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In wild finish, Danica Patrick emerges 17th

Updated: November 11, 2012, 9:52 PM ET
By Brant James

The 10th and final race of Danica Patrick's 2012 Sprint Cup tutorial ended with a fitting summation Sunday at Phoenix, not only of her season but also of the flying circus to which she will dedicate her professional life full-time beginning next year.

There were struggles, there was progress, and then there was smoke. Lots of it.

In the process, she finished 17th, her best result in 10 starts at NASCAR's highest level.

It seemed as if it would end well, ...

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