trust and respect of the other drivers. I'm not mad at that, it's just going to take time.

It was a good experience. There was a lot to learn, and I did learn a lot. It was cool to finish all the laps.

 

On whether she was more comfortable than last year at Daytona:

It's a whole different racetrack. It's a whole different game. The surface helps someone like me with less experience, because it's a bit easier out there. But I felt more calm inside the car, with all the things that are going on inside – keep an eye on all the temps, look in my mirrors, be right behind people, run up to the wall – whatever I needed to do.

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