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Danica Patrick
#1
Set the record for most Top 10's in Cup by a female. Her 9th place finish at Bristol was the 6th of her career, breaking a tie with Janet Guthrie who set the record back in 1977. Sara Christian is the only other female to record a Top 10 in the Cup series, she had 2 back in 1949. Christian is the only female to record a Top 5 finish.


Christian had her 2 Top 10's in just 7 starts


Guthrie had 5 Top 10's in 33 starts


Patrick earned her 6th top 10 in her 90th start



So at a glance, it seems that Patrick just had more opportunities to break the record, but really, the days that Christian and Guthrie raced in don't compare at all to what Patrick has done.



The fields Christian raced in were almost half the size they were today, and the failure rate was much higher. You could be one of the slowest cars on the track but if you stayed out of trouble you basically guaranteed a Top 15 finish in those days, even if you were 10 laps down. 


Guthrie the racing got tougher, and she raced against legends like Richard Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, and more. However back in those days even if it was tougher than what Christian dealt with, the average amount of finishers on the lead lap back in those days was like 5 cars, with still a pretty high failure rate compared to today. It wasn't uncommon for the 3rd or 4th place cars to be 1 or 2 laps down at the end of the race. 


With Patrick, now we have rarely have any races where less than a dozen aren't on the lead lap, and I bet the average is in the 20-25 range. You even see the odd race where over 30 remain on the lead lap. You can't make mistakes and make up for them these days like you could back then. Also, the amount of different winners each season is higher now than it's ever been, and the margin of victory is smaller too. It is by far the most competitive era we've seen in NASCAR. 


Patrick is off to a pretty good start this season as well, has 2 Top 10's in the first 8 races so far, is 13th in points and currently sits in a Chase position. She's starting to become a pretty good short track racer, with 2 Top 10's at the last 2 races on the smallest tracks on the circuit (Martinsville and Bristol). Richmond is this weekend which is another short track, so will be interesting to see how she fares. 


She also has run well at other types of tracks as well. She won the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013, led laps and has finished 8th twice there. Her best career finish is 6th at Atlanta, and she has a 7th place finish at Kansas as well, where she actually ran as high as 3rd and was catching the leaders late in the race until a bad pit stop dropped her back and she didn't have enough time to recover. 



She keeps improving every year, but is she actually a legit threat to make the Chase this season? She is currently 2nd in points among the drivers at Stewart-Haas Racing, which many people seem to forget as well. Though Kurt Busch would likely be ahead of her had he not missed 3 races. It was still funny to see the look on peoples faces when I mentioned that at Bristol this weekend. 



Someone like Ryan Newman last year almost won the championship without winning a race, just consistent Top 15 finishes early on, then pilling up a few Top 10's and Top 5's at the end got him within 1 position of winning it all. Could Danica be able to do something similar in regards to making the Chase? Top 15's with the odd Top 10 sprinkled in, and she might be able to point her way in. And who knows, maybe she'll actually pull a win off at a restrictor plate track.
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#2
GoDaddy announced this week they wouldn't be sponsoring her Cup efforts anymore after this season, but want to keep her as a spokesperson on a personal services contract of some kind. I imagine Danica will be able to pick up another sponsor but who knows for sure. It's tough to find sponsorship for everyone in NASCAR right now.
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#3
Danica comes home 21st after running the last 75 laps with only 4th gear. She was up in the Top 5 at one time. Restarts and pit stops obviously hurt her late in trying to get up to speed. The result was good enough to get her back into a Chase position as of now though.
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#4
Danica announces she has a new sponsor "Nature's Bakery" on what is rumoured to be a 3 year deal with both Nature's Bakery and Stewart-Haas Racing. Nature's Bakery will sponsor 28 of the 36 races in 2016.


As for her season, it hasn't gone well since about the Middle of May. She's currently 21st in points, 108 points out of a Chase position. She basically has to win one of the next 3 races if she were to get in. She did get a Top 10 at Bristol this spring so you could see another good run out of her, but a win seems unlikely. She isn't mathematically eliminated from getting in on points yet, but it's just a matter of time. Could happen after this next race.
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#5
she's hot
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#6
Nascar needs more tracks like Bristol.

That is all.
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#7
I completely agree on both posts lol.

NASCAR needs to switch it up some with there tracks. More tracks that are 1 mile long or shorter, and I'd even like another road course or two. Get rid of so many cookie cutter tracks. I'm hoping some day the Cup guys will come to Fort Erie if they ever get that track built, but Ontario would have to change there liquor laws lol.
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#8
Danica qualifies 7th for the Indy 500, after not being in a Indy Car for almost 7 years lol. Her car owner Ed Carpenter, won the pole.

They really fly at Indy, Carpenter's 4 lap average in qualifying was over 229mph. His first lap was over 230, the only driver to do so this year.


Canadian James Hinchcliffe who is 5th in points right now, actually failed to qualify. Rumour is his team is trying to buy him a ride into the race, especially considering he's "the face of Honda" right now. And the Indy 500 is worth double points too. Missing it would essentially end his championship hopes.


This is supposedly the last race of Danica's career.
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