Danica Patrick's Daytona Speedweeks featured a historic pole position in the Nationwide Series, but the Go Daddy Girl's overall Daytona results were a disappointment.
The most-hyped new driver in years crashed in all three races she entered during Speedweeks, deflating the anticipation that had ballooned for her NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut.
Patrick had a hard crash on the last lap of Thursday's Gatorade Duel, wrecked early in the Nationwide Series raceafter winning the pole and then got caught in an accident on lap 2 of Monday night's Daytona 500.
All the buildup and talk and front-page stories about Patrick's presence in the 500, and she was only in the running for less than two laps.
The team eventually fixed her car and she finished the race in 38th place, but she was 62 laps down.
"I just wish that the beginning of the race could have been a nice single-file line like it was when I got back out there – but it wasn't," she said. "And honestly, that's my lesson to learn maybe, is that just write off that first little bit if you're not up front."
If she had to do it all over again, Patrick would be more conservative at the start of the 500.
"I think the power of laying back at the very beginning there; there's inevitably going to be a crash," she said. "Especially when you get all the cars out there at one time and everybody kind of shaking out the jitters of the Daytona 500, maybe."
Patrick also noted that restrictor-plate accidents are "obviously out of your control at times," but said she learned a lot and gained experience.
"It's disappointing," she said. "I would have loved to have gotten a great finish. I would have loved to have been able to run on the lead lap there at the end. I feel bad for disappointing my fans who were cheering for me; especially going out so early. But I'll come back stronger."