By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
BRISTOL, Tenn. - Bristol Motor Speedway has such a larger-than-life reputation that Danica Patrick figured she ought to take a look at the .533-mile short track a day early.
Patrick arrived Thursday afternoon and toured the track in a pace car with Justin Allgaier, the winner of the 2010 spring Nationwide Series race at the track Mark Martin calls "the superspeedway of short tracks."
"You need to get out and drive the track, but I thought I'd better get out and see this place first, just to at least be able to sleep on the visual of it," Patrick said Friday after two Nationwide practice sessions at Thunder Valley. "No matter how many races you've seen on TV, or how many in-car cameras you've watched, it doesn't give you the real perspective and depth that you get when you're actually there.
"Justin Allgaier was nice enough to jump in the car with me. We didn't get to use the front straight, which means we didn't get to run for most of half a lap, but it was nice to be able to see it, and I think that sleeping on it again tonight will be even better for (Saturday)."