Danica Daytona 500 Finish at 8th Place Not Exactly What She Wanted

By Alex Johnston On February 24, 2013 @ 6:59 pm In Motorsports | No Comments

Danica Daytona 500 Finish: NASCAR driver Danica Patrick said on Sunday that she was not pleased with finishing 8th place during the Daytona 500, even though she became the first woman to claim a pole in a Sprint Cub race.

Danica Patrick, driver of the #34 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, speaks with Tony Stewart, driver of the #33 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet, during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 22, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Danica Patrick, driver of the #34 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, speaks with Tony Stewart, driver of the #33 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet, during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 22, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

After finishing 8th place in the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Danica Patrick said she was not exactly pleased with her results, even though she became the first woman to claim a pole in a Sprint Cup race.

“It’s always a little frustrating when you come through and you’re in the top three in the last lap, but I’ll learn more for the next time,” she told Yahoo Sports.

Patrick was in third place with only one lap to go—behind Jimmie Johnson, who ultimately won the Daytona 500, and Greg Biffle. However, she slipped back to eighth, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. took second place.

“I would imagine pretty much anyone would be kicking themselves about what they coulda, shoulda have done to give themselves an opportunity to win,” Patrick told The Associated Press. “There was uncertainty on how to accomplish that.”

She led three times for five laps and was in the top ten for most of the day.

“At the end of the day it was a solid day,” she told CNN. “We stayed basically in the top 10 all day so it was nice.”

During the race, she used her radio to talk with her crew chief and spotter, trying to find the best strategy to win the race.

“How am I gonna do this?” Patrick told AP, while recalling how to try and win. “I didn’t know what to do exactly. Maybe that’s just my inexperience. Maybe it was not me thinking hard enough. I’m not sure. I was a little bit uncertain how to do that.”

With the win on Sunday, it was Johnson’s second Daytona 500 victory; he won his first Daytona 500 in 2006.

“At the end, when I knew it was time to go … l had a race car with no scratches on it,” Johnson told USA Today. “I had one heckuva race car today.”

He added: “I’m just enjoying this moment. It’s just time to sit back and enjoy.”

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