Danica Patrick made her Nationwide Series debut on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, driving the JR Motorsports Go Daddy.com car.
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Patrick and her father shared a hug and a few words before what represented another landmark event in her racing career.
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Patrick was one of two women to start in Saturday's race. Chrissy Wallace hit the outside wall on the first lap and was knocked out of the race.
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"It's important to have realistic expectations," Patrick said. "There's going to be spikes in performance, I don't doubt that. But there's also going to be tough days. And today, I would say, was more of a tough day."
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Patrick finished sixth in last week's ARCA event at Daytona, and felt comfortable enough to move her NASCAR debut up a week to the Nationwide opener.
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Patrick trusted her spotter and her instincts to escape damage on a Lap 8 wreck involving Trevor Bayne and Mike Bliss.
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After not getting caught up in the wreck, Patrick said over her radio, "I don't know how I didn't, but I didn't."
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Patrick wasn't nearly as fortunate midway through the race, when she and 11 other cars were involved in the "big one" on Lap 68.
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The front end of her No. 7 Chevrolet was torn to shreds, turning her hopes for a dazzling debut into the worst three-letter acronym in the sport: DNF (did not finish).
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In summing up her day, Patrick said, " It's never fun when you crash up a perfectly good car and it wasn't your fault."
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Even with the race still going, the media converged on Patrick to get her thoughts about her day.
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Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car went airborne late in the race and slid on its roof before getting hit again and landing back on its tires.
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Earnhardt walked away from the crash unscathed.
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Tony Stewart won the race for the fifth time in six years.
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