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  • Brickyard 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 26, 2015
    Event: Jeff Kyle Brickyard 400 (Round 20 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 15th/27th (Running, completed 164 of 164 laps)
    Point Standing: 22nd (433 points, 86 out of 16th)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Despite running solidly inside the top-15 for much of the race, Danica Patrick and No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) left Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a 27th-place finish after losing ground on late-race restarts in Sunday’s Jeff Kyle Brickyard 400.

    Patrick started the race from the 15th position and remained inside the top-20 until the team’s first pit stop at lap 28. Crew chief Daniel Knost called for a four-tire change and air pressure adjustments to improve her racecar’s handling. Once the field cycled through green-flag stops, Patrick was scored in the 18th position and noted that the air pressure changes had definitely made a positive impact on the car’s handling.

    When the caution flag waved at lap 44 for debris, Knost called Patrick back down pit road for four tires and fuel. Several teams opted not to pit during the caution period, but the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet team still lined up 16th for the lap-49 restart. As fuel strategy by the field played out in their favor, Patrick ended up in the fifth position at the midpoint of the race.

    The team pitted for left-side tires and fuel when the caution flag waved at lap 91, and Patrick restarted 10th at lap 96. She remained inside the top-15 for the next couple of runs and lined up seventh for a lap-124 restart after the team elected to take just left-side tires under caution. Trouble on the restart dropped her back to 17th, but Patrick rallied back and worked her way up to 14th before the caution flag waved again at lap 141. Knost called Patrick to pit road on the following lap for four tires and fuel, and she restarted 16th when the field went back to green-flag racing. Patrick managed to gain three positions before the caution flag was displayed at lap 147.

    When the green flag waved again at lap 152, Patrick held her own on the initial restart but then fell back and was scored in the 21st position when the caution flag came out at lap 154. Shortly after the field took the green flag on the next restart, the caution flag was displayed yet again. On the final, green-white-checkered restart, Patrick again lost a number of positions and was credited with a 27th-place finish when she took the checkered flag.

    While Patrick ran much higher than where she ended up at the end of the race, Sunday’s result marked her best-ever stock-car finish at Indianapolis, besting a 30th-place effort she scored in the 2013 Sprint Cup race there.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR Sunday by finishing third. It was Harvick’s fifth top-five in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis and his 14th top-five this season. He also led four times for a race-high 75 laps to bring his season total to 1,359 laps led. Harvick has only led more laps than that in a single season once – in 2014 when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship. Harvick has led a lap in 16 of the 20 Sprint Cup races contested in 2015.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished eighth to earn his fifth top-10 in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis and his 12th top-10 this season.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 28th.

    Kyle Busch won the Jeff Kyle Brickyard 400 to score his 33rd career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth this season and his first at Indianapolis.

    Joey Logano finished .332 of a second behind Busch, while Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 36 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 164-lap race around the 2.5-mile oval, which was extended beyond its scheduled 160-lap distance by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round 20 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 777 points, 69 ahead of second-place Logano. Busch is eighth with 612 points, 165 out of first. With two wins apiece, teammates Harvick and Busch are locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Patrick is 22nd with 433 points, 86 out of 16th, the cutoff position to make the 16-driver Chase field on points. Stewart is 26th with 382 points, 137 out of 16th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Windows 10 400 on Sunday, Aug. 2 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC Sports Network.

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  • Brickyard 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 21, 2015) – While Jim Nabors won’t be part of the prerace ceremonies for Sunday’s Jeff Kyle 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there’s always a chance Danica Patrick might be humming Nabors’ traditional tune (Back Home Again in) Indiana as she makes her way around racing’s most hallowed grounds.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), made quite a name for herself in an Indy car from 2005 to 2011 competing in the Indianapolis 500.

    She burst onto the scene at Indy in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading three times for 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first 500 – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race.

    She set numerous records during her Indy 500 debut and set the tone early when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times during the month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carburetion Day.

    Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month and the fastest turned by any woman in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning her rave reviews for her car control by longtime Speedway observers. She ended up qualifying fourth, the best-ever starting position for a woman in the race.

    On race day, with 11 laps remaining in the 200-lap event, Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to slow down in order to conserve fuel to make it to the finish. Her efforts earned her Rookie of the Year honors.

    Patrick scored six top-10 finishes in seven starts at Indianapolis and qualified 10th or better five times. Her third-place result in 2009 is the best finish ever for a woman in the history of the 500.

    While Patrick has earned history-making results at Indianapolis in her IndyCar career, she has yet to experience the same level of success at the 2.5-mile track in a stock car. In her first Sprint Cup start at the track in 2013, she finished 30th and, last year, her day at the iconic track was cut short by rear-gear issues and she ended up 42nd. In Patrick’s lone Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis in 2012, she finished 35th after getting caught up in an accident.

    As she returns to Indianapolis this week, Patrick is hoping her success in the 500 will finally carry over to the Jeff Kyle 400.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    How special is Indianapolis Motor Speedway to you?

    “I love going to Indy. I love driving through the tunnel and coming into the track – and even when it’s empty – just seeing the Pagoda. It’s just such a special place and I have so many great memories from there. No matter what car I’m driving, I always feel the track’s magnitude and just how special of a place it is.”

    Compare driving a stock car at Indianapolis to driving an Indy car.

    “It’s just about finding a balance with the car out there, which is no different in a stock car than in an Indy car. You’re just trying to find a balance. All you’re doing in an Indy car is trimming it out and, if I could have more downforce in these cars, I’d probably take it because, in an Indy car, we learned very quickly that it’s about how much throttle you could carry around. The stock cars get very low in the corners, and that can be a little bit of a danger in an Indy car, especially if you get just a little bit too low and get a little loose. So that’s a little bit different, I suppose.”

    When you were in Indy cars, which turn gave you the most trouble at Indy?

    “Turn one. I always feel like turn one is just – it has the most amount of issues, for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s partly because you get there a little quicker because (turns) two, three and four are a little bit more smooth and the arc is nice and smooth through the corner. I don’t feel like there’s as much adjusting. I don’t know what it is, but turn one has always been the issue no matter what car I’ve been in. So that was my answer for Indy cars, and it’s my answer for stock cars. It always gives you that little bit of a loose feeling getting in, at times. And, with these cars especially, I feel you have to set them up for the long haul. You have to set them up for the whole run as opposed to, in an Indy car, they have so much downforce and grip that you could set it up and it’d stay like that through the whole race or the whole run. So there’s a little bit of sacrificing and compromising on the car as far as what you have at the beginning so you have a good car at the end.”

    Talk about what it’s like when you drive through the tunnel at Indianapolis and get ready for a race weekend.

    “I think the best thing about coming back is that it feels familiar and it feels comfortable. I like seeing it. It feels very comfortable, very familiar. I just feel like I’ve had a lot of different experiences there that can help me and, again, it’s just a special place where I feel like, from the beginning, I’ve always really believed that you have to show this track respect and it will hopefully show you the respect back. I’ve always thought that and, especially in IndyCar, this place can bite you pretty big. I don’t think it’s too much different in a stock car, to be honest. It’s just a very familiar place. We spent so much time there during the month of May that it becomes like a second home, almost. It’s not like the Indy 500 was a three-day show. You spent just about the entire month there. My parents live outside of Indy, as do my sister and her family, so it’s nice to come back.”

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  • New Hampshire 301 Post-Report

    Date: July 19, 2015
    Event: New Hampshire 301 (Round 19 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 20th/24th (Running, completed 300 of 301 laps)
    Point Standing: 22nd (416 points, 84 out of 16th)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick and the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team finished 24th in Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    Patrick started the race from the 20th position and was scored 22nd when the caution flag waved for the first time at lap 21 for debris. She radioed to the team that the car’s handling was tight in the center but OK on entry and exit. Crew chief Daniel Knost called Patrick to pit road at lap 23 for four tires, fuel and wedge adjustments.

    Pit strategies varied, with some teams opting to stay out and many teams electing to take just two tires, so Patrick restarted from the 23rd position at lap 26. The teams that didn’t pit under caution began to hit pit road at lap 77, and Patrick ran as high as third before Knost called her to pit road at lap 91 for four tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments.

    Patrick went a lap down to the leader as the field cycled through green-flag pit stops and was scored in the 34th position when the caution flag waved at lap 96. She lost a second lap to the leader at lap 159, but as Patrick remained on a different fuel cycle from the leaders, she was able to cycle back to one lap down as the leaders pitted at lap 178.

    When the caution flag waved at lap 188 for debris, Knost brought Patrick in for four tires, fuel and air pressure, wedge and packer adjustments in an effort to improve the car’s handling.

    The GoDaddy Chevrolet was scored in the 32nd position when the field went back to green-flag racing at lap 193. Patrick held her own and gained several positions over the course of the next 50 laps. When the caution flag waved again at lap 251, Knost made the call for Patrick to remain on track despite being short on fuel so the No. 10 could take the wave-around and get back on the lead lap as the leaders pitted. Patrick lined up in the 28th position when the green flag waved again at lap 257.

    The remainder of the race went caution-free until the last lap, so with six laps to go the No. 10 team was forced to pit for a splash of fuel. The trip to pit road put Patrick back down a lap to the leader. She took the checkered flag in the 24th position.

    “The call to take the wave-around was definitely the right decision to make there,” Patrick said. “We had to go for it and get our lap back so we could try to compete for a better finish. Days like these are tough and require a lot more effort and energy from everyone. It’s disappointing to end up as far back as we did, but I’m proud of my GoDaddy team for not giving up and working so hard today.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday in Loudon by finishing third in the New Hampshire 301.

    It was Harvick’s seventh top-five in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at New Hampshire and his 13th top-five this season. He also led 59 laps to bring his season total to 1,284 laps led. Harvick has only led more laps than that in a single season once – in 2014 when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship. Harvick has led a lap in 15 of the 19 Sprint Cup races contested in 2015.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 10th to earn his 12th top-10 in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at New Hampshire and his 11th top-10 this season.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 20th. It was his eighth top-20 this season.

    Kyle Busch won the New Hampshire 301 to score his 32nd career Sprint Cup victory, his third this season and his second at New Hampshire.

    Brad Keselowski finished second, while Harvick, Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Austin Dillon, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 34 laps, with only one driver failing to finish the 301-lap race around the 1.058-mile oval.

    With round 19 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 734 points, 69 ahead of second-place Logano. Busch is eighth with 576 points, 158 out of first. With two wins apiece, teammates Harvick and Busch are locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Patrick is 22nd with 416 points, 84 out of 16th, the cutoff position to make the 16-driver Chase field on points. Stewart is 26th with 366 points, 134 out of 16th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Jeff Kyle 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 26. The 22nd running of the event begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC Sports Network.

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  • New Hampshire 301 Pre-Report

    As Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) look to get their season back on solid footing, there’s no better place to make that happen than this weekend’s New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in the “Granite State” at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

    Patrick’s 2015 season got off to a solid start with two top-10s and five top-20 finishes in the first eight races of the season, but in recent weeks sub-par finishes have been out of her control. And after three-straight weeks where accidents have knocked her out of contention for a solid finish, Patrick has dropped to 22nd in the Sprint Cup driver point standings.

    At Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Patrick ran well inside the top-20 for much of the race, but contact from another car with less than 10 laps to go sent Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet spinning off course. She was able to regain three positions in the closing laps, but was relegated to a 24th-place finish.

    The following weekend at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Patrick managed to survive two multi-car accidents, but her night was cut short after a cutting down a right-front tire sent her into the wall in turn two less than 40 laps from the finish and left her with a 35th-place result.

    Last weekend at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Patrick finished 34th after late-race contact sent the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet into the outside wall and then spinning into the grass off of turn four.

    With several weeks rough weekends in the rearview mirror, Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet team are looking to turn things around and this weekend could provide a great opportunity. Nicknamed the “Granite State” due to its extensive rock formations and quarries in the state, New Hampshire could provide Patrick and her team with the proper footing to get their season back on track.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts on New Hampshire Motor Speedway?

    “I really like going there. I like that area of the country and like the restaurants and what it has to offer. I haven’t been there a whole lot, but I enjoy it and like it. We were OK last year and I’m anxious to see what we’ve got this year.”

    How challenging is New Hampshire to set up for?

    “It’s flat and tough to get around sometimes. You just have to make sure you get through the corners OK and are able to get on the gas quick on the straightaways. It’s tough but, if you have a good car, you can pass and move up through the field. But it can be challenging if it’s not working in your favor.”

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  • Quaker State 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 11, 2015
    Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 18 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 23rd/34th (Running, completed 265 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 22nd (396 points, 77 out of 16th)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 34th after getting caught up in a late-race accident not of her making in Saturday night’s Kentucky 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

    The Kentucky race marked the first time Cup cars ran NASCAR’s new aerodynamics rules package this season. Despite having little practice time with the new package due to session rainouts leading up to the race, Patrick and the GoDaddy team hoped for a solid outing on Saturday night.

    For much of the race, Patrick fought a tight-handling racecar and also reported that her car did not have enough grip. The crew made a series of wedge and air pressure adjustments to improve the car’s performance. While the car was never quite what Patrick hoped she would have, she told crew chief Daniel Knost just past the race’s halfway mark that she felt her car was just one adjustment away from being where she needed it to be.

    Unfortunately, Patrick didn’t get the chance to see what her No. 10 GoDaddy machine could do if the crew were able to make that next adjustment.

    Just 60 laps from the end of the 267-lap race, trouble struck as the No. 88 car of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who had complained of not having brakes throughout the race, ran into the back of Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet. The contact sent Patrick into the outside wall and then spinning into the grass off of turn four.

    Although Patrick was able to drive her car away from the accident, the car sustained heavy damage to the right-rear quarter panel and required multiple pit stops for repairs. Handling issues now included a lack of side force due to the damage, and Patrick finished the race in 34th place.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Saturday by finishing eighth in the Kentucky 400. It was Harvick’s third top-10 in five career Sprint Cup starts at Kentucky and his 16th top-10 this season.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 10th to earn his third top-10 in five career Sprint Cup starts at Kentucky and his 10th top-10 this season.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 33rd.

    Kyle Busch won the Kentucky 400 to score his 31st career Sprint Cup victory, his second this season and his second at Kentucky.

    Joey Logano finished 1.594 seconds behind Busch, while Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 11 caution periods for 49 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval.

    With round 18 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 692 points, 68 ahead of second-place Johnson. Busch is eighth with 542 points, 150 out of first. With two wins apiece, teammates Harvick and Kurt Busch are locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Patrick is 22nd with 396 points, 77 out of 16th, the cutoff position to make the 16-driver Chase field on points. Stewart is 28th with 342 points, 131 out of 16th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the New Hampshire 301 on Sunday, July 19 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 1:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC Sports Network.

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  • Quaker State 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 8, 2015) – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams head to Kentucky Speedway in Sparta this weekend for Saturday’s Kentucky 400 event. With the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities underway in nearby Cincinnati, Danica Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) are hopeful for an all-star performance of their own this weekend.

    When it comes to racing at Kentucky, Patrick has plenty of experience as she’s competed in a total of 11 events at the 1.5-mile speedway, including two Sprint Cup races, two NASCAR Xfinity Series events and seven IndyCar Series races. Her highest Sprint Cup finish at the track was a 21st-place effort she scored last June. Patrick’s best Xfinity Series result was a 12th-place finish she earned in June 2012. In seven IndyCar races at Kentucky Speedway, she qualified on the pole in 2005, led a total of three laps and earned four top-10 finishes.

    Last year, Patrick started 10th at Kentucky and ran inside the top-15 for much of the race before handling woes dropped her to a 21st-place finish. Already this season, Patrick has earned two top-10 finishes and seven top-20s – two of those top-20s at 1.5-mile tracks, similar to Kentucky Speedway.

    As Patrick returns to the Bluegrass State this weekend, she’s ready to improve upon last year’s finish. And a win Saturday night would truly be an all-star performance for Patrick as it would guarantee her a spot in next year’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, an event she’s participated in twice before as a result of winning the Sprint Fan Vote.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts on Kentucky?

    “It’s one of those tracks where I have experience but, obviously, not a lot of it in a stock car. I’ve been there a lot, but I’ve only run four stock-car races there. 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 mainly practice during the day and then race at night on Saturday, so the track conditions can change a lot during the race. When you add all that up, it’s a challenging place.”

    How challenging are the bumps we hear about?

    “They are challenging for the teams. It’s a hard place to set up for and the bumps do add to that. The GoDaddy team does a good job of setting up the car and I think they’ll be able to do that this week. It’s a tough place and the pavement is old, but it creates some good racing. Hopefully, we can have a good night.”

    It’s a bit of a short week coming from Daytona to Kentucky. Your thoughts on that?

    “It is, but it’s harder for the crew guys. There’s a lot that goes into getting back and then getting to Kentucky in time for the test on Wednesday. This is a tough time of year and we need to thank them for all they do, especially the hauler drivers. Those guys are earning their money.”

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  • Coke Zero 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 5, 2015
    Event: Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola (Round 17 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th/35th (Accident, completed 126 of 161 laps)
    Point Standing: 20th (386 points, 270 out of first)
    Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) finished 35th in Sunday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, her race cut short after cutting down a right-front tire and making contact with the wall in turn two at lap 126.

    The incident was the third of the night for Patrick, who had been collected in two prior multicar accidents at lap four and lap 106. In both situations, the GoDaddy Chevrolet SS sustained damage when cars in front of Patrick wrecked and she had nowhere to go to avoid the subsequent melee.

    After the first incident, the team pitted three times to repair the damage to the front end and right-rear quarter panel. Following the accident, Patrick ran as high as 15th and was scored in the 16th position when the No. 5 and No. 20 cars made contact in turn four at lap 106. The No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS suffered significant right-front damage in the ensuing 12-car incident. Patrick brought the car to the attention of her pit crew, making a total of five trips to pit road during the caution period for repairs.

    Patrick lined up 28th for the lap-114 restart and quickly radioed to the team that the car wouldn’t turn as she lost time to the lead pack. At lap 126, she cut down a right-front tire and made contact with the turn two wall. Patrick brought the car down pit road, and after an initial assessment, crew chief Daniel Knost had her drive the car to the garage for repairs. Further inspection revealed that the damage was too significant to get back on track, and Patrick had to settle for a 35th-place finish.

    “It was definitely a bummer of a night,” Patrick said. “Here at Daytona, it’s such a roll of the dice when it comes to the race. I thought we were going to get out of here tonight with a decent finish after getting into two wrecks, but it didn’t work out that way. The guys did a great job repairing the car after the first two deals, but then we cut down a tire, got into the wall, and it just destroyed the right-front (suspension). We had a great GoDaddy Chevy here tonight, but the luck didn’t fall our way.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday night by finishing fourth in the rain-delayed Coke Zero 400.

    The top-five result was Harvick’s 12th this season and his eighth in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Daytona.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished fifth to earn his seventh top-five of 2015 and his 12th in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Daytona.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 14th to notch his fourth top-15 result this season.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola to score his 25th career Sprint Cup victory, his second this season and his fourth at Daytona.

    Jimmie Johnson finished .122 of a second behind Earnhardt in the runner-up spot, while Denny Hamlin, Harvick and Busch rounded out the top-five. Jeff Gordon, Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, Trevor Bayne and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 43 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 161-lap race, which was extended beyond its scheduled 160-lap distance by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round 17 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 656 points, 63 ahead of second-place Earnhardt. Busch is eighth with 508 points, 148 out of first. Patrick is 20th with 386 points, 270 out of first. Stewart is 25th with 331 points, 325 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kentucky 400 on Saturday, July 11 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC Sports Network.

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  • Coke Zero 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 1, 2015) – The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series nears the midpoint of the 2015 season as it returns to where it all started back in February – Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, site of Sunday night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola.

    After a tumultuous Budweiser Speedweeks in February, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) return to the 2.5-mile superspeedway ready to improve upon their early season performance at the track, much the way Patrick has shown improvement throughout the first half of the Sprint Cup season.

    In February, Patrick raced her way into the field for the 57th running of the Daytona 500, but had to start at the rear of the field after crashing her primary racecar in the Budweiser Duel qualifying race. She ran as high as 10th in the “Great American Race” but got mired in traffic in the late stages of the event and finished 21st.

    Since Daytona, Patrick has demonstrated marked improvement from her first two seasons in the Sprint Cup ranks. So far this season, she has earned two top-10 finishes, has an average starting position of 22.2, a 20.5 average finish, is ranked 19th in the driver point standings and, according to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, she has made 336 quality passes, has run in the top-15 for 703 laps, or 14.9 percent, and has a driver rating of 66.2. Following the race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway last year, Patrick had one top-10, an average starting position of 21.8, a 25.4 average finish, and was 28th in the standings. She had also made 327 quality passes, ran inside the top-15 for 556 laps, or 11.5 percent, and had a 60.6 driver rating. At this point in the 2013 season, Patrick had scored one top-10 finish, had an average starting position of 32, a 25.8 average finish and was 27th in the driver standings. She’d also completed 288 quality passes, raced inside the top-15 for 392 laps, or 8.1 percent, and had a 54.5 driver rating.

    Patrick returns to Daytona with six prior Sprint Cup starts at the superspeedway. She’s earned two top-10 finishes at the track, including an eighth-place finish in last year’s Coke Zero 400. With that experience and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team behind her, Patrick is ready to try and make good things happen come Sunday night.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are three words that describe restrictor-plate races?

    “Three words that describe plate racing would be: crazy, fast and risky.”

    Describe the intensity of restrictor-plate racing.

    “It’s super easy to drive around the track flat-out by yourself. It’s not hard at all. When you put all of the other cars around you, it’s not necessarily about how the car feels on the track, although that can be an issue, for sure, at times. But, it’s more about what everyone else is doing around you. You’re constantly looking at what’s happening in front of you. You’re also looking at what’s behind you. Probably more important than what’s happening in front of you is what’s happening behind you – who’s coming, who’s following you, who’s helping you move forward. There have been plenty of times that I’ve gone to the bottom and complained, ‘Where’s my help?’ It seems like I’ll slot in on the bottom line and then everyone behind me disappears. You really have to have people behind you, pushing you. The race is constantly evolving and you and your spotter have to be on it. It’s a big race for spotters, so having a really good one that you trust is very important.”

    What are your overall thoughts on Daytona International Speedway?

    “I always like going there. It’s where my first stock-car start was in 2010 and I actually have a lot of experience there. At the end of the day, you just need to be in the right place at the right time. A lot of it is out of your control. But I think we’ll be good and hopefully have a car that can compete and win.”

    Are you comfortable in the draft?

    “I’ve been comfortable racing in the draft since I started racing in the IndyCar Series.”

    Are you any more or less confident coming into races at Daytona or Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway based on your ability on restrictor-plate tracks?

    “That’s probably a question I’ve gotten since I’ve been in NASCAR. As time goes, I really don’t feel much different other than I feel like I’m getting better overall and able to get speed out of myself and in the race, especially on all kinds of different tracks. That’s more in my control and our control as a team. So the results are a little bit more matchable. You can trust what you’re able to do a little bit more. On a superspeedway, who knows? To me, they were, in the beginning especially, my opportunities to have really good finishes. But, I don’t think that’s the case anymore. So, now they feel very similar to me. I’m thinking more about the luck side of it than probably the potential to have my really good races because I feel like we’re able to do that here and there on lots of other tracks, now.”

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  • Save Mart 350 Race-Report

    Date: June 28, 2015
    Event: Save Mart 350k (Round 16 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (1.99-mile road course)
    Start/Finish: 21st/24th (Running, completed 110 of 110 laps)
    Point Standing: 19th (377 points, 239 out of first)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) finished 24th in Sunday’s Save Mart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway after late-race contact forced her off course.

    Patrick started the race from the 21st position and was scored in 19th when the team pitted for the first time at lap 23. Crew chief Daniel Knost called for a four-tire stop with air pressure adjustments in an effort to improve the No. 10’s tight-handling condition Patrick experienced on right-hand turns. She restarted in the 25th position at lap 26, as several teams opted not to pit under the caution.

    A few laps later, the caution flag waved and Knost called Patrick to pit road for a fuel-only stop in an effort to make it the rest of the way on one more pit stop. Patrick restarted 33rd and was scored in the 13th position when Knost called her down pit road for the team’s next stop at lap 69 for four tires, fuel, and air pressure and wedge adjustments.

    When the caution flag waved four laps later, the GoDaddy team elected to stay out and gain track position, which put Patrick in 12th for the lap-78 restart. She lost several spots to teams with newer tires and was 16th when the caution flag waved again at lap 99. Knost called Patrick to pit road on the following lap for four tires and fuel. The car’s right-front fender was caved in, which slowed the stop as the team worked to change the right-front tire. As a result, Patrick lined up 23rd for the lap-103 restart.

    After the field went back to green-flag conditions, the No. 16 car got off course and came back onto the track in front of Patrick. She lifted off of the throttle to avoid a collision, but the car behind her did not and made contact with the GoDaddy Chevrolet SS, which sent Patrick spinning into the grass. NASCAR did not throw the caution flag, so Patrick lost significant ground and dropped to 27th. In the closing laps she was able to regain three positions to take the checkered flag in 24th.

    “We had a solid race going there for most of the day,” Patrick said. “We lost ground on that final pit stop, restarted further back and just ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time when the No. 16 car came back on track. I’m really disappointed with where the GoDaddy team ended up today.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Sonoma by finishing second in the Save Mart 350k.

    Busch started on the outside of row one and led three times for 43 laps around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course to bring his laps-led total at Sonoma to 197. The runner-up effort was Busch’s sixth top-five finish this season and his seventh top-five in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Sonoma.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished fourth to earn his 11th top-five this season and his fourth top-five in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Sonoma.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 12th to score his third top-15 this year.

    Kyle Busch won the Save Mart 350k to score his 30th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the year and his second at Sonoma.

    Kurt Busch finished .532 of a second behind Kyle Busch, marking the first time the brothers have finished 1-2 in a Sprint Cup race.

    Clint Bowyer, Harvick and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five, while Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman and Sam Hornish Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 21 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 110-lap race.

    With round 16 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 616 points, 53 ahead of second-place Martin Truex Jr. Kurt Busch is 10th with 469 points, 147 out of first. Patrick is 19th with 377 points, 239 out of first. Stewart is 26th with 301 points, 315 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Sunday, July 5 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race starts at 7:45 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC.

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  • Save Mart 350 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 24, 2015) – Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway is one of the few tracks on the NASCAR schedule where Danica Patrick has a lot of experience.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has made nine starts at Sonoma dating back to 2005.

    Seven of those, however, came in the IndyCar Series and unfortunately won’t offer much assistance to Patrick as she competes in Sunday’s Save Mart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.

    In two Sprint Cup visits to Sonoma, she earned an 18th-place finish last year and a 29th-place result in June 2013.

    The IndyCar Series utilized two different Sonoma road-course layouts during the seven years Patrick competed there, and neither is identical to the 1.99-mile, 10-turn configuration she will drive Sunday.

    Patrick is hoping her Sprint Cup road-course racing this weekend goes better than her three road-course appearances in Xfinity Series competition in 2012. All three were memorable, if not downright strange.

    In the June 2012 Xfinity event at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Patrick was fourth on the final lap when she was bumped into a gravel trap by Jacques Villeneueve, which led her to finish 12th. Two months later, Patrick finished 43rd at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International after Ryan Truex spun in front of her on the start. She could not avoid his spinning car and made heavy contact with his machine.

    But the strangest Xfinity road-course experience of all came one week later after Patrick had led 20 laps and was on the point at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal when a fan threw a shoe onto the track on lap 38 of 81. She couldn’t avoid running over it and, shortly thereafter – whether the shoe caused the problem or not – Patrick was forced to pit for mechanical repairs and finished 27th.

    At Sonoma this weekend, Patrick is hoping to run a smooth and clean race, avoid any shoes on course, and build upon a solid 16th-place finish she and the GoDaddy team scored two weeks ago at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What is the key to racing at Sonoma?

    “I think, at Sonoma, you have to get through the high-speed esses comfortably, which leads to a good high-speed balance. Power down is also important there because it is easy for the rear tires to just spin all the time. The fast lap times come from the high-speed balance, so that is the key for me and the GoDaddy team.”

    What is the hardest part about road racing?

    “The hardest part of road racing is just putting a whole lap together. The hardest part of road racing is just nailing every corner and doing it consistently when it counts.”

    Daniel Knost, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What kind of challenges do the road-course events present?

    “These cars were not really designed to be put through the turns like we face at road courses. I’ve heard a lot drivers say that Watkins Glen is like Michigan with very high speeds. On the other hand, Sonoma is more like Martinsville with very low speeds and tight corners. The key at Sonoma is getting forward drive off the corners.”

    What do you do that’s different on the racecars for the road courses?

    “Setup-wise, actually you turn right more than you turn left at Sonoma, which is unusual. The cars are usually set up just to turn left, so they are a lot more even. The other big factor is how much you shift gears at road courses. You’re not normally shifting at most of the tracks we go to, so that really adds in a different element as you to consider where you want to shift and when you need to shift. That’s a big, big challenge at the road-course events.”

    Years ago, transmissions used to be a huge factor at road-course races. How has the technology advanced in recent years?

    “It’s really come a long way. The transmissions are really durable. We do a lot of work to get them to shift well. The transmissions are a really good package right now.”

    Danica’s racing resume is filled with a long history of road-course racing. How do you approach the weekend knowing that?

    “Absolutely – I’d say this is kind of her comfort zone. She did a lot of road racing before she did a lot of circle-track racing, so we view it as an opportunity to go out and have a really good weekend.”

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Race-Report

    Date: June 14, 2015
    Event: Michigan 400 (Round 15 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 19th/16th (Running, completed 138 of 138 laps)
    Point Standing: 19th (357 points, 219 out of first)
    Winner: Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) left Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn with a 16th-place finish in Sunday’s rain-plagued Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race after crew chief Daniel Knost made a gutsy pit call.

    Patrick started the race from the 19th position and was scored 21st when the caution flag waved for the first time for rain at lap 11. The event was red-flagged and she was able to consult with Knost about adjustments the team needed to make once the race went back to green-flag conditions.

    Over the course of the first 50 laps, the event was delayed on three occasions by rain and then NASCAR’s efforts to dry the track surface. When the race restarted at lap 51, Patrick was scored in the 32nd position. The caution flag was displayed again one lap later, and with the threat of more rain looming in the distance, Knost called Patrick to pit road for a fuel-only stop in an effort to get the team to the halfway point on fuel. The pit call allowed the team to remain on track as the field cycled through green-flag stops. Patrick led laps 95 and 96 before pitting at lap 97 for four tires, fuel and air pressure, wedge and packer adjustments.

    The green-flag stop left Patrick one lap down to the leader, but she was able to race her way up to the 25th position before the field started cycling through green-flag pit stops at lap 116. When the caution flag waved again at lap 124 for debris, Patrick was scored in the 16th position. With reports of rain in the area, Knost called for her to stay out and take the wave-around to put the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS back on the lead lap.

    Knost’s pit strategy yielded dividends as Patrick had enough fuel to continue until the caution flag waved again at lap 138 due to rain. NASCAR brought the field down pit road and red-flagged the event before eventually calling the race official. Patrick was credited with a 16th-place finish.

    “The car was completely sideways early in the race,” Patrick said. “Daniel and I were able to sit down during all of the rain delays and talk through the adjustments we needed to make to help the car handle better. Then he made the call to pit for fuel early in the race, and that put us in a position to stay out and take the wave-around there at the end and get a solid finish out of the day.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Michigan by winning the rain-shortened Michigan 400.

    It was the 29th point-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s fourth this season. Busch won earlier this year at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and SHR teammate Kevin Harvick won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.

    Busch started 24th and led six laps around the 2-mile oval to bring his laps-led total at Michigan to 448. It was Busch’s 27th career Sprint Cup victory, his second this season and his third at Michigan.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 28th.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led twice for 63 laps before finishing 29th. Harvick has now led a lap in 14 of 15 Sprint Cup races in 2015 for 1,225 total laps. Harvick has only led more laps than that in a single season once – in 2014 when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second to Busch when the race was called official after 138 of the scheduled 200 laps when rain inundated the racetrack. Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five while Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Trevor Bayne and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 38 laps, with two drivers failing to finish.

    With round 15 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 576 points, 15 ahead of second-place Truex. Busch is 11th with 426 points, 150 out of first. Patrick is 19th with 357 points, 219 out of first. Stewart is 26th with 269 points, 307 out of first.

    The Sprint Cup Series takes a rare weekend off before returning to action June 28 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway for the Save Mart 350k. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 9, 2015) – It’s race number 15, but to fans it seems like so much more.

    There is a track, 2 miles of asphalt in southern Michigan, nestled in the Irish Hills just south of Brooklyn.

    People come from all over to watch the racing there, including the automotive cities that surround it – Fort Wayne, Indiana; Toledo, Ohio; Flint, Michigan; and of course Detroit, the biggest of them all.

    Perhaps they stop at the Beach Bar in Brooklyn or grab a six-pack and a bottle of wine at Woodstock Wine and Cheese before grilling burgers or enjoying some pasta selections.

    Maybe they’ll wait out two days of rain and watch the race on a Tuesday like back in 2007.

    They stay up late and tell old bench racing stories with daylight lasting until after 10 p.m.

    People will come to watch 43 drivers navigate the 2 miles of asphalt and use multiple lanes to figure out the fastest way for their car. They will see Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), try to make history.

    Race fans will hope they can see her lead five laps and finish seventh, like she did in the 2007 IndyCar Series race, or go from 39th to 13th like she did in the June 2013 Sprint Cup race.

    Overall, they will hope to see a good, competitive, safe race in Sunday’s Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

    It’s pure racing. It’s pure Michigan.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts on Michigan?

    “Michigan is a wide, fast track. There’s lots of room to move around and try different lines. I think it’s a momentum track and you have to focus on being smooth. At the end of the day, the car has to handle well. It has to feel good. It has to be a fast car. I think those are the challenges – getting your car to handle well and being smooth and consistent lap after lap at such a fast track.”

    What challenges does Michigan present?

    “It’s really easy to have an imbalance, whether it’s getting the power down on exit or most of the time being tight. I feel like the track produces some great racing and there’s a lot of drafting, so you can use that to help pass cars.”

