Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:53 am
Danica Patrick's foray into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series so far has been, to put it politely, a huge challenge. When Stewart planned out Patrick's part-time Cup schedule for 2012, he deliberately chose some of the toughest tracks and races for the former IndyCar star to run. The logic was that it was far better to expose her to the most challenging tracks so she'll have a good baseline for next year than to let her pad her statistics at the easier courses. The results have been underwhelming. In six Cup starts this year, Patrick has not led a lap and has an average finish of 28.17.
Despite the ups and downs of the season, Stewart said Friday that he's sticking by his plans for Patrick. "We picked races that were going to be hard," Stewart said. "They are not supposed to be easy. Her scenario is a little different than a lot of other drivers. She has been very eager to get to the Cup series and I still think more so than some people do that she has the ability to be successful at this level. The learning curve that she is going through has been a lot shorter than what it probably should have been. But with that, that is why Ryan (Newman) and I are here as a support system to her, why Greg (Zipadelli) was chosen as her crew chief for this year." Stewart said picking challenging tracks would accelerate Patrick's learning curve. "There wasn't anything to learn by going to easy tracks this year on a partial schedule," Stewart said. "The schedule she is going to have next year she is going to have to go to these hard tracks. Being able to just have the experience of going the year before even if it's a rough experience you at least learn and get a base of that track anytime you do something for the first time it's tough. The second time is always easier. I don't care what it is."(SPEED)(10-20-2012)
i just dont post negative, usually someone beats me to the punch......