Danica Patrick at the 2010 Nationwide 300 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Despite a rather positive performance in her first outing in competition behind the wheel of stock car racer, Danica Patrick failed to wow the crowds at Daytona International Speedway last weekend after starting the race on the 15th spot on the grid. The disappointing 35th position she managed wasn't entirely her fault – Danica was unable to avoid a twelve-car pile-up on Lap 67 that was caused when Josh Wise was clipped by Colin Braun. Said Patrick after the race:
"The disappointing part is that I missed out getting the rest of my laps in – I think I had 50 laps to go – and the car was settling in and I was getting comfortable. I'm glad I got that second stint in but it's never fun to crash up a perfectly good car when it's not your fault."
The good news is that Danica was uninjured after her number seven car slammed into the outside wall. In fact, she was able to pilot the mangled machine back into the pits. The bad news, though, was that Danica's crew was unable to repair the damage and send her back out on track.

It should be noted, however, that this undesirable finish doesn't mean Danica has no future in NASCAR. After all, eventual race winner Tony Stewart – 2010 marks Stewart's third consecutive season-opening race win and his fifth in the last six years – didn't do all that much better in his first race when he finished 21st at Daytona way back in 1996. In other words, there's still plenty of racing ahead. We wish her luck.

Related GalleryDanica Patrick at 2010 Nationwide 300