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Danica 21st, but at least she finishes

Updated: March 3, 2012, 11:33 PM ET
By Brant James

The long slog from full-time competence to full-time competitiveness in the NASCAR Nationwide Series began for Danica Patrick on Saturday. Much of it likely seemed longer and more difficult than her adventuresome Speedweeks and Daytona 500.

Patrick, in the second race of her first full-time season in NASCAR's top developmental series, had a tough tutorial in wrangling an ill-handling race car around Phoenix International Raceway, starting 30th and finishing 21st, three laps down.

After ...

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