Hot off of her 27th-place finish in the Irwin Tools Night Race last weekend at the Bristol Motor Speedway, Danica Patrick is now preparing for a big Labor Day weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Instead of one last 2014 cookout, Patrick will be entertaining NASCAR fans at this year's Oral-B USA 500.
The 325-lap event on the Atlanta Motor Speedway's 1.5-mile track is the 25th race in this year's Sprint Cup Series. Patrick considers the oval track one of the fastest in the series - and one of the most challenging.
“The first time I raced there was in 2012 and I did both Nationwide and (Sprint) Cup," said Patrick. "That seems like a long time ago and that was only my fifth Cup start, so I feel a little more confident and knowledgeable than I did then. It’s a fast place. The tires definitely go off with the surface and the line moves around a lot. It’s a big weekend with a lot going on for GoDaddy, Coke Zero, and Chevrolet, so there’s a lot off the track, as well. But I’m looking forward to it.”
Patrick drives the number 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet car for the Stewart-Haas Racing team.
— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) August 27, 2014
According to Patrick, she will be leaning heavily on her crew chief, Tony Gibson, during this weekend's race. Gibson logged two wins at the Atlanta Motor Speedway during the three years he was crew chief for Jeff Gordon.
Patrick finished 21st in last year's AdvoCare 500 race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Though disappointing, Patrick considers that race a "good" one and an overall improvement for her crew.
“I remember that we weren’t good in the first practice," said Patrick. "Tony Gibson and the guys worked really hard and we qualified well and then continued to get better throughout the weekend. It was a good race for us. It was a little tight at the end but, overall, we improved. The pit crew was really good and they were quick on each stop.”