Danica Patrick made her first start on a road course in the Sprint Cup Series last weekend at Sonoma but it didn’t go exactly as she or her team had hoped. In all seriousness, it was a disappointing weekend for Danica and the entire team.
“It was a long day – a long weekend,” Patrick said in a press release after the race. She finished 29th after running as high as 5th in one point of the race. At the beginning of the race, she was one of many cars to take a spin then on lap 68, she cut a left front tire and rear-ended the tire barrier in turn 10. She made a few trips down pit road for repairs to the GoDaddy Chevy.
Patrick finished 29th and on the lead lap at the end of the race; improving from her 31st place starting spot. “We just couldn’t get the car to the point where I was comfortable with it. It’s disappointing because I know the GoDaddy guys worked really hard all weekend,” Patrick continued. “We just couldn’t get much to go our way this weekend. Having the cut tire and going into the tire barrier was just sort of salt in the wound. Hopefully we have a better weekend next week at Kentucky.”
The team is definitely looking forward to this weekend’s race at Kentucky. In her two starts at the track last season in the Nationwide Series, she started 11th in both and finished 12th and 14th. She also made seven IndyCar starts where she garnished four top-10 finished and one pole.
“It’s one of those tracks where I have experience but, obviously, not in a lot of it in a stock car,” she said in the press release. “I’ve been there a lot, but only the Nationwide Series races from last year will offer any type of experience or help. I ran a lot of IndyCar races at Kentucky but, obviously, those aren’t really going to benefit me this weekend. The track definitely has character to it with the bumps, and we practice during the day on Friday and then race at night on Saturday, so the track conditions can change during the race. When you add all that up, it’s a challenging place.”
Patrick has been chartered all over the country this season; sometimes hitting all four time zones in one week. Her travel the past 10 days or so, starting in California, has been dubbed the “Here, There and Everywhere” tour. When asked about the challenges of traveling so much, she had this to say:
“It’s tough because you never seem to catch your breath. It’s really tough on the guys, too. The GoDaddy crew flew back from Sonoma to Charlotte and then right to New Hampshire and then Kentucky. So it’s really challenging for them, too, and I know they’re working really hard. They’ve got families, too, and being on the West Coast for three days and then up in New Hampshire and then Kentucky isn’t easy on them or their families, so I appreciate their hard work and sacrifice. Hopefully, it will pay off with a good run this weekend.”
Earlier this week, Patrick was named one of the “World’s Most Powerful Celebrities” by Forbes Magazine. She was ranked 91st where she said it feels “pretty incredible to be included” and that it is great for GoDaddy and the rest of her sponsors as well. “It’s a great honor for me and everyone involved. I’m certainly happy to be included,” she concluded.
With the Coke Zero 400 quickly approaching, Patrick and the GoDaddy team will be heading back to the place where they made history happen to kick off the 2013 season. Will Patrick better her 8th place Daytona 500 finish next weekend? She just might. With one of her sponsors being Coke Zero, having a good showing at a track like Daytona, would be a great confidence booster for Danica and the entire team.
The summer stretch is just heating up, literally, and Patrick and the GoDaddy team are starting to hit their stride and making improvements each and every week. Which barrier will she break down next? Stay tuned to find out, she just might surprise you.