    You will be making your first appearance in the broadcast booth Saturday during the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Michigan. Are you at all nervous as you prepare to join the broadcast team on FOX Sports 1?

    “I wouldn’t really say I’m nervous. I enjoy trying new things and I’m looking forward to getting in the booth and sharing my perspective with all the fans watching at home.”

    Some of your fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have already joined the broadcast team as guest analysts this year. Do you have any key takeaways from watching those guys?

    “Those guys have definitely done a great job so far this year and it’s been great to hear their insight each week as I watched the Xfinity races. I think there are definitely a few things I’ve picked up from watching each of them and we’ll see how well I can put that to use on Saturday.”

    We’re coming up on Father’s Day. Talk about the importance of fathers, especially in our sport.

    “Father’s Day, just like Mother’s Day, is a very important day to love and take a moment to share that in a special way to your dad. Fathers are super important no matter what you’re doing and where you’re at, whether you’re in NASCAR or not. I know that definitely in racing there are a lot of dads who have played a big part in helping get their child to the level they’re at. My dad was definitely a huge part of me getting to where I am in racing. Aside from that, dads are just important, in general. It’s a nice day to get a card and write something special, say something special or do something special for your dad.”

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  • Axalta 400 Race-Report

    Date: June 7, 2015
    Event: Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 (Round 14 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
    Start/Finish: 22nd/37th (Running, completed 153 of 160 laps)
    Point Standing: 20th (328 points, 231 out of first)
    Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Chevrolet)

    After running inside the top-10 in Sunday’s Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) ended up 37th when the checkered flag waved due to a late-race incident that left her seven laps down.

    “I was trying the best I could to get back into the top-10, and the car just hopped the wall,” Patrick said of the lap-136 accident. “We were having a great race, and I hate that wrecked our day.”

    While the race ended on a sour note, Patrick started the event from the 22nd position and worked her way into the top-20 by lap three. She was scored 16th at lap 32 following a round of green-flag pit stops and cracked the top-15 at lap 46.

    When the caution flag waved for the second time at lap 68, Patrick radioed to the team that the car didn’t have great short-run speed but seemed to be pretty good as the run went on. The team made only minor air pressure adjustments throughout the race to help improve the car’s handling.

    As the race progressed, various fuel-mileage strategies began to take shape. Patrick lined up 10th for a lap-92 restart and, following a quick caution, raced her way up to sixth at lap 97. She remained in the top-10 until the team pitted at lap 122 for four tires and fuel. Differing pit strategies put several cars ahead of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS, and Patrick was scored in the 11th position when the field took the green flag again at lap 125.

    Patrick dropped to 14th and then raced her way to 11th by lap 133. As she tried to advance back into the top-10, the GoDaddy Chevrolet SS made contact with the outside wall at lap 136. The subsequent damage caused the sheet metal to cut down the right-rear tire; as a result, Patrick spun in turn one and the car’s right-rear corner hit the wall.

    She was able to get the car back to pit road, where the GoDaddy team assessed the damage and went to work on the car. Patrick rejoined the field at lap 140, but less than 15 laps later another flat tire sent Patrick spinning off of turn three. She impressively maneuvered the car to pit road, and the team changed all four tires. Patrick completed the remaining laps and gained one position to finish 37th.

    “I’m proud of the whole team’s effort today,” crew chief Daniel Knost said. “The car handled well and Danica did a great job of running solidly in the top-10 for a good bit of the race. The wreck was unfortunate, but everyone worked together to get the car back on the track and finish out the race. And that was really important.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Pocono by finishing second.

    Harvick started fifth and led three times for 39 laps around the 2.5-mile triangle to bring his laps-led total this season to a series-best 1,162. This mark eclipses Harvick’s laps-led total for every one of his Sprint Cup seasons with the exception of last year when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship. This was Harvick’s 10th top-two finish in the 14 races run this season and his seventh top-five in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started from the pole and finished fifth to earn his 12th top-five in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 21st after starting 28th.

    Martin Truex Jr. won the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 to score his third career Sprint Cup victory, his first this season and his first at Pocono.

    Harvick finished 1.346 seconds behind Truex, while Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Busch rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 31 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

    With round 14 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 559 points, 39 ahead of second-place Truex. Kurt Busch is 12th with 379 points, 180 out of first. Patrick is 20th with 328 points, 231 out of first. Stewart is 27th with 253 points, 306 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Michigan 400 on Sunday, June 14 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

    -SHR-

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  • Axalta 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 3, 2015) – As the summer stretch of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races gets underway, the competition on-track is heating up. The series hits the midpoint of the regular season with this weekend’s Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. There are just 13 races left to decide the 16-driver field for the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship and, as Glenn Frey noted in his 1984 hit song, “The Heat is On,” The pressure’s high, just to stay alive, ’cause the heat is on.

    Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) were ranked inside the top-16 for several weeks earlier this season. After earning a ninth-place finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in April, Patrick was ranked as high as 13th in the driver point standings. But, four back-to-back finishes of 21st or worse dropped Patrick to 18th in the standings and 20 points out of the top-16. While Patrick remains 18th heading into Sunday’s race at Pocono, she was able to close the gap on the top-16 last weekend with a hard-fought 15th-place finish after battling handling issues, damage and a speeding penalty.

    As Patrick continues to experience the best season of her Sprint Cup career, the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team must focus on earning more top-10 runs like it scored at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Bristol earlier this year and continue to turn challenging days like the one at Dover into top-15 finishes.

    Entering the weekend at Pocono, Patrick looks to improve upon her previous finishes at the 2.5-mile track. In four prior Sprint Cup starts at Pocono, Patrick’s best finish is a 20th-place effort she earned in August 2013. To stay in the hunt for the 2015 Chase field, Patrick will need every point she can get, so a strong finish this weekend is a must.

    The heat is on.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts on Pocono?

    “It’s a neat place, definitely a unique track. It’s still a place I don’t have a ton of experience at. It’s just an odd place to set the car up because the corners are so different. If you are really good in turn one, then maybe two and three are a little off. Or if you’re good in three, maybe one and two are different. I will say that the straightaway is enormous. There’s a lot of distance between turns three and one.”

    Are you settling in for the summer stretch of races?

    “I am ready for it. Pocono and Michigan are always fun and I actually really like going to New Hampshire. It’s a fun stretch of races and it’s nice that the weather is good. Hopefully we can continue to run well and continue to improve. It is a long season, but the summer stretch is always fun.”

    DANIEL KNOST, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are the challenges that Pocono Raceway presents?

    “I think, first off, you have to bring a lot of horsepower to Pocono just because of the long straightaway. So, it’s really a showdown amongst engine builders, in my opinion. There’s a durability challenge with the transmission because you’ll be shifting where you don’t normally shift, so you have to have your transmission right to where you can continue to do that all day.”

    What is the key to running well at Pocono?

    “Pocono has three corners that are very different. Turn one is the longest corner with the most turning, it’s the most vertical and you carry the most speed into it. Turn two is flat and squared off, and then, turn three is the slowest corner. It’s very sweeping, very flat and it sets up a very long straightaway. To me, the key at Pocono is how you get from the entry of turn three to the exit of turn one and then still be good through turn two.”

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  • FedEx 400 Post-Report

    Date: May 31, 2015
    Event: FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks (Round 13 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 33rd/15th (running, completed 403 of 405 laps)
    Point Standing: 18th (321 points, 195 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 15th in Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The effort marked Patrick’s career-best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish in six starts at the Monster Mile.

    After starting the race in the 33rd position, Patrick raced her way into the top-25 by lap 95 and was racing as high as 23rd before she received slight damage from an accident, not of her own fault, on lap 176. The team was forced to pit due to the grill separating from the nose of the No. 10 Chevrolet. This unscheduled stop landed the team one lap down.

    Crew chief Daniel Knost’s pit strategy paid off on lap 260 when, instead of pitting under green one lap earlier, the team decided to stay out for an additional lap, at which time the caution-flag flew and Patrick found herself back on the lead lap. Patrick pitted under the caution, and changes were made to attempt to free up her Chevy SS. The changes worked, and Patrick quickly began gaining track positions once the race went back to green.

    The GoDaddy team was up to 13th on lap 270 and racing forward. Patrick’s Chevy SS tightened slightly as it raced through traffic, and she settled into a top-14 spot until her next green-flag pit stop on lap 307. After pitting, Patrick fell back to 27th. But as the other racecars cycled through a long pit cycle, she worked her way forward, running in the top-20 by lap 356 and maintaining track position for the next 30 laps.

    When the caution came on lap 387, Patrick was racing in the 17th position. She passed two additional cars and raced her way into the top-15 in a green-white-checkered finish.

    “I’m proud of our GoDaddy Chevrolet team,” Patrick said. “We all stuck together and dug deep. It was a challenging race, but we made the most out of each situation. We have a ways to go still, but everyone on our crew did a good job. We had good pit stops and made strides through the race. We win or lose as a team, and this top-15 finish was a total team effort. I’m confident we can build on this heading into the next few races.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 ditech Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Dover by finishing second.

    Harvick led twice for 91 laps to bring his laps-led total at Dover to 483. He has now led 1,123 total laps through the first 13 races of 2015, eclipsing his laps-led total for every Sprint Cup season with the exception of last year, when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship. It was Harvick’s ninth top-two finish this season and his fourth top-five in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 16th to earn his 24th top-20 result in 32 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 31st after being collected in an accident on lap 386 when he was running among the top-10.

    Jimmie Johnson won the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks to score his 74th career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth this season and his 10th at Dover. Johnson became just the fifth driver in Sprint Cup history to have 10 or more wins at a single track, joining NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt.

    Harvick finished .435 of a second behind Johnson, while Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five. Martin Truex Jr., Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 40 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 405-lap race, which was extended from its scheduled 400-lap distance by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round 13 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 516 points, 44 ahead of second-place Truex. Busch is 15th with 340 points, 176 out of first. Patrick is 18th with 321 points, 195 out of first. Stewart is 28th with 230 points, 286 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 on Sunday, June 7 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

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  • FedEx 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 27, 2015) – After finishing no better than 21st in her last four races, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) are ready to get their 2015 season back on track Sunday in the FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    In the season’s first eight events, Patrick scored two top-10 finishes but, since finishing ninth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in mid-April, she’s earned results of 25th at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, 21st at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, 27th at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and 22nd at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    While Patrick’s 19.7 average finish so far this year remains well ahead of where she was at this point in either of her first two seasons in the Sprint Cup ranks – 26.0 in 2014 and 26.5 in 2013 – she and the team still enter the weekend at Dover wanting more. Neither Patrick nor her team is satisfied with the recent results and both want to get back to running inside the top-20 and earning top-10 and top-15 results on a regular basis.

    Given the group’s recent struggles, the Dover weekend couldn’t come at a better time for the GoDaddy team. Two weeks ago, Patrick and the No. 10 team spent three days at the high-banked, concrete mile oval taking part in a Goodyear tire test and NASCAR open test session in preparation for this weekend. The information learned during the test has helped provide the team with a solid baseline as it returns to the track for Sunday’s race. The extra laps of practice, Patrick and the team believe, will be just what the doctor ordered to help get the season back on track at Dover.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts about Dover?

    “I always like going to Dover. The track is pretty fun. I remember everyone telling me how unique and challenging Dover was prior to my first race. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot to compare that track to. They said it was like a larger version of Bristol, but I hadn’t raced at Bristol yet, either. It’s nice to have more of a handle on what to expect heading in there now. Dover is fun. It’s fast and it can make for a really long day of racing. I think that’s part of the appeal of it – how demanding it can be. We definitely want to stay out of trouble, which is easier said than done at these types of tracks.”

    How tough is Dover to drive?

    “It can be a real challenge. It’s quite quick and, when you come off turns two and four, it drops you down like a roller coaster. You just have to have a good setup and make sure everything is working right or it can be a long day. It’s actually a pretty long race, so you have to be prepared. But it’s a fun track and I’m looking forward to it.”

    DANIEL KNOST, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    The GoDaddy team tested at Dover a couple of weeks ago. Were you able to learn anything that will carry over to this weekend?

    “Yes. I felt that it was a really productive test. We tried a lot of big things that really didn’t move the needle, honestly, and we tried some things that maybe wouldn’t seem as big that turned out to be big needle movers. It definitely influenced the way we built the car to go back for the race, as well as our plan for the weekend ahead.”

    What is the key to running well at Dover?

    “To me, the key to running well at Dover is to keep the car rotating in the middle of the corner. It’s a high-load place and the track surface takes a lot of rubber. It seems like you’re always terminally tight at Dover. The team that can keep the car rotating and put the power down in the middle of the corner is going to be the fastest.”

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  • Coca-Cola 600 Post-Report

    Date: May 24, 2015
    Event: Coca-Cola 600 (Round 12 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 20th/22nd (Running, completed 398 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 18th (292 points, 181 out of first)
    Winner: Carl Edwards of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) scored a 22nd-place finish in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick started the race from the 20th position and slipped to 24th before NASCAR threw a competition caution at lap 25. Crew chief Daniel Knost called for four tires, fuel, air pressure and wedge adjustments, and Patrick restarted in 19th at lap 30. The team continued to make minor adjustments throughout the race in an effort to improve the car’s handling as the sun set over the 1.5-mile track.

    Patrick was scored in the 22nd position when the caution flag waved at lap 136. As she pulled out of the team’s pit stall, two other cars made contact with the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS, damaging both front fenders. Knost called her back to pit road to repair the car, and Patrick restarted in the 29th position.

    On the ensuing long, green-flag run, Patrick fell a lap down to the leaders. She was scored in the 25th position when the caution flag waved again at lap 224.

    Patrick remained inside the top-25 for the rest of the race. When the field lined up for the final restart of the night at lap 341, Patrick was scored in the 18th position. She struggled on the restart, dropping to 23rd, then gained one position before the team made its final pit stop of the night at lap 389. Knost called for a two-tire stop with fuel, and Patrick rejoined the field in the 23rd position. She picked up one spot in the closing laps and finished 22nd.

    “It was a really frustrating night,” Patrick said. “The car just felt like it was dragging down the straightaways. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world when you see everyone drive past you, but we dug deep and did our best to get everything we could out of the car, and the pit crew did a great job on pit road all night.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday by finishing ninth.

    Harvick led three times for 26 laps to bring his laps-led total at Charlotte to 322. It was Harvick’s 11th top-10 this season and his 12th top-10 in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 10th. Busch led three times for 118 laps to bring his laps-led total at Charlotte to 623. It was his eighth top-10 in 30 career Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte, his fifth top-10 of 2015 and the ninth straight race that Busch has finished among the top-15.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 21st.

    Carl Edwards won the Coca-Cola 600 to score his 24th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Charlotte.

    Greg Biffle finished 4.785 seconds behind Edwards in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top-five. Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Harvick and Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 39 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    With round 12 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 473 points, 41 ahead of second-place Truex. Busch is 14th with 327 points, 146 out of first. Patrick is 18th with 292 points, 181 out of first. Stewart is 30th with 202 points, 271 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks on Sunday, May 31 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

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  • Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 19, 2015) – The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend has long been a special day for racing enthusiasts around the world. Considered by many as the “Greatest Day in Motorsports,” it starts with the Grand Prix of Monaco, where Formula 1 drivers navigate through the streets of Monte Carlo. That’s followed by the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the day closes with the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    Racing on Memorial Day weekend is nothing new for Danica Patrick as she’s done it at the professional level for many years. For seven years, Patrick competed in the 500-mile race at Indianapolis, but since making the move to Sprint Cup racing, the car, location, track length and distance are a bit different than what she had grown accustomed to during her IndyCar Series days.

    In those seven years Patrick competed in the Indianapolis 500, nowhere did she perform better than in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” She burst onto the scene at Indy in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading three times for 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first “500” – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the iconic race.

    She set numerous records during her Indy 500 debut and set the tone early when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times throughout the month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carburetion Day.

    Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning her rave reviews for her car control by longtime Indy 500 observers. She ended up qualifying fourth, the best-ever starting position for a woman in the race.

    On race day, with 11 laps remaining in the 200-lap event, Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to slow down in order to conserve fuel to make it to the finish. Her efforts earned her Rookie of the Year honors.

    Patrick scored six top-10 finishes in seven starts at Indianapolis and qualified 10th or better five times. Her third-place result in 2009 is the best finish ever for a woman in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

    For the fourth consecutive year, however, Memorial Day weekend will be different for Patrick, as she’ll watch the start of the Indy 500 on television from her motorhome in the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield as she prepares to race in the Coca-Cola 600.

    The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will compete in a race that is 100 miles longer than the Indianapolis 500, starts six hours later than the “500,” and takes place on a 1.5-mile high-banked oval rather than a 2.5-mile nearly flat rectangle.

    Patrick’s career-best finish in the Coca-Cola 600 was a 24th-place result she earned in 2013, but she is ready to improve upon that effort this weekend and find success at Charlotte similar to what she experienced so many times on the “Greatest Day in Motorsports” in Indy.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts about racing at Charlotte?

    “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. It’s fun for me at Charlotte because a lot of the crews have young kids, so it’s fun to meet them and see them around the hauler during the race weekend. It’s just a bit of a different experience than a lot of the tracks we go to.”

    Looking at Memorial Day, what’s that day like for you as you prepare for the Coca-Cola 600?

    “For race day, I like to carve out as much time as I can to watch the Indy 500. It’s an amazing event. I can still put myself there and feel it when I watch the race. I like to watch and see how the drivers I know are doing. It’s a great race. Last year was a great race and I’m sure this year will be, too. It’s just part of tradition. I do have to do meet-and-greets and stuff like that on race day, but I usually try to schedule them early or for the middle of the race so I can watch the end, for sure.”

    How challenging is the Coca-Cola 600?

    “A lot is made about the Coca-Cola 600 being another 100 miles longer and it being a long race. We have a lot of races that are already 500 miles long and we have a lot of races that go from day to night, so it’s really not unfamiliar territory. It can make a bad day worse if the race is even longer. If the car is good, then the day is easy. It never feels all that long and, hopefully, it’s not super-hot out. Other than that, it’s just another race, honestly. But, it is a big event that you want to do well at.”

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  • Sprint All-Star Race Post-Report

    Date: May 16, 2015
    Event: Sprint All-Star Race (non-points event)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 6th/20th (Running, completed 78 of 110 laps)
    Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    A mechanical failure left Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Mobil 1/Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with a 20th-place finish in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    The 31st annual non-points race featured drivers who met one of the following requirements:

    · Won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2014 or 2015.

    · Is a past All-Star Race winner who is a full-time Sprint Cup competitor.

    · Is a Sprint Cup champion who is a full-time Sprint Cup competitor.

    · Won the first segment of Friday night’s Sprint Showdown.

    · Won the second segment of Friday night’s Sprint Showdown.

    · Won the Sprint Fan Vote.

    Patrick secured the Sprint Fan Vote following the Sprint Showdown to earn a spot in Saturday’s non-points event.

    The 110-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval was broken up into five segments of 25 laps, 25 laps, 25 laps, 25 laps and 10 laps and featured a 20-driver field.

    Patrick qualified sixth for the event, but she had to drop to the rear of the field prior to the start of the race because the team changed engines following Friday’s Sprint Showdown.

    In the first All-Star segment, Patrick raced her way up to the 17th position. She reported that the car was over-rotating a bit too much, so crew chief Daniel Knost called for a four-tire stop with packer, wedge and air pressure adjustments when the field hit pit road.

    Patrick started the second segment from the 19th position and worked her way up to 16th before the caution flag waved at lap 50. The team changed four tires and added fuel between segments, and Patrick lined up in the 14th position when the field took the green flag for the third segment.

    A left-front wheel hub failure sent Patrick to the garage a few laps into the third segment. The team replaced the hub and Patrick rejoined the field at lap 88. She completed the remainder of the race and was credited with a 20th-place finish.

    “Overall, I feel positive about tonight,” Patrick said. “You obviously never want to have a mechanical failure like we did, but my guys busted their butts to get me back out, and we were able to get a few more laps in to help us prepare for next weekend. You’d never turn down nearly 25 extra laps of practice, and we were able to get back out there and see what the Mobil 1/Aspen Dental Chevrolet would do. I feel like we made some good changes tonight and were able to gain experience and information that should help us for next weekend.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, led the way for SHR Saturday night by finishing second in the Sprint All-Star Race. It was the second-straight year Harvick finished second in the event, and it was his fourth top-five in 15 career All-Star Races.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished third after leading twice for 24 laps. It was Busch’s sixth top-five in 15 career All-Star Races.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Arctic Cat Chevrolet SS for SHR, dealt with a tight-handling racecar and finished 19th.

    Denny Hamlin won the All-Star Race to earn his first victory in nine career All-Star Races. His previous best finish was a pair of fourth-place results in 2009 and 2010.

    Harvick finished .923 of a second behind Hamlin in the runner-up spot, while Busch, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to points-paying racing on Sunday, May 24 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The longest race on the Sprint Cup schedule gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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  • Sprint Showdown Post-Report

    Date: May 15, 2015
    Event: Sprint Showdown (non-points event)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 8th/9th (Running, completed 40 of 40 laps)
    Winner: Segment 1: Greg Biffle of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford); Segment 2: Clint Bowyer of Michael Waltrip Racing (Toyota)

    Thanks to NASCAR fans across the country, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Mobil 1/Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will compete in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    For the second time in her Sprint Cup career, Patrick won the Sprint Fan Vote to earn a spot in the field for Saturday night’s event. According to NASCAR, the margin of victory for the fan vote was the closest in the vote’s history. Patrick also became the first repeat winner of the Sprint Fan Vote after previously winning in 2013.

    “I’m extremely fortunate to have some great fans. They’re very active all across all the social media platforms and just in general cheering for me out loud at the racetrack,” Patrick said. “I’m just extremely fortunate. I don’t take them for granted for a second. That’s why I want to do well, because I want to do well for all those people that wear my shirt and wave my flag and wear my hat. I see them wear it, and I want them to see me on the track and be proud and have an exciting weekend.”

    The voting results were announced after the completion of Friday night’s Sprint Showdown in which Patrick finished ninth and scored her third top-10 finish in the event.

    Patrick started the race from the eighth position and fell back to 10th before the conclusion of the first of two 20-lap segments. She radioed to the team that the car was unpredictable on corner entry and got tight in traffic and that the front end was bouncing. When the field hit pit road for the mandatory pit stop between segments, crew chief Daniel Knost called for a four-tire stop and made air pressure and chassis adjustments in an effort to improve the car’s handling.

    Patrick lined up in the 10th position for the second segment. She dropped back to 14th at lap 23 but was able to race her way back up to ninth in the closing laps.

    Patrick and her SHR teammates will race for a shot at the $1 million winner’s check in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Coverage of the non-points-paying event begins at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

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  • Sprint Showdown Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 12, 2015) – For Danica Patrick, there are two ways to make it into Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race to contend for the million-dollar winner’s check: win one of the segments in Friday’s Sprint Showdown or win the Sprint Fan Vote.

    Friday night, she has two chances to race her way into the field for Saturday’s featured event. In previous seasons, the top-two finishers of the Sprint Showdown advanced to the Sprint All-Star Race, but this year the winner of each of two 20-lap segments will advance to Saturday’s race. Patrick has earned top-10 finishes in both prior starts in the Sprint Showdown.

    Patrick’s other hope for making the Sprint All-Star Race is via the Sprint Fan Vote. She is one of 32 Sprint Cup drivers eligible for the Sprint Fan Vote this year. Fans can vote through the start of Friday’s Sprint Showdown on the NASCAR mobile app or by visiting NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote.

    As Patrick looks to work her way into the Sprint All-Star Race, her No. 10 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will sport a different look for this weekend’s festivities. Longtime SHR partner Mobil 1 has primary placement on the hood and TV panel, and Aspen Dental is featured on the rear quarter panels of the blue, white and black No. 10 car.

    Whether she races her way in or gets voted in by the fans, Patrick hopes to be racing the No. 10 Mobil 1/Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for a shot at the $1 million winner’s check in Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Mobil 1/Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    How do you feel about the Showdown and making the Sprint All-Star Race field?

    “By all means, as a driver, I want to get in legitimately by racing my way into the show. If being voted in is my last chance, then I’m grateful for my fans. I had more votes last year than the year before and I won the year before. My fans are always there for me. I’ve seen a number of posts on social media from my fans about voting and I’m grateful for their support.”

    You made it into the Sprint All-Star Race two years ago. How did you feel about that?

    “It was very flattering. I’m very fortunate for the fans that I have. I have to say that from a driver’s perspective. I would rather race my way in but, if I have to get in by fan vote, what other way is better than that? I mean, to have the fans put you in the race was something special. I have been so lucky in my career to have such great fans everywhere I go, so I have to say thank you for that.”

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  • SpongeBob SquarePants 400 Post-Report

    Date: May 9, 2015
    Event: SpongeBob SquarePants 400 (Round 11 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th/27th (Running, completed 265 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 17th (270 points, 167 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) scored a 27th-place finish in Saturday’s SpongeBob SquarePants 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

    Patrick started the race from the 27th position and dropped back to 31st before the competition caution on lap 25. She radioed to the team that the car was loose, center-off, so crew chief Daniel Knost called the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet to pit road at lap 27 for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments.

    The loose-handling condition persisted on the subsequent run, but Patrick worked her way up to 25th before going a lap down to the leader at lap 71. When the caution flag waved again at lap 94 as she was scored in the 26th position, Patrick noted the rear of the car was “just too unstable.” While the race continued under caution, it started to rain. NASCAR issued the red flag and brought the field down pit road.

    During the rain delay, Patrick and Knost debriefed and decided to make wholesale changes when the race restarted to improve the car’s handling. When the track was dried and the race resumed, Patrick was in position to take the wave-around and got back on the lead lap. She was scored in the 25th position when the field took the green flag at lap 107.

    The caution flag was displayed again several laps later, and the GoDaddy team pitted at lap 121 for the major mechanical adjustments they’d discussed during the rain delay. On the short run, Patrick noted the car handled better in traffic, but as the run progressed the loose-handling condition resurfaced.

    On lap 168, Patrick again went a lap down to the leader. The team pitted at lap 188 for tires and fuel, and when the caution flag waved at lap 207 Patrick was able to take the wave-around again, rejoining the lead lap in the 26th position.

    She raced her way up to 22nd before the team made its final pit stop at lap 247. Unfortunately, the caution flag waved several laps later, and since a number of cars had yet to pit, Patrick ended up two laps down to the leader in the 27th position. She swapped positions with the No. 51 car in the closing laps of the race but was able to get back to 27th before taking the checkered flag.

    “It was a terrible night for the GoDaddy team,” Patrick said. “We tried a number of things but couldn’t seem to get the balance right. The car was really loose for most of the race but got tight off the corner there toward the end.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Saturday night at Kansas Speedway by finishing second.

    Harvick led twice for 53 laps to bring his laps-led total at Kansas to 454. He has now led 1,006 total laps through the first 11 races of 2015, eclipsing his laps-led total for every Sprint Cup season with the exception of last year, when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship. It was Harvick’s eighth top-two finish this season and his ninth top-10 finish in 19 career Sprint Cup starts at Kansas.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished eighth. It was his fifth top-10 in 19 career Sprint Cup starts at Kansas and the seventh-straight race this season where Busch has finished among the top-15.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 39th after being collected in an accident on lap 130.

    Jimmie Johnson won the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 to score his 73rd career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his third at Kansas.

    Harvick finished .487 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 49 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round 11 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 437 points, 46 ahead of second-place Truex. Busch is 14th with 292 points, 145 out of first. Patrick is 17th with 270 points, 167 out of first. Stewart is 30th with 179 points, 258 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 16 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Coverage of the non-points-paying event begins at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

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  • SpongeBob SquarePants 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 6, 2015) – In the “Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy clicked her heels and said, “There’s no place like home,” in order to return to her home in Kansas.

    After two finishes outside the top-20, the timing couldn’t be better for Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to return to Kansas Speedway in Kansas City for Saturday night’s SpongeBob SquarePants 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

    Entering the weekend, Patrick is looking to score results similar to her performance at the 1.5-mile track last May, when she started ninth and finished seventh. The effort was one of only two times in her career she has started and finished in the top-10, with the other being the 2013 Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where she started on the pole and finished eighth.

    She ran well throughout the night at Kansas last May and was as high as third late in the race before finishing seventh.

    After back-to-back weeks with results of 25th at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and 21st at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Patrick is looking to rebound at Kansas and get back into the top-10. She has already scored two top-10 finishes so far this season with a seventh-place effort at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and a ninth-place finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Those results helped her earn the record for the most top-10 finishes of any female in Sprint Cup Series competition with a total of six top-10s.

    In addition to Patrick’s success at Kansas last May, she also earned a top-10 run at the track in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition in October 2012. She also has one top-five and three top-10 results in the IndyCar Series at Kansas, and she scored an IndyCar pole in July 2003.

    Given her results at the track, as Patrick looks to earn another top-10 finish in the 2015 season, she hopes a return to Kansas will do just the trick.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts on going back to Kansas this spring?

    “I’ve always liked going to Kansas. It’s a nice facility and I’ve got a lot of experience there compared to some places, even if a lot of it is in IndyCar. We had a great run there last spring and hopefully we can do the same this year.”

    What’s the key to figuring out Kansas, as you seemed to do last spring?

    “Kansas is a good memory for me, for sure. I feel like that’s about the time we took a step forward with our speed as a team last year. While I’d love to tell you what the trick is, it’s not that simple. We went back to Kansas at the end of the year and didn’t run nearly as well – at least in practice and qualifying. I think that the car needs to be good. Downforce is critical because it’s a very fast track, so the closer to flat-out you can be, the better. These cars are finicky. It’s about focusing on the small things and getting the most out of the car itself instead of trying to throw the kitchen sink at it if you’re a little off. It’s all in the little details. I think that’s the most important thing.”

    What is the hardest part of the track to figure out at Kansas?

    “It’s a fast track. I think it’s the same problem we face at most tracks we go to – you have to get through the center well enough to be comfortable enough to be very aggressive with the throttle at the same time. I think that, for sheer speed, you can’t be too loose, but in the race you can’t be too tight or you’ll fall back.”

    This Sunday is Mother’s Day. What has your mother meant to you?

    “She’s just a great, great person. She’s kind and she’s always been someone I go to when I need to be comforted. I feel like that’s the role of moms, and my mom definitely does a great job with that. I wish my mom and dad could be at the race every weekend, but they make it to as many as possible. I’m very grateful to have such great parents.”

    Describe your seventh-place result at Kansas last year.

    “Honestly, the most rewarding part of my night was probably when I drove around the outside of the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) on a restart. That was probably my most rewarding thing all night. I say that with all the respect in the world. It’s a big deal because he is Jimmie Johnson. Aside from that, I was really just overall proud that we stayed up front all night. That was the biggest thing. When the race started, it was about finishing the weekend off right and just staying up there. You know you’re going to go up, you’re going to go down a little bit, and we sure enough did that. But we more than held our own through the whole race.”

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  • Geico 500 Post-Report

    Date: May 3, 2015
    Event: Geico 500 (Round 10 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 25th/21st (Running, completed 188 of 188 laps)
    Point Standing: 16th (253 points, 141 out of first)
    Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) overcame an early race accident and a broken shifter linkage to earn a 21st-place finish in Sunday’s Geico 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

    Patrick started the race from the 25th position and was running 23rd when she was collected as collateral damage in a lap-48 accident. As Patrick slowed on the backstretch when the caution flag was displayed, contact from the No. 43 car sent her spinning toward the inside retaining wall. Patrick was able to save it and slowly brought the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS to pit road so the team could change tires and assess the damage. NASCAR officials displayed the red flag, so Patrick pulled back out onto the track and rejoined the field. The team made one additional pit stop to repair the damage once the caution flag was displayed again, and Patrick restarted in the 16th position when the field took the green flag at lap 51.

    Despite sustaining damage in the wreck, Patrick was still able to race her way through the draft and contend. She worked her way up to 10th and was scored in the 15th position when the caution flag waved at lap 116 for debris in turn three. As Patrick slowed under caution, she radioed to the team that the car was stuck in fourth gear. The team analyzed potential ways to address the issue but ultimately decided they wouldn’t be able to fix it without losing multiple laps.

    Patrick restarted in the 24th position and dropped to 28th after the field took the green flag. Once the GoDaddy Chevrolet SS got up to full song, she was able to race her way up to the sixth position with 50 laps to go. When the caution flag waved for the final time at lap 159, crew chief Daniel Knost called Patrick to pit road for the team’s final stop of the race. The team changed four tires, added fuel, removed debris from the grille and helped push the GoDaddy Chevrolet SS out of their pit stall since the car was still stuck in fourth gear.

    She restarted 27th at lap 162 and fell to 32nd before working her way back into the top-20 at lap 170. Patrick attempted to make a run on the bottom line with several laps to go, but without any drafting help, she drifted back to 28th. On the closing lap Patrick was able to miss a number of cars as they wrecked ahead of her, and she scored a 21st-place finish.

    Upon postrace inspection, the team determined that Patrick had been stuck in fourth gear for the last third of the race because the shifter linkage was broken.

    “Well, we survived today despite all the issues we faced, and sometimes that’s all you can ask for,” Patrick said. “The GoDaddy team did a great job getting the car fixed after the wreck, and the car ran really well. I was really worried we were going to have to make a green-flag stop at the end after we had shifter issues, but thankfully the cautions worked out and we didn’t. We had really hoped to come out of Talladega with a better finish, but at least we didn’t end up 40th.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday by finishing eighth in the Geico 500.

    In the 10 races run this season, Harvick has finished among the top-10 nine times. This was his 13th top-10 in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Talladega.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 12th. It marked the seventh-straight race Busch has finished among the top-15.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 19th after leading twice for six laps.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Geico 500 to score his 24th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his sixth at Talladega.

    Jimmie Johnson finished .158 of a second behind Earnhardt to give Hendrick Motorsports a one-two finish. Third-place went to Paul Menard, while Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top-five. Sam Hornish Jr., Ryan Newman, Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Josh Wise comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 23 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 188-lap race around the 2.66-mile oval.

