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.