Gas 'N' Go: How Will Danica Do at Martinsville?

Danica Patrick

Since placing 14th at Daytona in July, Danica Patrick's best finish has been 20th at Watkins Glen, Chicagoland Speedway and Charlotte. (Photo: Getty Images)

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The pits are open again and, MotorRacingNetwork.com's Pete Pistone and Dustin Long each answer this week's featured question in "Gas 'N' Go."

Danica Patrick finished 12th at Martinsville in the spring. How will she do there this weekend?

MRN Staff

Answer

Pete Pistone
Pete Pistone

There hasn't been anything of late to show me Patrick can improve on her impressive Martinsville finish. Last week Patrick said she felt like she was where she needed to be in her rookie Sprint Cup Series season, but I don't share that view by any means. There just hasn't been the progress promised as the season rolls on and, in some ways, Patrick's finishes reflect a regression.

I'm not sure why she was able to notch such a strong finish. But I'm certainly not counting on anything remotely close happening again this time around based on the direction she's been heading in recent weeks. If Patrick comes out of Martinsville inside the top 20 that would be more than expected on my end.

Dustin Long
Dustin Long

It’s hard to forecast that Patrick will top her spring Martinsville finish based on how she’s done lately - she’s finished no better than 20th in her last 14 races. It’s difficult to make up ground when starting so far back. Her average starting position is 28.8 in those last 14 races. In the five previous short-track races this season, she has started inside the top 30 only once.

Of course, this is what makes sports so interesting. Who would have figured she would score one of her best finishes at Martinsville in the spring? The key for her Sunday isn’t as much as finishing position but how she runs. She rallied from two laps down in the spring. The goal this week, along with a good finish, is staying on the lead lap longer. 

 

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