NASCAR: Danica Patrick says new Gen 6 car may be good for rookies image

Sprint Cup Series rookie Danica Patrick believes the new Gen 6 car is good for rookies as it levels the playing field.

“I think the new car is probably a positive for me. Everybody is starting off on a little bit more of a level playing field and – who knows – maybe this new car will play into my driving style better than the old one,” Patrick told reporters after the first session of Daytona 500 testing.

In the morning session, Patrick had a fast lap of 192.583 mph, third best behind Matt Kenseth and Marcos Ambrose while in the afternoon session, she posted a fast lap of 192.934 mph, ranking 7th among 34 drivers.

For Danica Patrick and the series, the new car represents a “clean sheet of paper”. However, she’s hoping this will give her an advantage. As word in the paddock is the Gen 6 car drives more like a Nationwide Series car than the old Cup car, Patrick can’t wait to see if that familiar feel will help her.

Last season she raced full-time in the Nationwide Series, recording four top-10 finishes and finishing 10th in the season points standings. She has 58 races of experience in a Nationwide car and only 10 Sprint Cup starts. In her final race of 2012, she finished 17th at Phoenix International Raceway.