Danica earns best finish by female in NASCAR

Image: Danica Patrick (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Keep up with Danica Patrick's Vegas run here.
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Danica Patrick's NASCAR journey heads to Sin City today as she competes in the Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

How will she perform? Stay logged on throughout today's event for lap-by-lap updates.

Editor's note: Please hit refresh for the latest.

CHECKERED FLAG - Lap 200: Mark Martin wins! Danica Patrick finishes fourth - best finish for a female in NASCAR history. Danica bests Sara Christians record from 1949.

Lap 199: Race leader Brad Keselowski hits the wall!

Lap 198: Two laps left. Danica still fourth.

Lap 195: Danica on pace to earn best career finish by a female if she stays fourth or better.

Lap 192: Brad Keselowski leads. Danica is fourth, 14 seconds behind. Lots of drama left these next eight laps.

Lap 191: Nine laps left - second-place Mark Martin is unsure if he has enough fuel to finish.

Lap 110: A few more cars pit, Danica Patrick is now fourth!

Lap 189: Race leader Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pit, Danica moves up to sixth.

Lap 187: With 13 laps remaining, a few of the cars ahead of Danica will need to pit or risk running out of fuel. This will get interesting.

Radio chatter on Lap 185: Team to Danica" Give me 15 of your best laps right here today"

Lap 184: Denny Hamlin pits, Danica moves up to eighth.

Radio chatter on Lap 180: Team to Danica - "Nice and smooth, 20 laps to go"

Lap 177: Danica moves into the top 10 with 23 laps remaining.

Lap 170: With 30 laps left, Danica Patrick is gaining on 10th-place Brian Scott.

Radio chatter on Lap 163: Danica's spotter T.J. Majors tells her "Clear, clear, clear. Hit your marks and drive away." Danica is up to 11th and now focusing on Brian Scott for 10th place.

Lap 161: Danica is side-by-side with Bayne for 11th.

Lap 159: Danica has her sights set firmly on Trevor Bayne in a battle for 11th place.

Lap 155: Danica makes another pass and is up to 12th. She just needs to hold steady in order to get her career best finish.

Lap 148: Danica passes Kenny Wallace and is up to 13th.

Lap 146: Brian Scott checked up on the restart and Kevin Harvick got into him. Harvick took the brunt of the damage and actually takes his car to the garage because of the damage and Danica moves up to 14th.

Lap 144: They got four-wide battling for the lead up front! Carl Edwards assumes the point. Danica still 15th.

RESTART - Lap 143: Denny Hamlin leads. Danica Patrick the last car on the lead lap in 15th place.

Radio chatter on Lap 142: Danica getting advice on lining up on the restart and how to race when the green flag drops.

Lap 141: Danica Patrick pits this time, she is back on the lead lap.

CAUTION 6 - Lap 138: Accident right next to Danica Patrick. Danica and Ryan Truex were fighting for position, and Steve Wallace hit Truex. As a result, Truex hit the wall and Wallace got spun out. Danica gets the lucky dog free pass and is back on the lead lap.

RESTART - Lap 136: Denny Hamlin leads. Danica is 16th, one lap down. She is racing Ryan Truex to get the lucky dog free pass.

Radio chatter on Lap 134: The team is currently debating pitting right now. They think they can make it the rest of the way, but the team risks being a sitting duck if there's a late caution and others come in for tires. They decide not to pit.

CAUTION 5 - Lap 131: BIG crash! The dominant car of the race, Kyle Busch, is taken out. He goes through the grass as he was trying to make the pass, the gets really loose and finally ends up hitting the wall. Behind him, there's a chain reaction as other cars checked up. Danica made it through with no problems and is currently 17th.

RESTART - Lap 129

Radio chatter on Lap 125: Danica - "There's a chance it might be better when the tires cool down. Right now, it's just loose."

CAUTION 4 - Lap 124: Donnie Neuenberger spins out again in Turn 4.

RESTART - Lap 104: Kyle Busch leads. Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Mark Martin and Reed Sorenson are your top five. Danica Patrick is 17th, one lap down. Three drivers ahead of her are one lap down, and she's been faster than them all race long.

Lap 101: Danica Patrick takes the wave around and is now only 1 lap down. Not really her fault, but that's NASCAR racing - sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't.

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CAUTION 3 - Lap 100: Donnie Neuenberger gets hit from behind and goes for a spin to bring out the yellow. This really hurts Danica Patrick, she went down two laps by pitting a few laps ago. "That really sucks! We could've pitted on that last caution and stayed on that strategy" Danica says. Team tells her they gambled and didn't win, but it's OK.

