Danica Patrick worked hard to get herself and her car ready for Bristol and said that it is one of her favorite tracks and a race she looks forward to every season.
Patrick drives the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing and has raced five times at Bristol in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Patrick recently talked about Bristol and how she felt about the track and the race in general.
“I’ve liked Bristol since I went there the first time. I remember when I set foot onto that track, it was the day before, it was load-in day and I looked out there and you’re standing on the straightaway, but it sure seems like a corner. It’s a very cool track and a spectacle for the fans. I feel like it’s always the one that everyone says, ‘I want to come see a Bristol race.’ It’s always entertaining there for the fans and, hopefully, we can put on another good show for them this week.”
— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) August 20, 2014
Patrick spent a lot of time testing the car to see how it would handle the recent rule changes and said that she was excited to try it out and see how it did during an actual race.
“I think there are two ends of the spectrum that work. There is the speedway style of racing flat out and there it is easy to drive, and we are bunched up. But I don’t think it’s fair to have all of our racing like that. I know it’s entertaining when we do go to speedways, but I think you need tracks that are all about getting your car really fast. The other end of it is when your car really slides around and moves around a lot, and tracks like Atlanta and Homestead, when you slide around, it creates opportunities for passing. We need to figure out how to get the cars to transition from the beginning to the end of the run because that is what is going to create passing. Making it easier to drive is going to make it like a speedway.”
Patrick had been gradually improving at Bristol. She finished 28th in March 2013 and then 26th last August. This past March, she finished 18th. She had hoped to continue to improve and place even closer to the top, but wasn’t able to make it happen.
The car wasn’t easy for Patrick to handle and while her crew attempted to fix the problems, the car continued to be inconsistent on corners. On lap 263, Patrick was tagged from behind by a fellow competitor and spun out in turn two to bring out the caution flag. Her car was not damaged, but it caused her to drop back to 35th place and she ended up finishing the race in 27th place.
“It was just a rough night,” Patrick said. “Our GoDaddy car just wasn’t that good from the beginning, and that kind of put us behind. The guys kept working on it with their adjustments, and they got it headed in the right direction, but it was just too late by that point. I think we all just did the best we could to hang in there, make the car better and try to make a good night out of it. It wasn’t the finish that we wanted, but we didn’t give up.”
She hopes to do better next Spring.