    With round 10 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 394 points, 40 ahead of second-place Truex. Busch is 15th with 255 points, 139 out of first. Patrick is 16th with 253 points, 141 out of first. Stewart is 30th with 174 points, 220 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 on Saturday, May 9 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1 beginning with its prerace show at 7 p.m.

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  • Danica's response to GoDaddy's announcement:

    GoDaddy has been an incredible partner for a very long time, almost nine years, and as I’ve said before, our brands have really grown up together. It’s pretty cool, from a marketing perspective, that we helped GoDaddy build such strong brand awareness here in the U.S. I’m excited to work with GoDaddy on a personal level moving forward, but will miss having their bright green color on my racecar next year. Now, there’s an opportunity for another breakout brand to join me and Stewart-Haas Racing and experience the kind of growth we had with GoDaddy.

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  • Geico 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 28, 2015) – This is a race weekend Danica Patrick has circled on her calendar.

    While many drivers are not fond of the extremely tight packs of cars that dominate the racing action at restrictor-plate tracks like Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Patrick freely admits she enjoys this style of racing.

    And why shouldn’t she? It’s the kind of racing where she has enjoyed great success in her brief NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.

    In her first-ever Daytona 500 start in February 2013, she won the pole position to become the first woman ever to claim the top spot for a Sprint Cup race. She stayed out of trouble for the remainder of Speedweeks and ran in the top-three for much of the Daytona 500 before dropping from third to eighth on the final lap.

    She rewrote some of the NASCAR record book en route to her eighth-place finish that day, which is the highest finishing position ever by a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    In addition to her history-making pole run and finish in the Daytona 500, Patrick also led five laps – 90 to 91 and 127 to 129 – to become the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead Sprint Cup laps under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 14 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish the feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, A.J. Allmendinger and Tony Stewart. Of those drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 17 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Andretti, Unser, Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    She hasn’t had the same results in her Sprint Cup starts at Talladega – finishing a career-best 19th in last October’s event at the track. But it still should come as no surprise that Patrick is looking forward to Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega, the second points-paying restrictor-plate race of the season.

    Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS is sporting a different look for Talladega. You’ll see the hashtag #SmallBizForce on the hood and roof of the car along with the message “Happy Small Business Week” on the decklid in honor of Small Business Week, which kicks off Monday, May 4. GoDaddy is a champion for small businesses and is using the hashtag to direct people to GoDaddy.com/Force where they can learn about sci-fi related small businesses.

    With a style of racing that she loves, Patrick and the No. 10 team will have all eyes on the prize at Talladega this weekend as they hope to rewrite the history books once again.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve run well at the superspeedways. Even if you have been caught up in incidents, you have been consistently in the top-10 throughout each race. Is your confidence level higher at these types of racetracks?

    “I don’t know if the confidence level shifts a tremendous amount as much as the comfort level does. Just being comfortable on these big speedways and comfortable with this pack-style racing that I was so used to in IndyCar on the ovals. Just having a feel for it. It’s something that I probably caught on to quicker than anything in stock car racing. I guess I show up there and it’s just a little bit more comfortable.”

    You’ve always liked going to Talladega. Why is that?

    “The fans really make that place. The campgrounds – all that stuff makes it one, big party. You see how much fun the fans are having and that makes it fun for us as drivers. It’s just a unique place. The sheer size of the facility is amazing. I liked it from the first time I went there and, hopefully, we can have a good run and a good finish. The cool thing about superspeedways is that anybody can win. It’s a toss-up, what’s going to happen. So, that’s why it’s fun for me because somebody like me has a chance. On top of that, SHR’s superspeedway cars are really good.”

    What is your favorite part of going into the Talladega infield?

    “My favorite part about going into the infield at Talladega is seeing things you’re not supposed to see. I mean it’s a crazy party and I feel like those are the kind of things that keep people coming back. It’s the atmosphere and the whole package of the weekend – not just the racing – but the parties, having fun and making memories.”

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  • Richmond 400 Post-Report

    Date: April 26, 2015
    Event: Richmond 400 (Round 9 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 21st/25th (Running, completed 398 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 16th (230 points, 127 out of first)
    Winner: Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) finished 25th in Sunday’s Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

    Patrick, who started in 21st, faced adversity throughout much of the race on Sunday afternoon, beginning when she was caught up in an accident with the No. 13 car on lap six. Patrick made a remarkable save to keep from spinning but dropped to 31st. The GoDaddy team reported a tire rub due to the damage caused by the incident on the left-rear quarter panel. Patrick wasn’t able to pit until the competition caution on lap 50 to repair the left-rear damage from the lap-six incident.

    Patrick and the GoDaddy team rallied after the stop, and by lap 127 she was up to 22nd. However, as she was pulling in to pit on lap 129, the No. 15 car pulled out of its pit box, making contact with Patrick’s left-rear quarter panel and causing the GoDaddy team to scramble getting her into their pit box. Luckily, another caution came out quickly on lap 139, and the GoDaddy racecar was able to pit again to repair the damage from the previous caution period. By lap 156 Patrick had moved up into the 24th position.

    Patrick and crew chief Daniel Knost made several additional changes in an effort to salvage their race, and Patrick had raced back up to 21st on lap 272. During a green-flag pit stop on lap 347, a debris caution came out and Patrick fell back to 28th, but she dug in and raced her way back into the top-25 by the time the checkered flag fell.

    “The race really didn’t go our way today,” Patrick said. “We struggled with accidents both on track and on pit road that didn’t do us any favors. Our team had to dig in and get everything we could out of our GoDaddy Chevrolet. When you have days like this, you just have to be proud of your team for sticking with it and coming out with a top-25 finish.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Sunday at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway by winning the rain-postponed Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

    It was the 28th point-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s third this season. SHR driver Kevin Harvick won earlier this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.

    Busch started third and led six times for a race-high 291 laps around the .75-mile oval to bring his laps-led total at Richmond to 748. It was Busch’s 26th career Sprint Cup victory, his first this season and his second at Richmond.

    Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, crossed the stripe .754 of a second behind Busch in the runner-up spot to give SHR a 1-2 finish. It was only the second time SHR drivers have finished 1-2 in a Sprint Cup race, with the previous time coming on July 17, 2011 when Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart finished 1-2 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    It was Harvick’s seventh top-two finish in nine Sprint Cup starts this season. Harvick led twice for two laps to bring his laps-led total at Richmond to 987. He has now led 952 total laps through the first nine races of 2015, eclipsing his laps led total for every Sprint Cup season with the exception of last year when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship.

    Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 41st after a late-race accident.

    Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five behind the SHR duo of Busch and Harvick. Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 53 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    With round nine of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 357 points, 33 ahead of second-place Logano. Patrick is 16th with 230 points, 127 out of first. Busch is 18th with 222 points, 135 out of first. Stewart is 30th with 148 points, 209 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Geico 500 on Sunday, May 3 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Danica Patrick And Aspen Dental Give Americans A Taste Of Their Future With Hidden Camera Video

    For the majority of Americans, going to the dentist is no laughing matter – in fact, an estimated 150 million American adults avoided a dental visit altogether last year. The reason? Anxiety about cost, pain and the extent of dental work they may need.

    So to raise awareness about the long-term consequences of delaying dental care, Aspen Dental tapped their partner, NASCAR driverDanica Patrick, to give Americans "A Taste of the Future" in a humorous new hidden camera video.

    "A Taste of the Future" features Danica Patrick behind the grill of a food truck, going undercover to serve up classic food truck fare like fish tacos, burgers and pulled pork sandwiches. But before handing unsuspecting customers their lunch, Danica does something completely unexpected: She drops their food into a blender, serving it up in smoothie form. Customer reactions ran the gamut from confusion to disgust and were captured on hidden cameras for an arresting look at the potential future consequences of avoiding the dentist.

    "Delaying dental visits for years is similar to what happens when you don't keep up maintenance on your car and then expect it to perform the way it should. You end up having higher costs to repair damage that could have been prevented with proper, regular maintenance," said Patrick. "I love the approach that Aspen Dental took with this video – it's a fun and creative way to deliver what is actually a really serious health message about the importance of oral health to overall health, and I was proud to be a part of it."

    Research shows that for many Americans, dental care has become discretionary, a "nice to do" rather than a "must have." Case in point: a recent survey of more than 1,000 adults conducted by ORC International and commissioned by Aspen Dental Management, Inc. found that nearly two in five American adults (39 percent) say they have limited or will delay dental care due to their financial situation, a number that has increased by nearly eight percent in the past two years. And they're making the decision despite knowing the long-term financial implications -- 80 percent are aware that postponing or delaying routine visits will cost them more money in the long run. The survey also found that nearly one in five consumers would fix problems with their car ahead of addressing pain in their mouth.

    "We know that dentistry is a category that's filled with fear and anxiety," said Mark Censoprano, chief marketing officer at Aspen Dental Management, Inc. "This is the first time that we've launched a campaign that relies heavily on digital and social media to get the word out, and we believe that this humorous approach will ignite a conversation and generate buzz about what is an often overlooked healthcare issue – oral health."

    The full "A Taste of the Future" video, directed by Hollywood industry veteran Jeff Tremaine, who is widely known for his hidden camera prank television shows like Jackass and feature films such as Bad Grandpa, can be viewed here:www.ATasteoftheFuture.com.

    This is the latest effort from Aspen Dental to shine a light on the often overlooked dental health care landscape. Last year, Aspen Dental launched the Healthy Mouth Movement to deliver free dental care and oral health education to people in need across the United States. This year, the Healthy Mouth Movement will provide much needed dental care and oral health education to our nation's veterans, free of charge. As one of the largest networks of dental care providers in the United States, Aspen Dental is stepping in to help raise dental health awareness and to help keep Americans' mouths on track.

    For more information, visit www.ATasteoftheFuture.com.

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  • Richmond 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 15, 2015) – Entering Saturday night’s Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, Danica Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) have enjoyed quite a bit of success on short tracks thus far in 2015.

    They scored a seventh-place finish at the .526-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway late last month. It was Patrick’s first Sprint Cup top-10 at a short track. Last weekend at the .533-mile Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, she earned her second top-10 of the season – a ninth-place run at the high-banked short track. The effort marked the sixth top-10 finish of Patrick’s Sprint Cup career, setting the record for the most top-10 finishes ever by a female in Sprint Cup competition.

    While the results have been great, the finishes haven’t come easy. They have been earned through a lot of hard work by Patrick and the members of her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team.

    Early in the race at Martinsville, Patrick was running 30th while battling an ill-handling car and she went a lap down to the leader at lap 150. The team continued to adjust on the racecar throughout the event and, once Patrick was able to get back on the lead lap, she started charging toward the front of the field. She cracked the top-10 with a little more than 100 laps to go and worked her way up to seventh before taking the checkered flag.

    At Bristol, Patrick came back from being a lap down twice during the event. Once again, the team didn’t give up and kept making adjustments to Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS. She raced her way into the top-20 at lap 193 and remained there for the rest of the event. In the late stages of the race, she worked her way into the top-15 and was able to crack the top-10 in the closing laps.

    As Sprint Cup teams head to the .75-mile Richmond oval this weekend, Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team will be looking for another top-10 run to continue their short-track success.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts on Richmond?

    “I’ve always enjoyed going to Richmond. I had fun racing Indy cars there. I liked driving the Xfinity car there, as well. We didn’t have the greatest results, but it was still fun.”

    What makes the racing so good at Richmond?

    “When you have a good car, it creates opportunities to pass. Turns one and two are kind of tight, and three and four are more of a long corner, so it’s a challenge to set the car up. We slip and slide there a bunch, anyway. Thank goodness we don’t race there in the day. There is more grip at night and I’m thankful for that.”

    DANIEL KNOST, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What is the key to running well at Richmond?

    “The biggest issue we face at Richmond is tire management. The tires fall off a lot. The cars tend to get loose in and then you’re tight in the center of the corner and you need to carry good rolling speed. The key to running well at Richmond, in my opinion, is to be able to maintain drive off when others can’t so you can complete passes as you roll through the center of the corner.”

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  • Food City 500 Post-Report

    Date: April 19, 2015
    Event: Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer (Round 8 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 26th/9th (Running, completed 511 of 511 laps)
    Point Standing: 13th (211 points, 103 out of first)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    “Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill

    Danica Patrick and the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team overcame a number of hurdles during Sunday’s Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and despite all odds, they never gave up and earned a ninth-place finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    The effort was Patrick’s second top-10 of the season and the sixth of her 90-race Sprint Cup career. With her result at Bristol, Patrick has now surpassed Janet Guthrie for the most top-10 finishes ever by a female driver in the Sprint Cup Series.

    Patrick started the race from the 26th position and went a lap down to the leaders at lap 126. She cracked the top-20 at lap 193 and stayed there for the remainder of the race. Patrick battled for the “lucky dog” position for an extended period of time but was denied the free pass when, after the caution flag waved at lap 279, the No. 34 car made contact with the right-rear of Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS as she went down on the apron to avoid other cars. NASCAR deemed that Patrick was a part of the caution and, as such, not able to get back on the lead lap. The No. 10 team pitted multiple times in an effort to repair the damage, and Patrick restarted in the 20th position when the field took the green flag.

    Persistence finally paid off for Patrick at lap 368 when the caution flag waved once again and she was in position for the lucky dog award. She earned her way back onto the lead lap, but on the subsequent long green-flag run, she went a lap down to the leaders again.

    With less than 20 laps to go, the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS sustained damage as the field abruptly checked up after a wreck in turn three. The team elected to stay out, and a few laps later Patrick earned the lucky dog once again, making her way back onto the lead lap.

    Rain pushed the event passed the scheduled distance, and Patrick was able to race her way into the top-10 in the final laps of the race.

    “I didn’t think this day was ever going to end,” Patrick said. “I’m proud of everybody for keeping their heads up and staying positive, and these are the things that happen when you work together as a team. Today was a total team effort. We made good changes during the race, and the guys did a good job fixing the car as well. I wish we could have lined up with the leaders to see what we could have gotten there at the end, but we managed to get a top-10 with the GoDaddy Chevrolet.”

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday by finishing sixth. It was Stewart’s 10th top-10 finish in 31 career Sprint Cup starts at Bristol and his first top-10 this season.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 15th. Busch started seventh and led six times for 98 laps to bring his laps-led total at Bristol to 1,021. Busch was running in the top-10 in the closing laps of the race when he was involved in a multicar accident on the backstretch on lap 495 that caused significant damage to his racecar. Despite the damage, Busch finished the race, earning his 19th top-15 in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Bristol and his fifth top-15 of 2015.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 38th after being involved in a multicar accident on lap 311. Harvick started fourth and led six times for a race-high 184 laps prior to the accident to bring his laps-led total at Bristol to 721.

    Matt Kenseth won the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer to score his 32nd career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his fourth at Bristol.

    Jimmie Johnson finished .287 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Jeff Gordon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five. Stewart, Kyle Larson, Justin Allgaier, Patrick and Austin Dillon comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 11 caution periods for 117 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 511-lap race, which was extended 11 laps from its scheduled 500-lap distance by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round eight of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 314 points, 30 ahead of second-place Joey Logano. Patrick is 13th with 211 points, 103 out of first. Busch is 22nd with 174 points, 140 out of first. Stewart is 28th with 145 points, 169 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Richmond 400 on Saturday, April 25 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The race starts at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX.

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  • Food City 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 15, 2015) – The 14-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Alicia Keys co-wrote the song “Girl on Fire” for her fifth studio album in 2012. The powerful song climbed the Billboard charts and received critical acclaim as an anthem brimming with self-confidence and empowerment.

    As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Food City 500 in support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer, Keys’s song could also be considered an anthem for Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

    She’s just a girl, and she’s on fire

    As Patrick enters the eighth race of the Sprint Cup season, her early season statistics speak for themselves. She’s earned three top-20 finishes in a row and a four so far this year. That’s double the amount Patrick had scored in the same timeframe her previous two full-time Sprint Cup seasons.

    Oh, she got both feet on the ground

    And she’s burning it down

    Patrick’s average starting position is 20.1, a significant improvement over her 33.3 in 2013 and 25.6 in 2014.

    Oh, she got her head in the clouds

    And she’s not backing down

    She has an 18.9 average finish this year. That’s six positions better than two years ago and eight better than last season.

    This girl is on fire

    So far this season, Patrick is ranked 17th in the Sprint Cup driver standings with 176 points. In 2013, she was 26th with 135 points. In 2014, she was 29th with 121 points.

    She’s walking on fire

    According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Patrick has completed 143 quality passes in 2015. That statistic counts only passes made while in the top-15 and under green-flag conditions. Two years ago, Patrick had 97 and last year she had 65.

    Looks like a girl, but she’s a flame

    So bright, she can burn your eyes

    This season Patrick has run in the top-15 for 455 laps, which is 21.2 percent of the laps completed. Those figures are more than double her rookie season, when she was in the top-15 for 225 laps and 9.7 percent of the laps run. Her 2015 totals are also more than six times the figures she posted last year when she raced in the top-15 for 66 laps and 2.8 percent of the laps run.

    Everybody stands, as she goes by

    Cause they can see the flame that’s in her eyes

    Prior to the start of the Food City 500 in support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer, each driver will walk out to a song of their choosing for driver introductions. For this weekend’s race, Patrick tasked the members of her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team with selecting the song she will walk out to. Perhaps her early season success and confidence is the reason why the team chose Keys’s “Girl on Fire” as Patrick’s anthem for Sunday’s introductions.

    This girl is on fire

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Do you like racing at Bristol?

    “I do. I like Bristol. Obviously, it can be a little bit – the cars definitely got in a train last time we were here. It was tough. It was a little bit hard to pass. But like I said, that is why the bottom becomes important because, if you get stuck or even if you start on the bottom on a restart, if your car is turning, you can make that work, I think, for a little while. I think qualifying is going to be really important, so I’m definitely going to find myself doing a lot more qualifying runs – as many as possible before qualifying in the afternoon. But, I’ve liked Bristol since the first time I came here.”

    How grueling is 500 laps at Bristol?

    “It’s fine. I think it is a little daunting to say 500 laps, but there are a lot of times that we do 500 laps, or 500 miles, and this is just one of them. I feel like no matter what happens – whether it’s a 400-mile race or a 500-lap race – you find your rhythm. Time goes by fast sometimes, and then sometimes it’s slow. All I hope is that the car has a good balance because, when it doesn’t, that’s when the laps seem wrong. If we can just get into a rhythm, find ourselves in a good spot and have a consistent car throughout the race, then the time does go pretty quickly, usually.”

    Fans come to Bristol and typically expect a lot of beating and banging. Do you like that kind of racing?

    “Yes, I enjoy it. I mean, I don’t mind some beating and banging out there. I don’t mind pushing your way around a little bit. It just happens. It’s just the nature of short tracks when you’re running really close to one another. You put 43 cars out on a track the size of Bristol and you’re filling up a lot of the track. The short tracks are conducive for close racing since aerodynamics don’t come into play quite as much.”

    Overall thoughts heading into Bristol?

    “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 that is 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.”

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  • Duck Commander 500 Post-Report

    Date: April 11, 2015
    Event: Duck Commander 500 (Round 7 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 21st/16th (Running, completed 334 of 334 laps)
    Point Standing: 17th (176 points, 130 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick finished 16th in the No. 10 TaxACT/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    Patrick started from the 21st position and raced her way into 16th by lap 10, despite driving a car that got tighter as the run progressed. When crew chief Daniel Knost called her to pit road under caution at lap 33, the team changed tires, added fuel and made wedge and air pressure adjustments to help improve the car’s handling.

    Patrick lined up 14th for the lap 36 restart and quickly lost several positions after the field took the green flag, an issue that would persist each time she had to restart in the outside lane.

    The No. 10 TaxACT/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team continued to make adjustments on each trip to pit road, and Patrick raced her way up to the 15th position at lap 192. She remained inside the top-20 until she restarted in 16th at lap 299. Stuck in the outside lane once again, Patrick dropped all the way back to 24th before the caution flag waved at lap 308.

    Knost called Patrick to pit road for four tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments. She lined up 21st for the final restart with 21 laps to go and was able to work her way up to the 16th position before taking the checkered flag.

    The effort marked Patrick’s career-best finish at the 1.5-mile track, trumping a 24th-place result she earned in the November 2012 Sprint Cup race at Texas. With seven races in the books for the 2015 season, Patrick has earned four top-20 finishes. That is two more than at this point of the season for each of the first two years of her fulltime Sprint Cup career.

    “The No. 10 TaxACT/GoDaddy team worked really hard all weekend, and I’m proud of the effort everyone gave to make our car run better,” Patrick said. “The track got really loose toward the end of the race, and the car was sideways at times. It was absolutely horrible the second-to-last run, but we were able to get it better there at the end. I’m frustrated we didn’t get a top-15 run, but I’m glad we were able to rally back and at least finish where we did.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Saturday night by finishing second in the Duck Commander 500.

    The second-place finish was Harvick’s second straight runner-up effort at Texas and his fourth second-place result this season. Dating back to Texas last November, Harvick has finished among the top-two nine times during this 10-race span. Four of those finishes have been wins. His lone placement outside the top-two was an eighth-place result two weeks ago at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    Harvick started second and led nine times for 96 laps in the Duck Commander 500 to bring his laps-led total at Texas to 104. Harvick has now led 766 total laps through the first seven Sprint Cup races of 2015. Harvick has only led more laps than that in an entire season twice – the first was in 2006 with 895 laps led and the second was in 2014 when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 14th. Busch started on the pole and led twice for 45 laps to bring his laps-led total at Texas to 295. It was Busch’s 16th top-15 finish in 25 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval and his fourth top-15 this season.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 24th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Duck Commander 500 to score his 72nd career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his series-best fifth at Texas.

    Harvick finished 1.107 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five. Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 40 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 334-lap race.

    With round seven of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 306 points, 26 ahead of second-place Logano. Patrick is 17th with 176 points, 130 out of first. Busch is 21st with 144 points, 162 out of first. Stewart is 32nd with 107 points, 199 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Food City 500 in support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer on Sunday, April 19 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

    -SHR-

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  • Duck Commander 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 8, 2015) – In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race two weekends ago at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 TaxACT/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), and her team rallied back from being a lap down to earn their maximum return of the season thus far – a top-10 finish.

    As the series next visits Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500, the team will be looking to achieve maximum results once again. Entering the seventh race of the season, Patrick continues to show improvement at the Sprint Cup level. Her average finish is 19.3 and she’s tied for 16th in the driver standings. In 2013, she had an average finish of 24.3 and was 26th in the standings after six events. Last year, she had an average finish of 26.8 and was ranked 29th heading to the seventh race of the season.

    As Patrick prepares to make her sixth career Sprint Cup start at the 1.5-mile Texas oval this weekend, TaxACT, the official tax preparation service partner of Patrick and SHR, returns as the co-primary sponsor of the No. 10 TaxACT/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS.

    TaxACT is the maker of do-it-yourself digital tax filing solutions that help millions of Americans file their taxes. The company was the pioneer of free federal tax filing in 2005 and has continued to provide truly free federal tax return filing with no restrictions every year since. TaxACT provides a fast, easy, free federal tax solution with a maximum refund guaranteed. Consumers can visit TaxACT.com to file federal taxes for free.

    While the deadline for filing taxes is just days away and people across the country are looking to maximize returns, Patrick and the No. 10 TaxACT/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team are prepared to capitalize on the momentum they have from their historic run at Martinsville two weeks ago. Patrick’s seventh-place finish was her first top-10 of the season and the fifth top-10 of her 88-race Sprint Cup career. She is now tied with Janet Guthrie for the most top-10 Sprint Cup finishes by a female driver.

    This weekend, Patrick and her Daniel Knost-led team hope to build on their first top-10 run together.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 TaxACT/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Coming off a seventh-place finish at Martinsville, how do you feel about the rest of the season ahead?

    “It’s so great that it happened and that it wasn’t through a whole bunch of luck and things like that. We just made the car better and drove our way up through a lot of cars. I very much appreciate the lucky dog because, at places like Martinsville, I spent the first 250 laps not being great, but I spent the last 250 being good. Without that opportunity to get back on the lead lap, it makes for a much longer day, so that is a cool thing that NASCAR does. After that, we just drove up through the field, which was great. The other side of my brain says we’re going to have bad days, too. They just happen. And even the best of them do still have bad days. I’m just glad that we’ve had enough good days to start the season off that I feel very optimistic about the rest of the year. We’re off to a nice start and I wasn’t expecting to be quite so good to start off the year. My crew chief Daniel (Knost) has done a great job of preparing for the season from a car perspective, a personnel perspective and from a setup perspective, and it’s really put us where we are right now.”

    Evaluate your season thus far.

    “The season has been better than I expected it to be to start off, but I think there’s definitely a lot of room to improve. Daniel does a great job of bringing a good car and a good setup each weekend. I think we need to work on making the car better in practice more often. You’re not going to make every change work and make the car better. Even Kevin (Harvick) and Rodney (Childers) come back into the hauler at the end of Saturday practice and say, ‘nothing worked.’ I mean, that just happens. Even for the best of them, it happens. We need to make (the car) better in practice more often and we need to do that in the race, as well. There have been a number of times in the races so far this year that we’ve made it worse and that’s something we need to stay away from. That’s all a part of the learning experience. While we might not have a lot of great results to show for what we’ve done, I think there have been quite a few races where we would have done much better and that makes me pretty optimistic moving forward.”

    Talk about heading into Texas after the first off weekend of the season.

    “I’m feeling really good and really refreshed after the weekend off. I’m just really encouraged by the start of the season and how it’s gone so far. We’ve been to pretty much every style of track now, so I’m feeling confident. I feel like we only have up to go as far as how new our relationship is as a team at this point.”

    DANIEL KNOST, Crew Chief of the No. 10 TaxACT/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Coming off of a solid run at Martinsville, does the team carry some of that momentum into the race at Texas?

    “It’s more than just from Martinsville. We’ve had strong cars at Atlanta and California, which are big tracks that to me are similar to Texas. We did well at Martinsville, too. In general, we have positive momentum behind us going into this weekend.”

    What are the keys to getting around Texas Motor Speedway?

    “At Texas, the corner transitions are a little bit different from a lot of the tracks we go to, so you’ll be loose off of turn two and then, if you run the high line, which the high line comes in after a few laps, there are some bumps you have to manage off of (turn) two. And then you can really be loose into turn three at Texas, probably more than just about any other track. Texas is also getting some age on it. The tires really wear out, so there’s a lot of tire management that you’ll fight. Those will be the big things – loose off of (turn) two, loose into turn three and just managing tires, in general.”

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  • STP 500 Post-Report

    Date: March 29, 2015
    Event: Martinsville 500 (Round 6 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 16th/7th (Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 15th (148 points, 115 out of first)
    Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick recovered from being a lap down and made a strong return at the height of tax season to finish seventh in the No. 10 TaxACT Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in Sunday’s Martinsville 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    Patrick’s effort marked her first top-10 of the season and the fifth top-10 of her 88-race Sprint Cup career. She is now tied with Janet Guthrie for the most top-10 Sprint Cup finishes by a female driver.

    Sunday’s race was not without adversity for the team, however. After starting 16th, Patrick fell back to 26th by lap 50 as she struggled with a car that lacked rear grip and was tight in the center of the corner. Crew chief Daniel Knost called for wedge and air pressure adjustments on the team’s first trip to pit road at lap 56. The team made similar adjustments on the following pit stop at lap 74.

    When the caution flag waved at lap 94, Patrick was scored in the 28th position, and Knost made the call not to pit in an effort to gain track position. Patrick restarted second at lap 98 and remained in the top-10 until lap 119. Each time she got stuck in the outside line Patrick lost several positions, falling from 20th at lap 123 to 30th by lap 130. After going a lap down to the leader at lap 150, Patrick radioed to the team that the car was “a little loose in, tight rolling and needed more drive off” the corner.

    The team pitted under caution at lap 165 for air pressure and wedge adjustments, fresh tires, fuel and a piece of tape added to the grille. The changes improved the handling of Patrick’s No. 10 TaxACT Chevrolet SS, and she was able to work her way into the “lucky dog” position, then back onto the lead lap when the caution flag waved at lap 207.

    Knost continued to direct the team to make air pressure and chassis adjustments to the car over the course of the next few runs, and Patrick was able to race her way into the top-15 at lap 302. At lap 368, Patrick narrowly avoided the No. 27 car as it spun just ahead of her in turn four. Over the course of the following run, Patrick worked her way into the top-10 at lap 395 and remained there throughout the final laps of the race before taking the checkered flag in the seventh position.

    “At the start of the race we had those yellows early, so it was deceiving to know how good the car was or how bad it was,” Patrick said. “We really were very tight in the center, which ends up making you lose drive off because you have so much wheel in it and you’re just trying to fight it. We just weren’t very good to start. We got a lap down, we got it back luckily, and we moved forward from there. And we made a couple of good changes in the middle of the race that really made the difference, and I said if we could just do a little bit more and make me just a little bit better, we’re going to be good. And that’s what we did. I’m proud of everyone for not giving up and for keeping their head in the game today.”

    Patrick’s seventh-place finish in her No. 10 TaxACT Chevrolet SS led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished eighth in the Martinsville 500. Harvick led eight times for a race-high 154 laps to bring his laps-led total at Martinsville to 518. It was his 13th top-10 in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at the .526-mile oval and his sixth top-10 of 2015. Harvick has finished among the top-10 in nine straight races dating back to last November at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, led once for 21 laps before finishing 14th. His laps-led total at Martinsville now stands at 442, and this was Busch’s 10th top-15 finish in 30 career Sprint Cup starts at Martinsville.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, led eight laps before finishing 20th. Stewart bumped his laps-led total at Martinsville to 1,234, fourth-best among active Sprint Cup drivers.

    Denny Hamlin won the Martinsville 500 to score his 25th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his fifth at Martinsville.

    Brad Keselowski finished .186 of a second behind Hamlin in the runner-up spot, while Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan rounded out the top-five. Martin Truex Jr., Patrick, Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 16 caution periods for 112 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    With round six of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 263 points, 24 ahead of second-place Logano. Patrick is 16th with 148 points, 115 out of first. Busch is 25th with 113 points, 150 out of first. Stewart is 32nd with 87 points, 176 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday, April 11 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 7 p.m.

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  • STP 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 25, 2015) – As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits the first short track on its 2015 schedule, Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 TaxACT Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), looks to continue making gains in Sunday’s Martinsville 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    As Sprint Cup teams enter their sixth race of the year, Patrick’s season has gotten off to a solid start with an average starting position of 20.8 and an average finish of 21.8, and she’s ranked 23rd in the driver standings. That effort is an improvement from her first two seasons at the Sprint Cup level. In 2013, she had an average start of 31.8, an average finish of 26.8 and was 29th in the standings. Last year, she had an average start of 29, an average finish of 25.8 and was ranked 27th.

    Coming off a top-20 run last weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, Patrick returns to a track where she’s experienced success before. In April 2013, Patrick scored a 12th-place finish at the .526-mile Southern Virginia oval. Her performance at the short track was impressive, given that she’d never seen Martinsville until the first practice session and then had to start at the rear of the field due to an engine change prior to the race. Undaunted, she marched her way through the field and scored the impressive top-15 finish.

    Patrick’s noteworthy rookie outing bested those of some other name drivers in their Martinsville debuts, most notably her team owner Tony Stewart, who finished 20th in his first Martinsville start in 1999. Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut in 2002. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th in 1984. Dale Jarrett finished 14th in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 26th in 2000. Kyle Busch finished 39th in 2005. Matt Kenseth finished 21st in 2000. Kurt Busch finished 37th in 2000. And Fred Lorenzen finished 24th in 1956.

    When Patrick returns to make her fifth Sprint Cup start at Martinsville this weekend, her No. 10 Chevrolet SS will feature a much different look as it carries the colors of TaxACT, the official tax preparation service partner of Patrick and SHR.

    TaxACT is the maker of do-it-yourself digital tax filing solutions that help millions of Americans file their taxes. The company makes its on-track debut as a primary Sprint Cup sponsor with Patrick and SHR during the height of tax season as consumers are ready to file their annual income tax returns. TaxACT was the pioneer of free federal tax filing in 2005 and has continued to provide truly free federal tax return filing with no restrictions every year since.

    As Patrick enters Sunday’s race prepared to continue making strides at the Sprint Cup level, the deadline is fast approaching for tax filers. TaxACT provides a fast, easy, free federal tax solution with a maximum refund guaranteed. Consumers can visit TaxACT.com to file federal taxes for free.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 TaxACT Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts on Martinsville?

    “It’s a tough place, very tight with a lot of beating and banging, but hopefully we can stay out of trouble and have a good run. It’s a short track and those leaders are on you very quickly if you don’t have a good qualifying run, so qualifying well on Friday will be key. Daniel (Knost, crew chief) has a pretty good track record there after winning the race last spring with Kurt (Busch), so we’re looking forward to this weekend.”

    You had a great run in your very first trip to Martinsville in the spring of 2013. Talk about that.

    “Having never been at Martinsville before, I didn’t know what to expect back then. All I knew was that it was going to be a little bit crazy. I think you take what the car gives you, and my car was pretty good all day. We kind of bounced around from being a little loose to a little tight, but we got back up there. People talk about the race result but a lot of the time they 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 – coming back from two laps down to being on the lead lap and then grabbing a 12th place at the end.”

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  • Auto Club 400 Post-Report

    Date: March 22, 2015
    Event: Auto Club 400 (Round 5 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Auto Club Speedway (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 22nd/19th (Running, completed 209 of 209 laps)
    Point Standing: 23rd (111 points, 114 out of first)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)

    Danica Patrick was running as high as 11th in the closing laps of Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, but the driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) wound up finishing 19th after a time-consuming stop on her final trip to pit road.

    Patrick started the race from the 22nd position and worked her way up to 18th before the car developed a tight-handling condition midway through the run. When the caution flag waved at lap 24, crew chief Daniel Knost called her to pit road for four tires and fuel, and the team also added tape to the car’s grille in an effort to help improve the car’s handling. Patrick restarted in the 17th position and raced her way up to 13th before the No. 10’s handling faded once again, causing her to fall back to 18th as the field started cycling through green-flag pit stops.

