Danica Patrick came into the public eye in a big way in 2005 and her historic run in the Indianapolis 500 that year started a chain of events that are still playing out today. One of the most notable being her partnership with GoDaddy.
GoDaddy joined Patrick as an associate sponsor on her car in 2007 after founder Bob Parsons watched her make history in 2005. By 2010, GoDaddy was the primary sponsor on the No.7 IndyCar and accompanied Patrick as she ventured into the NASCAR world as well.
For two seasons, Patrick ran the full IndyCar Series schedule plus a handful of NASCAR Nationwide Series races, all with sponsorship from GoDaddy. When she made the decision to move to NASCAR full time in 2012, GoDaddy was on board.
Let’s jump to present day 2013. Patrick is wrapping up her Rookie season in NASCARs top series. Kicking off the season by becoming the first woman to sit on the pole for the Daytona 500, Patrick brought GoDaddy into the spotlight for weeks leading up to and following the race. Since then, her season has been filled with mixed results leaving critics to wonder if GoDaddy would be sticking around, especially under new management.
Just a few months ago, new GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving was quoted as saying their partnership with Patrick with Patrick would last an “awful, awful long time.” For Irving, it doesn’t matter whether or not Patrick performs on track right away, what he sees stemming from their partnership is worth the buildup.
“She’s good for us, and we’re a good match,” he said. “She represents our customers well. She’s GoDaddy to a large degree. Honestly it doesn’t matter. I am on Twitter, I am on Facebook, I read the blogs and she gets assailed … and who cares? She is still a magnificent driver, and she is getting as much done as she possibly can.”
Parsons saw that in Patrick right away. He saw the potential to grow his business and grow her fan base. In an economy where sponsorship is hard to come by, having a committed sponsor like GoDaddy is rare and that is something that Patrick realizes and takes to heart.
“I know how important it is to take care of them,” Patrick said. “I know how important it is to do what they want and give them what they want. I know how valuable they are and how easily it can go away, so I guess all I’m saying is, I’m not naive enough to think that I don’t have to do anything to keep it around. You need to work with them and you need to give them value, and the best thing that can happen for me is the company I am with grows. If they grow and I am a part of the program, then I am guilty by association. Forget if I am responsible for any of it. I’m with them. And that’s important.”
Patrick is one of racing’s most recognizable figures and is recognized by millions of people with no ties to the motorsports world. Seeing her with the GoDaddy logo is like seeing Jimmie Johnson with Lowe’s, they’re are inseparable. Her Rookie season may not have met expectation of fans and critics, but for GoDaddy, 2013 was a success. Irving has witnessed what Parsons knew from the start. When it comes to Danica Patrick and GoDaddy, as Irving says, “She’s awesome for us.”
It may not have been another top-15 finish like her first appearance in Martinsville but Danica Patrick earned her seventh top-20 finish of the season.
After slapping the wall and having to go to a backup car, Patrick and the team struggled in qualifying leaving her starting in the back of the field. Rallying back from a lap down, Patrick fought her way through the field and ran as high as tenth before a long green flag run at the end of the race dropped her back. She finished one lap down as race winner Jeff Gordon passed her to take the checkers at the start/finish line.
“I’m really proud of what our GoDaddy team accomplished today,” said Patrick, who finished 12th in her first start at Martinsville. “For pulling out the backup car on Friday and having to start so far back in the field, it was a really good run. We started in the back and made our way through, and we didn’t have quite the car that we had here in the spring, but we got a similar result and that’s something I’m proud of.
“The guys did a great job in the pits. They were on their game each stop. Our adjustments were good all day. It was just a really solid day for our team, and that’s what we want to do these next few races and end our season on a strong note. Today was the last race for our pink car. I’m really proud that we were able to give GoDaddy and .ORG a good run because I’m very proud of what they do to help promote breast cancer awareness, and I’ve been honored to help them with that through the month of October.”
If it wasn’t for her team in the pits and in the garage, her results may have been much different.
“I’m really proud of all the hard work from everyone on the GoDaddy team all weekend,” said crew chief Tony Gibson. “We got behind the 8-ball from Friday, but nobody gave up. I have to thank the road crew and everyone at Stewart-Haas because after the wreck on Friday, they all went to work. The guys at the shop put together a third car for us just in case, and I really appreciate their dedication. It was just a real team effort. I’m proud of what Danica did on the track today. She drove a smart race. And I’m proud of what our pit crew did in the pits.”
