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Danica hopes the breaks will start going her way
LOUDON -- DANICA PATRICK, looking to move up in the NASCAR Nationwide standings, hopes things turn out better today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway than they did the last time she was here in a stock car.
Two years ago, running a partial schedule in her first year in NASCAR, Patrick finished 30th in the July race.
Now a Nationwide full-timer and taking aim at moving up to Sprint Cup, Patrick sits ninth in points heading into this afternoon's F.W. Webb Nationwide 200.
“I think our season is coming along as far as getting faster all the time and working on things like qualifying and restarts and everything,” Patrick said. “It's just a matter of putting a weekend together and then catching some luck and getting some results I feel we deserve as a team.”
Patrick has only a single top 10 finish this season — she was eighth at Texas back in April — and has been 12th four times.
The team needs a break or two, she said.
“Last weekend is a perfect example at Daytona,” Patrick said. “We run up front most all night and get caught up in a late race spin.”
Patrick started the race third, led 14 laps at one point and ended up crashing and finished 31st.
“I'm definitely getting better overall,” Patrick said. “My pace on the weekend is getting better every weekend. I remember hoping that I'd be in the top 20 in practice and now I'm in the top 10 and hoping I can be in the top five or quickest.”
Patrick, who finished sixth last year in August in the IndyCar race here, was 18th during the first Nationwide practice on Friday and improves to seventh in the second.
Nationwide qualifying is today at 10:05 a.m. and the race goes at 3:30 p.m.
“Practice is getting much better,” Patrick said. “Qualifying is getting much better. I've had much, much better qualifying results, which helps a lot in the race.”
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