Danica Patrick looks forward to when she can be ‘stressed out’ in the Chase for the Sprint Cup


Like many of her fellow NASCAR drivers, Danica Patrick didn’t really know what to expect when the revised Chase for the Sprint Cup format was announced a year ago.

But as the 2014 season played out, particularly during the 10-race Chase, Patrick became a big fan of the format.

She especially loved the excitement, drama and the stress that the Chase drivers felt and went through during the four elimination rounds before a champ was crowned – which just happened to be Patrick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Kevin Harvick.

Appearing on Comcast SportsNet Chicago on Tuesday in a national video promotional tour for new sponsor TaxAct, Patrick would love to feel that Chase excitement, drama and stress herself.

“Hopefully I find myself in a position some day where I’m in that Chase format and I’m the one stressed out,” said Patrick, who grew up about 100 miles northwest of Chicago in tiny Roscoe, Illinois.

Patrick also is looking forward to the 2015 season with new crew chief Daniel Knost. The pair spent the last three races of last season together and has developed a synergy that should work well in the upcoming season.

Patrick especially likes that Knost, who spent the first 33 races of the 2014 Sprint Cup season as Kurt Busch’s crew chief, has an engineering background.

“I’m used to that from IndyCar,” Patrick told host David Kaplan. “The titles are different from IndyCar to NASCAR. … To have a crew chief that’s basically an engineer is much more of where I came from. … I think the sport is definitely getting more and more complicated.

“I think there’s a lot of potential for us and we’re going to have some learning to do with each other and how to work together best and get the most out of each other and the car, but I think there’s a real potential for us to have great finishes (in 2015).”

TaxAct will sponsor Patrick’s No. 10 SHR Chevrolet during the preseason Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway, as well as the spring race at Martinsville Speedway.

TaxAct will also be a secondary sponsor for Patrick’s effort in the season-opening Daytona 500 in a little over a month. To promote the new sponsorship, TaxAct is also sponsoring a contest where two lucky fans will be able to hang out with Danica at DIS during 500 weekend.

“Come see me, hang out with me and have an all-expense paid weekend,” Patrick said.

Fans can enter the contest by clicking here or going to TaxAct.com/Danica

By the way, you have to give Kaplan some points. When he told Patrick, who is now 32, that she still looks 24, she responded with a smile, a slight blush and a pumped fist.

“Awwww, thank you very much,” Patrick said.

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