After three of 33 Nationwide races, Danica Patrick is ranked at number 15, down 69 points from the leader. She has won just one pole position (no awards for this apart from pride) and finished the first three races in 30th, 21st and 12th, respectively. It is certainly not the worst record ever for starting the series. However, it is not what she expected a few weeks ago when she said that she's going to run for the Nationwide championship. Now she is retreating from those statements.
"I definitely feel like I want to do well for so many people," Patrick said even before the race last Saturday in Las Vegas to Nascar.com. "I think that I gave myself maybe a little bit of false expectation about running this year for the championship, and probably using those words 'for the championship.' It's my first-ever full year, and what I've done still doesn't add up to one year, and I didn't have anything before that at all in stock cars. I think I need to remind myself every now and again of really where the expectation level should be, and where mine should be.
And I can't let all of the exposure and hype and hope - I'm serious when I say 'hope' - I can't let that be something that makes me feel like I have to do well." Patrick's last IndyCar race, before she moved to NASCAR full-time, was last year in Las Vegas where Dan Wheldon sadly perished. "There won't be a time that I come to Las Vegas that I won't think about Dan, and I won't think about the family and hope that they're doing well," Patrick said. Photos courtesy of Harold Hinson Photography.