TALLADEGA, Ala. – Danica Patrick said she had positive vibes about boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s chances in Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, and not just because Stenhouse had won the pole during Saturday’s time trials.
But Patrick was otherwise occupied when Stenhouse took the checkered flag for the first time in his 158th start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“I was in the bus sitting and packing up, but I had a feeling all day,” Patrick said after congratulating her boyfriend in Victory Lane. “I mean, obviously, he qualified on the pole, but at the beginning of the race when he was leading (the first 13 laps), I was thinking he was either going to stay in the lead, or something bad might happen.
“But I got the feeling that it was just one of those days where he was going to make it happen. It’s a very good day.”
Patrick hasn’t won in 164 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, but she got her only IndyCar victory in her 50th start in the series.
“I can relate so well, and especially knowing how much success he has had before he came into the Cup Series,” Patrick said. “It’s that relief, like something you’ve been waiting for so long, and I think we both felt it coming in the last month at least. I’m just totally proud of him.”