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Patrick finishes sixth, as Gerhart wins sixth Daytona race

Danica Patrick takes sixth on her NASCAR debut in ARCA race won by Bobby Gerhart
If you didn't know the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway was Danica Patrick's first stock car race, her first question after rolling across the finish line in sixth place was a dead giveaway.

"Where should I go?" Patrick asked, after Bobby Gerhart took the chequered flag for his sixth ARCA Series win at Daytona.

At the end of an adventuresome 80-lap race at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, Patrick found her way to the garage. Between the green flag and the chequered flag, Patrick had slid through the grass and spun after contact from Nelson Piquet Jr. on lap 54, restarted 24th and ultimately recovered to run as high as fifth before the finish.

"That was fun - that was a good time," Patrick radioed to crew chief Tony Eury Jr. "I definitely learned a lot. But I felt what it was like to have the tyres go off. That was a handful."

With an adroit save after the contact from Piquet and her charge through the field in the final 17 laps, Patrick earned high praise from her JR Motorsports team.

"You drove the wheels off that thing, girl," radioed co-owner Rick Hendrick. "We're proud of you."

After climbing from her car, Patrick looked at the battle scars on her #7 Chevrolet.

"I was pretty excited to go from last back to the top five again," she said. "It was really fun. I was going side-by-side with people. The GoDaddy car doesn't look very pretty, but it was fun."

Gerhart, who pitted early for fuel, took the lead by staying on the track for a lap 30 restart and held the top spot the rest of the way. Mark Thompson ran second, followed by John Wes Townley, James Buescher and Patrick Sheltra.

Though his win was overshadowed by Patrick's debut, Gerhart was thankful for the attention the IndyCar star brought to the series.

"I'm glad she was here," Gerhart said. "It brought some much-needed attention to the series. I actually welcome the opportunity to have a national platform."

In the days leading up to the race, Gerhart hadn't been swept up in Danica mania.

"I didn't see her or talk to her all week," he said. "How about that? But I did notice this extremely large group of media outside her trailer near mine - I thought they were coming to see me."

Patrick is expected to announce Monday whether she will compete in next Saturday's Drive4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race at Daytona.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News


Tagged as: Danica Patrick , Daytona , ARCA

Related Pictures

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Danica Patrick and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. made for a formidable team in the ARCA race at Daytona Beach in 2010, Patrick`s first outing in a stock car [Motorsports Images & Archives]
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Following in second place is Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, affixes the winner’s decal to his car in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, lead the field prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 5, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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Bobby Gerhart, driver of the #85 Lucas Oil Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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