NASCAR Top-30 Preview:
No. 28 Danica Patrick
Photo by Casey Kelley / Flickr.com
Danica Patrick turns laps at Darlington. Patrick enters her third season behind the wheel for Stewart-Haas Racing.
By Dominic Aragón
January 10, 2014
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
Danica Patrick will benefit in a number of ways from her new teammates at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.
In 2013, Patrick won the pole for the Daytona 500, led five laps, ran inside the top-10 a majority of the race, and placed 8th, but the rest of the season saw little success.
Including with the pole position, Patrick’s average qualifying spot in 2013 was 30th. Patrick also finished on the lead lap only twelve times, crashed out in five races, and finished 27th in final points.
Although she may have only had one top-10 finish in 2013, Patrick scored three other top-15 finishes, and improved her overall average finish from 2012 (28th to 26th in 2013).
Look for Patrick to improve drastically at non-superspeedway tracks, including tracks like Phoenix, Martinsville, and Darlington. Although she may have a while before contending for a Chase spot, Patrick’s learning curve with SHR continues to show positive leaps and bounds.
New teammates Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch combined bring over 40 combined wins in NASCAR’s premiere series, consistent top-10 final point showings, and a championship. Patrick will be able to progress further with setup sharing and having on track experience from the past two seasons.
Stats provided by racing-reference.info