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Danica Patrick thrives on the big stage

Updated: February 23, 2013, 1:11 PM ET
By Brant James

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Danica Patrick was reclined in the chair of the work nook in her motor coach Sunday, projecting something between relaxed and coiled. Every few moments she pushed at her smartphone on the countertop.

Iconic team owner Richard Childress, who won six Sprint Cup championships with Dale Earnhardt, had predicted days earlier that Patrick would win the pole for the Daytona 500. That would be a very big deal, on many levels, for many people, especially Patrick as ...

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