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Danica Patrick finds some speed at Daytona testing

Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013

After a slow start, Danica Patrick completed her first full Sprint Cup Series test on a high note.

Although only 21 teams stuck around for Saturday’s final day of testing at Daytona International Speedway, Patrick continued to show she had a fast No. 10 Chevrolet in single-car runs.

She was fastest on the speed chart for most of Saturday morning’s session, until Matt Kenseth and Trevor Bayne supplanted her just before noon. Kenseth’s speed was 194.062 mph, Bayne’s was 193.686 mph and Patrick’s was 193.648 mph.

She had been consistently fast since her team fixed a problem with the drive shaft on her car on Thursday morning which left her the slowest on the speed chart.

“It’s nice to know that the speed is there,” she said.

Patrick struggled last season during most of her 10-race Cup schedule but a crew chief change late in the year brought some improvement which she hopes will continue.

“It’s important to have good energy together, understand each other well and work well together. I feel like the switch over to Tony Gibson (as crew chief) and his team at the end of last season for the last two races was a really good change,” she said.

“I feel like I really saw some potential in having a good year this year. There will undoubtedly be really tough days. I know the areas that we need to work on.”