Danica Patrick begins summer stretch

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As the calendar turns to June, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series begins the summer stretch of races, the majority of which are in the northern “cold” part of the country. For Danica Patrick, it means a lot of tracks she’s familiar with from her Nationwide days. And Danica Patrick is from near the Illinois and Wisconsin border, so she’s familiar with the snow belt.

Of the next eight races on the schedule, Danica Patrick has raced at seven of them in one series or another, save for Pocono, sight of next week’s Sprint Cup race.

Following Pocono, the series heads to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Patrick competed at all three tracks in the IZOD IndyCar Series and drove in NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Michigan and Kentucky.

From Kentucky, the schedule heads back to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where Patrick started on the pole, led five laps and finished eighth in February’s 55th Daytona 500. The eight-race summer stretch concludes with races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – two tracks Danica Patrick has driven in both IndyCar and Nationwide Series competition.

In seven Indianapolis 500s, Danica Patrick scored six top-10 finishes including a third-place result in 2009 – the best finish ever for a woman in the history of the race.

The summer stretch kicks off this week with the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 38th and finished 28th in September 2012 in her only Sprint Cup start at the concrete mile oval.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker

Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks), like him on Facebook

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