Danica lights the lamp at Blackhawks game

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She shoots, she scores.

Before making her way to Talladega Superspeedway, Sprint Cup rookie Danica Patrick was in the house at Chicago’s United Center for Game 1 of the Blackhawks’ quarterfinal series versus the Minnesota Wild — a game that the ‘Hawks took in overtime, 2-1.

But perhaps the home team wouldn’t have needed extra hockey to vanquish the Wild if Patrick had suited up on the ice. Because as it turns out, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver appears to have a decent wrist shot — and perhaps a touch of beginner’s luck — as she put the biscuit in the basket on her first try during the ‘Hawks “Shoot The Puck” promotion in the second intermission.

Meanwhile on the track, Patrick will be taking on some extra work this weekend at Talladega. She’ll be running the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday in addition to the Aaron’s 499 main event on Sunday. For the NNS race (her second of 2013), Patrick will drive the No. 34 Turner Scott Motorsports entry.

Considering her growing reputation as a threat on restrictor-plate tracks, this could prove to be a fruitful decision. Patrick finished 13th in last year’s NNS event at ‘Dega.

F1 2017 driver review: Esteban Ocon

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Esteban Ocon

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 31
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P5 (Spain, Mexico)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 87
Championship Position: 8th

A shining star in Mercedes’ junior programme, Esteban Ocon vaulted fellow youngster Pascal Wehrlein in the pecking order to secure a seat at Force India for 2017 – and boy, did he live up to the hype.

Ocon arrived at Force India with half a season of racing under his belt after his outings with Manor late in 2016, but wasted little time in settling in, scoring points on debut in Australia after winning a thrilling three-way fight with Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso.

The Frenchman spent much of the year close to teammate Sergio Perez – even if things did get a little too close in Canada, Baku and, finally, Spa, prompting the team to introduce team orders – and impressed the entire paddock with his displays.

While no podium was forthcoming, Ocon was often leading the midfield fight, enjoying three straight finishes ahead of Perez from Japan to Mexico. Given how well Perez is rated on-track in the paddock, to have convincingly beaten him in such fashion did a lot for Ocon’s reputation.

The term ‘Oconsistency’ also came into F1’s dictionary as he set a new record for consecutive finishes from his first race, with his retirement in Brazil ending the streak at 27 grands prix. It was also his first retirement in a single-seater race since the 2014 Macau Grand Prix.

The highlight moment arguably came at Monza, though, when Ocon stuck his Force India third on the grid through torrential rain in qualifying. While he would drop to P6 at the checkered flag, the display nevertheless cemented his place as one of F1’s rising stars.

Mercedes rates Ocon very highly, and with Valtteri Bottas’ future beyond 2018 already being questioned by the paddock, a good season could see the youngster move on up to the top table of F1 for 2019. His progression in the next 12 months will be fascinating to keep track of.

Season High: Lining up P3 on the grid at Monza after a rainy qualifying.

Season Low: Clashing with Perez in Baku, costing Force India a possible podium.