    The team continued to adjust the car during each visit to pit road in an effort to improve handling, helping Patrick remain inside the top-25 and on the lead lap. After a green-flag pit stop on lap 137, Patrick radioed to the team that the car felt like it was “firing off better than it (had) the last couple of runs.” She continued to gain momentum over the course of the next two runs and raced her way up to 11th at lap 193. When the caution flag waved at lap 198, Patrick was scored 15th. That caution pushed the race past the scheduled 200-lap distance and set the field up for a green-white-checkered finish.

    Knost called Patrick to pit road for right-side tires and a piece of tape on the grille, but the team had issues replacing the right-front tire and lost multiple positions on the stop. Once he saw what was happening, Knost made the call to go ahead and change all four tires in an effort to give Patrick the best tires possible since she would be restarting deep in the field.

    Patrick lined up 22nd for the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish and was running 19th as the caution flag waved again before the field had taken the white flag. Patrick took the green flag in the 19th position for the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. She was 22nd with one lap to go and raced her way back to19th on the final lap. The effort marked her second top-20 finish of the season.

    “Of all the times to have a mistake, that wasn’t ideal,” Patrick said. “But there are times when I make mistakes as well, and the guys really worked hard all day to help get the Aspen Dental Chevrolet running up front. It’s frustrating to end up finishing behind guys I ran ahead of all day, but we definitely made gains toward the end of the race, and it was good to get up there and run solidly in the top-15.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in by finishing second.

    Harvick led three times for 34 laps en route to his fifth top-five in 22 career Sprint Cup starts at Fontana. It was Harvick’s eighth straight finish of second or better, a streak that began at Texas Motor Speedway in November. The last driver to score eight consecutive top-two finishes was NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty in 1975. Petty holds the record with 11 straight top-two finishes.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started from the pole and led six times for a race-high 65 laps before finishing third. It was Busch’s seventh top-five in 22 career Sprint Cup starts at Fontana. It was also his second straight top-five of 2015.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 14th to earn his 16th top-15 in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Fontana.

    Brad Keselowski won the Auto Club 400 to score his 17th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Fontana.

    Harvick finished .710 of a second behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Busch, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 31 laps. All 43 drivers completed the race, which was extended nine laps from its scheduled 200-lap distance by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round five of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 225 points, 28 ahead of second-place Logano. Patrick is 23rd with 111 points, 114 out of first. Busch is 28th with 82 points, 143 out of first. Stewart is 32nd with 62 points, 163 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Martinsville 500 on Sunday, March 29 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1 beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Auto Club 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 18, 2015) – After back-to-back weekends during which the team’s results have failed to match the potential seen during the race, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) are ready to leave Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California with a smile after Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

    At Las Vegas two weekends ago, Patrick ran inside the top-20 before handling issues and long, green-flag runs left her three laps down with a 27th-place finish. Last weekend in Phoenix, a pit road penalty and contact from a competitor dashed Patrick’s shot at a top-20 result and she ended up 26th.

    This weekend, Patrick returns to Fontana for her third career Sprint Cup start at the 2-mile speedway. In 2014, she scored her career-best finish at the track by earning a 14th-place result and, as they enter the race weekend ahead, her team is looking to improve upon last year’s effort.

    For this weekend’s Auto Club 400, Patrick’s car will sport the blue-and-white colors of Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of dental care providers in the U.S., with nearly 500 locations in communities across 30 states, providing millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable dental care.

    Every Aspen Dental-branded practice provides much-needed access to affordable, quality care, including dental services that range from dentures and preventive care to general dentistry and restoration.

    Patrick is driving the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS at both Fontana this weekend and at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois in September. As Patrick enters her second year of partnership with Aspen Dental, she continues to help shine a spotlight on an often overlooked healthcare issue – oral health. In 2014, Patrick teamed up with Aspen Dental to support the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community-giving initiative that resulted in nearly 2,000 Aspen Dental team members volunteering their time to deliver more than $1 million in free dental care to nearly 3,000 patients in need.

    The Healthy Mouth Movement kicks off its second year in just a few short weeks when the Aspen Dental MouthMobile – a fully equipped dental office on wheels – makes its first stop of 2015 in Phoenix.

    While Aspen Dental is working to bring smiles to millions of patients across the country, Patrick’s focus this weekend will be on garnering on-track results. And if all goes well, Patrick and her team will be all smiles as they leave Fontana.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts on Fontana?

    “Fontana’s pavement has not aged gracefully (laughs), so it makes for a challenging race. It’s a challenge to set up the car – the seams move the car around a lot. It’s very fast, yet you still have to get the car to rotate and it seems really tight off of (turn) two. It’s one of the tougher places to get the balance right. But if you do strike a good balance in practice, you have a chance to have a really good day on Sunday.”

    Your teammate Kevin Harvick has won back-to-back races the past two weekends at Las Vegas and Phoenix. Talk about what that means for Stewart-Haas Racing.

    “It’s cool to watch someone on your team do so well because it gives you the confidence that generally you have similar resources, but also great information as to what works and what doesn’t work. They’ve been really good and I feel like that confidence then kicks it up another notch for all of SHR, and confidence goes a long way.”

    There are new colors on the car for you this week with the blue and white of Aspen Dental. Talk about that.

    “We do have different look this week. I’m excited about it. We’re lucky to have Aspen Dental on the car this weekend and then in September at Chicagoland. What they’re doing is amazing. I didn’t realize until I starting working with them that lack of dental care is a serious issue. Last year, more than 100 million Americans didn’t visit a dentist, and millions more live in communities with little or no access to dental care. It’s an issue that affects a lot of hard-working people, including NASCAR fans, who are often living in pain. Aspen Dental decided to do something about it, and that’s why I’m proud to work with them.”

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  • CampingWorld.com 500k Post-Report

    Date: March 15, 2015
    Event: CampingWorld.com 500k (Round 4 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 23rd//26th (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
    Point Standing: 23rd (86 points, 96 out of first)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 26th in Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway after late-race contact from the No. 18 car sent her spinning in turn four.

    Patrick started the event from the 23rd position and quickly raced her way into the top-20. Crew chief Daniel Knost called for adjustments throughout the race to help improve the No. 10’s handling. Midway through the race Patrick dropped to 26th as she battled a car that she said was too tight in the center of the corner and “felt like it was out of the track.”

    She gained ground on the following two runs, but the team suffered a setback when it was penalized by NASCAR for an uncontrolled tire on pit road after a stop for right-side tires and fuel at lap 201. Since the team was going to have to restart at the tail of the field due to the penalty, Knost called Patrick back down pit road for left-side tires and to top off with fuel. The No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet restarted from the 27th position at lap 205.

    Patrick was scored 23rd when the No. 18 car made contact with the left-rear quarter panel of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet and sent her spinning in turn four at lap 297. She pulled the racecar down pit road for fresh tires and restarted 27th at lap 301. Patrick was able to gain one position in the final laps of the race and finished 26th.

    “Today wasn’t one of our best days,” Patrick said. “The GoDaddy team put forth a ton of effort today, but we’ve got to start turning effort into results.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway by winning the race. It was the 27th points-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s second this season. Harvick won last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

    Harvick started from the pole and led four times for a race-high 224 laps around the 1-mile oval to bring his laps-led total at Phoenix to a series-best 1,202. It was Harvick’s 30th career Sprint Cup victory, his second this season and his series-leading seventh Sprint Cup win at Phoenix. Harvick has won five of the last six Sprint Cup races at Phoenix.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished fifth in the CampingWorld.com 500k. It was his sixth top-five in 25 career Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix and his first top-five of 2015.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 39th.

    Jamie McMurray finished 1.153 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and Busch rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Larson comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 10 caution periods for 53 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 312-lap race.

    With round four of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 182 points, 22 ahead of second-place Logano. Patrick is 23rd with 86 points, 96 points out of first. Busch is 33rd with 39 points, 143 points out of first. Stewart is 36th with 32 points, 150 points out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 22 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 3 p.m.

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  • CampingWorld.com 500k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – On March 15, 1985, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Darrell Waltrip was in the midst of a three-win season that would culminate in his third series championship. While Waltrip was busy wheeling his No. 11 Chevrolet on the track, Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was nearing her third birthday. For what it’s worth, REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling” was the No. 1 song in the United States.

    In the midst of all that was going on that day, there was another major milestone that would eventually have a major impact on our world. On March 15, 1985, the first dot-com domain name was registered and the Internet and world as we know it changed forever.

    At that time, the Internet was a noncommercial medium that was used more as a military and academic tool and most people didn’t know what domain names were. But now, 30 years later, the technology is as relevant as ever as there are more than 115 million dot-coms on the Internet, including 100 percent of the Fortune 500 companies.

    As the Sprint Cup Series travels to Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500k, GoDaddy and Verisign are teaming up to honor Sunday’s anniversary with a “#30YearsofCOM .com Powered by Verisign” special message on the hood of Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet. As part of the celebration, people can enter for a chance to win up to $35,000 by submitting their own dot-com in Verisign’s “Internet Official” contest at VerisignInternetOfficial.com.

    Patrick enters Sunday’s race at Phoenix ready to make some history of her own and improve on her performance at the track. In five prior Sprint Cup starts at the mile oval, her best result is a 17th-place finish earned in November 2012. She’s also made five starts in the Xfinity Series at the track and scored a 10th-place result in November 2012. In Patrick’s lone IndyCar Series start at Phoenix in March 2005, she finished 15th. With Patrick's long-time sponsor GoDaddy headquartered about 40 miles northeast of the track in Scottsdale, Patrick looks forward to returning home to Phoenix where she knows she'll have the support of her friends, family and employees from GoDaddy cheering her on.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Phoenix is a big weekend for the GoDaddy team, given that the company is based in nearby Scottsdale. Talk about that.

    “It’s always fun to go to Phoenix because of GoDaddy. I’m fortunate that we get to race in GoDaddy’s hometown twice a year so we get to visit them and have them at the track. I think it’s really important and it’s nice knowing I’ve got a lot of fans in GoDaddy green pulling for me at the racetrack. We want to give them something to cheer for.”

    Do you have a lot of friends coming out for this race?

    “I do, actually. GoDaddy has a lot of people, and then I have a lot of friends coming out, as well. It’s a nice race for everyone to see and, hopefully, everyone has a good time.”

    What are your overall thoughts on racing at Phoenix this weekend?

    “We had a solid race there last November. It was one of my first weekends working with Daniel (Knost, crew chief) and hopefully we can build on that performance when we return to the track this weekend. I like Phoenix and think it’s a great track, so I hope we can have another smooth run and do well.”

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  • Kobalt 400 Post-Report

    Date: March 8, 2015
    Event: Kobalt 400 (Round 3 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 21st/27th (Running, completed 264 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 20th (68 points)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 27th in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after handling issues plagued her car for most of the race.

    Patrick started the race from the 21st position and was able to work her way up to 17th before the handling went away on her No. 10 Chevy. Crew chief Daniel Knost called for chassis, packer and air pressure adjustments throughout the first two-thirds of the race, but Patrick continued to battle a car that was loose on entry and tight in the center of the corner.

    She went down a lap to the leader at lap 82 after a sequence of green-flag pit stops and had no luck in getting her lap back on the subsequent long, green-flag run. Patrick went a second lap down to the leader at lap 128, and when she entered pit road under caution at lap 174, she asked the team to take a big swing at the adjustments.

    Patrick restarted in the 32nd position, and when the caution flag waved just a few laps later, she noted the car was the best it had been all day. In the closing laps of the race she worked her way up to the 27th position and took the checkered flag three laps down to the leader.

    “We got a little off track there the first couple of pit stops and weren’t able to make it back up,” Patrick said. “I needed to get into the corner harder, but the car was so loose that I couldn’t arc it the way I needed to. I’ve had better days at the racetrack, but the GoDaddy Chevrolet was definitely better the last few runs, so that was a positive. And the guys did a good job on pit road today, especially considering all the adjustments we made throughout the race.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by winning Sunday’s Kobalt 400. It was the 26th points-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s first this season.

    Harvick, the reigning Sprint Cup champion, started 18th and led five times for a race-high 142 laps around the 1.5-mile oval. It was his 29th career Sprint Cup victory, his first at Las Vegas and his third in the last six races dating back to Texas Motor Speedway in November. This was Harvick’s sixth straight finish of second or better. The last driver to have six consecutive top-two finishes was Jeff Gordon in 1996.

    Regan Smith, interim driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 34th and finished 16th.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 12th and finished 33rd.

    Martin Truex Jr. finished 1.64 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five. AJ Allmendinger, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 28 laps, with only one driver failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round three of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 134 points, nine ahead of second-place Earnhardt. Patrick is 20th with 68 points, 66 points out of first. Stewart is 34th with 27 points, 107 points out of first. Smith didn’t accumulate any points because he is a fulltime driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

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  • Kobalt 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 5, 2015) – Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race with the goal of gaining momentum on the 2015 season’s second 1.5-mile oval.

    After earning a 21st-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500, Patrick and her team went to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the start of the “regular” Sprint Cup season. Patrick started the race from the 18th position and, while her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet displayed notable speed, she had to overcome an electrical fire underneath the dash of her car that left her without a working tachometer and with handling issues. Despite the adversity, Patrick and her team rallied. Crew chief Daniel Knost called for adjustments that helped improve her car’s handling over the remainder of the event and she was able to score a 16th-place finish.

    With last weekend’s race behind them, Patrick and her team head to Las Vegas for Sunday’s 400-mile event. The 32-year-old driver has made two Sprint Cup starts at Las Vegas and earned finishes of 21st in 2014 and 33rd in 2013.

    While she’s yet to finish inside the top-20 at the Sprint Cup level at Las Vegas, Patrick is no stranger to success at the 1.5-mile oval. In 2011, Patrick brought home a fourth-place finish in Xfinity Series competition at the track. That effort marked the best-ever finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by the late Sara Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.

    With that experience in her back pocket, Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet team are looking to score a solid Sprint Cup finish in Las Vegas.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You finished 16th at Atlanta and this week the Sprint Cup teams head to Las Vegas, another 1.5-mile track. Talk about your run last week and your outlook for the weekend ahead.

    “It’s always nice to start well because it seems like you spend the whole year catching up if you don’t. And it seems like, if you have a good start, then it’s so much easier to keep it there. I think so far the GoDaddy team has done a good job of giving me cars that feel comfortable. I feel like we made a lot of progress as a team last weekend in Atlanta and hopefully that will carry over to Las Vegas.”

    How would you assess the start of the 2015 season thus far?

    “I think so far, so good. As I said in all of our media availabilities before we ever hit the track this year, it is our unrealized potential that is exciting to me. It is my fourth year in stock cars and my third year in (Sprint) Cup. It’s Daniel’s (Knost, crew chief) sixth year in NASCAR and his second year as a crew chief. We don’t have a ton of experience and you would think that there is only ‘up’ to go. The potential of where we could end up and where we can get to is encouraging.”

    DANIEL KNOST, Crew Chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Coming off a solid run at Atlanta, is there anything you learned last weekend that will transfer to this week in Las Vegas?

    “I hope that some of the things we did last weekend will translate to Las Vegas. I think that (Las Vegas) is a little bit different. There’s a really rough section in turn one that is very difficult to manage, and then (turns) three and four are a lot smoother, whereas Atlanta is kind of rough the whole way around. The corners are a lot more separate at Las Vegas than they are at Atlanta and I actually think the bumps are significantly more severe in turn one at Las Vegas. It’s kind of like you have to mitigate two ends of the track that are a lot more different than you do at Atlanta. I’m not sure where we need to fall in balancing the two of those, but I thought we did a good job of diagnosing the things she was feeling and coming up with solutions that fixed those issues at Atlanta. I suspect we’ll have some of the same general issues this week just because of the rough sections of Las Vegas. I don’t think drive off (the corner) is as big of a deal at Las Vegas, but definitely with the dirt in the desert it can be. We’ve got some ideas on how to address those issues and hopefully those are things that will translate. One of the biggest differences going into this weekend is that they’ve changed the tires for Las Vegas this year, so we’re going to have to figure out where we need to set the tires for the new combination. At Atlanta, we had run on those tires for several years, so we had that part sorted out.”

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  • Folds of Honor 500 Post-Report

    Date: March 1, 2015
    Event: Folds of Honor 500 (Round 2 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)}
    Start/Finish: 18th/16th (Running, completed 324 of 325 laps)
    Point Standing: 16th (51 points)

    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 16th in Sunday’s Folds of Honor 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway after fighting an electrical fire and ongoing handling issues.

    Patrick started the race from the 18th position and was scored in 30th when she radioed to the team that there was smoke in the cockpit of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet. Shortly thereafter she noted that she could see flames under the dashboard. Patrick attempted to contain the fire, and as crew chief Daniel Knost radioed for her to come to pit road so the team could assess the situation, the caution flag waved. As the field made its way around the track, Patrick told the team that the fire was out but the car’s tachometer was no longer working.

    The source of the flames was deemed to be a small electrical fire, which quickly extinguished itself but left Patrick without a read on her car’s RPMs. The tachometer is utilized in part to identify a proper speed for pit road, and without it a driver could easily speed down pit road and face penalties or not go fast enough and lose positions. The GoDaddy team quickly rallied together to determine a solution to the problem. They had Patrick take note of her oil pressure and used that as a rough gauge for the proper speed for pit road during the remainder of the race.

    In the midst of that issue, the team faced another problem: Whenever they would put tape on the grille of the car, it either would not stick at all or it would come off in the middle of a run due to the cold temperature and humidity. In either instance, without the tape on the grille Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet would instantly develop a tight-handling condition.

    Despite the difficulties the team faced, Patrick cracked the top-15 at lap 199 by passing Jeff Gordon and ran as high as 14th before a subsequent cycle of green-flag pit stops. The caution flag waved several laps after the No. 10 team pitted and left Patrick a lap down to the leader. She worked to put herself in contention for the “Lucky Dog” award to get her lap back, but her efforts were thwarted each time the caution flag waved again in the closing laps of the race.

    When the field took the green flag with 14 laps to go, Patrick was scored in the 15th position, still a lap down to the leader. She lost a spot on the restart and noted the car was “tight off the corner” on the final run. She wasn’t able to make up any ground and took the checkered flag in the 16th position.

    “I’d have to say one of our biggest problems today was that the tape kept coming off the front (end of the car),” Patrick said. “The tape was making me handle. I needed all of it. It wasn’t only running pretty cool, but the tape helps front downforce. It was pretty noticeable when the tape came off. That happened at the end and also happened in the middle of the race when I went that lap down. By all means, I was very tight in that run, but that was our biggest problem today as far as a better result goes.

    “It happened, and we all kept our wits about ourselves and kept digging. I feel like we made a lot of progress as a team this weekend. I think we would’ve been on the lead lap if the tape would have stayed on. We didn’t get our lap back at the end, but we got a solid result and it’s been a decent start to the year.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway by finishing second in the Folds of Honor 500.

    Harvick had to come from the back of the 43-car field after the team made an engine change during final practice on Saturday. He wound up leading six times for a race-high 116 laps en route to his sixth top-five in 25 career Sprint Cup starts at Atlanta.

    Harvick, the reigning Sprint Cup champion, has picked up right where he left off in 2014. He finished second in the season-opening Daytona 500 last Sunday, and the runner-up finish at Atlanta marked the fifth-straight race Harvick has finished second or better. Dating back to Texas Motor Speedway in November, Harvick has finished second, first, first, second and second.

    Regan Smith, interim driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished right behind Patrick in 17th.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 30th after getting caught up in a multicar accident late in the race.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Folds of Honor 500 to score his 71st career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his fourth at Atlanta.

    Harvick finished 1.802 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. Martin Truex Jr., AJ Allmendinger, Brett Moffitt, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 10 caution periods for 54 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 325-lap race.

    With round two of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is third with 86 points, two points behind first-place Logano. Patrick is 16th with 51 points, 37 out of first. Stewart is 35th with 16 points, 72 out of first. Smith didn’t accumulate any points because he is a fulltime driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 8 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 2:30 p.m.

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  • Folds of Honor 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Feb. 25, 2015) – After overcoming adversity at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) are ready to return to the site of Patrick’s career-best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish: Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    In Daytona last week, Patrick faced numerous hurdles, including a poor qualifying position and two wrecked racecars, but she was able to race her way into the field for the 57th running of the Daytona 500 and bring home a solid finish. With Budweiser Speedweeks in the history books, the “regular” Sprint Cup season commences with Sunday’s Folds of Honor 500 at Atlanta.

    Last Labor Day weekend at Atlanta, Patrick and her GoDaddy team started the Oral-B USA 500 from the 27th position. Twice in the early stages of the race, she rallied from being a lap down. By the halfway point of the race, Patrick worked her way into the top-15 and would stay there for the rest of the night. Her lap times continued to improve and, by the 300-lap mark, she was solidly in the top-10. Patrick managed to run as high as fourth before taking the checkered flag sixth. The effort beat her previous highest finish – a seventh-place run at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City last May – by one position.

    Patrick’s sixth-place finish was the best by a female at Atlanta. The previous record was Janet Guthrie’s 10th-place finish on March 19, 1978. Only a fifth-place result by Sara Christian in a Sprint Cup race on Oct. 2, 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway tops Patrick effort last year at Atlanta. Christian also finished sixth at Langhorn (Pa.) Speedway on Sept. 11, 1949, and Guthrie finished sixth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977.

    The No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet team’s run at Atlanta was the fourth top-10 of Patrick’s Sprint Cup Career and her second at a 1.5-mile track.

    Now six months later, Patrick returns to Atlanta after surviving a tough Speedweeks at Daytona. And, given her history of success at 1.5-mile tracks, she and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet team are ready to get back on track in Sunday’s Folds of Honor 500.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about what clicked in Atlanta for you last year when you finished sixth. What are you looking for there?

    “I feel like the team did a great job with the car there last year. I think grip is a premium, obviously, as the tires fall off there maybe more than anywhere else we go. I think that’s where you really rely on the downforce of the car and having a car that does what you want it to do consistently through the tire life, as well. By the time we got to Atlanta last season, we had worked on the car a lot throughout the year and got it to a point where it was how I liked it. I think the team did a great job with the car itself, giving me the most amount of downforce possible to deal with no grip left.”

    How important is it to run well at Atlanta, and at intermediate tracks, early in the season?

    “Well, you have to do well to have momentum. There’s no promise there. With a new crew chief and new cars, it might not go well at all. On the other hand, it might be awesome. We just won’t know until we get there. I think that’s the case for every team. You really don’t know how you’re going to do until you really get out there and actually get running. We’ll just have to see.”

    Talk about the new adjustment rule from inside the car from a driver’s perspective.

    “I come from a world of a ton of adjustments (in the IndyCar Series) – the track bars, front and rear, and weight jackers and bump adjusters and a lot of stuff that you can move – so it’s familiar. I like it on a personal level, but I’m not 100 percent sure it’s going to make for better racing. I think that what we love about good racing is passing and, if I’m really, really loose out there and I can fix it, I’m not going to get passed as easily and I’m also not going to pass the person in front of me because they can also fix how tight they are. It fixes the problems instead of having to wait until the next pit stop. It’ll be interesting to see if it makes for better racing as much as it just gives drivers comfort.”

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  • Daytona 500 Post-Report

    Date: Feb. 22, 2015
    Event: 57th Daytona 500 (Round 1 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 20th/21st (Running, completed 203 of 203 laps)
    Point Standing: 18th (23 points)
    Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 21st in the season-opening Daytona 500 after maneuvering to avoid a last-lap wreck.

    Patrick earned a 20th -place start for the 57th Daytona 500 but had to begin near the back of the field after crashing her primary racecar in the Budweiser Duel qualifying race on Thursday. Despite dropping back at the start, she quickly drafted her way into the top-20 by lap two.

    After running as high as 10th in the “Great American Race,” Patrick avoided disaster several times in Sunday’s race. Twice cars ahead of her experienced engine failures, and each time Patrick was able to avoid getting caught up in the aftermath.

    Then, with five laps to go, Patrick nearly spun; she was able to save it but dropped back several positions. When a late caution bunched the field up once again for a green-white-checkered finish, Patrick lined up 28th for the final restart. Despite trying various lines, she was unable to gain any ground. On the white-flag lap, a multicar accident occurred on the backstretch and Patrick took evasive action to avoid the No. 47 car. She was scored in the 21st position when NASCAR threw the caution flag, which froze the field and ended the race.

    “I tried high, middle, low (lanes) and nothing worked there at the end of the race,” Patrick said. “It was just a bummer that it was so hard to pass. Once it got three-wide at the end, there was just nowhere to go.

    “We definitely had to fight our way through everything this week, but at the end of the day, the GoDaddy team finished the race and I feel like we learned a few things for next time.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR by finishing second. Harvick earned his seventh top-five in 28 career points-paying Sprint Cup starts at Daytona after starting 11th.

    Regan Smith, interim driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 16th after starting at the back of the field since he did not qualify the car.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 42nd after an accident on lap 42.

    Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 to score his ninth career Sprint Cup victory and his first at Daytona.

    Finishing third behind Logano and Harvick was Dale Earnhardt Jr., while Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Casey Mears, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 26 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 203-lap race, which was extended three laps from its scheduled 200-lap distance by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round one of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is second with 42 points, five points behind first-place Logano. Patrick is 18th with 23 points, 24 points out of first. Stewart is 36th with two points, 45 points out of first. Smith didn’t accumulate any points because he is a fulltime driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday, March 1, at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Budweiser Duel Post-Report

    Date: Feb. 19, 2015
    Event: Budweiser Duel at Daytona (non-points qualifying races for the 57th Daytona 500)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 15th/10th (Running, completed 64 of 64 laps in Budweiser Duel No. 2)
    Winners: Budweiser Duel No. 1 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Budweiser Duel No. 2 – Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet) in a green-white-checkered finish

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), raced her way into the field for the 57th running of the Daytona 500 by scoring a 10th-place finish in the second Budweiser Duel qualifying race on Thursday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, despite getting caught up in a late-race accident.

    The Budweiser Duel consists of twin qualifying races that set the 43-car field for the season-opening Daytona 500, and Patrick earned the 20th starting position for Sunday’s race. However, because Patrick’s car sustained significant damage in the qualifying race, the GoDaddy team will go to a backup car and, per NASCAR rules, Patrick will drop to the rear of the field before the green flag drops on the “Great American Race.”

    The damage occurred at lap 58 when the No. 11 car of Denny Hamlin made contact with the No. 10 Chevrolet and a multicar accident ensued in turn three. The GoDaddy team pitted three times under the subsequent caution to make repairs to the car’s left-rear quarter panel.

    The accident pushed the second Duel past the scheduled distance, and Patrick lined up in the 18th position for the green-white-checkered finish. She took the white flag scored in the 17th position and drafted with SHR teammate Kurt Busch on the final lap to earn a 10th-place finish and a spot in Sunday’s race.

    “It was all going pretty smooth until three or four to go,” Patrick said. “I thought that the car was really strong. I felt like I made a couple moves here and there. So it seemed good – racy. Then, you know, it went from there.

    “First and foremost the GoDaddy Chevrolet is in the (Daytona) 500, and that was what we wanted to accomplish today. Kurt (Busch), my teammate, was great help at the end. I went high and he was right there with me. We got a finish out of it.”

    Patrick’s teammate Tony Stewart led the way for SHR Thursday night by finishing fourth in the first Budweiser Duel race. The No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet team will start the Daytona 500 from the seventh position. Kevin Harvick joined Stewart in the first Duel. He raced the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet to a sixth-place finish and will start 11th in the Daytona 500. Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished 12th in the second Budweiser Duel and will start 24th in the Daytona 500.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the first Budweiser Duel by .165 of a second over Jeff Gordon, while Joey Logano, Stewart and Clint Bowyer took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Landon Cassill and Cole Whitt.

    Jimmie Johnson won the second Budweiser Duel by .125 of a second over Kyle Busch, while Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Martin Truex Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 were Ryan Blaney, Reed Sorenson, Mike Wallace, Justin Allgaier and Patrick.

    With the Budweiser Duel now complete, the field for the Daytona 500 is set. On the pole is Gordon, and alongside him is Johnson. By notching the two quickest times during qualifying on Sunday, both drivers were able to lock themselves into the front row for the Daytona 500.

    Failing to qualify for the Daytona 500 were Alex Bowman, Jeb Burton, Justin Marks, Ron Hornaday Jr., Brian Scott and Josh Wise.

    The Daytona 500 gets underway at 1 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 22, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Patrick Scores Top-10 in Sprint Unlimited

    Date: Feb. 14, 2015
    Event: Sprint Unlimited (non-points race)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    tart/Finish: 15th/10th (Running, completed 75 of 75 laps)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/TaxACT Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), overcame damage sustained in a multicar accident to score a 10th-place finish in the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    When the caution flag waved for a multicar accident at lap 46, Patrick displayed impressive maneuvering skills as she wove her way through a quagmire of spinning cars. The red flag was displayed for 14 minutes and 42 seconds as track officials worked to clear the track, and Patrick restarted in the seventh position when the field went back to green-flag conditions at lap 49.

    She ran as high as fourth before getting caught up in a lap-63 accident. When Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made contact directly in front of Patrick in turn 3, her car was collected in the carnage. The No. 10 GoDaddy/TaxACT Chevrolet sustained left-rear quarter panel damage, and Patrick went a lap down as she had to pit twice for repairs to the car.

    Patrick was able to take the wave-around and got back on the lead lap when the caution flag waved again at lap 68. After another red-flag period, she restarted in the 12th position at lap 71, then picked up two positions in the closing laps.

    “We got a lot of laps in tonight,” Patrick said. “We learned some things I can work on and some things we can work on as a team for next weekend.

    “There at the end, I thought the top lane would roll, but we went nowhere and ended up 10th.”

    The Sprint Unlimited was an invitation race open to drivers who were a part of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, had won a pole during the 2014 season, were a past winner of the Sprint Unlimited or had previously won the pole for the Daytona 500. Patrick earned her way in by winning the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 11th. He won the event in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, was credited with a 13th-place finish. He earned his way into the race by being a three-time winner of the Sprint Unlimited (2001, 2002 and 2007).

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished 15th. He won the Sprint Unlimited in 2011.

    Matt Kenseth won the Sprint Unlimited. It was his first win in the non-points race.

    Martin Truex Jr. finished .219 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Carl Edwards, Casey Mears and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five. Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Patrick comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 17 laps, with 13 drivers failing to finish.

    Next up for SHR is Daytona 500 qualifying, where Harvick, Stewart, Busch and Patrick will be among 49 drivers going for the pole for the 57th annual Daytona 500. Qualifying is set to get underway at 1:35 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 15, with live coverage provided by FOX. The Budweiser Duel – twin 150-mile races that will set the rest of the Daytona 500 field – take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1. Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona then culminates with the Daytona 500 at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Speedweeks Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Feb. 10, 2015) – In a race during which much is out of the drivers’ control, and working the draft to utilize their fellow competitors to maneuver to the front is key, it’s common for drivers to wonder who’s got their back leading into the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    As Danica Patrick enters her third full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the 57th running of the Daytona 500, she has her sights set on winning her first Sprint Cup race. Patrick knows that the Stewart-Haas Racing organization and her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team have got her back as they look to make a run at the Harley J. Earl Trophy. But having the support of her team is only one piece of the puzzle.

    Drafting partners come and go in superspeedway races, and it’s not unusual for a driver to go from the front of the field to the back of the pack very quickly, as Patrick learned early in her Sprint Cup career.

    In 2013, with a solid restart and drafting help from Clint Bowyer, Patrick rocketed to the front of the field and became the first woman to lead the Daytona 500. At the end of the race, Patrick found herself poised for a top-three finish until a group of cars lined up in the inside lane and powered by on the final lap, leaving Patrick out of the draft. She dropped to eighth before taking the checkered flag.

    Determining who’s got your back at Daytona can be difficult, and drivers often get left hanging, much like Patrick did in 2013.

    While it may be a struggle to find drafting help at Daytona, small business owners don’t have to wonder who’s there to support them. Patrick’s longtime sponsor GoDaddy is honoring and assisting small business owners with the “GoDaddy’s Got Your Back” contest. Now through the end of the month, people can go to GoDaddy.com/GotYourBack to submit and vote for their favorite small business websites. The top-10 vote-getters will receive a GoDaddy website tuneup, two years of services and expert consultation. In addition, one lucky small business will get Patrick as its own employee for a day.

    As GoDaddy strives to help small businesses thrive online, Patrick and her Daniel Knost-led team will kick off the year with the Sprint Unlimited, the non-points race that precedes the official season opener. She will pilot the No. 10 GoDaddy/TaxACT Chevrolet SS in the event and, while winning is the ultimate goal, the 75-lap exhibition race might provide Patrick with the perfect opportunity to find out who’s got her back for the “Great American Race.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Stewart-Haas Racing has accomplished a lot, especially this past year. What are your expectations coming into this season?

    Really, to continue with the things that were happening last year and the improvements made in the areas that I was looking to improve them, and also to develop new relationships, obviously. With a new crew chief and a new group, we need to get to know each other sooner than later, so I’ll be putting a lot of hard work into getting our communication going as quickly as possible. But then, after that, it’s to kind of pick up where I left off with Tony Gibson and his guys who taught me so much and really helped me get much further toward the front and qualifying much better and running much better. I’m sure there will be a little bit of a learning curve, but I think we can overcome that sooner than later.”

    Given your success at Daytona in 2013, is this the race you look forward to the most? What are your expectations?

    “It’s sure one of them, but I think it also has to do with the fact that it’s the biggest race of the year. Anything can happen at Daytona, so it makes it an exciting race, but it also can be frustrating, too, and I think that’s why it’s probably exciting for every driver to go to Daytona on some level because, I guess, I equate it to almost like the Indy 500. It’s so long that there are a lot of cycles that could have put you in the right place to win the race. And I feel like Daytona is one of those races that, given the right flow through the pack, you could be the one up front to win the race. I’m sure there are a lot of people who get excited about going there but also get a little bit, I don’t know, uncomfortable. I doubt people are scared, but you could equally fail and not have a great race. You could be running great and finish 20th. That’s just what happens at Daytona.”

    Is it tough having a new crew chief? How long does it normally take for you to develop the relationship?

