Stewart Haas Racing’s Danica Patrick secured her best ever finish in the opening race of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the Advanced Auto Parts Clash At Daytona International Raceway.

Over the winter, Patrick’s team underwent some big changes. First of all, Stewart Haas Racing have moved from Chevrolet to Ford power with Danica driving the No.10 Ford Fusion for the entire Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season in 2017. Patrick’s season was thrown into doubt a number of months ago with the news that her primary sponsor Nature’s Bakery were pulling out of sport.

The company have been sued by SHR for breach of contract. Patrick has a new primary sponsor with Aspen Dental stepping in to fill the void left by Natures Bakery.

Patrick qualified for Sunday’s race in 12th place driving the No.10 TaxAct Ford Fusion and went on to finish the race which had been rain delayed from Saturday night in fourth place and in doing so she picked up her best ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series finish.

Danica, who is a big fan of the Daytona International Raceway said that the super speedway reminded her of her time in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Speaking to Fox Sports following the race she commented by saying:

We definitely had some luck on our side. “There were a couple of them spinning down below and it felt like a ‘Days of Thunder’ moment where you see the smoke, hold it wide open and hope you come out the other side. We did that a couple times. That’s the name of the game.

The Daytona 500, the premier race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes place next weekend and is an event that Patrick enjoys having secured pole position for the race in 2013.

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