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DATE News (chronologically)
02/20/13
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Danica Patrick must make sure she doesn’t wreck pole-winning car
Will she wreck at Daytona again?
Danica Patrick can breathe easy now. She doesn’t have to worry about whether she will qualify for the Daytona 500.

All of the worry about where she will need to finish in the qualifying races Thursday has gone out the door. Thanks to her winning the pole for the Daytona 500, she knows she will race Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Oh wait.

There is something the Sprint Cup rookie has to worry about in practice Wednesday, in the qualifying race Thursday and in practice again Friday and Saturday.

If she wrecks her car, she won’t get to lead the field to green flag for NASCAR’s biggest race. She still would be credited with the pole but wouldn’t get to enjoy the on-track reward of starting out front.

Her crew chief, Tony Gibson, has told her not to worry.

“You don't want to take the chance of wrecking the car, nobody does,” Gibson said. “Sometimes there's nothing you can do about it.

“She's going to have to put herself three wide, four wide, there's no way around it. If we tear it up, we tear it up. We have another one on the truck.”

Patrick has not had success avoiding accidents at Daytona.

Last year, she crashed in both her 150-mile qualifying race (near the end) and in the Daytona 500 (at the beginning).

She also has crashed in four of the five Nationwide Series races she has competed in at Daytona.

So it’s quite possible she could crash her pole-winning car. She’d be in good company if she did, too. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole in 2011 and crashed it in practice the following Wednesday. Sporting News

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