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Daytona Danica Patrick

February 23, 2012 by staff 

Daytona Danica Patrick, Danica Patrick, racer, corporate empire, body painter, makes her Sprint Cup Series debut Sunday in the Daytona 500. She’ll be driving for defending and three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart. It takes a fireball to know one. “She’s feistier than I was (as a Daytona rookie),” Stewart said.

Stewart tells a story: “Driving to eat dinner when we were here testing, she was going to beat me to the edge of the parking lot. I’m like, all right, we’ve got a long season to go. I’m going to let you win the first time.”

Hardly anyone lets anyone else win the Daytona 500. Wonder what grizzled veterans or young toughs, all men, will do when they see Patrick’s car in front of them or behind them?

I got your body paint right here … There will be all sorts of eyeballs on Patrick this year for all sorts of reasons as she runs 10 Sprint Cup events. A lot of them will belong to fellow drivers, who express support for her. But will they really like losing to someone who wears a two-piece bathing suit?

“No,” NASCAR great Mark Martin said. “But I don’t want to lose to Carl Edwards, either.” Patrick says the stars will have to align just right for her to win the 500 her first time out. Then again, then 20-year-old Trevor Bayne won last year in his first 500, and his voice is higher than Danica’s.

Report to Team

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