    “It is a challenge. I think the hard thing is that, in Cup, the littlest things make the biggest difference. So you’re really working in a tiny little window. To get there is challenging. I think I underestimated how long it would take to get to know a crew chief, get on the same page. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took a year, but I hope it doesn’t. I hope the things I’ve learned over the last couple of years will help that move faster because I’ll be able to put focus on the areas I know help develop the relationship and also improve the car to put it in a good place to run well.”

    Is this where you expected to be after two or three seasons at the Sprint Cup level?

    “I’ve said all along that it’s about progress, and it still is. As long as you keep progressing, you’re going to get to the top in a matter of time. There have been improvements in the areas I wanted them, and now it’s about making those improvements much more consistent.”

    What’s the next step with your improvement? Is it realistic you will win a race this year?

    “I think there were slight possibilities of winning races last year, we just didn’t. I think this year it’s going to take a little bit of time to pick up where everything left off with Tony Gibson. I think that’s going to take some time, especially given the last three races we weren’t quite there. But there was improvement within those three races, so that’s a positive, in such a short amount of time. I feel we got to the point where top-15 really was where our speed was, and we ran there much more frequently. It’s time to make that very consistent. I feel like what’s funny, once you get up into the top-15, the top-10 is not that much different. But I guess the progression would be to work into the top-10. I think that top-15 is the biggest one to crack. I feel like we did a good job at doing that much more often last year.”

    What would define this season as a successful year?

    “That is a question I don’t ever have an answer to. It’s about progress for me, improving from where we were last year. With a new crew chief, I think that’s going to take a little bit of time to get to know each other, get the cars where I want them for comfort, where they need to be. But I think that progress is what’s important. We definitely ran much more often in the top-15 last year and, speed‑wise, we were definitely there, I felt like, a lot of the time. It’s about making that much more consistent and making top-15 finishes much more regular. I think those are some things that will be continuations of where things left off last year that I’ll be looking to happen by the end of the year. Again, I said it will take a little bit of time with the new crew chief. If we can get there by the end of the year, it will make me that much more excited about the end of the season.”

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  • TaxACT Partners with Stewart-Haas Racing

    TaxACT, the critically-acclaimed leader of affordable tax preparation solutions, has partnered with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to sponsor the No. 10 team and driver Danica Patrick in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

    TaxACT will serve as the co-primary sponsor with GoDaddy during the Feb. 14 Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. For the remainder of Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona, which includes Daytona 500 Qualifying Feb. 15, the Budweiser Duel Feb. 19 and the 57th Daytona 500 Feb. 22, TaxACT will be seen on the C-post of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS.

    And during the heart of tax season, TaxACT will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 10 team and Patrick during the March 27-29 race weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    “The speed, passion and determination that embodies NASCAR aligns with our approach to business, and when Stewart-Haas Racing brought the opportunity for TaxACT to partner with Danica Patrick, we jumped at it,” said JoAnn Kintzel, president, TaxACT.

    Strong activation by TaxACT augments the sponsorship with SHR and Patrick. By going to www.TaxACT.com/Danica for the TaxACT Fast Cars, Fast Refunds Sweepstakes with Danica Patrick, NASCAR fans can register for a chance to win a behind-the-scenes, VIP experience with Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy team during the Daytona 500. Secondary prizes include an autographed TaxACT firesuit from Patrick and autographed pieces of sheet metal from the No. 10 Chevrolet, as well as a match of up to $2,500 on an IRS refund or balance due for a TaxACT e-filed return.

    “It’s easy and free to enter the sweepstakes,” Kintzel said. “Just go to TaxACT.com/Danica to enter. From there, you can also start your free federal tax return to get your guaranteed maximum refund the fastest way possible.”

    The TaxACT Fast Cars, Fast Refunds Sweepstakes with Danica Patrick will end February 8, 2015, with winners to be announced shortly thereafter.

    “TaxACT’s sponsorship of our race team will span the height of tax season for most people,” Patrick said. “It’s a great way to promote a terrific product.”

    TaxACT, which makes doing your taxes anywhere, anytime, fast, easy and affordable, was formed in 1998. Web savvy, independent and motivated to succeed on their own terms, customers choose TaxACT products and services to save money, empower themselves and, ultimately, get ahead.

    “I always give credit to my team on the racetrack, but in this case it was off the track where my team shined,” said Patrick, pole winner for the 2013 Daytona 500. “Stewart-Haas Racing approached TaxACT after cross-referencing the company and its culture with NASCAR fans. It was an ideal fit.”

    About TaxACT:

    Since 1998, TaxACT has offered affordable digital and download tax preparation solutions for individuals, business owners and tax professionals. In the 2005 tax season, TaxACT became the first to offer free federal filing to all U.S. taxpayers and has been one of the top-three visited online tax preparation destinations ever since.1 TaxACT has assisted with more than 50 million e-filed federal returns since 2000. TaxACT is a business of Blucora, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCOR). Learn more about TaxACT at www.TaxAct.com and www.TaxAct.com/Press.

    1 According to collective week-end reports for TaxAct.com and TaxActOnline.com released by Hitwise.™

    About Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The team fields four entries in the elite Sprint Cup Series – the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart, the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Danica Patrick, the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick and the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for Kurt Busch. Based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 140,000-square-foot facility with approximately 270 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing and on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng.

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  • Ford 400 Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 16, 2014
    Event: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Finale (Round 36 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 32nd/18th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th with 735 points
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)
    Champion: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick battled to an 18th-place finish after starting 32nd in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    The driver of the No. 10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) notched her 14th top-20 result of 2014. Last year, she finished in the top-20 nine times.

    “The Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet was pretty good,” Patrick said. “We moved up pretty quickly on the start but stayed around 20th most of the day. We were at our best at the end and finished in the top-20. The pit stops were good, and I’m proud of the Florida Lottery/GoDaddy crew. It is a long year for everyone, but we improved in a lot of areas.”

    After moving up at the start, Patrick battled with the handling on her car for much of the race. Crew chief Daniel Knost made many adjustments with track bar and tire pressure to try and get the car right. At one point late in the race, Patrick said the car was the best it had been all day. But after the next stop it went back to its old ways, and the best finish she could muster was 18th.

    Patrick made major strides in 2014, including average better starts (22.3 in 2014 vs. 30.1 in 2013) and better finishes (23.7 vs. 26.1). She had three top-10 finishes in 2014, triple the lone top-10 of last year.

    “We did improve this year, and I hope we do better in 2015,” Patrick said. “And congrats to Kevin Harvick for winning the championship. He did great. And thanks to Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch for also being good teammates. Looking forward to next year.”

    Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent at Homestead-Miami Speedway by winning the season finale. It was the 25th points-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s sixth this season.

    The result allowed Harvick to capture his first Sprint Cup championship, as he finished ahead of fellow title contenders Ryan Newman (second), Denny Hamlin (seventh) and Joey Logano (16th). It is the second Sprint Cup title for SHR. Tony Stewart won the organization’s first championship in 2011.

    Harvick led four times for 54 laps en route to his fifth win of the season, his 28th career Sprint Cup win, his first in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at Homestead and the championship.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started second and finished 11th after leading one lap. It was Busch’s 18th top-15 of the season.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 43rd after being involved in an accident at lap 182.

    Newman finished .500 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 13 caution periods for 52 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    The 2015 Sprint Cup season kicks off Feb. 13-22 with the traditional Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 57th Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the season, is scheduled for Feb. 22 and will be broadcast live on FOX.

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  • Ford 400 Pre-Report

    (Nov. 12, 2014) – It’s difficult to believe it was just 40 weeks ago that the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule started. And while Danica Patrick drove most of the races in GoDaddy green, and two in an Aspen Dental blue car, this week she has the colors of the Florida Lottery on board.

    The No. 10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will feature the orange-and-pink color scheme of the Florida Lottery on the front of the car, joining the GoDaddy green on the back. It is part of a two-race package as Florida Lottery was on the car at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in July.

    This weekend’s Sprint Cup season finale is a great opportunity for the Florida Lottery to increase awareness about its role in funding education and contributing to Florida’s economy. The Florida Lottery has generated more than $27 billion for education over its 26-year history, enabling more than 700,000 students to attend college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

    The Lottery also proudly supports the Classrooms First and Classrooms for Kids programs, which utilize Lottery revenue to fund school district projects for new construction, renovation, remodeling and major repair and maintenance of educational facilities. The Lottery reinvests nearly 98 percent of its revenue back into Florida’s economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Florida retailers, and transfers to education.

    Patrick is hoping the car brings her good fortune as it did in Daytona.

    While the July race was delayed one day because of rain, Patrick drove to an impressive eighth-place finish. The race was called after 112 of 160 laps due to more rain, but it was Patrick’s second top-10 finish of the three she has this year.

    Patrick has improved in almost every category and is hoping she can score another good finish at Homestead to close out her sophomore season in Sprint Cup.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thought on Homestead?

    “I’m ready for it. It’s a mile and a half, but it’s unique in that it doesn’t have the dogleg. I’ve only run it once in Sprint Cup, but we got a top-20 and we’ve run well in Nationwide. We’ve qualified well in that series and had a top-15 in 2012. We finished second in IndyCar, so I’ve got some experience there, just not a lot in Sprint Cup.”

    Florida Lottery joins you and the GoDaddy team this week. Talk about that.

    “It’s nice to have Florida Lottery on the car with GoDaddy this week. They’ve done some stuff with me in the past and it’s nice to see them on board at Homestead. Hopefully, we can put together a good run with the car and get them and GoDaddy a good finish. That’s always the goal and one we are shooting for.”

    How was your sophomore season in Sprint Cup?

    “It’s been OK. We’ve improved in some areas and we haven’t in some, but we’re progressing. We’ve qualified better and I think we’ve raced better. We’re hoping for a good run at Homestead to finish off the year and get us ready for the break. We had a decent car last week and I hope we can do better at Homestead.”

    Describe your Phoenix race last weekend.

    “We were on the lead lap, which has been a struggle here, lately. The GoDaddy car was good early on, but I think the track got tight later. We finished decent. It’s always important to run well there because of GoDaddy, so I’ll take it. Daniel Knost (crew chief) and the crew worked well together, and so that was good.”

    Are you ready for the season to be over?

    “I’ve always said, I’ll never turn down a little time off. It will be good to get some rest. It’s a long season. It’s 40 weeks, with two off weekends. I’ve said for the last couple of weeks, I’m not tired from the season, I’m tired of the season. It will be nice to get away some and recharge for 2015.”

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  • Quicken Loans 500k Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 9, 2014
    Event: Phoenix 500k (Round 35 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 32nd/22nd (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (709 points)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing

    Danica Patrick came back from a lap down and survived an accident not of her making to finish a respectable 22nd in Sunday’s Phoenix 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 32nd but soon worked her way into the top-20.

    While things were good early, the handling on her GoDaddy Chevy seemed to fade during the 60-lap green-flag run during the middle portion of the race. She got down a lap at one point and then was involved in an accident on lap 213, when Kyle Busch hit the wall and then was clipped by Clint Bowyer in turn two. Patrick and Joey Logano made contact trying to avoid the incident, and Patrick had some damage to the right front of her car.

    She pitted for quick repairs by the GoDaddy crew, led by crew chief Daniel Knost, and got back out on the course without losing additional laps. Patrick and her team then took the wave-around when the cautions kept coming out late, ending up 22nd when the checkered flag fell.

    “We were on the lead lap, which has been a struggle here lately,” Patrick said. “The GoDaddy car was good early on, but I think the track got tight later on. We finished decent. It’s always important to run well here because of GoDaddy, so I’ll take it. Daniel and the crew worked well together, and so that was good. We are ready for Homestead.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by winning the Phoenix 500k. It was the 24th points-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s fifth this season.

    Harvick started third and led three times for a race-high 264 laps around the mile oval to bring his laps-led total at Phoenix to a series-best 978. It was Harvick’s 27th career Sprint Cup win, his fourth this season and his series-leading sixth Sprint Cup win at Phoenix.

    Most importantly, the victory punched Harvick’s ticket to the Championship Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Harvick is one of only four drivers from the original field of 16 Chase drivers who made it through three elimination rounds to contend for the title in the series finale Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick will battle Denny Hamlin, Logano and Ryan Newman, with the highest-finishing driver in the 400-mile race at Homestead being crowned 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished seventh in the Phoenix 500k to record his 11th top-10 of 2014 and his 13th top-10 in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 20th.

    Jeff Gordon finished 1.636 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Hamlin rounded out the top-five. Logano, Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle and Marcos Ambrose comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 12 caution periods for 58 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 312-lap race.

    Busch is ninth in Sprint Cup points, while Stewart and Patrick are 25th and 28th, respectively.

    The Sprint Cup season finale Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway begins at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 2 p.m.

    -TSC-

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  • Quicken Loans 500k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Nov. 5, 2014) – Back in February, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series headed to Phoenix International Raceway for race number two of 36. This weekend, it will return to Phoenix of the second-to-last race of the year – the Phoenix 500k.

    For Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), her return to Phoenix is extra important as GoDaddy is headquartered in Scottsdale and has a new GoDaddy Global Technology Center in Tempe.

    The GoDaddy Global Technology Center opened in early October and the new facility supports more than 1,100 colleagues, including engineers, developers and corporate staff, along with small-business consultants.

    The stunning 150,000-square-foot facility is a specially designed two-story facility located in the sprawling ASU Research Park in Tempe.

    Employee-friendly amenities there include a fitness area, locker rooms, yoga room, game center, indoor climbing wall, a go-kart track, relaxation stations, a putting green. It also includes GoDaddy bicycles, outdoor basketball and sand volleyball courts, as well as a soccer field, eco-friendly features and a giant slide from the second-floor office area into a full-service kitchen with on-site chefs.

    GoDaddy’s mission is to radically shift the global economy toward small business by empowering people to easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their own ventures. GoDaddy employs more than 4,000 people. The company is headquartered in Scottsdale, but it has opened other collaborative offices over the past 18 months near Seattle, in Sunnyvale, California, and in Cambridge, Massachusetts near the MIT campus.

    GoDaddy now serves more than 12 million customers around the world and offers products and support in 42 markets, 44 currencies and 17 languages.

    For Patrick and her GoDaddy crew, that means meeting a lot of executives and employees this week, as well as a special focus on running well in Sunday’s race.

    Patrick finished 10th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Phoenix in November 2012 and backed that up with a 17th-place result the next day in the Sprint Cup race.

    She is hoping that she and new crew chief Daniel Knost can capture some magic and have yet another good run at the mile oval west of Phoenix.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    How special is it for you to go to Phoenix with GoDaddy headquarters nearby?

    “It’s always fun to go to Phoenix because of GoDaddy. We’ll go out on Wednesday and Thursday and see a lot of the executives and employees. I’m excited to see the latest office in Tempe. It’s really fun to talk to everyone because I always want to know what the latest and greatest is with GoDaddy and new things they’re doing, and they want to ask me about racing and what we’re doing. I’m fortunate that we get to race in GoDaddy’s hometown twice a year so we get to visit them and have them at the track. I think it’s really important and it’s nice knowing I’ve got a lot of fans pulling for me at the racetrack.”

    Overall thoughts on racing at Phoenix this weekend?

    “We ran well there in the November 2012 but, unfortunately, we haven’t left there since without a torn-up racecar. We got caught up in accidents in November 2012 and then again in November 2013. It happened again this spring. It’d be nice to have a good, clean run with the GoDaddy car. I like Phoenix and, hopefully, our luck will turn around and we can have a good smooth run and do well. I do like Phoenix, though, and it’s a great track.”

    Do you have a lot of friends coming out for this race?

    “I do, actually. GoDaddy has a lot of people, and then I have a lot of friends coming out, as well. It’s a nice race for everyone to see and, hopefully, everyone has a good time.”

    Are you ready to see the GoDaddy Global Technology Center?

    “I’ve heard a lot about it, so I’m ready to see it. I’ve heard they did a really good job with it and I’m ready to see it and meet the employees. I’ve heard it’s an amazing place.”

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  • AAA Texas 500 Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 2, 2014
    Event: AAA Texas 500 (Round 34 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th/36th (Running, completed 332 of 341 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (687 points)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports

    Danica Patrick had two tire failures and finished a disappointing 36th in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), qualified 27th but had to start at the rear of the field after the team changed a transmission on Saturday afternoon. NASCAR rules state that if such a change is made, the driver must start at the rear of the field.

    Even so, Patrick’s start was solid and she got to 31st rather quickly. Then, bad things began happening.

    On lap 39, her right-front tire shredded and forced her to pit under green. She went two laps down and just never had a handle on the car as the race went on. On lap 250 she cut another right-front tire and brushed the wall, and that caused her to go more laps down. She ended up finishing 36th, nine laps behind the leaders.

    “It was a rough day,” Patrick said. “We had the tire issues, and the car just wasn’t handling all that well. We’ve got two weeks left, and I’m ready for Phoenix next week. It’s a big race with GoDaddy out there, so I’m ready to go.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing second. It was Harvick’s 12th top-five of 2014 and his fourth top-five in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Texas.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished eighth after leading 15 laps, bringing his laps-led total at Texas to 415. It was his 10th top-10 of 2014 and his 13th top-10 in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Texas.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 11th. It was his 14th top-15 of 2014.

    Jimmie Johnson won the AAA Texas 500 to score his 70th career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his fourth at Texas.

    Harvick finished .513 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 13 caution periods for 61 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 341-lap race, which was extended seven laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    Harvick is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and leaves Texas eighth in the Chase standings, 18 points behind Chase leader Joey Logano.

    Busch is 14th in the standings, while Stewart and Patrick are 25th and 28th, respectively.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the ninth race of the 10-race Chase – is the Phoenix 500k on Nov. 9 at Phoenix International Raceway. The penultimate race of the season begins at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 2 p.m.

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  • Danica Patrick Reminds Fans to Turn Their Clocks Back with Tissot

    October 30, 2014, New York, NY – Yesterday, NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick joined Swiss Watchmaker Tissot in New York City to remind fans to turn back their clocks for Daylight Savings Time this coming Sunday. Tissot is the Official Timepiece of Daylight Savings Time.

    While in New York, Danica visited the new Tissot Fifth Avenue boutique for a meet-and-greet event with fans. The store is located at 666 Fifth Avenue (between 52nd and 53rd Streets). The new Tissot boutique features a clock display highlighting Tissot’s world-renowned Tissot T-Touch watch design, and will be leading New York City in turning back the clock this weekend.

    Danica also visited Madison Square Garden for a photo session with Tissot’s new lobby clock and marquee branding. Tissot is the Official Timepiece of Madison Square Garden.

    "Tissot has been such a great partner for the last decade, and I’m proud to be here with them in New York to celebrate the opening of their new boutique on Fifth Avenue and to remind fans to turn back their clocks this weekend," said Patrick. “I pride myself on keeping a fighting spirit and continuously striving to better my performance at every race. Tissot has always been a natural partner because of their same drive to further establish their place as a leader in Swiss watchmaking.”

    This month, Tissot also introduced the new Tissot T-Race Danica Patrick Limited Edition Watch which is now available for sale at the Tissot Fifth Avenue store. The watch is sporty in style with a cool white silicone strap, yet glamorous with ten Top Wesselton diamonds on the dial.

    “Danica is one of Tissot’s longest reigning ambassadors having worked with us since 2005 when she became our first female sports brand ambassador” said François Thiébaud, President of Tissot. “We are proud to announce the new Tissot T-Race Danica Patrick Limited Edition Watch which portrays the synergistic nature of our partnership with Danica, based on excellence in performance. We hope NASCAR fans can relate to Tissot accessible timepiece collections.”

    More information on Tissot watches can be found at http://us.tissotshop.com/.

    About Tissot

    It's the Swissness at the very heart of Tissot that makes the brand such a distinguished one. The + in the Tissot logo is the same as the Swiss flag, symbolizing the quality and the reliability that watchmakers have proudly demonstrated since 1853. The innovative brand remains in its home in Le Locle in the Swiss Jura Mountains, keeping its Swiss identity at its core. Tissot watches are authentic and accessible, using special materials, advanced functionality and meticulous design detail to create pieces that are both precise and stylish. The high caliber of the brand has been repeatedly recognized, as in its illustrious history Tissot has been named Official Timekeeper and Partner of MotoGPTM, FIM World Superbike, FIBA, AFL, RBS 6 Nations Rugby and the World Championships of cycling, fencing and ice hockey. Tissot, which sells its timepieces in more then 160 countries round the world, is a member of the Swatch Group, the world's largest watch producer and distributor of Swiss watches. As it continues to create pioneering creations, Tissot stands by its signature, "Innovators by Tradition." www.tissot.ch

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  • AAA Texas 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 28, 2014) – Danica Patrick begins a new era with this week’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    After two good years with crew chief Tony Gibson, she now welcomes Daniel Knost as the head of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS. Knost is the interim crew chief and brings along his road crew from the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) entry of Kurt Busch. Gibson and his road crew move to Busch and the Haas Automation team. The pit crews remain the same.

    Knost worked with Patrick as an engineer for eight races at SHR in 2012 under Greg Zipadelli. He is also very well educated, having graduated from North Carolina State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.

    He continued his pursuit of higher education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 2003 and a doctorate in the same field in 2008.

    As crew chief for Busch, Knost scored a win in March at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and led Busch to the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. In 2013 he was the race engineer for Ryan Newman and won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and helped lead the team to the 13-driver Chase for the Championship.

    Patrick is hoping Knost will continue her success as she nears the end of her second full year in the Sprint Cup Series. Their first race will be at Texas and it is a place that Patrick has had some success.

    In four Sprint Cup races, her best finish was 24th in November 2012, but her NASCAR Nationwide Series and IndyCar results are promising.

    Patrick has four Nationwide starts with three top-14 finishes, including an eighth in April 2012. In eight IndyCar starts, she has five top-10 results, including second place in June 2012, and she also led three laps.

    As Patrick and Knost begin their working relationship this weekend, both are hoping for good things in Texas.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You have a new crew chief for the last three races. Talk about that.

    “With NASCAR changing some rules and letting us know at this point what they are going to be for next year, we know that we are not going to get a lot of on-track time before next season. So if the team wants changes made or has ideas, it’s probably in everybody’s best interest to make moves now so that things can start off on the right foot for 2015 instead of starting from scratch and trying to develop an accurate dialogue and relationship on the radio. I know Daniel (Knost). He was my race engineer when I did eight races with (Greg) Zipadelli for Stewart-Haas in 2012. Really nice guy, very smart, and he is definitely a lot like the kind of engineers – and, in fact, in IndyCar it is called an engineer instead of a crew chief – that I was used to dealing with. We have gotten along, anyway, regardless of whether he has been on my car or not. I’m definitely open minded and looking forward to the opportunity to see how it will go with him.”

    Talk about working with engineers during your IndyCar days?

    “I just think that it is something that I’m used to. I’m used to someone who has an engineering approach to what they do and I don’t think that it has to be that way, but I think everybody is looking for some magic and a relationship that takes you to the next level. And maybe getting back to something that actually I haven’t really had in NASCAR, yet – I’ve had kind of all more crew-chief-style crew chiefs, old-school crew chiefs – maybe it will be something that will work better.”

    Knost is listed as interim. Do you feel you can work together with him in 2015?

    “I think that we click about communicating the things that are felt in the racecar and then conveyed over the radio and the changes that are made in relationship to that. If that takes a fast course in a good direction, and we seem to click well and make progress throughout the weekend, then I think that will be a really positive sign. I think that is always a challenge. If that is good, then that is, I feel like, a good sign for the future. I know I already get along with him as a person. As I’ve said, I’ve worked with him before and I’ve seen him plenty of times in the shop. We’ve chatted plenty of times. I know I get along with him. Now it’s time to see if we get along in a competitive atmosphere where it becomes more technical than just friendship.”

    DANIEL KNOST, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are you goals with Danica during the Texas weekend?

    “At Texas, I think she was pretty good in qualifying and in race trim in the spring. She’s run well at the 1.5-mile tracks recently, so for me, we just want to continue that progress. I think Stewart-Haas has had pretty good setups at these tracks and we just want to continue to get better and better.”

    What are the goals of the last three races?

    “I always tell people that whatever is the highest position we run all day, that’s where I want to finish. In general, we want to run as well as we can, make good decisions in practice on setups and improve the speed of the car. We want to make good decisions during the race as far as strategy and we want to just build the rapport between us and make sure we understand each other and how we communicate.”

    You worked with her for eight races in 2012. Talk about that.

    “We got along really well and I think she has evolved a lot as a racecar driver and, hopefully, I’ve evolved a lot as an engineer and a crew chief. Even though we know each other, it will kind of be a new experience for both of us.”

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  • Goody's 500 Race-Report

    Date: Oct. 26, 2014
    Event: Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 (Round 33 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 30th/34th (Accident, completed 451 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (679 points)
    Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports

    Danica Patrick was in the top-20 for most of the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. But a massive accident on the frontstretch late in the race ended her day, and she wound up 34th.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was in 16th place on lap 438 when a problem with Brad Keselowski’s car caused him to slow down considerably in the upper part of the racetrack. Casey Mears’ car got into Keselowski’s machine, Patrick had nowhere to go, and she clipped Mears car with the right front of her racecar.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy crew looked it over and got her back on track, but just a few laps later they brought her into the garage. The damage was too extensive for her to continue, and her race was done.

    “We had a good day going,” Patrick said. “The GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness car was in the top-20 most of the day, and I think we could have had a top-10 finish. I’m not sure what happened with the 2 (of Keselowski), but the 13 (of Mears) hit him and I hit the 13 with the right front of my car. We got back out, but we brought it to the garage so they could look it over, and we decided we were done. It’s a shame because we had a really good car. Thanks to Tony Gibson and all his guys for a great two years. They were great to work with.”

    Gibson and the road crew from the No. 10 team are now moving to Kurt Busch, while Patrick will work with the No. 41 road crew, led by crew chief Daniel Knost.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing fourth in the race. Stewart started fourth and led twice for a total of 18 laps to bring his laps-led total at Martinsville to 1,226, third-most among all active Sprint Cup drivers. It was his third top-five and seventh top-10 of 2014 and his 11th top-five and 17th top-10 in 31 career Sprint Cup starts at the .526-mile oval.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 33rd after getting spun into the outside retaining wall on lap 228. His car suffered extensive damage, but the crew was able to make repairs. Harvick returned to the track and picked up eight valuable positions before the checkered flag dropped.

    Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 36th after a ruptured oil line on lap 424 sent him to the garage area. Repairs were made and Busch returned to the racetrack, albeit 62 laps down. Prior to that, Busch led laps 314 through 344 and was a mainstay among the top-10.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 to score his 23rd career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Martinsville.

    Jeff Gordon finished .344 of a second behind his Hendrick Motorsports teammate in the runner-up spot, while Ryan Newman, Stewart and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, AJ Allmendinger and David Ragan comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 15 caution periods for 105 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    Harvick is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He is among the eight drivers of the original field of 16 who advanced to the Eliminator Round. After Martinsville – the seventh race of the 10-race Chase – Harvick is eighth among the eight Chase drivers, 33 points behind Chase leader Gordon.

    Busch is 15th in points, while Stewart and Patrick are 25th and 28th, respectively.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the eighth race of the Chase – is the AAA Texas 500 on Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race begins at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 2 p.m.

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  • Goody's 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 21, 2014) – Danica Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart Haas Racing (SHR) will look the same for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway as it did the last two weekends at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

    But, in addition to the pink paint scheme designed to raise awareness for breast cancer, the car will also feature a multitude of names of those affected by the disease.

    Fans who donated at least $10 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation through www.GoDaddy.com/Donate got their name or a loved one’s name on the car. Fans, SHR and GoDaddy employees, crew chief Tony Gibson’s wife Beth, and even Patrick put names on the car of people they care about who have been affected by breast cancer.

    One name Patrick put on there is NASCAR.com reporter Holly Cain, who is continuing to battle breast cancer. She has interviewed Patrick many times throughout the last 10 years and both are pulling for a strong recovery.

    There are hundreds of names on the car and it is a fitting way to end October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Just after driver introductions at Sunday’s race at Martinsville, Patrick will present a check to the National Breast Cancer Foundation for $50,000 on behalf of GoDaddy. It’s all part of GoDaddy’s initiative to “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer.”

    Patrick is also hoping she can run well at Martinsville for those names on the cars.

    She has only three starts at the .526-mile track and did quite well there in 2013. Her first race was in April and she surprised many NASCAR observers with a solid 12th-place result – made more impressive by the fact she started 43rd after an engine change before the race.

    Patrick’s impressive rookie performance bested those of some other name drivers in their Martinsville debuts, most notably her team owner Tony Stewart, who finished 20th in his first Martinsville start in 1999. Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut in 2002. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th in 1984. Dale Jarrett finished 14th in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 26th in 2000. Kyle Busch finished 39th in 2005. Matt Kenseth finished 21st in 2000. Kurt Busch finished 37th in 2000. And Fred Lorenzen finished 24th in 1956.

    Patrick backed that up with a 17th-place finish in October 2013 after starting 41st in a backup car after an accident early in practice. Her two Martinsville performances were among the best in her entire rookie season.

    This past March, she started an impressive 10th but faded during the race and finished 32nd.

    Despite the less-than-desirable finish in her last outing, she and Gibson are hoping they can put together a good run at the short track this weekend – while remembering the good people whose names are on top of the car.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about going from the biggest track on the circuit, Talladega, to Martinsville, the smallest track on the circuit.

    “Two extremes going from Talladega to the short track. I had a great car in the spring of 2013 at Martinsville, so the challenge for me this time around will be to not downshift from fourth to third when I come out of the pits and over-rev the engine (in practice) and have to start from the back, or crash my primary car in practice like in the fall. We actually qualified well there this year but needed to finish better. Hopefully we can do that. 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.”

    You had a great run in the spring of 2013 at Martinsville. Talk about that.

    “Having never been at Martinsville before, I didn’t know what to expect back then. 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. And my car was pretty good all day. We kind of bounced around from being a little loose to a little tight, but we got the GoDaddy Chevy back up 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 – coming back from two laps down to being on the lead lap and then grabbing a 12th place at the end.”

    You led laps at Talladega last weekend and had a decent run. What are your thoughts about that?

    “We did lead laps and that was good. We just missed the draft at the end and got shuffled back to 19th. We led late and I thought we had a chance, but its restrictor-plate racing. You get shuffled out of the draft late like we did and it’s over. It happens to everybody. Hopefully next time we’ll be in good position to be there at the end.”

    Talk about your pink car this week.

    “GoDaddy has done a lot to raise awareness about breast cancer. For this week we have a lot of names on the car of people that are affected by breast cancer. I know I put a few on there, including Holly Cain. I know the Gibson’s donated and put some names on there as did others from SHR, GoDaddy and of course the fans. It’s just a good way to raise awareness and remember the people affect by this terrible disease. We’re all pulling for everybody to get through this and we’re helping ‘Put the Brakes on Cancer.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve been racing in the Sprint Cup Series for a long time. Talk about the historic significance of Martinsville.

    “It’s one of those places where there’s a lot of history. It’s like Darlington, where it’s been around forever. It makes or breaks a lot of racecar drivers. When you go into a place like that, you don’t want it to be a bad experience. You want to have a positive experience and be part of the history, not part of the negative history. I enjoy going there and racing where some of the greats have raced.”

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  • Geico 500 Post-Report

    Date: Oct. 19, 2014
    Event: Geico 500 (Round 32 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th/19th (Running, completed 194 of 194 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (669 points)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske in a green-white-checkered finish

    Danica Patrick led laps 167-173 of Sunday’s Geico 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. But as is often the case at restrictor-plate tracks, she was shuffled back in the draft to 19th when the checkered flag flew.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), pitted on lap 174 for her final stop of the day. Right after she pitted, rookie Kyle Larson spun to bring out a caution. She appeared to be in good shape, for when she restarted on lap 180 Patrick was in fourth position with less than 10 scheduled laps remaining.

    One lap later, though, Patrick had fallen to 19th when she didn’t get in the line of cars charging to the front as is typical at restrictor-plate tracks like Talladega and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. She fell to 25th but had rallied to 19th when the race concluded.

    “That’s just restrictor-plate racing,” Patrick said. “Sometimes you get the draft, and sometimes you don’t. You have to have help to get to the front and to stay there. I always think of Jimmie Johnson telling me after the 2013 Daytona 500 that he won – he said he didn’t have a plan, he was in the right place at the right time. Tony Gibson (crew chief) gave me a good GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness car. We led laps, but we just missed the draft at the end and ended up 19th. It’s part of it. We dodged a few wrecks and brought it home in one piece, and we’re ready for Martinsville.”

    It was Patrick’s seventh top-20 finish in her last 10 races, including a career-best sixth in August at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was the third time she’s led laps in 2014, as she led two at the Daytona 500 and six at the spring Talladega race.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the SHR contingent by finishing seventh. It was Busch’s ninth top-10 of 2014 and his 14th top-10 in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2.66-mile oval.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished ninth after leading two laps, bringing his laps-led total at Talladega to 173. It was Harvick’s 17th top-10 of 2014 and his 12th top-10 in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at Talladega.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 34th after getting collected in a multicar accident on lap 103. Prior to that misfortune, Stewart led five laps to bring his laps-led total at Talladega to 322.

    Brad Keselowski won the Geico 500 to score his 16th career Sprint Cup victory, his series-leading sixth of the season and his third at Talladega.

    Matt Kenseth finished .141 of a second behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Clint Bowyer, Landon Cassill and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five. Travis Kvapil, Busch, Marcos Ambrose, Harvick and Casey Mears comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 25 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 194-lap race, which was extended six laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    As the sixth race in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Talladega served as the second elimination race. The 12-driver field was whittled down to eight after the Geico 500, advancing the Chase from the Contender Round to the Eliminator Round. Harvick advanced to the three race Eliminator Round by virtue of his win a week ago at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    Busch is 15th in points, while Stewart and Patrick are 26th and 27th, respectively.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the seventh race of the Chase – is the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 on Oct. 26 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 1 p.m.

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  • Geico 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 15, 2014) – It’s time for the fourth and final restrictor-plate race of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. And for Danica Patrick, she and the GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness team will be bringing a familiar “date.”

