Danica tracker: Relive her NASCAR debut
The wait is over. Danica Patrick made her NASCAR debut at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday.
Unfortunately, it ended in a bang.
Relive her first NASCAR race below.
Lap 79: Green flag after the accident, but Danica is in the garage talking to media.
Lap 72: "After that last lick, you’re probably done" Tony Eury to Danica.
Lap 71: Danica’s team is pushing the car to the garage.
"I was just starting to get it, too," Danica said.
CAUTION 4 – Lap 68: Danica Patrick gets tangled in an accident not of her making. The 12-car wreck was triggered when somebody clipped Josh Wise and sent him out of control, beginning carnage that Danica could not race through. Danica tried to get past it but couldn’t. She was running 21st at the time.
Lap 66: Danica Patrick up to 23rd now.
Lap[ 65: New race leader – two-time defending race winner Tony Stewart.
Lap 64: Danica Patrick passes John Wes Townley for 24th place.
Lap 63: Danica hanging on in the middle of the pack, much better laps now compared to earlier.
Lap 61: Tony Eury Jr. to Danica: "Best lap of the race."
Lap 59: Danica still can’t find a dancing partner around the track — nobody will draft with the rookie.
Lap 56: Danica 26th. She is running the low line now and her spotter is telling her to stay down there.
RESTART – Lap 55: Danica is 27th as the flag waves. Let’s see if she gets help and can stay with the lead pack this time.
Lap 53: Team changes plan – no tires, just a splash of gas. She stalls leaving! Team pulls her back a bit and give her a push to send her on her way. Luckily, she’s the lucky dog so she doesn’t lose any positions.
Lap 53: Danica pitting for four fresh tires this time by.
During the caution, Danica is communicating with her team and trying to explain how to fix it during the upcoming pit stop.
CAUTION – Lap 50: Mike Wallace brings out the third yellow flag of the day as he spins between Turn 3 and 4 — but avoids the wall. This is a huge break for Danica, as she gets the lucky dog free pass and gets back on the lead lap and she will restart in the pack.
Lap 49: Danica up to 29th after her pit stop.
Lap 47: Smooth four tire pit stop. Tony Eury Jr. as she leaves pit road: "Easy on the motor, get all you can out there."
Lap 46: Danica pitting this lap.
Lap 45: Danica "If we are going to fix something, we’re going to fix the oversteer. A little bit of oversteer."
Lap 42: Pit stops are starting right now. Race leader Kevin Harvick one of the drivers pitting this time by.
Lap 39th: Danica 33rd now
Lap 35: Danica 34th, last car on the lead lap.
Lap 33: Danica complaining that the car is loose. The only place it’s tight is in the trioval.
Lap 30: Danica needs to catch up to the cars in front of her and start drafting if she wants to start getting up front. Her spotter is relaying as much to her now.
Lap 25: Danica is 33rd, 13 seconds behind the leaders. Problem is she has nobody around her, so she is losing pace to the cars in the pack that are drafting.
Lap 24: Tony Eury Jr. "Focus on ther car you’re closest to." | Danica – "I’m definitely afraid of the rear (of the car). It gets really loose in the dogleg (trioval)." Eury Jr. telling Danica the bottom lane looks faster.
Lap 23: Oh by the way, up front the battle is between Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Danica’s team owner) for the lead.
Lap 19: Danica down to 33rd. She is trying to find comfort around the track.
Lap 16: She has been shuffled out of the lead pack — nobody wanted to draft with her.
Lap 14: Danica is down to 29th – nobody wants to draft with the rookie NASCAR driver.
Lap 12: Danica is going up high and down low – nobody wants to draft with her. She says "The right front is understeering." She is losing a lot of positions.
RESTART – Lap 11
Under yellow – Lap 10: Danica is 17th. Kevin Harvick passed Kyle Busch for the lead shortly before the caution. Spotter Chip Ross told Danica under the caution "Take a deep breath and relax. Tighten your belts."
During the second caution, Tony Eury Jr. asked Danica to check her oil pressure and water temperature.
"That was instincts. You got through it, but there will be some more." Dale Jr. told Danica shortly after the incident in front of her.
Lap 7: Trouble! A few cars up on the high side hit the wall but Danica avoids it! "I don’t how I didn’t, but I didn’t (get hit)" Danica said.
Lap 6: Danica was on the high side at the restart and kept dropping as nobody wanted to draft with her.
RESTART – Lap 5: Danica is 18th at the restart.
Communication between Danica and her spotter during the caution: "I was talking a little bit faster just for you," Chip Ross | "Thanks, I appreciate the enthusiasm," Danica
Lap 1: Danica drops three spots to 18th as there was a wreck towards the back of the field and it includes the other female racer Chrissy Wallace, who hit the wall hard near pit road. Wallace was really loose and then Paul Menard appeared to take the wind off the rear of her car to send her out of control. Brad Teague also picked up damage during the incident.
Tony Eury Jr. (crew chief) to Danica: "Good luck, I’m proud of you."
Danica to Dale Jr.: "Good luck up there, hope I can get up there"
Dale Jr. to Danica over the radio: "Good luck Danica …. see you in a bit."
The parade laps have begun – we are minutes away from racing.
By the way, Danica Patrick isn’t the only female driver in the field. Chrissy Wallace will be making her Nationwide Series debut and will start 35th. She is helping make history today as this is the first time a father-daughter race together in Nationwide (father Mike starts 23rd) and the first time four family members race in the same event (uncle Kenny and cousin Stephen start 19th and 13th respectively).
Sprint Cup drivers in today’s field (by starting order): Kyle Busch (pole), Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, Paul Menard.
Because rain canceled qualifying yesterday, defending Nationwide Series champion Kyle Busch starts from the pole today (starting lineup set on owner points). JR Motorsports bought points from CJM Racing (No. 42) so that’s why Danica is starting 15th.
The prerace festivities are complete and engines are about to get fired up.
Driver introductions are over here at Daytona. Danica got a good applause, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. received the biggest ovation from the crowd.
Patrick will start 15th after rain wiped out qualifying Friday afternoon.