SportsDash: Danica talks Daytona testing and more (VIDEO)

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With her second full-time Sprint Cup season approaching, Danica Patrick joined today’s edition of NBCSN’s “SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports” to talk about a variety of topics including the recent Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver was 10th-fastest in the lone day of Sprint Cup testing, Jan. 10, on the 2.5-mile oval, and altogether, she was pleased with what she’s taken away from the session.

“It was a nice little refresher – I hadn’t been in the car since the last race [of the 2013 season],” Patrick said on SportsDash. “I learned that my team built another good speedway car for me and that we were pretty good.”

While Patrick faces more challenges ahead in Year Two, she also has maintained optimism about what she can contribute to SHR.

And she may be a dark horse once again at the season-opening Daytona 500 next month. In last year’s Great American Race, Patrick threatened to win in the closing laps before finishing eighth.

Remember, you can watch SportsDash every weekday at Noon ET on NBCSN.

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

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Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

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