With only three races left in the season, the GoDaddy team are gearing up for 2014. In a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, Patrick said her team as been trying new setups and experimenting for next year.
Making her third start at Texas in the Sprint Cup Series, Patrick has finished 24th and 28th respectively. Qualifying 30th for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, Patrick and the team hope to make up ground quickly.
“I think, more than anything with Texas, it’s the fact it’s a really high-banked, fast track and those are the kinds of tracks I’ve liked the most,” Patrick said in a press release on DanicaRacing.com “I feel that load in the corner and you’re able to carry so much speed through there because of that banking. I feel like it translates more to a feeling I was familiar with from Indy cars. So, I like going to Texas.”
GoDaddy announced this week that they will once again have two 30-second commercial spots in the 2014 Super Bowl and at least one of them will feature Patrick, who has been in more Super Bowl commercials than any other celebrity. No date for shooting or information about the commercial has been released at this time.
Talladega was supposed to be Danica Patrick’s change to shine after weeks of less than stellar finishes. What was looking to be another possible top-10 finish was flushed down the drain after a miscommunication over the radio left her one lap down and in 33rd position.
Patrick started the race mid-pack after qualifying was rained out. Jumping in behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., Patrick quickly made her way towards her plate track comfort zone, the front of the pack. With few caution flags, the race had multiple green-flag pit stops and at a track like Talladega, green-flag stops means that the lead pack has to all pit together.
Green-flag pit stops means that the crew chiefs and spotters need to coordinate with each other as to when to pit in order to all stay with the lead draft. On lap 161, Patrick was in the middle of the draft on the high side of the racetrack when several of the lead cars began to slow and head to pit road exiting turn four. From the high side of the racetrack, Patrick attempted to get down to the bottom lane and slow to the 55-mph pit road speed mandated by NASCAR.
Just moments before, Patrick’s spotter had relayed that they would be pitting with the leaders on two laps, misinformation that cost Patrick a strong run. Patrick overshot pit road, slid through the grass and missed her pit stall. The error forced her to make another lap before pitting, and then Patrick had to serve a drive-through penalty as her initial entry onto pit road was faster than 55 mph.
“We just didn’t communicate well on that final pit stop,” Patrick said in a comment on DanicaRacing.com. “We were on the high side and couldn’t get down to where we needed to be to pit. We were trying to pit with the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and the 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.). I know it’s a challenge for the spotters – you’re trying to work with other spotters on when to pit and obviously keep track of the on-track stuff. It’s a lot, and it’s happening fast. You have a split-second to make a decision, and we should have made another lap. We weren’t where we needed to be. You need to be on the bottom when you’re pitting, and we didn’t do that. We’ll discuss it and learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s disappointing, and none of us feel good about it. You win as a team and lose as a team. It’s tough for everybody. The GoDaddy guys gave me a great car.”
This weekend, the series kicks off the final 4-week stretch of the season at Martinsville Speedway. Patrick shocked the racing world earlier this season when she rallied back from two laps down in the spring race to finish 12th in her first start at the track. Going from the biggest track on the circuit to the smallest could pose a problem.
“Two extremes going from Talladega to the short track. I had a great car in the spring at Martinsville…” Patrick said. “It’s a short track and those leaders are on you very quickly if you don’t have a good qualifying run. Qualify better and let it play out from there. Having never been at Martinsville before, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that it was going to be a little bit crazy. I think you take what the car gives you. Tony Gibson (crew chief) has a really good track record there. People talk about the race result but a lot of the time forget that we spun early and were two laps down at one point in time. So, I feel like that’s almost one of the things I’m most proud of is coming back from two laps down to being on the lead lap and then grabbing a 12th place at the end.”
During first practice Friday at Martinsville, Patrick wheel-hopped her pink No.10 GoDaddy Chevy and crushed her left-rear quarter panel. The team brought out the backup car and got her back on track before the end of practice.
Danica Patrick with representatives from Aspen Dental unavailing her new 2014 paint scheme for Las Vegas and Atlanta 2014; Photo Credit: Alan Covanna
The Bank of America 500 wasn’t the most exciting race of the season. With long green flag runs and no carnage, it made for a long race with an exciting finish.
