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      Coming off best Sprint Cup finish, Danica Patrick makes stop in Syracuse

      Danica Patrick, the first woman to win the pole at the Daytona 500, made a stop in Syracuse on Tuesday as a part of the Healthy Mouth Movement.

      Patrick, who finished a career-best 7th place at Kansas Speedway last weekend, was smiling from ear-to-ear as she spoke about her passion of working with Syracuse-based Aspen Dental and their Healthy Mouth Movement. As she spoke, she stood in front of the state-of-the-art MouthMobile, a dentist's office on wheels.

      Aspen Dental partnered with Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families Tuesday to give veterans free dental care inside the MouthMobile, with Patrick escorting the first patient inside.

      Patrick started her relationship with Aspen Dental last fall, and says she's appreciated the passion they bring to their business.

      "To hear them talking about just how much they cared about their patients and how much they talked about the MouthMobile and the Healthy Mouth Movement, and just how important it was to them...they didn't even need to say it was important for me to understand how important it was just by their actions and their plans," Patrick said.

      This Saturday Aspen Dental offices across the state will offer a free day of service for those in dental need in the community. Dentists will focus on treating urgent dental needs of patients in the community. In order to make an appointment, call ahead at 844-229-0070. It's in conjunction with their Healthy Mouth Movement, which is a community giving initiative designed to deliver free dental care and oral health education to thousands of people in need in communities across the U.S.

      "At the end of the day I'm a girl, so you always want to look nice and have a nice smile, it's been something that's very important to me, there's nothing better than to open someone up and make them feel welcome by having a nice smile," Patrick said.

      And her smile was a bit bigger on Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot near Manley Field House, as she's coming off a Sprint Cup career-best finish of 7th place at Kansas Speedway last weekend. She said one of her biggest thrills was passing Jimmie Johnson, as she continues to build confidence during the rigorous Sprint Cup schedule.

      "The race in Kansas was awesome, we were able to put a whole weekend together as a team and qualified well, raced well, ran anywhere from 3rd to 13th all day long," Patrick said. "I think when you have weekends like that where you run really well all weekend you are grateful for them..and man, it just makes you want it more."

      Look for Patrick when she comes back to Central New York for the NASCAR Spring Cup Series at Watkins Glen on Sunday, August 10th.