3:28 PM EDT, July 2, 2014
NASCAR's Danica Patrick returns this weekend to the track where she arguably has the best opportunity to win her first Sprint Cup race: Daytona International Speedway.
The high-banked, 2.5-mile Daytona oval hosts its annual summer Cup race, the Coke Zero 400, on Saturday night.
Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama are the two tracks where NASCAR caps speeds for safety, resulting in the cars running in large packs and drafting with each other to gain positions.
And the tracks have been to Patrick's liking since she moved to NASCAR stock car racing from IndyCar racing.
Patrick, 32, won the pole position for last year's Daytona 500 -- the first woman ever to win a Cup pole -- and finished eighth in the race. In last year's Coke Zero 400, she started 11th and finished 14th.
"You just need to be in the right place at the right time" to win at Daytona, Patrick said in notes released by her team, Stewart-Haas Racing.
"A lot of it is out of your control," she said in reference to the drafting and the potential for multicar crashes at Daytona. "But I think we'll be good and hopefully have a car that can compete and win."
Patrick struggled in her rookie season last year with an average finish of 26th. Part of her problem was not qualifying well in her No. 10 Chevrolet; her average start was 30th among the 43 cars racing each week.
She's qualifying better this year; she's started in the top 15 in five of the last eight races. But her average finish is still a mediocre 25th and Patrick has only one top-10 finish this season, a seventh at Kansas Speedway in May.
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