For the second time in three weeks, JR Motorsports’ driver, Danica Patrick, has rewritten the NASCAR history book. Two weeks ago, Patrick became the first female to lead a lap during a NASCAR event, a feat that took place during the season opening NASCAR Nationwide Series event in Daytona. The 28-year-old’s next accomplishment came during last Saturday’s Nationwide Series race in Las Vegas where she overcame an early two lap disadvantage to finish in the fourth position, yet another NASCAR record. The fourth-place finish bested Sara Christian’s long standing record for best finish by a female, fifth place, set in 1949.
Patrick is quick to downplay her history making efforts stating, “I don’t think about trying to achieve the highest finishing position for a female. I think about trying to win the race.” Running in her second partial season of Nationwide Series competition, she has shown steady improvement in her 16 total starts. Her best finish in her first season was 19th. This year, the star’s average finish through the first three races is 11.7. “We make progress every weekend, but it’s just a matter of, are you on the lead lap and in position to take advantage by the end of the race?”
Patrick’s consistency rewards her with a fourth place position in the standings, only 13 markers out of the lead. This sought-after spot will quickly fade, however, when she takes a three-month hiatus from NASCAR to pursue the 2011 IndyCar title after the race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March, 19, 2011.
Patrick will return to the Nationwide Series for select races during the summer and fall. One of those events is at Kansas Speedway, a track for which she has enjoyed IndyCar successes, on October 8, 2011 during the running of the Kansas Lottery 300.
Race fans may purchase tickets for the race by visiting www.kansasspeedway.com or by calling 866.460.RACE (7223). Tickets for all Kansas Speedway events are available.
Parking at Kansas Speedway is always free and race fans may bring a 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler into the grandstands with their favorite food and beverages.