Onwards and Upwards for Danica Patrick at Michigan

By jamesharris
Jerry Lai – USA TODAY Sports

Apart from recently featuring in the news concerning her coming together with fellow rookie and partner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. during the Coca-Cola 600, Danica Patrick’s name has been in the headlines for all the right reasons in 2013.

Her 2008 win in the Indy Japan 300 and her Indianapolis 500 win in 2009 made her the most successful female in the history of American racing, so when Patrick notched up the first female Sprint Cup pole at the Daytona 500, the world opened up for her.

A week before racing at the Michigan Speedway, Patrick received high praise for her popularity and the attention she generates for her sponsor Go Daddy!

Sunday saw the media savvy racer take on the Michigan Speedway two-mile circuit at the Quicken Loans 400.

Despite qualifying in a disappointing 37th and spending much of the race at the back of the pack, Patrick eventually gained a good position to haul in some good points.

Due to some big names retiring from the race and a handful of cautions, Patrick started the final green-flag stretch on just two tires, whilst others opted for four.

Patrick eventually finished 13th, her third-best result of her Sprint Cup campaign, and three places higher than her partner Stenhouse Jr.

“The best the car was in that last run,” Patrick told USA TODAY Sports. “We had had those left sides on for a long time. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we went green (with 27 laps to go), but it was really good, especially on [turn] entry, which was my struggle all weekend. We just had to be smart about not losing time to the guys who had taken four and were coming fast.”

“We made the most of it,” she continued. “I don’t know if we were a 13th-place car, but we finished 13th, and you have to take those because there are days you don’t get what you deserve. We’ll keep working at it, but we still have a ways to go.”

Patrick currently sits 27th in the points after 15 of her 36 scheduled points races.

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