DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) - Danica Patrick is ready to earn her stripes this weekend at Darlington Raceway.
Patrick will race in her second Sprint Cup event and first since the season-opening Daytona 500 when she competes in the Southern 500 on Saturday night.
She's excited, edgy and eager to test the quirky layout that even longtime NASCAR veterans like her boss, Tony Stewart, struggle to get around.
Patrick knows she'll quickly pick up her "Darlington stripe," the worn mark on the right side of a racer's car that comes from rubbing against the track's walls for 500 miles.
Patrick is competing in 10 Sprint Cup races this season for Stewart-Haas Racing. Patrick will race in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte two weeks later, then not be back until late August at Bristol.