After not practicing in the first of two sessions Friday, Danica Patrick and team will not participate in the final practice session on Saturday. They feel confident with the car and that there is no need to keep on practicing.
In the one practice Patrick did run in, she worked on drafting. This move does do one thing. She will not have to worry anymore of crashing the pole winning car. Now Patrick will for sure start from the pole position on Sunday when the green flag waves.
Patrick has a history of being involved in crashes at Daytona International Speedway, so this move is very smart for them. During last year’s 150 mile qualifying race, Patrick crashed towards the end. She also crashed at the beginning of last year’s Daytona 500. If that wasn’t unlikely enough, Patrick has participated in five Nationwide Series races at Daytona and has only not crashed in one of them.
While now there is no chance to crash during practice for Patrick, there is a good possibility of it happening during the Daytona 500. Her crew chief Tony Gibson said there is nothing you can do and to not worry about it too much.
“You don’t want to take the chance of wrecking the car, nobody does,” Gibson said. “Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. She’s going to have to put herself three wide, four wide, there’s no way around it. If we tear it up, we tear it up. We have another one on the truck.”
Crashes are a part of NASCAR and races, but by not taking part in practice on Saturday, Patrick makes sure she doesn’t have to start at the end of the field like 2011 pole-winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. had to do. He crashed his pole-winning car in practice following the Wednesday qualifying.