Report Card for Danica Patrick's 2013 Daytona 500

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Report Card for Danica Patrick's 2013 Daytona 500
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Even though there likely were some who expected her to fail miserably, Danica Patrick couldn't have performed much better than she did in Sunday's Daytona 500.

Patrick dealt quietly and professionally with all the distractions she had to endure during Speedweeks, from being the first woman to ever win a Sprint Cup pole (as well as the first female to take the green flag from the front row at Daytona), to showing the pole was not a fluke.

More than anything, Patrick proved she belongs in the Sprint Cup Series. It's like the way Frank Sinatra sang about New York: If you can make it in Daytona, you can pretty much make it and succeed anywhere else in NASCAR.

As we close the final pages on Daytona and look ahead to the second race of the season this Sunday in Phoenix (where Patrick lives), let's grade her overall performance in the Great American Race.

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