Danica Patrick Nascar Sprint Cup
Fan Opinion: Will Danica Patrick Score a Top 10 in NASCAR Sprint Cup?Danica Patrick will have ten opportunities to score at least one top ten in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season but the real question is: Does she possess enough talent to pull it off? Greg Zipadelli will mentor Patrick in 2012 as she learns the differences between the NASCAR Sprint Cup car and the Nationwide cars.
Patrick's schedule, announced by Stewart Haas Racing November 4, is as follows:
Feb. 26 Daytona International Speedway
May 12: Darlington Raceway
Aug. 25: Bristol Motor Speedway
Sep. 2: Atlanta Motor Speedwa
Sep. 16: Chicagoland Speedway
Sep. 30: Dover International Speedway
Nov. 4: Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 11: Phoenix International Raceway
Patrick will see action in two more races that have yet to be determined. Zipadelli is using this season as a way to get to know Patrick's personality and find the perfect crew chief for the inexperienced driver.
Which track is Danica most likely to score her first top ten as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver? She did not commit to her best track in the NASCAR Nationwide series. Patrick scored her only top five in 12 races last season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway but Stewart Haas Racing has not committed her to race the Cup car on the fast mile and a half track.
It may be a good thing Danica is not racing a double-header in Las Vegas. Her last race on the track ended tragically when her longtime friend and former teammate Dan Wheldon perished in a horrific IndyCar accident October 16.
Patrick scored two top tens in NASCAR Nationwide last season. One top ten came at Chicagoland and the other came at Daytona. Patrick will race both tracks on her schedule and if she places well in the February race in Daytona it will be easy to assume she will return in a Cup car for the race held on the Fourth of July weekend.
So where can Patrick score her first top ten in NASCAR Sprint Cup? Look for her to score her first top ten in the month of November at Texas Motor Speedway. By November she will acclimate to the feel of the NASCAR Sprint Cup car and she will be familiar with the Texas mile and a half track when she rolls into the track on November 4.
Do not be surprised if Danica knocks down her first top ten in her first Cup race in Daytona either. Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 as a young rookie who never raced the track in Cup car and Danica already has the respect of half the Cup drivers in the garage.
Todd Jacobs is an avid race fan who grew up watching sprint car racing legends race at Ascot Park in Gardena and Indy cars and NASCAR Cup cars at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Southern California. He has followed all forms of motorsports from open wheel sprint car racing to Formula One and all disciplines in between.