Danica Patrick goes from starting 41st to finishing 17th

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This NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Danica Patrick and finishes in the 20s and 30s have gone together like stay-at-home-moms and Facebook. It’s been quite easy to just copy and paste Danica Patrick 29th place finish, Danica Patrick 33rd place finish, Danica Patrick 27th place finish (on one of her better weeks). However, 17th at Martinsville is actually pretty solid.

Especially when you consider she started 41st.

“I’m really proud of what our GoDaddy team accomplished today,” said Danica Patrick, who finished 12th in the spring at Martinsville, her only other start at the .526-mile, paperclip-shaped oval. “For pulling out the backup car on Friday and having to start so far back in the field, it was a really good run. We started in the back and made our way through, and we didn’t have quite the car that we had here in the spring, but we got a similar result and that’s something I’m proud of.

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Jeff Gordon won the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 to score his 88th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his eighth at Martinsville. His victory clinched the 2013 manufacturer’s title for Chevrolet, the brand’s 37th in the Sprint Cup Series and 11th in a row.

Matt Kenseth finished .605 of a second behind Gordon in the runner-up spot, while Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.

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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

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