Danica qualified 12th for her first NASCAR race, the ARCA Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 held at Daytona Raceway. After a lot of bumping, a few runs through the infield, a skid or two, a race stoppage, a lot of time in the pits and a lot of running on the outside line, she finished the race in sixth.
Ironically her biggest off came courtesy of the also-new-to-NASCAR Nelson Piquet, Jr.. He qualified seventh and climbed up to sixth at one point, but bumped Danica and sent her down to 24th when she rejoined after having her car repaired. Piquet would find more ways to get in trouble before the chequered flag and finish in 27th.
Patrick was lauded by her entire team and a few others as well. It is said that part of the reason she spent so much time on the outside line was being nervous about such close racing, but sixth place is still sixth place. Based on that performance, the only female driver ever to win an IRL race confirmed that she will make her official NASCAR debut next weekend in the Nationwide Series race – that's the race just before the Daytona 500. There she'll get much more intense instruction that "rubbing is racing."
[Source: Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated | Image: Sam Greenwood/Getty]