Danica Patrick Takes Second In Texas, Silences Critics for Now

Debora RubiContributor IJune 8, 2010

FORT WORTH, TX - JUNE 05:  Ryan Briscoe of Australia, driver of the #6 Team Penske Dallara Honda, leads Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 Team Godaddy.com Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda, during the IZOD IndyCar Series Firestone 550k at Texas Motor Speedway June 5, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

There was no booing coming from the stands in Texas when Danica Patrick exited her car.

In one of the most complete races of her career, Patrick came just short of earning her second IndyCar victory at IndyCar Series Firestone 550k at Texas Motor Speedway.

She finished second after Ryan Briscoe.

It is the first legitimate time all season that Patrick has gained recognition for her racing skills rather than her temper or lackluster results.

Indy 500

A week after being booed at the start of the Indy500 (where she finished sixth), Danica Patrick was allowed to speak through her actions rather than words.

Patrick had been coming off a tough couple of weeks after qualifying in the 24th spot for the historic race in Indianapolis. 

Even within the race, though, Patrick's other side came out as she rallied late in the race to finish in the top 10.

Before the race, Danica's racing team was changed, hoping to change her bad fortunes in the NASCAR and IndyCar circuits.

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Patrick replaced her old race strategist, Tom Anderson, with Paul 'Ziggy' Harcus. It was Harcus that helped Patrick maneuver from her 24th pole position to finish in sixth place.

Stealing the Show in Texas

Even though she didn't win the race, all eyes were on Danica Patrick in the Texas Motor Speedway. 

In the 192nd lap, Danica took the lead. It's the first lap she's led all season. Patrick and Briscoe were then wheel to wheel until the end. 

Patrick credited her success to not only the new strategy, but also the new car she was given for the race.

Patrick now has two successful races in a row and one of the most successful of her career coming at Texas. 

If Patrick can string a couple of more outings like this one together, she will undoubtedly get her second IndyCar victory soon.

Juggling NASCAR and IndyCar

Patrick's rhythm risks being thwarted come June 20, when she begins again alternating between NASCAR and IndyCar races.

After her race in Iowa on June 20, Danica will have four NASCAR races while the Indy Car season is still going. 

After IndyCar ends on October 2, Patrick will race another six times for a total of 13 races in the NASCAR circuit.

Racing two different cars through two very diverse strategies may keep Patrick from having the stability she needs to be truly successful.

Hopefully Patrick has silenced her critics for good, but it's going to take consistent racing on both circuits to keep the critics at bay.

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