For Danica Patrick, the race started off with pit road issues when Paul Menard collided with her left rear, spinning her backwards into her pit box. Her team changed her right side tires before turning her around and sending her back onto the track to then pit for left sides. Besides the debacle on pit road, Patrick’s day was spent working her way up though the field.
Although she had a fast racecar, the long green-flag runs and lack of cautions made it impossible to make up track position but Patrick finished a respectable 20th.
“We didn’t have a great starting spot with our GoDaddy Chevy, and as always at these mile-and-a-halfs, track position is really important…”Patrick said. “All we needed really was track position and more yellows so we could get back on the lead lap. The team did a really great job of working through practices, and my pit crew did an awesome job of getting me out in record time. I’m just really proud of this team because we made improvements all night, and I’m glad that we were able to have a solid run with this pink car and help GoDaddy and .ORG promote breast cancer awareness this month. I think in the end, we just needed track position.”
This weekend, the series heads to the Super Speedway known as Talladega and its no secret that Danica Patrick is excited for this race. In the first race of the season, Patrick rewrote history when she became the first woman to sit on the pole for the Daytona 500. Talladega, Daytona’s sister track, is just as fast and plays well into Patrick’s skill-set.
“I feel more comfortable,” she said in a press release. “I felt really comfortable at Daytona, in general, but I think I’m realizing how important it is throughout the race to try things and practice taking runs and things like that and being a little bit more brave without worrying about what happens as a result, And knowing that, as long as you don’t lose the draft, you can be set up for the end of the race.”
Looking ahead to 2014, Stewart-Haas Racing and Danica Patrick have a new primary sponsor for at least two races next season. Aspen Dental, who sponsored Ryan Newman this season, will move over to the No.10 Chevy for the Las Vegas and Atlanta races next season.
“The addition of a new partner to the No. 10 Chevrolet is a big milestone for me, and I feel fortunate to have Aspen Dental join GoDaddy beginning in 2014,” Patrick said in a press conference earlier today. “I was in Syracuse a few weeks ago to meet the Aspen team and was impressed by their commitment to making sure people have access to quality oral health care. I’m proud to team up with Aspen Dental and shine a spotlight on a part of health care that doesn’t get a lot of attention.”
Aspen Dental has been with NASCAR for many years, and is currently sponsoring the No.39 of Ryan Newman. President and CEO of Aspen Dental Bob Fontana is excited to continue with SHR and looking forward to bringing in Patrick as their new spokeswomen.
“We’ve been proud to be a part of the Stewart-Haas Racing family for the past two years and are thrilled to team up with Danica,” said Bob Fontana “As part of our mission to give America a healthy mouth, we’re dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of oral health care, and Danica’s connection with racing fans will help us turn up the volume on that conversation.”
GoDaddy.com will continue to be the primary sponsor for the remaining 36 races in 2014.
When looking at practice speeds and lap times, it looked like Kansas was going to be a much needed top-20 finish for Danica Patrick but instead, it resulted in her worst finish this season.
Patrick took to Kansas Speedway for the third time last weekend and by Saturday afternoon, her lap times were close those in the top-15. The entire tea, was ready and excited for a possible top-20 finish but unfortunately, that didn’t quite happen. On the first turn of lap 1, Patrick went to the middle of the racetrack, her safe spot, but with the drastic drop in temperatures her car didn’t stick. Her back end took off and she slid up into the wall, ending her day.
In an interview after the mandatory ride to the care center, she spoke highly of her team and was disappointed in herself.
“I knew that, going into the race based on practice and everything we’ve seen from practice in Cup to the Nationwide race, losing grip was going to be not that hard to do,” Patrick said. “And I had enough momentum to go to the middle because I got a run on the car in front of me but I had to wait past the start-finish line. I lifted going into turn one and all I can say is that, you know, I didn’t try and do anything. I just found myself sideways in the middle of the corner and that was it.
“It’s just a shame because it always seems to be the case (on) those weekends when things start to be going better and I’ve had lots of people say, ‘You looked good in practice yesterday,’ and felt a lot better and (crew chief, Tony) Gibson did a great job and the crew did a good job. And I have an awesome pit road crew. I knew we were going to have a good day there. Things just go wrong. And days when you’re not fast, it seems like those aren’t the days that you get the bad luck. I don’t know. If I did something wrong, I apologize to everybody on my team and GoDaddy. It’s a shame.”
