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Patrick back near home, ready for Sprint Cup run

Associated Press Modified: September 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm •  Published: September 14, 2012

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Danica Patrick is back in the Chicago area and looking forward to another Sprint Cup race at what is essentially her home track.

"It's good to be close to home. There's quite a few people coming out to the track. I have family members coming from Canada," she said Friday. "So, there's going to be a few people here. I just love Chicago. I love being in the city. I don't have a lot of happy feelings from last night's football game, but other than that it's good to be in Chicago."

Patrick grew up in Roscoe, about 116 miles from Chicagoland Speedway — hence the disappointment with the Bears' 23-10 loss to Green Bay on Thursday night. This will be Patrick's sixth Cup start this year in the No. 10 Chevrolet. She hasn't finished higher than 29th.

She's in 11th place in the Nationwide Series standings.

Patrick has raced nine times at Chicagoland — six times on the IndyCar Series. She finished 10th in a Nationwide race at the track in June 2011 and took 14th on that circuit at Chicagoland in July.

"I know it's going to be different in the Cup car for sure. Everything is more difficult in the Cup car," she said. "I think the weather will help. Six or so weeks ago, whenever we were here it was very hot. I think the cool weather will hopefully help with the grip and make things a little bit easier, a little less slippery and greasy. When I say that I guess I'm thinking of somewhere like Atlanta where it just gets really slippery and you're kind of fighting for grip."

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