NASCAR is like any other sport — it takes a lot of skill, and no shortage of good fortune.

Danica Patrick, fresh off a fourth-place finish in last Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona, still is looking for her first Cup race victory. And when speaking to reporters Tuesday at Daytona 500 media day, she said The Clash offered a challenging precursor to Sunday’s 59th running of the Daytona 500.

“As far as a realistic situation for the Daytona 500, I know we only had 17 cars out there (for the Clash),” Patrick said at Daytona 500 media day, via FOX Sports. “But it was also a good challenge because of so few cars to stay up in the mix. There were no slouches out there, that was for sure. It was an honor to be out there with so many great drivers, but my job is to mix it up with them and beat them.

As far as translating her success at The Clash into success at NASCAR’s signature race, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver said she needs to bring more than just great driving.

“So it was good practice for me, because they’re all great at what they do. And so, it was a good day,” Patrick said. “And you know what? At Daytona and Talladega, the superspeedways, you’ve got to be a little lucky — and I definitely got lucky a couple of times.”

After a difficult offseason that saw Patrick face sponsorship problems and questions of her relevance, a win at Daytona International Speedway would be just what the doctor ordered.

Patrick will be racing for starting position at the Daytona 500 when she competes in Thursday’s Can-Am Duels, which will determine positions 3 through 38 of the race.

Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images