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Danica Patrick makes history, makes progress

Updated: February 24, 2013, 10:33 PM ET
By Brant James

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR officials and local police had been ordering the gawkers from pit road for several minutes by the time actor James Franco screeched "drivers and Danica start your engines." The motor in her No. 10 Chevrolet had been rumbling for another few minutes as scores of fans lingered at her netted window, capturing photographs on everything from smartphones to tablets.

"I thought that was a hefty amount of people," she recalled.

It was, as characterized ...

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