Danica Patrick finishes a pedestrian 14th; hey, it’s something. sort of



Danica Patrick finished 14th in Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona. Hey, I guess she really does excel at Daytona. This wasn’t one of her usual 25th to 33rd place finishes that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing from Danica Patrick. The race’s winner was, get ready for this, hold on to your butts, Jimmie Johnson!

Yes, rooting for Jimmie Johnson in NASCAR is like rooting for the casino in Black Jack. It’s like rooting for the Miami Heat. Jimmie Johnson won the Coke Zero 400 to score his 64th career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his third at Daytona. Johnson, who also won the season-opening Daytona 500, became the first driver since NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 in the same year.

Still Danica Patrick reaching the top 15 is something despite her being caught up in a multi-car accident on the final lap of the 161-lap event, which ended under a green-white-checkered finish.

She fell to 13th on lap 160 when the white flag flew for the final lap and, as the pack entered turn four for the last time, chaos ensued.

Patrick’s car came together with the car of David Gilliland, triggering a multi-car accident as the pack came to the start-finish line with nearly 10 cars being collected in total. Patrick was uninjured and able to drive her damaged GoDaddy Chevrolet back to the garage.

“Well, a green-white-checkered finish is always exciting,” Danica Patrick said. “(Dale Earnhardt) Junior and I had a good run through the middle and then up high around (turn) four. And I just watched the replay. It felt like I ran just along the wall but it could have been me that came down in front of the No. 38 (Gilliland). It definitely wasn’t what I was trying to do at all. I was just following the No. 88 (Earnhardt Jr.). So, if that’s what happened, then I definitely apologize. I lost spots doing it.


Patrick’s teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet SS, finished second to score his ninth top-five and 14th top-10 in 30 career point-paying Sprint Cup starts at the 2.5-mile oval. It was also his fourth top-five and sixth top-10 this season.

Danica Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 11th. She was running in the top ten for much of the race. Danica Patrick moved up two spots to 25th in the points standings.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net. (“Quasi-endorsed” by Philadelphia Eagles Coach Chip Kelly) He’s also an author who contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker

Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. The NFL, NBA expert does a weekly spot for 95.7 The Fan. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks), like him on Facebook

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