The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 4, 2013

Danica seeks better finish back at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Danica Patrick made history in the season-opening Daytona 500, where she hit new milestones again and again and again.

She became the first woman to earn the top starting spot in a Sprint Cup event with her pole-winning run, then became the first woman to lead laps under green at NASCAR’s top level on race day. Those five laps out front put her in an exclusive club of only 13 drivers who have led laps in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500.

And of the 13 in that club, only six of them — Patrick, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart — have led at least five laps in each race.

Then Patrick finished eighth — the highest for a woman in Daytona 500 history.

As NASCAR heads back to Daytona for Saturday night’s race under the lights, her crew chief expects much of the same from Patrick.

“Goals for July are the same as they were in February when we went to Daytona,” said Gibson. “We want to go down there and we want to make a statement.”

Well, then.

Gibson has every intention of seeing Patrick put the bright green No. 10 Chevrolet on the pole again. But this time he wants to see her get the finish she deserves.

Patrick learned a hard lesson in the closing laps of the 500 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. schooled her with a late move that catapulted him to a second-place finish. There are some who also thought she might have had a chance to win it a few laps earlier if she’d pulled out of traffic and cut off the bottom lane — a move that might have forced the line of traffic to push her to the lead.

“We want to try to sit on the pole again, obviously, and this time come up a few spots,” Gibson said. “We felt like we had a shot to win it, ran in the top three or four all day and had a fast car, and it came down to the last lap and kind of got snookered (by Earnhardt) a little bit there at the end. But we felt like we were definitely in contention to win it, so we’re going back there with the same mindset, to try to be the fastest car in qualifying and try to close the deal at the end of this thing.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock Paris didn’t give up when instant success eluded her

    TULSA — It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners will have to do the right thing eventually

    Don’t read anything into the non-suspension suspension Oklahoma leveled at true freshman running back Joe Mixon Wednesday....

    July 31, 2014

  • In this case, Sooner fans can rest easy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Sooner Caravan ended its summer run at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday night. OU coach Bob Stoops did not take questions, but one of the major topics was the $370 million renovation to ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014

  • Ives to crew chief for Dale Jr. in 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no shortage of candidates to replace Steve Letarte as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The list of applicants was long, but Hendrick Motorsports has always liked to groom its own talent. So the organization ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run, but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level. It was ...

    July 31, 2014

Facebook