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Danica Patrick’s pre-race PDA at the Daytona 500 made the start sweeter than the finish Instagram/@nascaronfox

It isn’t the way that Danica Patrick fans wanted to see their girl’s NASCAR career end when she careened across the track to collide with Chase Elliott and Kasey Kahne in a race-ending crash at the Daytona 500.

To be sure, it wasn’t the way Danica wanted it to end either, but at least it started out much sweeter.

All morning, we saw Danica in and out of the pits with her new fella, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and, like any couple in a relationship, they held hands, exchanged sweet smiles and were appropriately affectionate towards each other, while being mindful of those around them.

RELATEDDanica Patrick’s NASCAR career ends in a terrifying wreck

But when it came time for Danica to crawl into her No. 7 GoDaddy Chevrolet, it was also time for everybody to get serious, which meant gloves off with the PDA.

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It's "Bring an NFL MVP To Work Day."

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That means the big smooch, the kissola, the pucker up buttercup, the swapping of the proverbial spit.

OK, OK, in reality, Danica and her beau were still perfectly appropriate, but they did manage to exchange a sweet kiss before the petite brunette (who looks even more petite next to Aaron) slipped on her helmet and slid into her car.

A lot of times those kisses are for luck, but sadly, that wasn’t the case here after that crash on lap 101.

Following the race, Danica was quick to credit her team for pulling together her car and crew just a month before the race.

“The whole team did a really good job,” she said in an interview with FOX. “I know we pulled this together kind of not that long ago, a month ago, and that’s a tall order to get a car ready for a superspeedway that’s competitive, but it was. I said it earlier today, that I feel like the whole thing was picture perfect with GoDaddy on the car and being that green again, but it just wasn’t mean to be today.”

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She went on to say, “That’s the gamble about Daytona. It can go so well and it can go so awful. I’m grateful for everything. Thank you to all the fans.”

Now, Danica does still have one more race to go before she leaves the track for good. She’ll get behind the wheel of an Indy car for the Indianapolis 500 in May.

Best of luck to Danica in Indianapolis and to all of the drivers this season!

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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