Why Danica Patrick runs well at Daytona and Talladega After winning the pole position for the Daytona 500 and contending until the final lap, Patrick is expected to look more like the inexperienced rookie she is when battling 42 other drivers this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.
Vegas is not impressed: Las Vegas Hotel sets Danica at 300:1 odds to win this weekend, 2nd longest longshot. That's not a surprise at all to NASCAR fans, but it might be a shock for the new fans who watched NASCAR for the first time during Sunday's Daytona 500.
Here's why: Daytona requires a completely different skill set than every other track in NASCAR except for Talladega. Where drivers run in a big pack at 100% throttle requires almost no skill and drivers can draft at Daytona and Talladega because their speeds are restricted, whereas success at the other tracks depend much more on driver skill.
Patrick, who has only completed 11 Sprint Cup Series races, simply isn't up to speed with the other drivers on most tracks. The November race at Phoenix marked Patrick's best career finish — 17th — before Sunday's Daytona 500, when she finished eighth.
Contending at Daytona simply has no correlation to the chances of winning at any other track — Phoenix included. So for NASCAR newbie’s who saw Patrick run well in the Daytona 500 and think her momentum might carry over to Phoenix: Think again.
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