4 years ago510 views
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson swept the Budweiser Duel races Thursday night to give Hendrick Motorsports a 1-2-3 start for the Daytona 500. Jeff Gordon had already won the pole the season-opening race, and the rest of the field was locked in through the pair of 150-mile qualifying races.
Patrick was in the second race and needed to finish 15th or better to guarantee a spot Sunday. She was sitting pretty, too, until her second incident with Hamlin in two days damaged her car and put her in danger of missing the field.
Her Stewart-Haas Racing team worked frantically on rapid repairs and she restarted 18th with two laps to go. She was pushed all the way around Daytona International Speedway by teammate Kurt Busch to finish 10th and make the 500.
"There's a lot of stressing out. Obviously, for my team and everybody, but mostly for (sponsor) GoDaddy, it made me nervous, too," she said. "This is the biggest race of the year and they need to be in it."