The series moves on to the fifth Chase race at their home track in Charlotte. Although it isn’t necessarily a home track for Patrick, having her crew close to their families can pay off greatly this weekend.
“I like Charlotte. It’s really nice for the crews because it’s a home race for them. They get to sleep in their own bed and a lot of their family and friends are there. So you want to give them a good performance,” she said.
With all of the festivities that come along with a race at Charlotte, Patrick will have her fair share of extra activities this weekend. With her hot pink car and firesuit for the month of October, it’s pretty easy to spot her out on the track.
Patrick will start 35th for tomorrow night’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
This week, I am taking “Earning Her Stripes” on the road and onto the track at Kansas Speedway!
Last weekend, the Monster Mile surely wasn’t nice to Patrick. After going a lap down after just 30 laps complete, her frustration seemed to get the best of her on the radio and out on the track. Apologizing to her team at the end, Dover is one of those races that Patrick would rather forget.
A few weeks ago, Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. joined country music artist Colt Ford as he filmed a music video for his latest single, “Drivin’ Around Song.” The video, shot in Mooresville, North Carolina, was released this week. Click here to watch!
This week, Patrick is back at Kansas Speedway for the third time. Sporting some new colors during the month of October, Patrick and GoDaddy are bringing awareness to breast cancer research by trading the neon green for florescent pink. GoDaddy will also donate $50,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Kicking off the weekend Thursday at Kansas Speedway, Patrick and the rest of the Sprint Cup Series drivers took part in a test session, trying out a new tire for the race weekend.
Friday was filled with practice sessions and qualifying. Finishing practice session 1 in P23, Patrick ran 14 laps with a top speed of 182.97. Qualifying later in the afternoon, Patrick placed the GoDaddy Chevrolet P29 with a speed of 182.039. Patrick’s significant other, and Rookie of the Year competitor will be starting 2nd next to Pole winner Kevin Harvick.
A solid top-20 finish was what Danica Patrick and the GoDaddy team were hoping for at Loudon, New Hampshire. Unfortunately, they came up just short.
Patrick and her team ran a great race last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but a last race restart bumped her from 17th, to 27st, where she would later finish.
“I’m not sure if I got hit or just got really loose on the last restart,” said Patrick after the race. “The car just went sideways, and I lost a ton of spots. It’s disappointing. It’s something to learn from and put in the notebook for next time. The car just never felt ‘in’ the track today. It wasn’t for a lack of effort by the Tony Gibson and the guys, but it just wasn’t quite were we needed it to be. We took two tires on the last stop, but that last restart hurt us and we lost a lot of spots. It’s disappointing, but we’ll move on.”
After looking back at the replay of Patrick’s in-car camera, she was tapped from behind on the last restart, causing her car to get loose. Patrick’s significant other and fellow Rookie driver, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, finished just two spots ahead of her in 25th.
This weekend, Patrick is going on a date with Miles, the monster that is. Taking on the 1-mile oval track that is Dover International Speedway, Patrick and the rest of the drivers will be competing on concrete for the last time in 2013.
For the most part, concrete treats Patrick pretty well. She was running in the top-20 in her first Bristol Night Race before getting punted into the inside wall with just a handful of laps to go. This weekend will mark her third trip to Dover in the Cup series.
“I look through notes at what the feel was from the time before,” she said in preparing for this weekend. “Every weekend is its own weekend and sometimes I feel like it’s nice almost to come in a little bit fresh, too, and not have any preconceived ideas.”
“I like to make notes from the races because there are so many that are similar; you almost can’t remember what you’re supposed to do,” she said. “There are tiny, little things about a track that are helpful to remember – just where the grip is and bumps and certain things. There’s general feel, like do you drive flat into the corner or do you lift early – just little things that help you get your rhythm quicker. That’s about all I do.”
In general, Patrick likes Dover. It’s a fast track that is similar to Bristol and if you have a good car, it can lead to some great results.
A top-20 finish was just what Danica Patrick and the GoDaddy.com team needed to kick off the final ten races of the season.
After a long, rain delayed race, almost seven hours total, the race finally ended well into the night in Chicago last Sunday. An hour and a half delay at the start of the race due to a misty Chicago left the drivers and teams hoping and praying that they could get the race at least to the halfway point before more rain hit. Unfortunately, they didn’t quite make it there. On lap 108, just shy of the halfway point, the rain hit and hit hard. The teams and drivers, along with the fans in the stands, scattered for shelter. Crewmen were seen napping in the garage and some drivers even made a trip to Sonic for some mid-race food. When the race finally resumed, over five hours later, the cars were suddenly racing under the lights.
