Danica Patrick is not “struggling right now.” He has not “had her struggles.”
“Struggles” are battles for political rights or socioeconomic improvement. Danica Patrick is not struggling, she is instead “very bad at auto racing.”
Danica finished a disappointing 33rd in the Camping World RV Sales 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Danica Patrick was in the top-10 for much of the race, but a mistake on her final pit stop ended any chance of a good finish.
Due to the nature of restrictor-plate racing at Talladega and its sister track, Daytona, green flag pit stops are challenging for drivers, crew chiefs and spotters. The majority of the 43-car field is in a tight pack, using the “draft” of other cars to maintain the maximum speed possible. If a car is removed from the draft, it quickly loses pace with the lead cars and cannot make up the difference alone.
Danica Patrick was in the middle of the draft on the high side of the racetrack on lap 161 when several of the lead cars began to slow and head to pit road exiting turn four. From the high side of the racetrack, Patrick attempted to get down to the bottom lane and slow to the 55-mph pit road speed mandated by NASCAR.
Unfortunately, Danica Patrick overshot pit road, slid through the grass and missed her pit stall. The error forced her to make another lap before pitting, and then Danica Patrick had to serve a drive-through penalty as her initial entry onto pit road was faster than 55 mph.
Danica Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against her boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 30 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed third. Patrick remains 28th in the point standings and has 565 points.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also a regular analyst on news talk radio stations across the world; with weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSS