On Sunday, Patrick will make her ninth career start in the Sprint Cup on her first weekend with new crew chief Tony Gibson. The pair will have two Cup races this year to prepare for next season together.
“These two races will be crucial in gaining a head start,” Gibson said. “So over the winter we can make plans and do some testing and get further down the road for us. She has the capability of winning races. She's a winner, so we don't have to teach her how to win.
“We just have to make sure that our team is solid and can comfort her and give her the things she needs to win in the Cup Series.”
NEWMAN IN NATIONWIDE
Ryan Newman was among 11 Sprint Cup full-timers driving in the Nationwide race Saturday night, but Newman isn't a regular double-dipper.
This was his second Nationwide appearance since October 2010. As the ninth different driver to pilot the No. 30 Chevrolet this season, he finished 19th.
SUPPORT FOR SANDY VICTIMS CRASHES NASCAR SITE
In support of victims of Hurricane Sandy, NASCAR set up a website on its community service page, NASCAR.com/Unites, to raise funds for relief efforts.
The storm impacted people from the New England area down to North Carolina, where many NASCAR organizations are housed. Supporters overwhelmed the donation page after it opened, briefly causing the website to crash.