Danica Patrick optimistic about manufacturer switch

Danica Patrick meets with the media Tuesday during the 2017 NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Greg Engle)
Danica Patrick meets with the media Tuesday during the 2017 NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Greg Engle)
Danica Patrick meets with the media Tuesday during the 2017 NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Greg Engle)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Like Kurt Busch, teammate Danica Patrick is optimistic about the benefits that could accompany the switch to Ford.

In each of the last two years, Patrick has finished 24th in the final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, a career-best. The 2017 season will be her second with crew chief Billy Scott.

“Hopefully, there’s more room to improve now, so that’s kind of exciting to me,” Patrick said. “I’m optimistic, and hopeful it will be something that makes a difference. I think if you’re in the top 15 every weekend, then you do a little bit better and then you’re in the top 10 and then once you’re in the top 10 with good pit stops, good strategy and all the things that play into it – some of the new formats for the races can play into segment wins.

“I think it’s important to be realistic, so to tell you to go out and win races and segments is not something I necessarily think is going to happen right away, but we’ll assess. We’ll assess how strong we are as a team. A few years back we were really strong (with three top 10s in 2014), and I felt like that’s where I was running by the end of the year, was up in the top 15 and getting into the top 10, so hopefully we can get back to that and work from there.”

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