Lap 96: Danica Patrick pits. Since she didn't pit during the last yellow, this is a scheduled stop. She will now go back down a lap and is 16th.

Lap 89: Kyle Busch is back! He's been picking up speed the last few laps, he's now second and only a car length behind leader Carl Edwards.

Lap 86: Carl Edwards is now your race leader. Danica is 12th, 14 seconds behind. 13 cars remain on lead lap.

Lap 78: Whoa! Kyle Busch has dropped from the lead to third in just the last few laps. Denny Hamlin is your new race leader

Radio chatter on Lap 71: Team tells Danica to use what she learned at California about side drafting. It will work here.

RESTART - Lap 69: Kyle Busch leads at the restart. Danica is up to 11th. Great run by her today, even though she spent a while one lap down (to be fair, so have a lot of drivers today).

Lap 68: Danica Patrick takes the wave around, along with several others.

Lap 67: The No. 7 team calls an audible and decides not to pit and will take the wave around, getting Danica Patrick back on lead lap.

Radio chatter on Lap 66: Danica Patrick giving detailed feedback to the team about how the car is handling in various turns. The team will pit on this caution.

CAUTION 2 - Lap 65: Fluid on the racetrack brings out the yellow. Elliott Sadler gets the lucky dog free pass and will get back on the lead lap.

Lap 61: Kyle Busch's pace is incredible up front. But he's being helped by mistakes/problems for others. Carl Edwards had a fueling issue during his stop, Kevin Harvick got a speeding penalty and Denny Hamlin had an issue on pit road. Only nine cars remain on lead lap.

Lap 56: Danica is up to 13th, but about to be lapped by second-place Denny Hamlin. Only the top 10 cars are on the lead lap.

best of danica


There's no one like Danica, both on and off the track. Check out some of our favorite photos of Danica in action.

Lap 53: The pit cycle is complete. Kyle Busch continues to lead - has a 10 second advantage on second place Denny Hamlin. Danica is 14th.

Lap 47: Danica Patrick pits right now. So does race leader Kyle Busch.

Lap 46: Danica is doing a good job today, but Kyle Busch is just showing how much better he is compared to the field. He puts Danica down a lap and now only 13 drivers are on lead lap with green flag pit stops looming.

Lap 36: Danica looks set to stay in 14th for a while. She's five seconds behind 13th-place Mike Bliss and 26 seconds behind race leader Kyle Busch.

Lap 32: Brian Scott pounds the wall, but manages to get back to the pits for repair. He was ahead of Danica, so his incident helped Patrick move up to 14th.

Lap 27: Danica is setting consistent laps, she's moved up to 15th.

Lap 22: Just like last week, the leaders are setting a torrid pace. Already, 15 cars are already down a lap or off the track. Danica is currently over 18 seconds behind race leader Kyle Busch's pace.

Lap 19: The No. 7 JR Motorsports team is preaching patience, and Danica Patrick is following it. She's up to 18th. "Go get the next one. Same thing you've been doing," her crew tells her.

Radio chatter on Lap 14: Patrick's crew tells her "Keep doing what you are doing, top 10 lap times."

Lap 11: Up front, Kyle Busch takes the lead from Kevin Harvick, but that battle is only starting to heat up. Danica is back up to 21st and holding steady.

RESTART - Lap 9:  Danica runs 23rd. Harvick leads.

Lap 5: Up front, Kevin Harvick got a great jump on the start of the race and took the lead. Right behind him is Kyle Busch.

Lap 4: Danica Patrick lost a few positions since the firs tlap, she is currently 23rd.

CAUTION 1 - Lap 3: Josh Wise got loose coming off Turn 4 and runs through the grass to bring out the caution. Wise actually got some air as he went for his wild ride, but he's back on all four tires and racing again.

Lap 1: Danica moves up a spot on the first lap.

3:18 p.m. ET: GREEN FLAG! Danica starts 22nd.

Only 43 drivers entered this race, so nobody failed to qualify.

3:10 p.m. ET: DRIVERS, START YOUR ENGINES! NASCARon FOX's Chris Myers gives the command.

3:05 p.m. ET: Prerace festivitie are complete. We are minutes away from going racing.

Today's race will be Danica Patrick's second career NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In her first appearance last November, she started 28th and finished 32nd. Expect better results from her today. At each of the three tracks she has raced at twice (Auto Club Speedway, Daytona and Phoenix), she has improved and looked more comfortable inside the cockpit.

Earlier today in qualifying, Patrick qualified 22nd. At the front of the field will be Sprint Cup stars Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch. Nationwide Series regular Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will line up third, followed by more Cup stars - Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin.

Green flag for today's race is scheduled for 3:17 p.m. ET.

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