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.