Will Danica Patrick Win a Race?

Less than two months after filing for divorce from husband Paul Hospenthal In January, Patrick’s personal life made headlines when she confirmed rumors that she was dating fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. But what really caught attention was Patrick becoming the first woman in Sprint Cup history to win a pole and it’s Daytona no less.

My first reaction, so what win the race. Winning poles are a factor but not the end all. My second reaction, what if she wins? The Daytona 500 is the Great American Race – it starts the season. Danica and NASCAR both need a jolt of excitement. Nascar has had descending attendance and sagging television ratings for years. The new, more efficient Car of Tomorrow hasn’t helped producing boring racing so a victory by the polarizing driver is more than welcomed.

The question is: Can the GO-Daddy spokeswomen win? Judging by history it doesn’t look good. In one year of racing in Nascar, Patrick has O wins, O top 5 finishes, 0 top ten finishes and up until Daytona ’13, no poles. Her average start position is a dismal 36 and her average finish 28. The future though is believed to be bright though. New crew chief Tony Gibson is expected to help her propel. Patrick began working with Gibson at the end of last season for her final 2 of 10 Cup races. She notched her highest finishes within those starts (a 24th at Texas Motor Speedway and a 17th at Phoenix International Raceway).

At the very least the Daytona 500 will reap the benefits of higher ratings for the start and they’ll continue as long as Danica is among the leaders. Go-Mama!

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