On Friday, Danica Patrick will attend her 46th and final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie meeting. And for the 46th and final time, her car will sport yellow stripes on the rear bumper. Come Monday, Nov. 18, Danica Patrick will no longer be a rookie in NASCAR’s top division.
While the 2013 season was “officially” designated as Danica Patrick ’s rookie season, she also drove 10 Sprint Cup races last year for SHR, which meant 46 rookie meetings and 46 races with a yellow rookie stripe.
Like any NASCAR rookie season, it’s been a year of highs and lows for Danica Patrick and the GoDaddy team. Mostly lows; and lows. And more lows. And even more lows. But the year started off on a high note that prompted several rewrites in the history books of the Daytona 500. It’s been downhill since.
Here are some excerpts from the Danica Patrick interview in advance of the final race of the season.
What have you learned about yourself this year?
“I always thought I was a patient driver and methodical, and there is a lot of that. But I really realized this year how getting a little overly excited or anxious or frustrated can bite you so hard. We’re that close to the edge all the time. You push that limit and bad things can happen. I’ve found that I’ve had to be more patient than I am normally. That’s one thing that, as far as a personality in the car, that has surprised me a little bit,” Danica Patrick answered.
Are you ready for the season to be over?
“I’ve always said, I’ll never turn down a little time off. It will be good to get some rest. It’s the longest season I’ve ever done. It’s 40 weeks, with two off weekends. One of those is Easter and one of those I was in a wedding, so I haven’t really had the chance to ‘choose’ what I wanted to do for quite some time (laughs). I’ve said for the last couple of weeks, I’m not tired from the season, I’m tired of the season. It will be nice to get away some and recharge for 2014,” Danica Patrick answered.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the world; with regular weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSSFollow paulmbanks