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“When she shows up, it just has a different feel to it. She’s a real dynamic individual to start with and I think it’ll be interesting to see her compete on the track. There’s certainly a spotlight, without a doubt, but she seems to do well with that. She seems to do well under pressure.”

Patrick said she’s prepared for the workload leading into the Daytona 500, and with the increased schedule in NASCAR. The IndyCar season was just 18 races; the Nationwide schedule is 33 races and next year, when she moves full time to the Sprint Cup Series, she’ll have races on 38 weekends.

Dabbling in the Nationwide Series the past two years has prepared her for what to expect.

“Back a few years ago, I definitely was concerned with the work load that NASCAR schedules bring,” she said. “But the last two years, I went from doing a 16-18 race season to about 30, and now it’s going to be about 34 or 35 weekends, so it’s really only an extra month worth of weekends so it’s much more tolerable than jumping from Indy Car to NASCAR in one jump.

“I’m very good when I know what’s coming. When I get surprised and things getting added on the schedule is when I get frustrated because expectation levels are everything for me.

“But not only from my perspective am I more comfortable now, but from my assistant’s perspective and the help she gets from Junior Motorsports and Stewart-Hass, I think we all have a much better picture of how to do everything and how to keep it in line and how to help (the media) do your job.”