2014 Stats: Points Finish 28th, 0 Poles, 0 Wins, 0 Top Fives, 3 Top Tens, Average Running Position 23.4, Average Finish 23.7, Laps Led 15, Driver Rating 63.0
Strengths – Look for Danica Patrick to have her best days at restrictor plate tracks and high-speed intermediate tracks where the surface is relatively new.
Weaknesses – Short tracks, flat tracks and Talladega have more than often proven difficult for her. Another weakness is that a typical good day for her is a high-teens / low-twenties result. Compared to the competition that’s not up to par.
Track Type Fantasy ValueKey=Elite > High > Moderate >Low
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – Low
Intermediate tracks make up the core of the schedule and every once in a while Danica Patrick can sneak in a good result. As of this point in her career I think it’s safe to assume her best venues on this track type are high-speed intermediate tracks that have relatively new surface (Michigan and Kansas). At Michigan she’s finished in the teens in 3 of her 4 career starts. I view Kansas as a mini-Michigan and at that venue in spring 2014 she arguably had the best race of her career and finished 7th. In the fall race at Kansas she finished 16th. The one other intermediate track she experienced success at last season on this track type was Atlanta and at that venue she finished 6th, but don’t overlook her 16th place average running position and 17th best driver rating.
For the season on this track type she had a 20.9 average finish and scored the 23rd most points. A typical good day for her at these venues was a high-teens/ low twenties finish. Although I have her fantasy value ranked as low I would like to note her “personal fantasy value” at these venues is high because some of the best performances of her career have come on this track type. In 2013 at intermediate tracks she scored the 25th most points and had a 25.3 average finish.
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Flat Track Fantasy Value – Low
Flat tracks aren’t an area of strength for Danica Patrick. On this track type in 2014 she did not perform well and only had one top twenty finish and that result was a 19th place finish at New Hampshire in the fall. For the season on this track type she had a 29.7 average finish and scored the 32nd most points. The good news about her is that she improved at these venues. In 2013 she scored the 36th most points and had a 32.85 average finish.
Last season she performed better at the shorter flat tracks (New Hampshire and Phoenix) and finished in the top 22 in 3 of the 4 races. Her New Hampshire results were 19th and 22nd. Her Phoenix results were 22nd and 36th (accident).
For whatever reason the bigger flat tracks have been really rough. In four races at Pocono she has a best result of 29th and a 32.8 average finish. Indy is where she really earned her fame in Indy Series. In 2014 at that venue she had rear gear problems and finished 42nd. In 2013 at Indy she finished in 30th.
Short Track Fantasy Value – Low
Short tracks haven’t been friendly to Danica Patrick. In 2014 on this track type she had a 26.8 average finish and 26.5 average running position. In terms of points accumulated she scored the 31st most points. In 2013 on this track type she scored the 25th most points and had a 23.6 average finish.
The high-light of her season at short tracks was her 16th place finish at Richmond in the fall. In her other three career starts at Richmond she’s finished between 29th and 34th.
At Bristol in spring 2014 she earned her best result and finished 18th. In her four other Bristol races she finished between 26th and 29th.
At Martinsville in her first race she started in the back of the pack and finished 12th. Since that race she’s finished lower in every following event. Her last four Martinsville results were finishes of 17th, 32nd and 34th.
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Restrictor Plate Track Fantasy Value – Moderate
Danica Patrick’s best chance for success will come at restrictor plate tracks. Stewart-Haas Racing builds her fast cars for this track type and in the past she’s proven that if she can start up front, she can finish up front. Between the two plate tracks she’s performed better at Daytona. She’s raced there five times and minus her 2014 and 2012 Daytona 500 wrecks she has a 10.0 average finish. In summer 2014 at this venue she finished 8th. Her career high-light on this track type came in the 2013 Daytona 500 where she won the pole, earned the second best driver rating, led 5 laps and finished 8th.
Talladega has proven more challenging for her. In 2013 she finished 33rd in both races. In 2014 she showed improvement and came home with results of 19th and 22nd.
Road Course Track Fantasy Value – Low
Danica Patrick comes from an open wheel racing back ground but that doesn’t make her a road course ringer. In 2014 at road courses she scored the 20th most points and had a 19.5 average finish. Her 2014 results were 18th (Infineon) and 21st (Watkins Glen). In 2013 at these serpentine tracks she scored the 26th most points and had a 24.5 average finish. Despite her moderate improvement I would still say her fantasy value is low. In 2015 I really don’t see her performing any better at these venues.