Patrick, who started the race in 26th, drove a great race and ran as high as 16th before coming home 20th and on the lead lap.
“We weren’t the fastest car out there, but we were decent and relatively consistent,” Patrick said in a press release, “The cars are getting better, and I’m learning things. It’s going in the right direction. I’d like it to go further, but I’ll take any progress. Overall, it was a good night for the GoDaddy team. The pit crew was great once again, and it was a positive night for us.”
Patrick’s week was full of excitement as she announced that she would be co-hosting an awards show in December. The 4th annual American Country Awards will air on FOX on December 10th and Patrick will join the shows original host, Trace Adkins. Adkins, who stands six and a half feet tall, is excited to be working with Patrick.
“I can’t wait to see if I have what it takes to keep up with this racing superstar,” said Adkins.
Patrick, who, in years past has expressed her dislike for country music, now finds herself listening and singing along to country’s top artists more and more.
“I’m so excited to host the AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS with Trace Adkins,” Patrick said. “I have no doubt he’ll be able to keep up with me. I’ve become a huge fan of country music since I came to NASCAR and have been fortunate to be in videos with Miranda Lambert and Colt Ford. This is going to be a really cool experience and I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s going to be a great show!”
As far as her new love for the genre, Patrick has Ricky Stenhouse Jr and NASCAR to thank for that.
“It really started when I got to NASCAR. I started picking up on it,” Patrick said. “I got asked to be in Miranda Lambert’s video, Fastest Girl in Town, and I bought her album and the Pistol Annie album and started listening. Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) has certainly helped my country music education, as well. I like the music and have had the opportunity to meet a lot of country artists, so it’s been fun. Ricky and I actually shot a video with Colt Ford a couple of weeks ago. I still like Pearl Jam and Alanis (Morissette), but I’m a huge country fan, now.”
Although she will soon add “Awards Show Host” to her long resume, Patrick still has nine more races to go before the end of the season. This weekend, the series takes on New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the second time. In her first Sprint Cup Series start at the track, Patrick’s day ended early when she was involved in a wreck on lap 237.
After qualifying 21st on Friday, Patrick and the team are hoping for another top-20 finish this weekend. Tune in to the Sylvania 300 on Sunday at 2:00PM EST on ESPN.
Despite all of the chaos and controversy that came out of last weekends race at Richmond International Raceway, Patrick and her GoDaddy team would rather forget that race ever took place.
Patrick started 36th and finished 30th in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at RIR on Sunday and struggled to gain positions throughout the race. The team, despite their hard efforts, just couldn’t get the car to handle quite right.
“It just wasn’t our night,” said Patrick, who made her 36th Sprint Cup start and her second at Richmond. “We just didn’t get it right. Tony Gibson (crew chief) and the GoDaddy guys never gave up and worked hard all weekend. There are nights that you just know it’s not going to go your way, and this was one of those nights. We’ve been making gains in recent weeks, but tonight was tough. The important thing is for me and the guys to forget about it and move onto Chicago and look to get better.”
This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway for the first race in the Chase and for Patrick, it’s sort of a homecoming for her. She grew up just a few hours from the city in a town called Roscoe where she attended high school with another familiar name in motorsports, Nicole Briscoe. Two years her senior, Briscoe and Patrick were never great friends, but having the two of them cross paths years later in NASCAR makes for a pretty interesting story.
“I’ve always loved going to Chicago. I love the city – it’s just a great place,” Patrick said in a press release on her website. “There’s so much to do and the restaurants, the shopping – it’s just a world-class city. I think the race will be good. It’s a busy week for us testing out in Phoenix for Goodyear on Tuesday and Wednesday and then heading to Chicagoland. I’ve always liked the track and we’ve been getting better at the intermediate tracks in recent weeks, especially in qualifying. So, I’m looking forward to it.”
Qualifying has always been a struggle for Patrick in stock cars with her average starting spot being 30.5. The cars too the track on Friday for qualifying and she put the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet mid-pack, starting 23rd.
With Chicagoland Speedway being one of Patrick’s home tracks (she also calls Phoenix home), she will also have some family and friends there this weekend to see her race.
