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Danica Patrick Races With The Big Boys

Darlington Raceway (Getty Images)

The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series are running at Darlington Raceway this weekend. The Nationwide race is Friday night with the Sprint Cup race Saturday night.

Danica Patrick will make her second Sprint Cup start this weekend. She’s guaranteed a starting spot because her No. 10 Tommy Baldwin Racing team is currently 33rd in the owner point standings. David Reutimann’s 22nd-place finish at Talladega kept the team in the top-35. Her other start this year was at Daytona where she was in a crash on the second lap and wound up 38th.

Darlington, shaped like an egg, is one of the most challenging racetracks and most drivers earn what’s called a Darlington stripe when they hit the wall.

Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are back at Darlington after their brawl after last year’s race. The two of them bumped into each other a number of times in the late stages of the race, then they duked it out on pit road. NASCAR fined each of them a $25,000.

While Harvick and Busch were going at it, Regan Smith was celebrating in victory lane. It came down to a gamble on fuel and Smith was able to hold off Carl Edwards by 0.2 of a second for his first Sprint Cup win.

Smith recently tweeted he’d rather win the Southern 500 than win the lottery.

By the way, Dale Earnhardt, Junior’s winless streak is now 139 races. His last win was in the summer of 2008.

Eric McClure will sit out this week’s Nationwide race. He suffered a concussion and internal bruises after that nasty crash last weekend at Talladega. He was released from the hospital on Monday and will speak to the media Friday morning at Darlington.

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