Light bulb moment?

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 16: Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet, stands in the garage areaduring practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 16:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet, stands in the garage areaduring practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC – MAY 16: Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet, stands in the garage areaduring practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, NC – Those are those who have described Danica Patrick’s seventh-place run last Saturday night at Kansas Speedway as a possible breakthrough.

The driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet doesn’t see it that way. To Patrick, the most significant aspect of her performance was her ability to run wheel-to-wheel with the best drivers in the sport for the first time at an open-motor race track.

“It was a good weekend,” said Patrick, whose solid performances in practice and qualifying carried over into the race. “I feel like I’m feeling the car better and better, but I don’t think it was a ‘light switch’ for me. It was just a weekend that so many good things happened in the race, and we ran with such good cars and passed such good cars that, for me, it gives me confidence, for sure.

“Like I said, I’ve always believed I can do that, but when you’re head-to-head with guys like Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson and Dale Jr. … when you’re head-to-head with those guys, then it’s another story on its own.”

Patrick also appeared confident that more strong runs are in the offing.

“I think that if we keep doing what we’re doing and keep our heads down and not get flustered … not every single weekend is going to be like that for anyone, but we’ll have more of those, for sure.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.