Danica Patrick is looking forward to her stock car debut after enjoying her first official ARCA test last weekend at Daytona.
The IndyCar star successfully completed a three-day program, which she took as preparation for what will be her race debut in the series.
"Well I can finally say I have really run a stock car and that I enjoyed it even more that I thought I would! This is going to be a fun year!" she wrote on her Twitter page.
Patrick only completed four laps on Friday as rain almost washed out the day of running, posting the fifth fastest speed. On Saturday she was able to complete 69 laps – nearly the distance she is set to race in February – getting her first taste of running in the draft. The 27-year-old admitted to be surprised at how close she could run to other cars relative to her IndyCar experience, admitting it took some time for her to be able to run bumper to bumper.
"I guess you can run a lot closer than what I thought," Patrick said. "Two car lengths up above from my spotter is like on him for me. That's on him, you are on him in IndyCar. It was a little bit more challenging to get that last car length or get up on him.
"We even got to the point where they're like, 'Give him a little bump down the straight.' I was trying but I couldn't catch him. It's getting into that mode that you need to be right on him to take advantage of the situation and stay with the draft."
On Sunday Patrick completed another full day of running, making single-car runs and then drafting in the afternoon. The day went without incident for her despite a sticking throttle while running in the draft.
Overall, the IndyCar race winner was classified 14th fastest among a group of more than 60 drivers who set a time over the three days of running.
Patrick's crew chief Tony Eury Jr. was pleased with his driver's progress, but even more with her feedback given her lack of experience with a stock car.
"She's spot on," Eury said. "We can go back and look at the changes we've made and look at the data and its reading right what she's saying. She's got an awesome feel, she knows what is happening with the car and she relates it really well.
"She can feel shocks. There's very seldom that you find a driver who can really feel shocks the way she does, so that's always a plus when they've got that kind of feel."
Patrick will make her stock car race debut in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on Feb. 6 at Daytona International Speedway.