So, let's go ahead and do this: Danica Patrick returns to the Nationwide Series this weekend at Michigan. How will she do? Well, chances are she won't win. Beyond that? Let's see.
So far, Patrick has run in five races but has a best finish of just 24th. Her average finish is 31.2, and she hasn't spent a whole lot of time on the lead lap.
"With limited track time, you just can’t keep up with the greats in the sport," Patrick said. "You also don’t want to get in their way."
The fulltime Izod Indy Car driver hasn't driven at Michigan in any car since 2007, when she led five laps and finished seventh in that season's Indy race. Her performance this year in open-wheel has been down slightly from 2009, raising questions about whether she's harming her chances in both series by double-dipping.
Saturday's CarFax 250 is the last Nationwide race Patrick is scheduled to run until Dover in late September. With that much time in between starts, and the obvious conclusion that NASCAR is far, far harder for her to master than almost anyone expected, you've got to wonder when, exactly, she'll make the call to go one way or the other exclusively.
- Danica Patrick
- Erin Andrews