After 6 months of racing, she's had a recent 9th place finish in the Bristol Nationwide series, some shining moments where you figured she was certainly headed for a Top 10 finish or even the big win. To, oh no, mechanical issues? They just wrecked her?
Then the infamous shoe incident, which turned out to be actually car issues with a track bar mount. To which Danica replied at a press conference doing an Austin Powers impression, “Who throws a shoe, I mean really?
Anything that possibly could have gone wrong, well it did. For awhile there it seemed as though the magic was fading. Did she lose her drive? Is she doing too many commercial obligations? Did D.P. lose her racing mojo?
So far the transition for D.P. to Nascar has been quite an uphill climb, one things for sure nobody can claim she was just handed a win when she does get it. Her recent top 10 at Bristol in Nationwide was well earned, she dodged some wrecks and aside from the speeding pit penalty, it was a solid night for her.
Her on track improvement continues to be shown, when she spins out, her car control is evident . She probably needed those spins at Michigan in order to learn how to handle them. So far I'm really liking the introduction of Tad Boyd, her spotter. He was familiar with the Bristol track and was giving her good advice, like where to run, when to run hard and when to let a reckless driver through. Sometimes she had to be told more than once to back off a driver, must just be the racer in her. Best of all, he knows when to encourage and when to emphasize what he means. Go up high! Go down low! Come on now! Guiding her through the mayhem when a mishap happens in front of her. A conscience effort to have a complete race is now the focus, instead of it being all about lap times or qualifying, which is a positive change. Although I thought her other spotters did a great job, I’m looking forward to seeing this Danica and Tad duo.
The answer to my question? I think it's safe to say from the solid performances at Bristol, and with many more races ahead, D.P. still has her racing mojo. Watch the queen of the road, do double duty this weekend at fast track, Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Nationwide race will air this Saturday at 6:30pm Eastern on ESPN 2. Then on Sunday, the Sprint Cup race will start at 6:30pm Eastern on ESPN.
Picture courtesy of NASCAR Media
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