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Could Danica Patrick Be The Hero NASCAR Needs? Here’s Why We Think So.

Very few people will dispute the fact that NASCAR is in a desperate need of a hero.

With Dale Earnhardt out of the cockpit, at least temporarily, and Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart sidelined for good, it’s time for someone to step up and change the tepid landscape that has defined this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup. With plenty of competition for people’s attention, NASCAR isn’t exactly leading the way when it comes to winning people’s hearts, compared to other sports.

Maybe a controversy or two will be a welcomed sight; it would at least return the spotlight back to the competition. Or maybe there’s something else that might restore the glory back to the Sprint Cup. Maybe the solution is staring us right in the face and we just can’t see it. I present to you: Danica Patrick, NASCAR’s savior.

With names like Kevin Harvick, Kurt and Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth all dominating talks of a possible first-place finish, Danica Patrick is certainly a dark horse. Although there is some substance to claims that she might actually impress, with little on-track finishes, Danica Patrick is more of a punchline than a serious candidate for a first-place finish.

Now, stats buffs will cite that in 150 career Sprint Cup starts, Patrick has never finished higher than 6th and has finished the race in the top-10 on only six occasions, which are numbers anyone would have a difficult time arguing against. But she’s also had quite a good run going for her in recent times, finishing 11th at Charlotte three weeks ago and being the fifth fastest at Martinsville Speedway on Friday.

It will be a career-defining weekend for Patrick, who will be looking to build some momentum that might see her provide some much-needed competition to the usual suspects. She’s already finished 7th at Martinsville before; beating that would be a step in the right direction. And with more top-20 finishes here than on any other track, it looks like this is the perfect place to do it.