Tucsonan Alex Bowman wins Daytona 500 Pole

Doug Mendoza
February 12, 2018

Of course, with the Daytona 500 still a week away things can change and Patrick admits that her feelings may differ by the time the February 18 race rolls around.

Leading Patrick's team is crew chief Tony Eury Jr., who has previous experience working with Patrick when he filled the same role for 51 Xfinity Series races from 2010-2012.

Bowman won the pole for "The Great American Race" in his debut as the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet, piloted until last season by NASCAR rock star Dale Earnhardt Jr. "That to be honest is and will be the most critical element to come together for this program was having him".

"There was no time to really worry too much about anything other than the primary (car)", Patrick said. "It's a dream come true to drive for Hendrick Motorsports". Bowman will be racing in the Daytona 500 for just the second time in his career.

"A couple of days ago I was thinking to myself that we should have run the backup auto in the Clash", said Patrick, who had made four consecutive starts in The Clash with a best finish of fourth past year.

"I really hope that I finish and that I'm hopefully in contention", she said.

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Not long after the season ended, Patrick provided a glimpse into what her post-racing career could look like.

She asked GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons if he had interest in sponsoring her again.

"It should all be familiar, but it's a new team, and it is new stuff to sit in", she said. Right? That's how I feel.

A sponsorship deal with GoDaddy to close her racing career with Daytona and the Indianapolis 500 was announced last month and was followed by confirmation of Premium Motorsports as the NASCAR team fielding her vehicle.

She found the same comfort in getting back to her motorhome, where she will be joined this weekend by her sister, two nieces and the two dogs she shared with Stenhouse. "It always has", Patrick said. She and Stenhouse split shortly after she released her book, began dating Rodgers and is now in Daytona for her NASCAR finale. "I mean, obviously, I was in 38 of them or 37 or sometimes 36 [in a season], but I'm sure I will watch some of it when it's somewhat convenient or when it's a big one".

"It's only the normal amount of weird that one can imagine in this situation", she said.

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