“It will be nice to have family and friends out. It’s a little different because I rarely have people at the races with me. It’s nice to see everyone and have their support and hopefully we put on a good show for them,” Patrick said.
Earlier this week, Patrick was in Phoenix as one of the teams selected to participate in a tire test as the track. With no air conditioning in her house in Scottsdale, Patrick is glad to be staying at her home in Chicago, which does indeed have AC.
“This was ‘old friends week’ back in Arizona,” she said during her press conference yesterday. “It was nice. I saw a lot of people an A/C unit was out, which was very uncomfortable to sleep in a hot house. I think it was about 80 – 88 degrees throughout the house. But that’s okay; I can get everything fixed before we go back in November. It actually rained three days in a row out there. It was terrible. I tried to play golf. It’s really hard to play golf when it’s pouring rain. But I came back to Chicago on Wednesday night and Ricky’s dad came into town and had dinner. So that was nice; got some friends and family coming to the race this weekend. So I definitely make the most of the times when I get back to my home bases.”
As the Chase rolls off this weekend, Patrick is looking forward to returning to tracks on the circuit for the second and third time. Besides Homestead, Patrick has made at least one Cup start at each of the final ten tracks and hopes to use past race notes and experience to improve on her qualifying and race finishes.
Tune in tomorrow afternoon to catch the first race in the Chase and see how Patrick and the GoDaddy team fairs at her home track.
The GoDaddy team finished where they started last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Patrick started 21st in the field, one of her better qualifying efforts this season, and after running a clean race, finished in the same spot.
Improving eight spots from last season, Patrick and the team made major improvements to the car for the race after a series of bad practice times left her running in the mid-30s before the race.
“I’m proud of the GoDaddy guys,” said Patrick, “we weren’t good in the first practice (on Friday). 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, and I think we’ve gotten better the last few races. The pit crew was really good, and they were quick on each stop. I’m happy with how we ran. Obviously, you always want to do better than you finish, but it’s like we’ve said all year, it’s about making little gains and getting better as we go along.”
Before heading to Richmond, Patrick had a little fun during the week. Earlier in the year, Patrick filmed an episode of the Food Network’s hit show, “Chopped.” Featuring four sports stars, Patrick went up against former NFL running back Tiki Barber, celebrity bodyguard and Hells Angel Chuck Zito and 12-time Olympic medalist swimmer Natalie Coughlin.
On the show, each contestant is given the same basket of mystery ingredients and has to prepare a meal using the chosen ingredients. With three rounds consisting of an appetizer, entrée and dessert, one contestant is eliminated after each round. Coming down to the dessert round, it was Patrick and Coughlin going head to head.
In the end, Patrick’s 3-course meal was superior and she walked away the Chopped Champion and her charity, the COPD Foundation, was awarded $10,000. Her reaction was that of a little kid receiving the puppy they’ve been asking for.
You can find more about what Patrick prepared in the kitchen here and find the full episode, titled “Sports Stars” on iTunes.
Also this week, Patrick and fellow Rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr were a part of a new music video by country artist Colt Ford. The video, shot near the Charlotte area, will be released at a later date.
After her fun this week, its back to business as Patrick heads to Richmond for the second time. Back in April, Patrick started 30th in the race and finished 29th. Testing at the track just a few weeks ago with Mark Martin, the team hopes that the extra time on the .75-mile oval will lead to a better result on Saturday night.
“The test went really well,” Patrick said in a press release, “I’ve always been happy to have other drivers in my car at a test, especially someone like Mark with all his experience. For me, as a rookie, I think it’s important to get a different perspective and get someone else’s thoughts. Mark has so much experience and he’s been so helpful to me, even before we were teammates, so I was happy to have him in the car. Anything that will make me better and SHR better as a whole, I’m all for.”
“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Richmond. I had fun racing Indy cars here,” she continued. “I liked driving the Nationwide car
here. We didn’t have the greatest result but it was still fun. Having done the Cup race in the spring and then a test last week, I feel more confident going in. As I’ve said, it’s nice to go to these tracks a second or third time. The comfort level is obviously much higher.”
After a bobble in qualifying, Patrick will be starting the Federated Auto Parts 400 in 36th place. The team will need some strategy to get through the field but Patrick has shown promise on short tracks this season. With one previous start and a test session at Richmond, the team is ready to tackle the track. Tony Stewart will also be at the race this weekend so look for him to offer his “little sister” some much needed advise on race day.