    Crew chief Tony Gibson has lined up Chassis No. 10-758 for Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. And it has been part of plenty of history with Gibson and Patrick.

    It was the chassis Patrick used in 2013 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for the 55th Daytona 500, where she was the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole position. She led five laps and finished an impressive eighth in the race.

    Patrick then took the car to Talladega in May but was caught up in an accident and finished 28th. It was rebuilt for fall Talladega race and Patrick ran well but faded at the end to finish 33rd.

    It was used again in May 2014 at Talladega, where she started seventh and led six laps but wound up 22nd. From there, she and Gibson took it in July to Daytona, where she finished and impressive eighth when the race was called due to rain on lap 112.

    Now it is time for the final restrictor-plate race of the season and it’s the kind of racing Patrick likes.

    It’s wide-open racing where drivers must set themselves up to be in the right position in the final laps.

    With just five races left this season, Patrick and Gibson would love to continue their successful ways. The GoDaddy team has finished in the top-20 in six of the last nine races.

    They would love to make it seven of 10 come Sunday.

    And with a pink car for Breast Cancer Awareness, and one that has been very good to them, anything is possible.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve run well at the superspeedways. Even if you have been caught up in incidents, you have been consistently in the top-10 throughout each race. Is your confidence level higher at these types of racetracks?

    “I don’t know if the confidence level shifts a tremendous amount as much as the comfort level does. Just being comfortable on these big speedways and comfortable with this pack-style racing that I was so used to in IndyCar on the ovals. Just having a feel for it. It is something that I probably caught on to quicker than anything in stock car racing. I guess I show up there and it’s just a little bit more comfortable.”

    You finished eighth at Daytona last year and you had solid runs at Talladega last year although the finishes may not necessarily reflect the overall performance. Do you feel you can win Talladega this weekend?

    “I feel like I’ve learned some lessons about the draft and how that unfolds at the end if you are in the right place at the right time. I think that, when we talk superspeedway racing, there’s a lot of luck involved. Like I said, right place at the right time – there are a lot of people who have a good chance of winning Talladega, I think. Hopefully, we are one of them at the end of the race. But, we won’t know that until the end of the race.”

    You’ve always liked going to Talladega. Why is that?

    “The fans really make that place. The campgrounds – all that stuff makes it one, big party. You see how much fun the fans are having and that makes it fun for us as drivers. It’s just a unique place. The sheer size of the facility is amazing. I liked it from the first time I went there and, hopefully, we can have a good run and a good finish. The cool thing about superspeedways is that anybody can win. It’s a toss-up, what’s going to happen. So, that’s why it’s fun for me because somebody like me has a chance. On top of that, SHR’s superspeedway cars are really good.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Danica has been comfortable with restrictor-plate racing from the start. What are your overall thoughts going to Talladega?

    “I think our best shot of winning a race is going to be a restrictor-plate race. She runs well there and, obviously, now we have more teammates at Stewart-Haas who are really good restrictor-plate racers who could help in a situation and be a good drafting partner. Our odds are up, now, because we have more teammates to draft with. If we get separated, there are three other teammates and we could pick up one or two of those and get back to the front. It helps all of us. I feel if we can get at least two or three of our Stewart-Haas cars in the top-10 coming to the final couple of laps, we’ve got a shot of winning the race because we have teammates. I feel like our odds are pretty good going into Talladega.”

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  • Bank of America 500 Post-Report

    Date: Oct. 11, 2014
    Event: Bank of America 500 (Round 31 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 14th/26th (Running, completed 331 of 334 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (643 points)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick appeared to be on her way to a top-10 finish in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, but her solid run was derailed when she was involved in an on-track incident at lap 247.

    With less than 90 laps remaining in the race, the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) was running in 11th place and quickly gaining ground. However, her efforts were halted at lap 247, when she was hit in the left-rear fender by Joey Logano. The contact with Logano sent Patrick into the outside retaining wall in turns three and four, causing extensive right-side damage.

    Patrick was able to drive her car to pit road to the attention of the crew, who quickly went to work to repair the right-side damage. She pitted three times under the caution flag, and the quick work by the crew helped her to stay on the lead lap in 19th place.

    Despite the repair work, the damaged right side played havoc with the car’s handling and Patrick struggled with an extremely loose GoDaddy Chevy until the caution flag waved at lap 266. Patrick once again made a series of pit stops so that the crew could repair her car’s splitter and put a new piece of sheet metal on the right-front quarter panel in hopes of helping her handling issues.

    Unfortunately, the damage was too much for Patrick to overcome. She finished the race in 26th place.

    “It was such a bummer for the GoDaddy team,” Patrick said. “We were having such a good night, and I really think we had a car that was capable of a top-10 finish tonight, and that got taken away from us for really no reason. It’s just really frustrating. Charlotte has not been good to me.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by winning the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. It was the 23rd points-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s fourth this season.

    Harvick started seventh and led six times for a race-high 162 laps to bring his laps-led total at Charlotte to 296. It was Harvick’s 26th career Sprint Cup victory, tying him with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Fred Lorenzen for 25th on the all-time Sprint Cup win list. It was also Harvick’s third win of 2014 and his third victory in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 State Water Heaters Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 11th after leading two laps.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 21st.

    Jeff Gordon finished .571 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Jamie McMurray, Logano and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 39 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 334-lap race.

    Harvick is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. With his win at Charlotte, he automatically advances to the Eliminator Round, which will be determined after next Sunday’s race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. There, the Chase field will be whittled from 12 drivers to eight. No matter where Harvick finishes at Talladega, his victory at Charlotte guarantees him a spot in the three-race Eliminator Round that will ultimately determine which four drivers vie for the championship in the season finale Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    Stewart is 25th in points, while Patrick is 28th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the sixth race of the Chase – is the Geico 500 on Oct. 19 at Talladega Superspeedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 1 p.m.

    -TSC-

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  • Bank of America 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 8, 2014) – With the month of October in full swing, the color pink is showing up everywhere. Including Danica Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

    This week at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, and coming up at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Patrick’s normally green Chevrolet turns pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. It is part of GoDaddy’s “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer” campaign, which runs through October.

    GoDaddy is also donating $50,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and offering customers the opportunity to Round-Up for Charity as part of a GoDaddy program in which customers can round up their purchases to the nearest dollar to help the cause. A few cents here and there can add up quickly. Over the years, GoDaddy customers have “rounded up” to the tune of more than $1.1 million for various philanthropic organizations.

    In addition, the names of people impacted by the disease are being placed on Patrick’s GoDaddy racecar for the Oct. 26 race at Martinsville.

    While Patrick will wear a pink suit with her pink car, she is also hoping her recent success will help elevate the profile of the program.

    She has finished in the top-20 in six of her last eight races, including a career-best sixth in August at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    From there, Patrick arrived in September at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, where she had never qualified or finished better than 30th in three starts. This time, she qualified 13th and finished 16th to continue her successful ways.

    Patrick went from Richmond to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, where she had never qualified or finished in the top-20 in two starts. This time, she started 18th after qualifying was rained out and the field was set by practice speeds. She then finished 19th to score her third consecutive top-20.

    It was more of the same at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. She qualified a career-best 18th and was as high as fifth late in the race before dropping back at the end and finishing 19th – still her best career finish at New Hampshire.

    At Dover, Patrick earned her career-best Monster Mile starting position of 13th but had to settle for a 25th-place finish in the race. She came back last week at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City from starting 28th to finishing 16th for her sixth top-20 finish in eight weeks.

    Patrick is hoping to continue her luck in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte. She qualified fourth there in May, but engine problems ended her day after 281 of the 400 laps.

    She has never finished better than 24th at Charlotte, but as the last few weeks have shown, a top-20 is very much possible.

    With a little pink on her car, Patrick is hoping for more good runs – and to raise awareness for breast cancer.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Charlotte?

    “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. It’s fun for me at Charlotte because a lot of the crews have young kids, so it’s fun to meet them and see them around the hauler during the race weekend. It’s just a bit of a different experience than a lot of the tracks we go to.”

    Your car is going to feature breast cancer awareness for the month. Talk about that.

    “My friend had a double mastectomy as a preemptive strike because she actually tested positive for the breast cancer gene. She went through everything and hopefully avoided it, but it hit close to home. I think far too many people know someone affected by this disease. We wanted to do something a little different this year and something to honor people who have fought the disease.”

    You qualified fourth for the May race at Charlotte. Does that make you particularly hopeful of another top qualifying effort?

    “We did qualify well. It’s too bad we had some issues in the race that caused us to finished 39th. (Crew chief) Tony Gibson and the guys have given me good cars and, hopefully, we can finish strong at Charlotte. It’s an important race for the team and it’s nice to see everyone’s family out there. Hopefully, we can run well.”

    You have finished quite well in six of the last eight races. Talk about that.

    “We keep getting better and are trying to get more results in the top-10. I’m getting good cars and the pit crew and road crew have been good. The next step for us is getting top-10 finishes. If we can close the year out with a couple of top-10s, it will be a good year for us and the GoDaddy team.”

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  • Hollywood Casino 400 Post-Report

    Date: Oct. 5, 2014
    Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 30 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 29th/16th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (625 points)
    Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

    Danica Patrick qualified 29th and was a lap down for much of Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

    But she finally got her lap back with 30 circuits remaining and moved from 23rd to an impressive 16th-place result. That allowed her to smile big when she parked the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in the garage.

    Coupled with her seventh-place finish in May there, Kansas is quickly becoming one of her favorite tracks. And she now has six top-20 finishes in her last eight races.

    “We finished strong,” Patrick said. “The Aspen Dental car was good, but we just could not get our lap back. I think we were down a lap for like 200 laps, but when we got it back, we made the move. Tony Gibson (crew chief) and the guys gave me a good car, and I’m happy with where we finished up.”

    She started 29th and, with the first 72 laps going under green, she went a lap down early to leader and teammate Kevin Harvick. From there, she was stuck in the mid-20s. As the cautions in the race added up she was always one car away from getting the “Lucky Dog” award, which gives the first car one lap down the chance to get back on the lead lap.

    On lap 237, Patrick was in 23rd when the eighth caution came out, due to Kasey Kahne’s accident on the backstretch. Gibson brought her to pit road, and she restarted 23rd and on the lead lap with 28 laps to go. From there she worked her way up through field, running 16th when the checkered flag fell.

    Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing 12th after leading eight times for 61 laps.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 17th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished 42nd after an accident on lap 75.

    Joey Logano won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his eighth career Sprint Cup victory, his fifth of the season and his first at Kansas.

    Rookie Kyle Larson finished .479 of a second behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Brian Vickers comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 34 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    Harvick is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and after Kansas – the fourth race of the 10-race Chase – Harvick is sixth among the 12 remaining Chase drivers, 15 points behind Chase leader Logano. Kurt Busch is 15th in points, while Stewart is 26th and Patrick is 28th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the fifth race of the Chase – is the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 11 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The race begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ABC beginning with a prerace show at 7 p.m.

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  • Danica & GoDaddy 'Go Pink' to 'Put the Brakes' on Breast Cancer

    Once again this year Danica Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet will trade its iconic “GoDaddy green” paint scheme for bright pink to promote breast cancer awareness, but this year the car will also include names of people impacted by the disease.

    As part of GoDaddy’s “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer” campaign, which started last month, names of people impacted by the disease are being placed on Danica’s Sprint Cup car for the October 26th Martinsville race. Anyone who donates $10 or more to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) online via GoDaddy.com/Donate by 12 p.m. ET tomorrow can be part of the campaign and honor their loved one.

    The 2014 Sprint Cup GoDaddy No. 10 Chevrolet dedicated to raising awareness in the fight against breast cancer was unveiled this morning in New York City on national television. Danica did the honors wearing pink sneakers and a pink shirt, as has become her tradition.

    According to NBCF, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. The NBCF works to educate people on the importance of early detection.

    “My friend had a double mastectomy as a preemptive strike because she actually tested positive for the breast cancer gene. She went through everything and hopefully avoided it, but it hit close to home,” Danica said. “I think far too many people know someone affected by this disease. We wanted to do something a little different this year, something to honor people who have fought the disease, and we wanted to do it in a way that might help drive donations.”

    The hope is millions of fans watching NASCAR, one of America’s most-watched sports on television, will be inspired to donate. Danica is set to drive her pink GoDaddy No. 10 Chevrolet wearing her pinkfire suit in the last three October races. The specially-inscribed race car hits the track October 26th in Martinsville to close out the campaign.

    “GoDaddy has focused on this important cause over the past three years and NASCAR has been an excellent platform to help raise awareness,” said GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman, whose sister is a breast cancer survivor. “You’ll see our ‘Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer’ campaign throughout the month, on the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevy, on our website and in social media because we are committed to the belief that every little bit counts, whether it’s a small donation or simply spreading the word.”

    GoDaddy is also donating $50,000 to NBCF and offering customers the opportunity to Round-Up for Charity, which is a GoDaddy program in which people round up their purchases to the nearest dollar to help the cause. A few cents here and there can add up quickly. In fact, over the years, GoDaddy customers have ‘rounded up’ to the tune of more than $1.1 million for various philanthropic organizations.

    CEO Blake Irving has been a champion for women’s issues over his long technology career. Since his appointment as CEO in 2013, Irving has transformed the way GoDaddy represents women in its brand and advertising efforts — as well as promoting causes supporting women in technology and the battle against breast cancer. Irving has a personal connection to the women’s health issue in that his mom is the longest-surviving breast cancer patient in New Mexico. “My mom is living proof of how important it is to get regular check-ups and ‘fight the good fight,’” Irving said. “She’s living a very active lifestyle and enjoying life, which is an inspiration. For GoDaddy, it’s important we give, not only financially, but in memorable, meaningful ways that inspire more people to join the fight against breast cancer.”

    For more about GoDaddy’s “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer” campaign, as well as its corporate and social responsibility history, visit:GoDaddyCares.com

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  • Hollywood Casino 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 1, 2014) – Danica Patrick had plenty of reasons to smile through the last few weeks.

    She has finished 19th or better in five of her last seven starts, including a career-best finish of sixth Labor Day Weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    Patrick has qualified 18th or better in the last four races and the team is running better than it ever has.

    In fact, the only reason not to smile is that rain postponed some of the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) four-team test this week at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway as they look to get even better.

    But, for Patrick, she knows this is the week she and the crew chief Tony Gibson-led team head to Kansas Speedway in Kansas City for the second time this season. And she is hoping they can pick up right where they left off in May.

    Patrick started seventh and finished ninth – one of only two times in her career she has started and finished in the top-10, with the other being the 2013 Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where she started on the pole and finished eighth.

    She ran well throughout the whole night at Kansas last May and was as high as third late in the race before finishing seventh.

    When Patrick comes back to Kansas, her No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for SHR will be a familiar one.

    She will use Chassis No. 10-838, the same car she used during her historic sixth-place run at Atlanta.

    That sixth-place finish is the highest finish by a female at Atlanta. The previous record was Janet Guthrie’s 10th-place finish on March 19, 1978. Only a fifth-place result by Sara Christian in a Sprint Cup race on Oct. 2, 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway tops Patrick’s finish. Christian also finished sixth at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway on Sept. 11, 1949 and Guthrie finished sixth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977.

    Though she ended up one spot behind Christian’s record at Atlanta, it was Patrick’s third top-10 of the year to go with her seventh at Kansas in May and eighth in July at Daytona. If she scores one more top-10 in 2014, she will tie Guthrie, who had four in 1977.

    Patrick is hoping that comes at Kansas, where she has run well in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the IndyCar Series, as well.

    She raced there twice in the Nationwide Series and never started or finished lower than 15th. And, in IndyCar, she won the pole in 2005 and finished fifth in 2009.

    In a rare change from her normal green racecar, Patrick’s machine this weekend will sport the blue and white colors of Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of dental care providers in the U.S. with more than 460 locations in communities across 28 states, providing millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable dental care.

    Every Aspen Dental practice offers a full range of dental services – including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, dentures, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work.

    Patrick is hoping she and the No. 10 team will have something to smile about after Kansas.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Kansas?

    “I’ve always liked going to Kansas. It’s a nice facility and I’ve got a lot of experience there compared to some places, even if a lot of it is in IndyCar. I think our 1.5-mile program is better than it was last year, so I feel good going into this week. We had a great run in the spring and hopefully we can do the same in the fall.”

    There are new colors on the car for you this week with the blue and white of Aspen Dental. Talk about that.

    “We do have different look this week. I’m excited about it. We’re lucky to have Aspen Dental on the car this week at Kansas. I’ve done a lot of work with them this year around their Healthy Mouth Movement, a community giving and oral health education initiative which just visited my hometown of in Roscoe, Illinois and delivered free care around the clock for 24 hours. All across the country, they’ve given back more than $1 million in free care to people in need this year. I didn’t realize until I started working with them that lack of dental care is a serious issue. Last year, 100 million Americans didn’t visit a dentist, and millions more live in communities with little or no access to dental care. It’s an issue that affects a lot of hard-working people, including NASCAR fans, who are often living in pain. Aspen Dental decided to do something about it, and that’s why I’m proud to partner with them.”

     

    Describe your Kansas race in the spring and your seventh-place result.

    “Honestly, the most rewarding part of my night was probably when I drove around the outside of the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) on a restart. That was probably my most rewarding thing all night. I say that with all the respect in the world. It’s a big deal because he is Jimmie Johnson. Aside from that, I was really just overall proud that we stayed up front all night. That was the biggest thing. When the race started, it was about finishing the weekend off right and just staying up there. You know you’re going to go up, you’re going to go down a little bit, and we sure enough did that. But we more than held our own through the whole race. I’m extremely proud of this crew for building a car that was just awesome. It was so good on restarts and long runs and tires getting old. Hard work pays off and they definitely put the hard work into it. (Tony) Gibson (crew chief) did a good job in making changes for the race and it was good from the get-go. And I think what says even more are two things: It was really good on restarts and it was really good when it wasn’t quite right, and it was really good on long runs. But, overall, I’m just proud for the team. Kevin (Harvick) has been a great teammate in helping me out and obviously he was very fast at Kansas.”

    What was the racetrack like? Some drivers said it was tricky.

    “Oh, it was tricky and you really had to be careful how hard you went into the corner. It was easy to get it to step out on entry. So you had to be a little bit careful. But that’s all part of the game. Turns one and two were pretty good. For me, I could run any lane and that really helped me out.”

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  • AAA 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 28, 2014
    Event: AAA 400 (Round 29 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
    Start/Finish: 13th/25th (Running, completed 398 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (597 points)
    Winner: Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick finished 25th in Sunday’s AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 13th and was in the top-20 for much of the first 70 laps. She was in 19th place on lap 71 when her car was hit from behind by the machine of Martin Truex Jr. The contact moved her car up the racetrack and caused her to fall to 24th place.

    There was no damage and Truex radioed that he was sorry for the contact, but from there Patrick was between 24th and 26th the remainder of the race. Her car wasn’t all that bad, but long green-flag runs caused her to go two laps down and she finished 25th.

    “The GoDaddy car was pretty good,” Patrick said. “It’s a track-position race, and we got shuffled back when we got hit. We had good lap times at the end, but we were a couple laps down. We’re running better, but this is a tough track for us. We qualified better, but we still need to finish better. That said, I’m excited to head to Kansas next week. We were good in the spring, and I hope we can do just as well next week.”

    Earlier this year Patrick started ninth and finished seventh at Kansas Speedway.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 13th after starting on the pole and leading twice for a race-high 223 laps. Unfortunately, a left-front tire went flat and ended his chances for victory.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 14th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished 18th.

    Jeff Gordon won the AAA 400 to score his 92nd career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his fifth at Dover.

    Brad Keselowski finished 4.352 seconds behind Gordon in the runner-up spot, while Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. Kyle Larson, Truex, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 23 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    Harvick and Kurt Busch were representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and they entered the third race of the 10-race Chase ranked third and 15th, respectively, among the 16 Chase drivers. As the last race in the Challenger Round of the Chase, Dover served as the first elimination race. The field of 16 has now been paired down to 12. Harvick leaves Dover ranked third, but Busch dropped to 14th place, two spots out of contention. Also eliminated from the Chase were AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle and Aric Almirola.

    Stewart is 26th in points, while Patrick is 28th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the fourth race of the 10-race Chase – is the Hollywood Casino 400 on Oct. 5 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 1 p.m.

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  • Danica Patrick Makes a Pit Stop at Tissot's New Fifth Avenue Boutique

    September 25, 2014, New York, NY – Yesterday, NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick joined Swiss Watchmaker Tissot at their new boutique on Fifth Avenue for a consumer meet and greet event. The event was in partnership with Road & Track Magazine in celebration of the opening of the brand’s first boutique in the United States. For the occasion, Danica Patrick introduced her new limited edition watch for 2014, the Tissot T-Race Danica Patrick Watch.

    “Tissot has partnered with Danica Patrick since 2005, nearly a decade, before she made history as the first woman to lead a lap of the Indy at Indianapolis, before she became the first woman to ever win an IndyCar race at the Indy Japan 300, in 2008, and before she became the first woman to obtain a pole position in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Daytona 500, in 2013, to mention but a few of her tremendous achievements over those years. She is also the brand’s first female ambassador” said François Thiébaud, President of Tissot. “Her unique ambition, fighting spirit, glamour and sporting prowess made her a natural fit for Tissot, which prides itself on excellence in performance. We are very proud to have Danica Patrick as part of the Tissot Family.”

    The new Tissot boutique features a clock display highlighting Tissot’s world-renowned Tissot T-Touch watch design. The new Tissot T-Race Danica Patrick Limited Edition Watch is now available for sale at the Tissot Fifth Avenue store, which is sporty in style, yet glamorous with ten Top Wesselton diamonds on the dial.

    "As a race car driver, I compete in a sport that is all about precision, which is why Tissot has been such a natural partner for the past decade "said Patrick. “I am proud to join Tissot in opening the doors to their first boutique in the United States where they will continue to establish their presence as a leader in watch innovation worldwide.”

    The store is located at 666 Fifth Avenue (between 52nd and 53rd Streets). More information on Tissot watches can be found at http://us.tissotshop.com/.

    About Tissot

    It's the Swissness at the very heart of Tissot that makes the brand such a distinguished one. The + in the Tissot logo is the same as the Swiss flag, symbolizing the quality and the reliability that watchmakers have proudly demonstrated since 1853. The innovative brand remains in its home in Le Locle in the Swiss Jura Mountains, keeping its Swiss identity at its core. Tissot watches are authentic and accessible, using special materials, advanced functionality and meticulous design detail to create pieces that are both precise and stylish. The high caliber of the brand has been repeatedly recognized, as in its illustrious history Tissot has been named Official Timekeeper and Partner of MotoGPTM, FIM World Superbike, FIBA, AFL, RBS 6 Nations Rugby and the World Championships of cycling, fencing and ice hockey. Tissot, which sells its timepieces in more then 160 countries round the world, is a member of the Swatch Group, the world's largest watch producer and distributor of Swiss watches. As it continues to create pioneering creations, Tissot stands by its signature, "Innovators by Tradition." www.tissot.ch

    About Road & Track

     

    Road &Track, published by Hearst Magazines, is the magazine for the car enthusiast who appreciates data and what’s beyond the figures. Through vibrant storytelling, sharp style, instrumented testing, and seasoned wit, Road & Track illuminates the passions of the enthusiast and celebrates modern car culture as no other title can. After more than six decades, the nation’s longest-running car magazine continues to inspire those who know cars are more than mere transportation. With cars and the world they inhabit as the starting point, we strive to entertain, inform, and inspire our readers. Follow Road & Track on Twitter at @RoadandTrack. www.roadandtrack.com

    - END –

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  • AAA 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 23, 2014) – The good fortune for Danica Patrick continued right through the end of summer. Now she is hoping she can make it work for the fall.

    She has finished 20th or better in five of the last six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, including her current streak of four consecutive top-20 finishes.

    And all the while, Patrick has run better at just about every track.

    In August at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, she qualified 14th, her best starting position ever at the 2-mile oval. She went on to finish 18th, her third top-20 finish in four starts.

    On the last day of August at Atlanta Motor Speedway, she came in having never finished better than 21st in two starts at the 1.54-mile oval. But she raised the eyebrows of some observers when she finished a career-best sixth the race.

    Patrick came back in September to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, where she had never qualified or finished better than 30th in three starts. She then qualified 13th and finished 16th to continue her successful ways.

    The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), went to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, where she had never qualified or finished in the top-20 in two starts. She started 18th after qualifying was rained out and the field was set by practice speeds. She then finished 19th to score her third consecutive top-20.

    Last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon it was more of the same. She qualified a career-best 18th and was as high as fifth late in the race. She dropped back at the end, but finished 19th – her best career finish at New Hampshire and fourth straight top-20 result.

    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for Sunday’s AAA 400 and Patrick hopes it will be more of the same. She has never qualified or finished in the top-20 but as the last few weeks have shown, that means very little.

    Her only good race at Dover came way back in September 2010 when she drove in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. She started 13th, but led three laps and finished sixth.

    She is hoping for more good luck this weekend as she continues to find good results late in her sophomore season.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts about Dover?

    “I always like going to Dover. The track is pretty fun. I remember everyone telling me how unique and challenging Dover was prior to my first race. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot to compare that track to. They said it was like a larger version of Bristol, but I hadn’t raced at Bristol yet, either. It’s nice to have more of a handle on what to expect heading in there now. Dover is fun. It’s fast and it can make for a really long day of racing. I think that’s part of the appeal of it – how demanding it can be. We definitely want to stay out of trouble, which is easier said than done at these types of tracks.”

    You have run well the past six weeks. You’ve qualified and raced in the top-20. Talk about that.

    “Everyone just works hard and it’s paying off. We actually should have finished better at New Hampshire (19th) but the yellows at the end probably didn’t help. We’re just getting better. Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy guys are giving me really good cars and we just keep finishing better. I haven’t run that well at Dover, but we’ve done better at all the tracks we’ve been to lately, so we’re ready.”

    You have a special breast cancer promotion going into October. Talk about that.

    “If you go to www.godaddy.com/donate and donate a least $10, you can put the name of a loved one on my pink GoDaddy car at Martinsville. The money goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and I think it’s a good idea to raise awareness, and we’re excited about it.”

    How tough is Dover to drive?

    “It can be a real challenge. It’s quite quick and when you come off turns two and four, it drops you down like a roller coaster. You just have to have a good setup and make sure everything is working right or it can be a long day. It’s actually a pretty long race so you have to be prepared. But it’s a fun track and I’m looking forward to it.”

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  • Sylvania 300 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 21, 2014
    Event: Sylvania 300 (Round 28 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 18th/19th (Running, completed 303 of 303 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (578 points)
    Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)

    For the second consecutive week, Danica Patrick started 18th, she finished 19th, and a Team Penske car won.

    Patrick’s starting and finishing positions were the same as they were last week at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, but rather than Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski scoring a win as he did in Chicago, it was his teammate, Joey Logano, who took the checkered flag in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    This was Patrick’s fourth straight top-20 finish as she continues to improve in the last part of her second full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Patrick finished sixth three weeks ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, 16th two weeks ago at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and 19th last week at Chicagoland. The four results are Patrick’s career-bests at these tracks.

    She was in the top-15 for much of Sunday’s event and ran as high as fifth on lap 248. But a combination of numerous cautions, being on old tires and saving fuel cost her a chance at a top-10. She fell to 10th on a lap-253 restart and then by lap 278 had fallen to 23rd as other cars muscled past her.

    On lap 292 Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson decided to bring the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS to pit road for two tires and fuel. The fresh tires helped a bit and she wound up 19th – not where she hoped to finish, but another top-20.

    “It’s too bad,” Patrick said. “I had a good GoDaddy Chevy. We should have finished top-15 or top-10, but the cautions at the end killed us. We were lucky to get tires at the end and get 19th. Tony Gibson and the guys gave me a good car, but it just didn’t work out. We got another top-20, but we should have been better. I’m pleased we seem to be getting better, and I’m excited for Dover.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Designate a Driver SS for SHR, finished third after leading three times for a race-high 104 laps. It was Harvick’s 10th top-five of 2014 and his sixth top-five in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at New Hampshire.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 30th after spinning while racing in traffic on lap 298.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished 36th after a cut tire sent him into the wall and then to the garage for repairs. The team was able to repair the damage, and Busch finished the race several laps down.

    Logano won the Sylvania 300 to score his seventh career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his second at New Hampshire.

    Kyle Larson finished 1.15 seconds behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Harvick, Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brian Vickers comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 15 caution periods for 63 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 303-lap race, which was extended three laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    Harvick and Busch are representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and they entered the second race of the 10-race Chase ranked fourth and ninth, respectively, among the 16 Chase drivers. Harvick leaves New Hampshire in third place, seven points behind Chase leader Keselowski. Busch leaves New Hampshire in 15th, 50 points out of first.

    Stewart is 26th in points, while Patrick is 28th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the third race of the 10-race Chase – is the AAA 400 on Sept. 28 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 1 p.m.

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  • Sylvania 300 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 16, 2014) – Quite simply, Danica Patrick and the GoDaddy team are getting better. Just look at the results from the past few weeks.

    She has finished 20th or better four of the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends, including her current streak of three consecutive top-20 finishes.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has run better at some tracks where she has not done well in the past.

    Three weeks ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, she came in having never finished better than 21st in two starts. But she raised the eyebrows of some observers when she finished a career-best sixth the race.

    Patrick’s sixth-place finish is the highest finish by a female at Atlanta. The previous record was Janet Guthrie’s 10th-place finish on March 19, 1978. Only a fifth-place result by Sara Christian in a Sprint Cup race on Oct. 2, 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway tops Patrick’s finish. Christian also finished sixth at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway on Sept. 11, 1949 and Guthrie finished sixth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977.

    Patrick came back one week later to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, where she had never qualified or finished better than 30th in three starts. She then qualified 13th and finished 16th to continue her successful ways.

    She then headed to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, where she had never qualified or finished in the top-20 in two starts. She started 18th after qualifying was rained out and the field was set by practice speeds. She then finished 19th to score her third consecutive top-20.

    The Sprint Cup Series now moves to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon for Sunday’s Sylvania 300. It’s another place that Patrick hasn’t finished in the top-20 in Sprint Cup but, with her recent momentum, a good result may very well be on the docket.

    She tested there on Sept. 2 and 3 with Chassis 10-839, the same car she will race this weekend. And she has crew chief Tony Gibson, who has won a few races at the 1.058-mile oval.

    In July 2011, Gibson was the crew chief when Ryan Newman won the pole and the race at New Hampshire. He was also car chief in August 1998 when Jeff Gordon won.

    With the recent momentum, another good run at New Hampshire would keep things headed in the right direction as competitors get down to the final two month of the season.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on New Hampshire?

    “I really like going there. I like that area of the country and like the restaurants and what it has to offer. I haven’t been there a whole lot, but I enjoy it and like it. We were OK last year and I’m anxious to see what we’ve got this year. Tony Gibson and his guys have won there before, so I’m ready to get going.”

    How challenging is New Hampshire to set up for?

    “It’s flat and tough to get around, sometimes. You just have to make sure you get through the corners OK and are able to get on the gas quick on the straightaways. It’s tough but, if you have a good car, you can pass and move up through the field. But it can be challenging if it’s not working in your favor.”

    You have run well the last three weeks. Talk about that.

    “It’s been a good run. We’ve done well at places we haven’t run well before and we’d like to keep that going at New Hampshire. We tested there a few weeks back and hopefully it pays off. The guys have worked hard and I think we are getting there. It’s just a matter of making it all work.”

    You have a special breast cancer promotion going into October. Talk about that.

    “If you go to www.godaddy.com/donate and donate a least $10, you can put the name of a loved one on my pink GoDaddy car at Martinsville. The money goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and I think it’s a good idea to raise awareness, and we’re excited about it.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You were working at the first Sprint Cup Series race at Loudon in July 1993 and have been to every race conducted there. Talk about your first race there and what you remember.

    “I was there with Jimmy Hensley as the driver and Geoff Bodine was in the process of buying the team since Alan (Kulwicki) had been killed earlier in the year. It was a nice little racetrack. I’ve always loved Martinsville and it was real similar to that. I thought it was a really cool, really neat racetrack. I’ve been fortunate to run really well there and been with some great drivers. It’s probably one of my better tracks because it kind of fits my style of setup stuff. It’s a really cool track and I loved it the first time I saw it. I’m looking forward to going back there and I’m glad we race there twice.”

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  • MyAFibStory.com 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 14, 2014
    Event: MyAFibStory.com 400 (Round 27 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 18th/19th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (553 points)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

    Danica Patrick finished 19th in Sunday’s MyAFibStory.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, and for the first time in her Sprint Cup career she has scored three consecutive top-20 finishes.

    The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) finished sixth two week ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, and finished 16th last week at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

    “We had a tight car most of the day, but we got another top-20,” Patrick said. “The GoDaddy guys did a good job, and crew chief Tony Gibson made good calls. We needed a bit more, but overall it was a decent day. We’re moving in the right direction, though, and I’m proud of everyone.”

    Patrick’s day was not without incident as, while running 18th with just 10 laps to go, she made contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and had damage to the right front of her car. She managed to make it to the pits and still finished 19th and on the lead lap.

    “I heard my spotter (Brandon Benesch) say that the 14 (Tony Stewart) was below me on track, and I didn’t know the 17 (Stenhouse) was there on the high side of the track,” Patrick said. “My spotter took the blame on that one. I just didn’t know Ricky was up there, and I obviously don’t want to hit his car or anyone else with 10 laps to go. I talked with Ricky afterward, and we’re fine. It’s just a tough deal. We finished 19th even with the damage, so it was a decent run.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished fifth after leading three times for a race-high 79 laps en route to his ninth top-five of 2014 and his eighth top-five in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished eighth to score his eighth top-10 of 2014 and his eighth top-10 in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at Chicagoland.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 18th.

    Brad Keselowski won the MyAFibStory.com 400 to score his 15th career Sprint Cup victory, his series-leading fifth of the season and his second at Chicagoland.

