Instead it was all business when Danica Patrick talked to the media Saturday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Daytona 500, her final scheduled NASCAR start. Bowman will be racing in the Daytona 500 for just the second time in his career.
A combination of qualifying on Sunday and the finishing order of the Duels heats on Thursday will determine the starting lineup for the 60th annual Daytona 500.
Patrick will have the comfort of being reunited with Tony Eury Jr., her 2010-12 crew chief with JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series.
Cope was the victor of the 1990 Daytona 500 and the 1990 Budweiser 500 at Dover, Delaware. In January the team signed Earnhardt to compete in this year's historic 60th running of the Daytona 500, and the rest of the season. "A couple of days ago I was thinking to myself that we should have run the backup auto in the (exhibition)". Stenhouse won two plate races last season, at Talladega in the spring and at Daytona in July.
SCR's recent Charter acquisition guarantees the team a position in the Great American Race, where it will showcase its partnership with VRX Simulators in the 00 Chevy Camaro. The driver simply turns the laps on qualifying day, and the fastest cars climb to the top.
Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was third fastest, rookie William Byron was fifth and Elliott was 10th in Hendrick engines. "I knew it was a special run at the 330-foot mark, and I even shut the vehicle off a bit early so we know we can improve upon those numbers at some point". I made the decision previous year that this is what I was good with.
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"I don't really watch a lot of racing when I'm still racing", Patrick said. "I know where everything is, it's very easy".
Penske Racing Ford's were impressive in the draft.
Of course, with the Daytona 500 still a week away things can change and Patrick admits that her feelings may differ by the time the February 18 race rolls around.
"Everything is the same as it was before as far as showing up to Daytona without having driven since Homestead, so that is no different", she said.