Danica Patrick crashed out of her NASCAR race on Saturday but it was not all bad news for the Irish American racer.

The expectation levels had gotten so high that she needed to bring them down a notch.

There is no question she is a huge star the stands were much fuller on Saturday, but she needs to learn her trade in NASCAR too "I remember my first year in IndyCar," she said, "where in the first couple of races I do really well, and everybody's like, 'Oh, my gosh, you should be winning!' And then it took a couple of years."

So it's important to have realistic expectations," she said. "There's going to be spikes in performance, I don't doubt that. But there's also going to be tough days. And today was, I would say, more a tough day."

"I wish I would have run up there at the beginning and felt comfortable," she said, "but I just didn't. And that just proves how hard it is out here, and how much there is to learn, and how good all these drivers really are."

She is good too, maybe good enough to one day really compete. But by lowering expectations she has bought herself something far more valuable -- time to learn the business.