    Jeff Gordon finished 1.759 seconds behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Harvick rounded out the top-five. Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 28 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    Harvick and Kurt Busch are representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and they entered the first race of the 10-race Chase seeded sixth and 10th, respectively, among the 16 Chase drivers. Harvick leaves Chicagoland in fourth, 12 points behind Chase leader Keselowski. Kurt Busch leaves Chicagoland in ninth, 20 points out of first.

    Stewart is 26th in points, while Patrick is 28th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the second race of the 10-race Chase – is the Sylvania 300 on Sept. 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 1 p.m.

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  • MyAFibStory.com 400 Pre-Report

    (Sept. 10, 2014) – There really is no place like home. And when you go home, you want to be successful.

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has that opportunity in Sunday’s MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.

    Patrick grew up in Roscoe, Illinois, which is 116 miles northwest of the racetrack. She will have some friends and family in attendance, but she’ll also have a car that has brought plenty of success.

    On Thursday, May 8, at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, the No. 10 GoDaddy team unloaded Chassis No. 10-837, a new car that had not been used previously.

    On Friday, May 9, Danica Patrick, driver of the GoDaddy Chevrolet, was 26th in the first practice and 23rd in the final practice for Saturday night’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway oval.

    But the right adjustments from crew chief Tony Gibson and some helpful hints from teammate Kevin Harvick helped her earn the ninth spot on the starting grid in impressive fashion during Friday evening’s qualifying session.

    On Saturday, May 10, Patrick raised a few eyebrows by running in the top-10 for the majority of the event, running as high as third late in the race and finishing seventh.

    She started 10th and finished 21st with the same chassis at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta seven weeks later, but Patrick recently tested with the car on August 25 and 26 at Chicagoland.

    The team is hoping what it learned at the test can be carried over to Sunday’s 400-mile race. It’s also hoping the career-best run by Patrick two weeks ago will also provide some momentum. Patrick finished sixth at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway and the team is hopeful the same setup will bring success at the1.5-mile Chicagoland racetrack.

    It’s “Sweet Home Chicago” for Patrick, who’s looking for a good run for the GoDaddy team.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Chicago?

    “I’ve always loved going to Chicago. I love the city – it’s just a great place. 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, Goodyear testing in Homestead (Miami-Speedway) on Tuesday and then we have an Aspen Dental appearance on Wednesday in Roscoe (Illinois). I’ve always liked the track and we’ve been getting better at the intermediate tracks in recent weeks. So, I’m looking forward to it.”

    You grew up in Roscoe, Illinois, about 116 miles northwest of Chicagoland Speedway. Will you have a lot of family and friends at the race this weekend?

    “There are going to be a few people out there. I normally don’t have a lot because I don’t exactly volunteer tickets because it’s a lot of work and there’s a lot going on during the weekend. For people who come out to the track, you want them to have a good time and, if you don’t feel like you can help them have a good time, then there’s not much point. But 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. I’m doing an Aspen Dental appearance on Wednesday, so it will be nice to get out there and see everyone.”

    You have run well the last couple of weeks. Talk about that.

    “It was nice to run well at Atlanta and it was nice to finish well at Richmond. Those have been two tough tracks for us, so it was good to finish well. The team worked hard and everything fell into place. Hopefully, we can have more of that at Chicago.”

    You tested at Chicago a few weeks ago. Talk about that.

    “It a good test and I think we learned some things. We’re bringing back the Kansas car, so hopefully it’s good. We learned a lot about setup and hopefully what we used at the test, and then at Atlanta, pays off.”

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  • Federated Auto Parts 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 6, 2014
    Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 (Round 26 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 13th/16th (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (528 points)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

    Danica Patrick said last week after her career-best finish of sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway that “it’s great, but I keep thinking that I suck at Richmond.”

    She can stop thinking that way now, as she started 13th and finished a respectable 16th in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. In three previous NASCAR Sprint Cup races there, she had never finished better than 29th.

    “It was a good day,” Patrick said. “Everyone on the GoDaddy team worked hard; we had good night. I’m proud of where we have been the last two weeks, and tonight was by far our best run at Richmond. It was a good job by the team.”

    Patrick ran between 10th and 20th all night and was 16th on lap 211 when her Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Kevin Harvick put her car one lap down. She kept after it, though, and passed Denny Hamlin on lap 300 to become the first car one lap down.

    Things got interesting for Patrick when the caution came out on lap 330. Hers was the first car one lap down, so she got to get her lap back via the “Lucky Dog” rule. The caution was for a person that had climbed the outside retaining fence about 10 feet in turn four. The incident was bizarre, but Patrick and the GoDaddy team benefited by getting back on the lead lap. Unfortunately, she had to start at the rear of the field per the rule, and it was the last caution of the day, so she remained 16th.

    “If we could have got one more caution, it would have been nice,” Patrick said. “But it didn’t happen. Still, I’m proud of these guys and for GoDaddy. It’s our best run here by far. We’ve been testing a lot, so hopefully everyone can wind down on Sunday before we get ready for Chicago.”

    Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished fifth after leading twice for 17 laps. It was his eighth top-five of 2014 and eighth top-five in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Richmond.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished seventh to score his seventh top-10 of 2014 and his 10th top-10 in 26 career Sprint Cup starts at Richmond.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 15th.

    Brad Keselowski won the Federated Auto Parts 400 to score his 14th career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Richmond.

    Jeff Gordon finished .797 of a second behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and Harvick rounded out the top-five. Joey Logano, Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman and Aric Almirola comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 27 laps, with one driver failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    Patrick is 28th in the Sprint Cup standings with 528 points.

    Richmond marked the last race of the regular season, and the 16-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins.

    NASCAR recalibrated the points for the 16 Chase drivers as soon as the Richmond race was over, with each driver getting 2,000 points. Drivers also received three bonus points for each of their respective wins during the 26-race regular season. For drivers starting the Chase with identical point totals, their seed was determined by the traditional tiebreaker of best finishes beyond race victories.

    Positions 1-12 on the Chase field were determined by the drivers with the greatest number of wins after the first 26 races. Positions 13-16 went to the drivers who, while winless during the regular season, were the highest in points.

    Harvick qualified for the Chase by virtue of his two wins at Phoenix International Raceway and Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. His two regular-season victories were each worth three bonus points. Harvick carries six bonus points into the Chase to slot sixth among the 16 drivers. Harvick finished the regular season ranked seventh with 788 points. This is Harvick’s fifth consecutive Chase appearance and his eighth since the inception of the Chase in 2004. He finished fourth in his Chase debut in 2006, 10th in 2007, fourth in 2008, third in 2010, third in 2011, eighth in 2012 and third in 2013.

    Busch qualified for the Chase via his win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He’ll start the Chase 10th with three bonus points. Busch finished the regular season ranked 20th with 651 points. This is Busch’s second straight Chase appearance and eighth overall. He won the championship in his Chase debut in 2004, then finished 10th in 2005, seventh in 2007, fourth in 2009, 11th in 2010, 11th in 2011 and 10th in 2013.

    Ranked in order of where their bonus points seeded them, the 16 drivers competing for this year’s championship are:

    1. Brad Keselowski (2,012 points)

    2. Jeff Gordon (2,009 points, -3)

    3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2,009 points, -3)

    4. Jimmie Johnson (2,009 points, -3)

    5. Joey Logano (2,009 points, -3)

    6. Kevin Harvick (2,006 points, -6)

    7. Carl Edwards (2,006 points, -6)

    8. Kyle Busch (2,003 points, -9)

    9. Denny Hamlin (2,003 points, -9)

    10. Kurt Busch (2,003 points, -9)

    11. Kasey Kahne (2,003 points, -9)

    12. Aric Almirola (2,003 points, -9)

    13. AJ Allmendinger (2,003 points, -9)

    14. Matt Kenseth (2,000 points, -12)

    15. Greg Biffle (2,000 points, -12)

    16. Ryan Newman (2,000 points, -12)

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the first race of the Chase – is the Sept. 14 MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 1 p.m.

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  • Federated Auto Parts 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 3, 2014) – She came awfully close to a new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record.

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished sixth in Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    She was fourth on the final green-white-checkered restart but dropped to sixth when the checkered flag fell two laps later.

    Patrick’s sixth-place finish is the highest finish by a female at Atlanta. The previous record was Janet Guthrie’s 10th-place finish on March 19, 1978. Only a fifth-place result by Sara Christian in a Sprint Cup race on Oct. 2, 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway tops Patrick’s finish. Christian also finished sixth at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway on Sept. 11, 1949 and Guthrie finished sixth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977.

    Though she ended up one spot behind Christian’s record, Patrick notched her third top-10 of the year as she finished seventh in May at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and eighth in July at Daytona (Fla) International Speedway. If she scores one more top-10 in 2014, she will tie Guthrie, who had four in 1977.

    Patrick’s next shot will come Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, where she told reporters with a smile after the Atlanta race, “I have sucked at Richmond every time, so I sure hope I can run well at Richmond, now.”

    In three Sprint Cup appearances at Richmond, Patrick’s best start was 30th and her best result was 29th, both in the April 2013 race. Her three NASCAR Nationwide Series events there weren’t much better with a best start of 16th in April 2012 and best finish of 18th in September 2011.

    Not much to write home about.

    But the IndyCar Series proved well for Patrick at Richmond with four top-10 finishes in five starts, including a top-five in June 2009.

    Consider that she’d only raced at Atlanta twice in the Sprint Cup Series before last weekend and never qualified or finished in the top-20. Then the obvious question would be, why can’t she succeed at Richmond?

    Patrick, crew chief Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy team are hoping for another good run and more good finishes to keep building the record.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Richmond?

    “The first thing I think of when going to Richmond is we have sucked there each and every time (laughs). So we are going there with a different approach, a different approach from what we will need out of the car to be good on Saturday night, and let’s hope it will work.”

    What makes the racing so good there?

    “When you have a good car, it creates opportunities to pass. Turns one and two are kind of tight, and three and four are more of a long corner, so it’s a challenge to set the car up. We slip and slide there a bunch, anyway, thank goodness we don’t race there in the day. There is more grip at night and I’m thankful for that.”

    There are multiple drivers going for the Chase at Richmond. Do you think guys will drive crazy, or will it be business as usual.

    “I highly doubt it will be business as usual. You want to get the most points possible because those spots are open and people are going to try like hell to win the race. There is always that last great push at the end and it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Might be a few yellows.”

    Talk about Atlanta last week.

    “It was just about a top-five. We just missed it by a thousandth of a second or something with Carl. We made steady progress all weekend and that is what happens when you do. We were just fast enough to be the lucky dog and we worked really hard to beat the 3 (Austin Dillon) to the lucky dog and that was kind of the turning point because there was a quick restart and we could move up. We made the GoDaddy car better and better, then it kind of stalled in the middle runs, and then was good on the last two. So that was good. We had a couple of pit stops that weren’t great, but the last one was 11 seconds and that put us in a good spot for the restart and we missed the accident. We finished sixth and that was it.”

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  • ORAL-B USA 500 Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 31, 2014
    Event: Oral-B USA 500 (Round 25 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th/6th (Running, completed 335 of 335 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (500 points, 372 out of first)
    Winner: Kasey Kahne of Hendrick Motorsports in a green-white-checkered finish (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick twice rallied from being a lap down to finish sixth and score her best career finish in Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    Patrick was fourth on the final restart, dropped to sixth, but managed to come home with her fourth career top-10 and third this season.

    “It was a long night,” Patrick said. “Man, that race felt like it was 700 miles. Sometimes when you are running well they feel like that because you are hoping it stays there, keeps going well, and you keep improving and don’t lose it. There were definitely a couple of times late in the race when we fell back. In the middle of the race the GoDaddy car was very good. We took a little step back, and then it came back in the end.”

    Patrick’s sixth-place finish is the highest finish by a female at Atlanta. The previous record was held by Janet Guthrie (10th on March 19, 1978). Only a fifth-place result by Sara Christian in a Sprint Cup race on Oct. 2, 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway tops Patrick’s finish. Christian also finished sixth at Langhorn (Pa.) Speedway on Sept. 11, 1949 and Guthrie finished sixth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977.

    Patrick’s good result came with work and a bit of good fortune. She started 27th and got up to 23rd by lap 38, but the leader, Patrick’s SHR teammate Kevin Harvick, was setting such a fast pace that she went a lap down. As soon as she lost the lap, however, the caution came out and, because she was the first car one lap down, she got the lap back via the “Lucky Dog” rule.

    She worked her way up to 21st and went down a lap again, but she passed Austin Dillion for 20th on lap 112 to become the first car one lap down. On lap 116 the caution came out and, once again, she got her lap back via the Lucky Dog.

    By the halfway point of the race, Patrick worked her way into the top-15 and would stay there for the rest of the night. Her lap times kept getting better, and by the 300-lap mark she was solidly in the top-10.

    On lap 324 of the race’s scheduled 325 laps, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wrecked in turn two, creating a green-white-checkered situation and setting the stage for everyone to pit for fresh tires for the restart.

    Patrick’s crew changed four tires and fueled her car in just 11 seconds, allowing her to restart seventh on lap 330. But the field didn’t even get to turn one before an accident involving Harvick, Joey Lagano, Paul Menard and Jimmie Johnson would bring out yet another caution. Patrick slipped by the accident and was fourth for the second green-white-checkered restart on lap 333. But she dropped to sixth before the checkered flag waved, just 1.5 seconds from her first career victory.

    “Tony Gibson just reset everything to where we were when we were running well,” Patrick said. “Obviously the pit stop at the end that was 11 seconds was so good. There were a couple of rough ones in the beginning, but that one made up for it because it put us seventh on that restart, and we had a good line on the inside and didn’t get caught up on the outside. I am just so happy for the team. We have had pretty fast cars for quite a while now and not really great finishes for it. So this is for everybody and GoDaddy.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 13th after leading once for 22 laps.

    Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led seven times for a race-high 195 laps but finished 19th after being involved in the late accident.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 41st after being involved in an accident.

    Kasey Kahne won the Oral-B USA 500 to score his 17th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Atlanta.

    Matt Kenseth finished .574 of a second behind Kahne in the runner-up spot, while Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Patrick, Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, Aric Almirola and Greg Biffle comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 10 caution periods for 56 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 335-lap race, which was extended due to a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round 25 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is eighth with 748 points, 124 behind first-place Jeff Gordon. Busch is 21st with 614 points, 258 out of first. Stewart is 26th with 540 points, 332 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 500 points, 372 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 6 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ABC beginning with its prerace show at 7 p.m.

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  • ORAL-B USA 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 27, 2014) – While many Americans will fire up the barbeque one final time and watch the opening weekend of college football this Labor Day weekend, Danica Patrick and her fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitors will be “laboring,” for lack of a better term.

    Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500 Sprint Cup race is certainly no holiday for drivers as the marathon, 325-lap event around the fast, old and slick 1.5 miles of Atlanta Motor Speedway asphalt is one of the biggest challenges of the season.

    The Atlanta “quad” oval is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit, but its old pavement means that cars slip and slide around, putting a driver’s ability to the test. Factor in that the race starts in the hot early evening sun and ends under the stars, and it’s an experience that can cause headaches for both drivers and crew chiefs as they attempt to figure out how to maximize the handling of their cars from beginning to end.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), and her crew chief Tony Gibson will attempt to find a handling package that is comfortable to drive without compromising speed.

    Easier said than done.

    But if Patrick needs any advice about Atlanta, she can certainly lean on her crew chief.

    Gibson was the car chief for Jeff Gordon from 1998 to 2001 and, during that time, the team scored two wins and finished outside of the top-10 only twice in eight races at Atlanta.

    Perhaps the most important moment of Gibson’s career came at Atlanta in 1992 as car chief for Alan Kulwicki.

    Back then, the team was famously known for being an underdog, lacking the funding or the manpower of the super teams but knowing it had heart and a resolve to beat the best.

     

    Its goal was to win the 1992 championship but, after a disastrous outing at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, where Kulwicki destroyed two racecars, it looked as if the championship hopes were over. With six races to go, the team was behind by a seemingly insurmountable 278 points.

     

    As Gibson tells the story, Kulwicki walked into the hauler following the Dover race. He closed the doors behind him and said to his team, “Don’t give up on me, I won’t give up on you. We can still win this championship.”

     

    And that’s precisely what happened. Kulwicki and his team rattled off four top-five finishes in the final six races and the championship battle between Kulwicki, Bill Elliott and Davey Allison went down to the wire that season 22 years ago.

    Kulwicki entered Atlanta in third place in the championship standings but led the most laps and finished second to squeeze by race-winner Elliott for the title. Tragically, Kulwicki was killed in plane crash the following April.

    Gibson never forgets his time with Kulwicki and is hoping to show some of that same magic in this week’s race at Atlanta.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Atlanta?

    “The first time I raced there was in 2012 and I did both Nationwide and (Sprint) Cup. That seems like a long time ago and that was only my fifth Cup start, so I feel a little more confident and knowledgeable than I did then. It’s a fast place. The tires definitely go off with the surface and the line moves around a lot. It’s a big weekend with a lot going on for GoDaddy, Coke Zero and Chevrolet, so there’s a lot off the track, as well. But I’m looking forward to it.”

    Talk about Atlanta in 2013.

    “I remember that we weren’t good in the first practice (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. The pit crew was really good and they were quick on each stop.”

    Atlanta is one of the tracks where you don’t have a lot of starts.

    “Only three, actually. I feel like some of these places I’ve been to four or five times, but at Atlanta I’ve only got one Nationwide start and two Sprint Cup starts. It’s interesting how the track handles with the old pavement and then how it changes as the night goes on. It’s a tough place to master, but it can be done.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew Chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Atlanta in 1992 with Alan Kulwicki has always been special to you. Talk about that.

    “We were pretty far back after the second Dover race, when Alan (Kulwicki) came back and won the championship. It taught me that you can overcome any point deficit. I’m a believer and a fighter, and I experienced it first-hand in 1992 when I was with Alan. Nobody gave us a snowball’s chance in Hell that year and we did it. It was just a special time and I’m so glad to have been a part of it. It was just an incredible ride.”

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  • Irwin Tools Night Race Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 23, 2014
    Event: Irwin Tools Night Race (Round 24 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 24th/27th (Running, completed 493 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (462 points, 383 out of first)
    Winner: Joey Logano of Penske Racing (Ford)

    It just wasn’t Danica Patrick’s night.

    The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) struggled with an ill-handling racecar from the drop of the green flag in Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Those handling issues would plague her throughout the course of the night and lead to a 27th-place finish.

    Early on, Patrick battled with a car that was especially tight exiting the turns. The tight-handling condition caused her to fall from her 24th-place starting position to 33rd by lap 10. With the leaders setting a rapid pace early in the race, Patrick fell a lap down to the leaders by lap 38.

    While the crew tried to help Patrick’s handling woes with a series of adjustments to air pressure, wedge, track bar and even shocks, Patrick continued to fight a car that lacked grip and was inconsistent through the corners. Patrick noted to her crew that she couldn’t predict what the car was going to do or when.

    By the race’s halfway point, Patrick told her crew that the changes had helped take the car in the right direction, moving smoother through the corners, and she moved up to 29th, just two laps down to the leaders. However, just a handful of laps later at lap 263, Patrick was tagged from behind by a fellow competitor and spun out in turn two to bring out the caution flag.

    While Patrick didn’t hit anything and the No. 10 GoDaddy machine didn’t sustain any damage, the spin caused Patrick to lose two more laps to the leaders and dropped her to 35th-place in the running order.

    Despite the issues, Patrick and her crew continued to fight through the hardships and work to make the car better throughout the course of the night. Patrick finished 27th.

    “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.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR Saturday at Bristol by finishing fifth after starting seventh in the Irwin Tools Night Race. It was Busch’s sixth top-five this season and his eighth top-five in 28 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Bristol. It was also his 106th top-five in 495 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, started from the pole and led three times for 75 laps before finishing 11th.

    Jeff Burton, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for regular driver Tony Stewart, started 25th and finished 15th.

    Joey Logano won the Irwin Tools Night Race to score his sixth career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Bristol.

    Brad Keselowski finished .390 of a second behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Busch rounded out the top-five. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Greg Biffle comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 64 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    With round 24 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is seventh with 721 points, 124 behind first-place Jeff Gordon. Busch is 22nd with 582 points, 263 out of first. Stewart is 26th with 537 points, 308 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 462 points, 383 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Oral-B USA 500 on Sunday, Aug. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its prerace show at 7 p.m.

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  • Irwin Tools Night Race Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 19, 2014) – Danica Patrick, crew chief Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy team have already worked a full day at the track this work week.

    After three days of racing at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, they returned Monday to the 2-mile oval with nine other cars for a 2015 NASCAR rules test. The all-day test was held to work on potential rules for the upcoming season and beyond.

    The team headed back to the Charlotte area Monday night and now prepare for the Irwin Tools Night Race Saturday evening at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick has raced four times at Bristol in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and has steadily improved her finishing positon with each outing. She finished 29th in just her fourth Sprint Cup race in August 2012, but that was hampered by an accident not of her making.

    After starting 43rd due to qualifying being rained out, Patrick calmly moved her way through the field and was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch.

    She finished 28th in March 2013 and then 26th last August. This past March, she finished 18th, her best yet.

    It was the same way with Patrick in the Nationwide Series as she finished 33rd in her first Bristol race, 19th in the second and a career-best ninth in her final race in August 2012.

    She will look for a good run this week with the experienced Gibson guiding her.

    His experience goes so far back, he was the car chief for Alan Kulwicki when they won the final Bristol race on asphalt in April 1992 before it was changed to concrete.

    Both are hoping for their best finish yet at the “Last Great Colosseum.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Bristol?

    “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.”

    Can you talk about your early impressions of the rules test at Michigan with the rear gear change and then the aerodynamic changes?

    “I don’t think the first change, with the rear gear, was that big of change. Maybe in more of a race situation, it would have shown a little bit more getting back to speed or after a mistake, but I didn’t notice much. And then with the extra downforce, it was only like a tenth slower than the other way, with a couple hundred pounds more downforce, so you’re going that much faster in the corners and so it’s just a lot less lifting and generally much more easier to drive. But I think we’ve got good progress and they will figure it out for sure. It was good to be part of it.”

    How do you think the testing has gone so far with the potential rule changes?

    “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.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew Chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about Bristol at night versus the day race.

    “There’s always a little more grip at night than there is during the daytime. That’s one good thing. The bad side is, when the lights come on, it gets a little crazier (laughs). The cars will just have more overall grip. The groove will probably move up a little more, too. It tends to get tighter as it goes on into the night. The key is just track position because everyone is going to fight the same issues. We had a good race there in the spring. We actually wrecked the primary car, but the backup was pretty good and we got where we needed to go. Hopefully, we can get better this time and improve even more.”

    What is your favorite memory of Bristol?

    “I’d say it’s when we won the last asphalt race with Alan (Kulwicki). We led a bunch of it but had a flat tire and went two laps down. We came back through and got our laps back under green and won. When we pulled into victory lane, the right-rear tire was going flat. That race was pretty crazy because we were trying to win the last race on asphalt and got it done. To go through all that and get a flat tire and still win is pretty cool.”

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  • Pure Michigan 400 Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 17, 2014
    Event: Pure Michigan 400 (Round 23 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 14th/18th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (445 points, 371 out of first)
    Winner: Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick rallied from an early accident to finish a respectable 18th in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), came back from two laps down to score her seventh top-18 finish of 2014.

    Her day started rough with a spin in turn two on lap 26, and she was hit in the front left portion of her car by Justin Allgaier’s machine. She sustained cosmetic damage to the GoDaddy car that required three pits stop for the crew to work on repairs.

    She returned to the track in 36th place, and it appeared a long day was ahead of her as she lost two laps over the next 130 circuits. But she soon got one of those laps back during pit stop cycles and then was awarded the “Lucky Dog” spot when she was the first car a lap down on lap 179. From there she raced to 18th.

    “To come back from the accident and being two laps down to finishing 18th, I’ll take it,” Patrick said. “It was a good job by the GoDaddy crew to fix the damage, and we ran well to get back up to 18th. It was a tough day, but I’m happy with where we finished.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR by finishing second. He started sixth and ran in the top-five all day en route to his seventh top-five this season and his seventh top-five in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at Michigan. It was also his 107th top-five in 489 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 16th and finished 31st after getting into the outside retaining wall while battling for the lead late in the race. Busch led two times for three laps.

    Jeff Burton, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for regular driver Tony Stewart, started 27th and finished 37th after spending time in the garage while the team replaced a broken tailpipe.

    Jeff Gordon won the Pure Michigan 400 to score his 91st career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his third at Michigan.

    Harvick finished 1.412 seconds behind Gordon in the runner-up spot, while Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 37 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

    With round 23 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is sixth with 687 points, 129 behind first-place Gordon. Busch is 23rd with 543 points, 273 out of first. Stewart is 25th with 537 points, 279 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 445 points, 371 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Irwin Tools Night Race on Saturday, Aug. 23 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ABC beginning with its prerace show at 7 p.m.

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  • Cheez-It 355 Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 10, 2014
    Event: Cheez-It 355k at The Glen (Round 22 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International (2.45-mile, 11-turn road course)
    Start/Finish: 43rd/21st (Running, completed 90 of 90 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (382 points, 419 out of first)
    Winner: AJ Allmendinger of JTG Daugherty Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick survived an accident and gained 22 spots to finish 21st in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355k at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 43rd in a backup car due to an accident in the primary car during Friday practice.

    She began slowly moving through Sunday’s field and was midpack on lap 57 when she was caught up in a large accident involving Ryan Newman, Michael McDowell, Greg Biffle and Alex Bowman that delayed the race for more than an hour as repairs were made to a guardrail. Patrick had contact causing damage to the left front of her racecar and was forced to make three pit stops to fix it.

    Tony Gibson and his GoDaddy crew worked on the left front of the car and made the adjustments to get her back out without losing a lap. She fought hard the rest of the race and scored a respectable 21st.

    “It’s been a tough day,” Patrick said. “It was a long race, but Gibson and the GoDaddy guys worked on the car and we got a 21st out of it, which isn’t bad with the weekend we had. We’ll come back at Michigan next week.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing third to record his fifth top-five this season and his second top-five and sixth top-10 in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at Watkins Glen. It was also his 195th top-10 in 493 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished seventh. It was his 11th top-10 this season and his seventh top-10 in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at Watkins Glen. It was also his 220th top-10 in 488 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Regan Smith, subbing for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 37th after being involved in an accident that forced him out of the race nine laps shy of the 90-lap distance.

    AJ Allmendinger won the Cheez-It 355k at The Glen to score his first career Sprint Cup victory.

    Marcos Ambrose finished 1.160 seconds behind Allmendinger in the runner-up spot, while Busch, rookie Kyle Larson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Joey Logano, Harvick, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 17 laps, with six drivers failing to finish.

    With round 22 of 36 complete, Harvick continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is eighth with 645 points, 128 behind new series leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. Stewart is 21st with 537 points, 236 out of first. Busch is 23rd with 529 points, 244 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 419 points, 354 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, Aug. 17 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Cheez-It 355 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 6, 2014) – Danica Patrick has driven in three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course races and each result was better than the previous one.

    So the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is hoping for her best NASCAR Sprint Cup road course race yet in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355k at The Glen, which takes place at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

    Patrick is driving the same chassis – No. 10-759 – that she drove in all three previous road-course races. She qualified 31st and finished 29th in her first race in June 2013 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, and then qualified 35th but improved to 20th in last August’s race at Watkins Glen.

    Her best race yet came in June 2014 at Sonoma, where she qualified 11th and finished 18th.

    Patrick’s qualifying this year has been far superior to last year as, through 21 races in 2013, her average starting spot was 31.0 while this year she averages 21.0. Eight starts have come from the top-15, while last year only twice was she in the top-15 for all 36 races and both of those were at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    She has plenty of experience at Watkins Glen, but only two starts have come in NASCAR, with one in Sprint Cup and one in Nationwide.

    Six of those starts came in the IndyCar Series and unfortunately won’t offer much assistance to Patrick. As if the incredible difference between a stock car and an Indy car weren’t enough, the IndyCar Series used the longer version of the Watkins Glen road circuit, which includes the famous “boot” portion of the track. Her performances were OK – her best start was seventh in 2009 and her best finish was eighth in 2006.

    Patrick did compete in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen, but she finished 43rd after Ryan Truex spun in front of her on the start. She could not avoid his spinning car and made heavy contact with his machine.

    She is hoping for much better results this week and hopefully can gain the best road-course finish of her career.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Watkins Glen?

    “Road courses are rhythm. You have to have a nice balance and, if your car is too loose or too tight, it gets bad. That’s how I feel about road courses. You really have to be able to strike that balance.”

    If you are good at Sonoma, can you be good at Watkins Glen?

    “Probably. I think these cars are such big, heavy cars, the difference between Sonoma and Watkins Glen is not that big of a deal. It still has corners and has to go left and right and then go quickly and turn quickly and get the power down quickly and do things it’s not used to doing on a normal, everyday weekend. There should be plenty of carryover from road course to road course. If you are struggling with rear grip issues, you probably are going to not be penalized as much at Watkins Glen as you are Sonoma.”

    Are we going to see some drivers roll the dice to get a win as we get closer to the Chase?

    “Sure. I feel at the beginning of the season you saw some people taking chances to do something unique. It hasn’t completely gone away, but I think as we get closer to the Chase, you will see a surge in that strategy. What better place to do it than a road course?”

    Thoughts on the history of Watkins Glen?

    “It’s a cool place and neat part of the country. F1 raced there. I raced there a lot with IndyCar, and NASCAR has been there for a long time. They seem to race everything there. I like what they’ve done with it and the fans seem to really enjoy it, which is most important. It’s a cool place to race.”

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  • GoBowling.com 400 Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 3, 2014
    Event: GoBowling.com 400 (Round 21 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
    Start/Finish: 10th/30th (Running, completed 156 of 160 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (396 points, 361 out of first)
    Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick’s day didn’t go the way she had hoped in Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

    Her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) started 10th and was solidly in the top-15 from the drop of the green flag at Pocono until trouble struck at lap 14, when Patrick hit the outside wall as she exited turn two. The contact with the wall led to a severe tire rub and, just one lap later, caused Patrick’s right-rear tire to fail as she attempted to bring her car to pit road.

    Patrick brought the damaged, bright-green GoDaddy machine to her crew’s attention on pit lane. She shut off the car’s engine while her crew worked to hammer out the battered right-side sheet metal and attempted to repair the car’s front-end alignment, which had been knocked out due to the incident. The crew also changed four tires, added fuel and sent Patrick back on the track in 42nd-place, one lap down to the leaders.

    Initially, it seemed as if the damage had been fixed as Patrick got her lap back and was able to fight her way back into the top-30 with fast lap times. However, the longer the race went, the worse the car’s handling became. The crew performed multiple pit stops to try and fix the problems with fresh tires, air-pressure adjustments, chassis adjustments and alignment work, but nothing seemed to help Patrick, who reported the car’s steering was off.

    After multiple attempts to diagnose and fix the problem, crew chief Tony Gibson told his driver that the crew believed something in the steering had been bent during the earlier contact with the wall. Despite the difficulties, Patrick fought through the handling woes and was able to gain spots on the track, finishing 30th.

    “I feel so badly that I started the problems when I hit the fence there in turn two,” Patrick said. “I just wish I would have been smart enough to bring our GoDaddy Chevy to pit lane as soon as it happened, but sometimes tire rubs seem worse than what they are, so I stayed out there and we lost the tire. I’m really disappointed, and I know all the guys are, too.

    “We had a really fast GoDaddy Chevy today, and I can’t thank my guys enough for getting the car back so good. There for a while I really thought we were going to be able to turn the day into something good, and then the car just went bad all of a sudden. It just wasn’t meant to be. I’m not sure what happened, but I know the guys will take the car back to the shop and get it all figured out. Gibson told me over the radio that he feels like something bent in the steering box and just got worse and worse as the race went on. Just like last week, we qualified better and had a good car for the race, it just didn’t end the way we wanted it to. We just need to keep doing what we are doing, and it’s all going to come together for us one weekend.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR by finishing second. Harvick started sixth and led two times for five laps en route to his sixth top-five this season and his sixth top-five in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono. It was also his 106th top-five in 487 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started fourth and finished 13th after leading three times for 30 laps.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code3/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 16th and finished 36th after being caught up in a multicar accident. Stewart spent multiple laps in the garage undergoing substantial repairs.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the GoBowling.com 400 to score his 22nd career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his second consecutive win at Pocono.

    Harvick finished .228 of a second behind Earnhardt in the runner-up spot, while Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-five. Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 35 laps, with nine drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

    With round 21 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 11th with 608 points, 149 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 19th with 537 points, 220 out of first. Busch is 23rd with 488 points, 269 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 396 points, 361 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the 355k at The Glen on Sunday, Aug. 10 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • GoBowling.com 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 29, 2014) – It is difficult to believe, but just two months ago the first Pocono (Pa.) Raceway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race took place. And this week it’s time for part two with the GoBowling.com 400 Sunday at the 2.5-mile triangle.

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), hasn’t had the best results at Pocono with a best finish of 29th in her first race in June 2013. She finished 35th and 37th in her last two races there, but one needs to dig a little deeper to see she could be poised for a great finish with a little luck.

    Last July, she was running a respectable 18th when she was involved in a multicar crash in the tunnel turn and ended up 35th. She was poised for a solid top-20 finish before the crash occurred.

    Two months ago, she was running second on lap 138 of 160, but she cut a left-front tire and hit the turn-three wall to end any chance of a good finish. She was scheduled to make another pit stop before the end of the race for a splash of fuel and, even though a top-10 was probably out of the question, a top-15 was what the team was aiming for when the accident occurred.

    She finished 37th in the race, two laps down, after repairs had to be made.

    Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson are hoping this week will be the one when a good finish finally comes to fruition, and they’ll be bringing a familiar car. Chassis No. 10-849 worked rather well last week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so the GoDaddy team is getting it ready for a rare second race in a row.

    At Indianapolis, Patrick qualified 14th and was in the top-15 all day before the rear locker broke after a lap-68 pit stop, causing her to finish 42nd. While the finish was disappointing, Gibson and his crew got the car back Monday morning and immediately began preparing for a similar 2.5-mile track in Pocono.

