Danica Patrick has had her share of success and struggles since making the move from IndyCar racing to NASCAR in 2010. During her time in open-wheel racing Danica set records for women in the sport, grabbing the first ever win by a woman at the 2008 Indy Japan 300, and also setting the mark for highest finish bye a woman at in the Indy 500 when she came in third behind winner Helio Castroneves and second-place Dan Wheldon in 2009. Now Danica has set her own personal mark in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after finishing 7th in Saturday’s 5-Hour Energy 400 at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
According to NBC Sports, Patrick had a strong showing on the track, spending much of the night in the top ten after beginning the race from the ninth position. With 95 laps left in the race, Danica was able to maneuver in and out of traffic to pass both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart to take third. Patrick came out of the pits in the seventh spot following the sixth caution of the night which went out when Kurt Busch lost control of his car.
Danica Patrick was able to hold on to that seventh spot, where she finished the race, besting her previous top career finish of 8th place in the 2013 Daytona 500.
FOX Sports got a chance to talk with Danica following the race:
“It was really just staying up in that lead group,” NBC Sports reported Danica Patrick saying of her strategy for Satruday’s race. “You’re gonna move up, you’re gonna move down but generally [I had to] average out to where I was starting, and I feel like we did all of that.
“What can I say? I’m really proud of the team for building cars like these. This was a new car and it was so good. I think it shows when the runs were long and I would keep coming, that just shows this was a good car.”
It was a great race for Danica. She drove well throughout and finished strong, but Patrick’s finish doesn’t quite top the all-time best Sprint Cup finish for a female driver. That honor still belongs to Sara Christian. Christian was able to finish in 5th place in a 1949 race at Heidelberg Raceway in Pittsburgh. If Danica continues to have a fast car this season, she could be pushing to add that record to her long list of accomplishments.
“I know that we haven’t had the best of times, but it’s days like today that we work hard for…When we do this enough, this is the kind of stuff that materializes into wins,” she said. “We just gotta keep hanging around and doing what we’re doing.”
As The Inquisitr previsously reported, Danica is still looking for an elusive win in Sprint Cup racing, but if she and her team keep “doing what [they’re] doing” right now, Patrick could end up with an even better finish than this real soon.
[Feature Image courtesy USA Today]