While much of the attention surrounding this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway falls on the four drivers in contention for the 2014 title, there’s another battle heating up.
Not to be completely overshadowed by the quartet of championship finalists, this battle involves NASCAR’s resident power couple — Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Entering the season’s 36th and final race, Stenhouse holds a 26-point lead over his girlfriend for 27th place in the Sprint Cup standings.
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Patrick, who finished eight spots behind her boyfriend last year when the two were both Sprint Cup rookies, would obviously love to one-up her main squeeze of roughly two years.
Furthermore, Patrick ranked 27th in the 2013 standings, so she would also like to at least equal where she finished in her first season.
Stenhouse, who is destined to end up much worse in Year Two than Year One, is meanwhile just racing for pride.
So who will come out on top?
As a rookie, Stenhouse finished 22nd at Homestead while Patrick crossed the finish line two spots ahead in 20th.
Danica fans need not get too excited, though. A similar outcome on Sunday won’t be enough for her to make up all the ground she needs to make up on her Cowboy-hat wearing man, who would need to finish 27 spots behind his GoDaddy girl (assuming neither wins the race or leads a lap).
No matter how it all shakes out, though, this much is certain: No one can accuse Danica and Ricky of not sticking close together.