Patrick boosted by comments from top drivers

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Danica Patrick had a difficult finish to the Daytona 500, falling from third to eighth on the final lap.

Some kind words from her owner and the race winner made her feel a little better.

Patrick became the first woman to sit on the pole at the Daytona 500 and raced near the front all day, leading five laps. She only had Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in front of her on the final lap, but was passed by five cars before reaching the checkered flag.

Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, told Patrick after the race that she made good decisions at the end and couldn't have done much else. Johnson, who won his second Daytona 500 last Sunday, told her something similar after the race, too.


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