    They are hoping their hard work will finally lead to a solid finish come Sunday.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Pocono?

    “It’s a neat place, definitely a unique track. It’s still a place I don’t have a ton of experience at. I know Tony Gibson has won there a couple of times and does a good job setting up the car. It’s just an odd place to set the car up because the corners are so different. If you are really good in turn one, then maybe two and three are a little off. Or, if you’re good in three, maybe one and two are different. I will say that the straightaway is enormous. There’s a lot of distance between turns three and one.”

    You are bringing back last weekend’s Indianapolis racecar to Pocono. Talk about that.

    “It was a good chassis and it handled well at Indy, so we decided to bring it to Pocono. I know the guys are working hard to get it turned around and I appreciate that. Hopefully, we’ll have a good run. We’ve run well in the past. We just need to finish better.”

    Back at media tour and media day, there was so much conversation about this team and the four big personalities and how everybody was going to get along. It seems like, at this juncture of the season, it’s been a total nonstory. Can you address the chemistry there?

    “I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be a story. It was more of an interesting story from the beginning that wasn’t going to materialize. I feel like, with all of our personalities, while we’re strong, we’re not necessarily strong at each other. We’re just strong personalities and have opinions but, more than anything, we all want to do well and get better. For sure, in my position, I’m lucky to be with guys who have so much experience I can learn from. You know, you get a lot of really constructive progress and constructive criticism along the way, and everybody can get better and everybody wants to get better. So, when everybody wants to get better and they’re not defensive, then it all goes – it’s all just to get better and everybody knows that. I think that’s why you’ve seen an improvement in our team this year and everything from top to bottom is just a little bit better – better communication – and it shows.”

    How have your teammates Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch impacted you this year? Have they helped you out quite a bit?

    “Kevin is probably someone who’s helped the most. He’s just able to put things in terms and ways and words that I understand and I’m able to put them to use. Kurt has been helpful, as well, but Kevin the most, and it helps. It just helps. Little things like when you get up to speed, are you flat out around (turns) three and four, and what are some of your tricks when it gets tight or gets loose, or where is there a little extra grip on the track. So they both are helpful. They’re all helpful. Tony is, too, but I think, above all of them, Kevin is probably the best at teaching. I don’t think everyone has the gift and I don’t think I do, but he’s pretty good at it.”

    We hear so much about rookies getting experience. Halfway through your sophomore season, what has changed for you in the car? What’s different for you and the team overall this year compared to what you went through last year?

    “It’s a good question. I really think just the experience in the car is helping me feel what’s happening more, and so it leaves less options for the crew chief to make changes when you can be more specific about what the car is doing. And then your progress on the weekend tends to be better. I also think just getting up to speed quicker from the get‑go also helps in not doing a big circle with the setup. Usually, if you’re not driving hard enough at the beginning of practice when you first hit the track, you are loose. And then, as soon as you get more confident and you’re driving in harder, all of a sudden you’re tight again. And, what do you know? You’re right back where you started but you’re a session behind, now. I think getting up to speed and then also just being able to identify a little bit better, and I mean a little bit better. I don’t mean – I have a lot to learn and a lot of progress to still make on being able to feel the little things about the car I need to help even more, but I think those two things are really helpful overall on our weekends and help us to be more methodical and fine‑tune the car.”

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  • Crown Royal Presents 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 27, 2014
    Event: 21st Annual Brickyard 400 (Round 20 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 14th/42nd (Rear Gear, completed 114 of 160 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (382 points, 335 out of first)
    Winner: Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    For the first 69 laps of Sunday’s Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Danica Patrick had a top-15 car. But a broken rear gear when she exited her pit stall on lap 69 ended her chance of a top-10 finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and she ended up 42nd.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 14th and was in the top-15 for much of the race when she was called to pit on lap 69 by crew chief Tony Gibson. After four tires were changed and fuel was added, the jack was dropped and she took off. Unfortunately, a cloud of smoke came out from her car immediately, and the crew figured something had broken in the rear of the car.

    “We looked at everything, and it looks like the launch was fine,” Patrick said. “It's just one of those things. It’s too bad and these things never happen when you’re having a bad day (laughs). We were having a good day. It’s disappointing and the GoDaddy guys built me a really good car. Hendrick gave me great horsepower. We were the fastest car out there at times. We qualified better and had a good car for the race, it just didn’t end the way we wanted it to. The good thing is, I get to come back to Indy and that makes me happy.”

    Crew chief Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy crew repaired the car, but Patrick was only able to complete 114 of 160 laps.

    “It looks like the locker broke in the rear end,” Gibson said. “There is a locker spring and that’s what tells the right rear to spin versus the left rear and both of them together. From what I can see, visually, it looks like the locker spring broke. So nothing would spin other than the right-rear tire. We changed the transmission and all that just to be sure. You don’t see it all that often, but with what we are asking these things to do, dropping off the jack and going at 9,800 rpm, it doesn’t take much to break them. We had a fast car and I’m proud of what the team did.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR by finishing eighth. He started from the pole after a track-record qualifying lap on Saturday and led twice for 12 laps en route to his ninth top-10 this season and his eighth top-10 in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis. It was also his 218th top-10 in 486 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, started sixth and finished 17th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started seventh and finished 28th, one lap down.

    Jeff Gordon won the 21st annual Brickyard 400 to score his 90th career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his series-best fifth at Indianapolis.

    Kyle Busch finished 2.325 seconds behind Gordon in the runner-up spot, while Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson, Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Austin Dillon comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 16 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

    With round 20 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th with 565 points, 152 behind first-place Gordon. Stewart is 19th with 529 points, 188 out of first. Kurt Busch is 25th with 456 points, 261 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 382 points, 335 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the GoBowling.com 400 on Sunday, Aug. 3 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Crown Royal Presents 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 22, 2014) – Danica Patrick probably has one of the best records of a driver never to win the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. Six top-10 finishes in seven races, including a fourth in 2005 and a third in 2009.

    Five times she started in the top-10, and she basically holds just about every record for a woman in the 500.

    But having focused on her big transition to NASCAR since 2011, the 500 is now just a memory.

    Which brings us to the Brickyard 400 – the 160-lap stock car race which she debuted in last year, finishing 30th. And while it’s 100 miles shorter than the 500, a lot of people who have dreamed about winning the 500 have actually won the 400.

    Jeff Gordon, a four-time winner of the Brickyard 400, grew up wanting to race IndyCars before he moved south to take on NASCAR. John Menard tried unsuccessfully for 20 years to win the Indy 500 as an owner, then won the ‘400’ with son Paul in 2011. Jimmie Johnson, who was a fan of four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears, thought about driving in the 500 but has managed to win the 400 four times.

    Patrick’s teammates have experienced Indy, as well, with Tony Stewart failing to win the 500 in five starts, but capturing the 400 in 2005 and 2007. Kevin Harvick also grew up as a Mears fan and took the checkered flag in the 400 in 2003. And Kurt Busch has never won either race but this past May attempted “The Double,” finishing sixth in the Indy 500 and 40th later that day in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. An engine failure prematurely ended his attempt to complete The Double at Charlotte.

    Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson will bring a brand new No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS to the Brickyard 400 as chassis No. 10-894 has never been used. When they brought brand new Chassis No. 10-837 to Kansas Speedway in Kansas City in May, Patrick started ninth and finished seventh.

    Patrick hopes that luck will continue at Indy and she can score another top-10 finish at a place that has been so good to her in the last decade.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What did you do during the off week?

    “I presented at the ESPY’s on Wednesday night and then went Lake Tahoe to cheer for Ricky (Stenhouse) in the American Century Championship. It was fun to watch him play golf and it was a fun experience. I’m ready to get back, though, and I think the guys got some much-needed time off and I think we’re ready for the final 17 weeks.”

    Indianapolis has always been a special place for you. Talk about running there.

    “I don’t care what I drive around Indy, I love being there. I just like everything about it. I like the facility. And, to me, the special thing about Indy is, obviously, I’ve had great experiences, but it’s about the track. It doesn’t matter what kind of car I drive there, I’ve had great experiences, memories. So that’s what I like so much about it. And I love the tradition. The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what’s important and what matters and what means the most to you.”

    Compare driving a stock car at Indianapolis to driving an Indy car.

    “It’s just about finding a balance with the car out there, which is no different than in an Indy car. You’re just trying to find a balance. All you’re doing in an Indy car is trimming it out and, if I could have more downforce in these cars, I’d probably take it because, in an Indy car, we learned very quickly that it’s about how much throttle you could carry around. The stock cars get very low in the corners, and that can be a little bit of a danger in an Indy car, especially if you get just a little bit too low and get a little loose. So that’s a little bit different, I suppose, but nothing that was terribly unexpected. It did feel a little funny driving through Gasoline Alley the first time. We used to walk it. And I’m used to seeing the ‘Alley Cats’ (legion of local fans who have been a fixture at the entrance to Gasoline Alley during the Indy 500 month of practice, qualifying and the race for more than four decades) and I didn’t see them there. I just saw a bunch of ‘Yellow Shirts’ (security guards) and that was nice. But I didn’t see any ‘Alley Cats.’”

    When you were in Indy cars, which turn gave you the most trouble at Indy?

    “Turn one. I always feel like turn one is just – it has the most amount of issues, for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s partly because you get there a little quicker because (turns) two, three and four are a little bit more smooth and the arc is nice and smooth through the corner. I don’t feel like there’s as much adjusting. I don’t know what it is, but turn one has always been the issue no matter what car I’ve been in. So that was my answer for Indy cars, and it’s my answer for stock cars. It always gives you that little bit of a loose feeling getting in, at times. And, with these cars especially, I feel you have to set them up for the long haul. You have to set them up for the whole run as opposed to, where in IndyCar, they have so much downforce and grip that you could set it up and it’d stay like that through the whole race or the whole run. So there’s a little bit of sacrificing and compromising on the car as far as what you have at the beginning so you have a good car at the end.”

    Talk about what it’s like when you drive through the tunnel at Indianapolis and get ready for a race weekend.

    “I think the best thing about coming back is that it feels familiar and it feels comfortable. I like seeing it. It feels very comfortable, very familiar. I just feel like I’ve had a lot of different experiences here that can help me and, again, it’s just a special place where I feel like, from the beginning, I’ve always really believed that you have to show this track respect and it will hopefully show you the respect back. I’ve always thought that and, especially in IndyCar, this place can bite you pretty big. I don’t think it’s too much different in a stock car, to be honest. It’s just a very familiar place. We spent so much time there during the month of May that it becomes like a second home, almost. It’s not like the Indy 500 was a three-day show. You spent just about the entire month there. My parents live outside of Indy, now, as does my sister and her husband, so it’s nice to come back.”

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  • Camping World RV Sales 301 Post-Report

    Date: July 13, 2014
    Event: Camping World RV Sales 301 (Round 19 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 29th/22nd (Running, completed 305 of 305 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (380 points, 290 out of first)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)

    Danica Patrick battled a tight-handling car and finished 22nd in Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 29th but went a lap down on lap 84. She and crew chief Tony Gibson then chose to not pit under caution on lap 115, taking the wave-around to get back on the lead lap when the race restarted. Then on lap 153, just as Patrick was about to pit and go back a lap down, the caution flew, allowing her to remain on the lead lap and pit for much-needed service.

    After pitting for four fresh tires, Patrick then restarted 23rd, but that was pretty much it. She reached as high as 18th but was running 22nd when the checkered flag flew.

    “We were just too tight late in the race,” Patrick said. “We were pretty much between 18th and 23rd all day and ended up 22nd. It’s not the best day, but we’ve had lots worse, too. I’d like to thank the GoDaddy crew. I think it will be nice to get the off week and get to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks and see what we’ve got.”

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing seventh. He qualified fourth and drove to his sixth top-10 this season and his 18th top-10 in 30 career Sprint Cup starts at New Hampshire. It was also his 296th top-10 in 540 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 18th and finished 17th after leading one lap.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 12th and was running second on the final restart but ran out of gas and finished 30th.

    Brad Keselowski won the Camping World RV Sales 301 to score his 13th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at New Hampshire.

    Kyle Busch finished .750 of a second behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while rookie Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 35 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 305-lap race, which was extended four laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round 19 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is 13th with 528 points, 142 behind series leader Jeff Gordon. Stewart is 19th with 502 points, 168 out of first. Kurt Busch is 25th with 440 points, 230 out of first. Patrick is 27th with 380 points, 290 out of first.

    Sprint Cup teams will enjoy their second and final off-weekend of the 2014 season before embarking on a slate of 17 consecutive races, beginning with the July 27 Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 21st running of the event begins at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Camping World RV Sales 301 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 8, 2014) – Danica Patrick doesn’t exactly have a favorite track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. But there are a few that are high on the like list and one of them is New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    The 1.058-mile oval in central New Hampshire has been a favorite of Patrick’s even though she’s only raced there five times.

    She finished sixth in the 2011 IndyCar race and 14th in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, but comes to this week’s Camping World RV Sales 301 Sprint Cup Series race with a bit of momentum.

    In her last four races, she has averaged a 16th-place finish and has finished 18th or better six times in 18 races – more than she did in all 36 last year. Since the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway tour stop in May, she has averaged a starting spot of 15.6, which is an almost 100-percent improvement on her average of 30.1 for all races in 2013.

    Last week at Daytona, Patrick finished eighth – her third career top-10 result. But it wasn’t without the trials and tribulations to get there.

    The race was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday morning due to rain, and then the drivers got in just seven laps before rain delayed the race for 25 minutes. Once they got going again, there was a 16-car accident on lap 21, and Patrick somehow avoided any damage despite having to go low and then high on the racetrack to avoid wrecking cars. Other than a small vibration and needing repairs to the left front of the car, all was good with her machine.

    Patrick worked her way into the top-10 by lap 80 and was ready for a midrace pit stop when she slid through her pit box. She had to back up and get in position to get fuel and tires and fell back to 30th, about 15 seconds behind the lead pack.

    As she began to move up with the race nearing lap 100, a massive 26-car accident on the backstretch found Patrick in the upper part of the racetrack with nowhere to go. Amazingly, she got through it with only minor damage – a flat left-front tire. It was a crafty bit of driving that enabled her to go from 22nd to eighth in one lap.

    From there, only six more laps would be run under green, and Patrick stayed in eighth place when the mighty rains came once more. The officials called an end to the race after 112 of the scheduled 160 laps.

    Patrick credits her improved results this season to her rapidly growing experience in stock cars and the effort of her entire Tony Gibson-led crew on the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing.

    Gibson is no stranger to success at Loudon, having served as crew chief when Ryan Newman earned a pole and victory there in July 2011 and another pole in September 2011. In eight races as car chief for Jeff Gordon between 1998 and 2001, the No. 24 team finished sixth or better seven times at Loudon, won three poles and took the checkered flag in August of 1998.

    Patrick and Gibson look to put together another good run this weekend, and then enjoy the second and final off weekend of the season.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on New Hampshire?

    “I really like going there. I like that area of the country and like the restaurants and what it has to offer. I haven’t been there a whole lot, but I enjoy it and like it. We were OK last year and I’m anxious to see what we’ve got this year. Tony Gibson and his guys have won there before, so I’m ready to get going.”

    How challenging is New Hampshire to set up for?

    “It’s flat and tough to get around sometimes. You just have to make sure you get through the corners OK and are able to get on the gas quick on the straightaways. It’s tough but, if you have a good car, you can pass and move up through the field. But it can be challenging if it’s not working in your favor.”

    You’re coming off an eighth-place finish at Daytona and you have improved on qualifying and race results this year. Talk about that.

    “We’re getting better. The more I get to these racetracks and get experience, the better I am. I think we’re qualifying better, for sure, and I think our race results are better. A lot of that has to do with the GoDaddy team and Tony Gibson giving me good cars. It’s a process, but I think it’s moving in the right direction.”

    There was more rain at Daytona. Talk about that.

    “It’s tougher for the guys more than anything. They lost a precious Sunday off. It’s been a tough year with weather at both Daytonas, at Bristol and at Texas. But it’s also part of it. I still can’t believe we got through two accidents, blew by my pit stall and finished eighth. It was pretty unbelievable.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS:

    You were working at the first Sprint Cup Series race at Loudon in July 1993 and have been to every race conducted there. Talk about your first race there and what you remember.

    “I was there with Jimmy Hensley as the driver and Geoff Bodine was in the process of buying the team since Alan (Kulwicki) had been killed earlier in the year. It was a nice little racetrack. I’ve always loved Martinsville and it was real similar to that. I thought it was a really cool, really neat racetrack. I’ve been fortunate to run really well there and been with some great drivers. It’s probably one of my better tracks because it kind of fits my style of setup stuff. It’s a really cool track and I loved it the first time I saw it. I’m looking forward to going back there and I’m glad we race there twice.”

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  • Coke Zero 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 6, 2014
    Event: Coke Zero 400 (Round 18 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 29th/8th (Running, completed 112 of 112 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (358 points, 293 out of first)
    Winner: Aric Almirola of Richard Petty Motorsports in a rain-shortened race (Ford)

    At the end of the day, Danica Patrick finished eighth in Sunday’s rain-delayed Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. But getting to that point was a bit of a wild card for the driver of the No. 10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

    Patrick was slightly involved in two major accidents, blew past her pit stall during a pit stop and dodged rain to score her third career top-10 finish.

    “The car was fast,” Patrick said. “It has just been a matter of attrition and getting a little lucky and making it through things. We were in two crashes, and the car has been OK to keep going, which is hard to do here at Daytona because the splitter height is so critical, because if it’s a little too low you can’t go the speed you need to because it will just hit the track. We have been really fortunate from that perspective, getting a yellow in the middle when I made the mistake on pit road of missing my pit box. It’s been a crazy day. I can’t believe we finished eighth.”

    The race was delayed from Saturday night to Sunday morning due to rain, and then the drivers got in just seven laps before rain delayed the race for 25 minutes. Once they got going again there was a 16-car accident on lap 21, and Patrick somehow avoided any damage despite having to go low and then high on the race track to avoid wrecking cars. Other than a small vibration and needing repairs to the left front of the car, all was good with her machine.

    Patrick got herself in the top-10 at lap 80 and was ready for a midrace pit stop when she slid through her pit box. She had to back up and get in position to get fuel and tires and fell back to 30th, about 15 seconds behind the lead pack.

    “I just missed it,” Patrick said.” I thought the 16 (Greg Biffle) was coming to pit road and he was pitted behind me, but he didn’t, and the (No.) 5 (Kasey Kahne) was in front of me and I just followed the 5 and blew the pit stall. It was my fault. But we got a yellow a few laps later and were able to get back toward the front.”

    As she began to move up with the race nearing lap 100, a massive 26-car accident on the backstretch found Patrick in the upper part of the racetrack with nowhere to go. Amazingly she got through it with only minor damage, a flat left front tire. It was an unbelievable piece of driving that even left Patrick’s crew chief Tony Gibson shaking his head in amazement as she went from 22nd to eighth in one lap.

    From there, only six more laps would be run under green, and Patrick stayed in eighth-place when the mighty rains came once more. The officials called an end to the race after 112 of the scheduled 160 laps.

    “I know she was worried about it being able to perform with damage, but she did a good job staying tucked up in there,” Gibson said. “I didn’t know how good it was going to lead, but I’m pretty happy with eighth. Obviously, I would like to see what would have happened at the end with us and our teammate (Kurt Busch), but I’m happy with that. Not being torn up that bad and top 10 finish? I’m good.”

    Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing third in the Coke Zero 400. He started 40th but led three times for a race-high 36 laps to score his fourth top-five this season and his 11th top-five in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at Daytona. It was also his 104th top-five in 489 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 13th but was caught up in an accident on lap 21 and finished 39th.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 12th and was caught up in the same accident as Harvick and finished 40th.

    Aric Almirola won the Coke Zero 400 to score his first career Sprint Cup victory.

    Brian Vickers finished behind Almirola in the runner-up spot, while Busch, Casey Mears and Austin Dillon rounded out the top-five. Denny Hamlin, Michael McDowell, Patrick, Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 29 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the rained-shortened race.

    With round 18 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 11th with 514 points, 137 behind series leader Jeff Gordon. Stewart is 20th with 465 points, 186 out of first. Busch is 24th with 422 points, 229 out of first. Patrick is 27th with 358 points, 293 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Camping World RV Sales 301 on Sunday, July 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Coke Zero 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 1, 2014) – Danica Patrick’s green car will have a bit of a different look for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    The No. 10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will feature the orange and pink colors of Florida Lottery on the front of the car, joining the GoDaddy green on the back. It is part of a two-race package as Florida Lottery will also join GoDaddy in the season finale in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    This event is a great opportunity for the Florida Lottery to increase awareness about its role in funding education and contributing to Florida’s economy. The Florida Lottery has generated more than $26 billion for education over its 26-year history, enabling more than 650,000 students to attend college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

    The Lottery also proudly supports the Classrooms First and Classrooms for Kids programs, which utilize Lottery revenue to fund school district projects for new construction, renovation, remodeling and major repair and maintenance of educational facilities. The Lottery reinvests nearly 98 percent of its revenue back into Florida's economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Florida retailers and transfers to education.

    The combination of Florida Lottery, GoDaddy and Patrick could prove very successful and she has enjoyed plenty of success at Daytona. Her first-ever stock car start came there in February 2010, when she started 12th and finished and impressive sixth.

    From 2010 through 2014, Patrick started in the top-15 for all seven NASCAR Nationwide Series events, including four top-five starts and a pole in the February 2012 race. She led 34 laps and finished 10th in the July 2011 race.

    In Sprint Cup, she started on the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500, led five laps and finished eighth – the best finish for any woman in the history or the prestigious race.

    She’ll return again this week and hope that Saturday night she can celebrate the ultimate win with Florida Lottery and GoDaddy.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Daytona?

    “I always like going there. It’s where my first stock-car start was in 2010 and I actually have a lot of experience there. I think (crew chief) Tony Gibson and the Florida Lottery/GoDaddy guys build really good cars. They know how to go fast. At the end of the day, you just need to be in the right place at the right time. A lot of it is out of your control. But I think we’ll be good and hopefully have a car that can compete and win.”

    Florida Lottery joins you and the GoDaddy team this week.

    “It’s nice to have Florida Lottery on the car with GoDaddy this week. They’ve done some stuff with me in the past and it’s nice to see them step up here and at Homestead. Hopefully, we can put together a good run with the car and get them and GoDaddy into victory lane. That’s always the goal and one we are shooting for.”

    You are bringing Chassis 10-758 this week.

    “It’s the same chassis we won the pole with at Daytona last year so, hopefully, it has some of that speed. It’s a good car and I like how it runs. We had the speed with it at Talladega but just couldn’t do anything in the final laps. That’s what’s tough about restrictor-plate racing. A lot of the time, it’s out of your control. I remember asking Jimmie Johnson after he won the 2013 Daytona 500 what his plan was and he said there really wasn’t any plan. It just sort of happens if you are in the right place. But hopefully we’ll have a good car and a good plan and make it work.”

    Are you ready for the week?

    “I am ready. It’s a bit odd with practice on Thursday, only qualifying on Friday and then the race on Saturday. I’ve got some appearances with Coke Zero and Florida Lottery this weekend and something for Haas Automation, too. It’ll be busy, but I’m prepared and I know the weekend will be fun.”

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 28, 2014
    Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 17 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 10th/21st (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (322 points, 296 out of first)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

    Danica Patrick started strong but faded to a disappointing 21st-place finish in Saturday night’s Kentucky 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 10th and was in the top-15 for much of the first half of the race. Crew chief Tony Gibson made good adjustments on the car, and Patrick looked to be set up for a top-15 or even a top-10 finish.

    Things began to go away on lap 182 following a caution, when Patrick restarted seventh after not pitting. She fell to 20th by lap 201, and things got worse when, as she pitted on lap 214, the caution came out. Patrick was the “Lucky Dog” and got her lap back, but she had to restart 24th when the race resumed.

    From there, Patrick gained three spots to 21st, but her racecar was just too tight to make up more ground, and she had to settle for the disappointing finish.

    “I’m disappointed,” Patrick said. “I know Gibson is too. I’m not sure why it didn’t handle well in the last run. It was just too tight. It was good in the first half, but in the second half it wasn’t really good. It’s disappointing to say the least, because I think we could have finished better. It’s too bad for the GoDaddy team.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing seventh. He started fifth and scored his eighth top-10 this season and his second top-10 in four career Sprint Cup starts at Kentucky. It was also his 217th top-10 in 483 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 13th but had to start at the back of the field after the team changed the transmission prior to the race, per the NASCAR rulebook. Stewart rallied to finish an impressive 11th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started ninth and finished 12th.

    Brad Keselowski won the Kentucky 400 to score his 12th career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his second at Kentucky.

    Kyle Busch finished 1.014 seconds behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Jeff Gordon, Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 34 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round 17 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is ninth with 509 points, 109 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 16th with 460 points, 158 out of first. Busch is 26th with 379 points, 239 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 322 points, 296 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday, July 5 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Quaker State 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 25, 2014) – On Thursday, May 8, at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) unloaded Chassis No. 10-837, a new car that had not been used previously.

    On Friday, May 9, Danica Patrick, driver of the GoDaddy Chevrolet, placed 26th in the first practice and 23rd in the final practice for Saturday night’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway oval.

    But the right adjustments from crew chief Tony Gibson and some helpful hints from teammate Kevin Harvick helped her earn the ninth spot on the starting grid in impressive fashion during Friday evening’s qualifying session.

    On Saturday, May 10, Patrick raised a few eyebrows by running in the top-10 for the majority of the event, running as high as third late in the race and finishing a career-best seventh.

    This Saturday night, Chassis No. 10-837 returns once again to take part in another race on a 1.5-mile oval, this time at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. And Patrick is hoping it can produce the same results it did at Kansas, if not better.

    She’s had success at Kentucky before, notably a pole in the 2005 IndyCar race and four top-10 finishes in seven IndyCar starts. Her NASCAR Nationwide Series credentials aren’t been bad, either, with finishes of 12th and 14th in two starts in 2012.

    Patrick is on a better pace this year than last as, through 16 races in 2013, her average Sprint Cup starting position was 32.0 while this year she averages 21.8.

    It’s the same with finishes as this year she’s placed 18th or better five times while last year she ended up 18th or better five times in all 36 races.

    Patrick is hoping all of that can continue in Saturday night’s Kentucky 400 and that she can continue to excel.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Kentucky?

    “It’s one of those tracks where I have experience but, obviously, not in a lot of it in a stock car. I’ve been there a lot, but I’ve only run three stock car races there. 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.”

    How challenging are the bumps we hear about?

    “They are challenging for the teams. It’s a hard place to set up for and the bumps do add to that. Tony Gibson and the crew do a good job of setting up the car and I think they’ll be able to do that this week. It’s a tough place and the pavement is old but it creates some good racing. Hopefully, we can have a good night.”

    You are bringing back the chassis from Kansas. Talk about that.

    “It was pretty good at Kansas so, hopefully, it will be good at Kentucky. It is hard to predict as the tracks look the same but are actually quite a bit different. Kansas has been repaved and had good grip and Kentucky is old and worn out. Hopefully, we can find a good balance on the car and get it right. But I’m happy to have it.”

    It’s a bit of a short week coming from Sonoma to Kentucky.

    “It is, but it’s harder for the crew guys. There is a lot that goes into getting back and then getting to Kentucky on Thursday. This is a tough time of year and we need to thank them for all they do, especially the hauler drivers. Those guys are earning their money this week.”

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  • Toyota/Save Mart 350k Post-Report

    Date: June 22, 2014
    Event: Save Mart 350k (Round 16 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (10-turn, 1.99-mile road course)
    Start/Finish: 11th/18th (Running, completed 110 of 110 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (299 points, 281 out of first)
    Winner: Carl Edwards of Roush-Fenway Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick started 11th, fell to 30th one lap down and then recovered for a solid 18th in Sunday’s Save Mart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 11th but began falling early on in the race as her tires began to give away grip.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson made a few adjustments, but Patrick radioed some bad news: “I don’t think we have a good long-distance car. It drives well for a couple laps, but it just doesn’t hold well.”

    In addition, the fenders on her GoDaddy Chevy were damaged from the regular road racing contact, making it difficult for her crew to change tires quickly.

    The issues with the car dropped her to as low as 30th-place, one lap down in the last half of the race.

    But on lap 75, when the caution came out due to Matt Kenseth’s accident, she was the first car one lap down, making her the recipient of the “Lucky Dog” to get her back on the lead lap.

    From there, she pitted twice for new tires and managed to pass enough cars for a respectable 18th-place finish.

    “I think we kind of salvaged something there,” Patrick said. “It would be good for a couple laps and then would just go away. We got lucky getting the Lucky Dog and then just pitted a couple of times for fresh tires and fuel and wound up 18th. It’s not the best day, but I think we keep improving.”

    It was her best road course finish in the Sprint Cup as she bettered a 29th-place finish last year at Sonoma and a 20th-place result at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led SHR by finishing 12th.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 19th.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, led twice for 23 laps before being caught up in an on-track incident at lap 83, which relegated him to a 20th place finish.

    Carl Edwards won the Save Mart 350k to score his 23rd career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his first at Sonoma.

    Jeff Gordon finished .591 of a second behind Edwards in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard rounded out the top-five. Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 19 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 110-lap race.

    With round 16 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is ninth with 472 points, 108 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 17th with 427 points, 153 out of first. Busch is 26th with 347 points, 233 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 299 points, 281 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kentucky 400 on Saturday, June 28 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Toyota/Save Mart 350k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 18, 2014) – Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway is one of the few tracks on the NASCAR schedule where Danica Patrick has a lot of experience.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has made eight starts at Sonoma dating back to 2005.

    Seven of those, however, came in the IndyCar Series and unfortunately won’t offer much assistance to Patrick as she competes in Sunday’s SaveMart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma.

    Her one visit to Sonoma with the Sprint Cup Series last June saw her start 31st and finish 29th. Her only other road-course race in NASCAR’s top series was last August at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, where she started 35th and moved to 20th.

    The IndyCar Series utilized two different Sonoma road-course layouts during the seven years Patrick competed there, and neither is identical to the 1.99-mile, 10-turn configuration she will drive on Sunday.

    Patrick is hoping her Sprint Cup road-course racing this weekend goes better than her three road-course appearances in Nationwide Series competition in 2012. All three were memorable, if not downright strange.

    In the June 2012 Nationwide Series event at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Patrick was fourth on the final lap when she was bumped into a gravel trap by Jacques Villeneueve, which caused her to finish 12th. Two months later, Patrick finished 43rd at Watkins Glen after Ryan Truex spun in front of her on the start, and she could not avoid his spinning car and made heavy contact with his machine.

    But the strangest Nationwide road-course experience of all came one week later when Patrick led 20 laps and was on the point at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal when a fan threw a shoe onto the track on lap 38 of 81. She couldn’t avoid running over it and, shortly thereafter – whether the shoe caused the problem or not – Patrick was forced to pit for mechanical repairs and finished 27th.

    At Sonoma this weekend, Patrick is hoping to run a smooth and clean race, avoid any shoes on course, and build upon a solid 17th-place finish she and the GoDaddy team scored last week at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    How excited are you for some road-course racing?

    “I’m very comfortable on road courses. I have a lot of fun. We tested at Road Atlanta a few weeks ago with Tony (Stewart). I have a lot of fun. Hopefully, it goes better than last year. The road-course races weren’t very much fun and they weren’t fun to drive. In the Nationwide Series, I had a lot of fun and led races and ran well. Our cars are a lot better this year and hopefully that shows this weekend.”

    What is the key to racing at Sonoma?

    “I think, at Sonoma, getting through the high-speed esses comfortably, which leads to a good high-speed balance. Power down is also important there because it is easy for the rear tires to just spin all the time. The fast lap times come from the high-speed balance, so that is the key for me and the GoDaddy team.”

    What is the hardest part about road racing?

    “The hardest part of road racing is just putting a whole lap together. The hardest part of road racing is just nailing every corner and doing it when it counts.”

    You competed at Sonoma in an IndyCar. Will that help you at all in a stock car?

    “Other than being familiar with the garage and pit lane, no (laughs). The cars are obviously so different that nothing will translate. It’s just such a different style of driving. This also is a slightly different course than what we ran in IndyCar, so nothing really translates. I’m excited to go out to Sonoma, though. I’ve always liked it out there and, hopefully, we can have a great weekend.”

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 15, 2014
    Event: Quicken Loans 400 (Round 15 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th/17th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (273 points, 264 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick went a lap down early but gained it back to finish a solid 17th in Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), went down a lap early the race, but thanks to some hard driving and a good car, she put herself in a position to be awarded the “Lucky Dog.”

    That opportunity came when the caution flag flew on lap 147; she got her lap back and restarted 21st. From there she drove to a 17th-place finish.

    “We were pretty good,” Patrick said. “The guys did a good job on the adjustments, and it was fun to drive. The race seemed to go by quick. We needed a little bit of track position, but it was a good day for us. Thanks to GoDaddy and everyone on my team. We continue to get better.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing second. He started first and led a race-high six times for 63 laps en route to his fifth top-five this season and his sixth top-five in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Michigan. It was also his 105th top-five in 481 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 26th, led one lap and finished 11th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started eighth, led once for 16 laps and finished 13th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Quicken Loans 400 to score his 69th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Michigan in his 25th start at the 2-mile oval.

    Harvick finished 1.214 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-five. Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 36 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

    With round 15 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is ninth with 447 points, 90 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 16th with 402 points, 135 out of first. Busch is 26th with 315 points, 222 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 273 points, 264 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 22 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at 2 p.m.

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – It’s race number 15, but to fans it seems like so much more.

    There is a track, 2-miles of asphalt in southern Michigan. It is nestled in the Irish Hills just south of Brooklyn.

    People come from there, but also the automotive cities surrounding it like Fort Wayne, Indiana, Toledo, Ohio, Flint, Michigan and, of course, the biggest of all – Detroit.

    Perhaps they stop at the Beach Bar in Brooklyn or grab a six-pack and a bottle of wine at Woodstock Wine and Cheese before grilling burgers or enjoying some pasta selections.

    Maybe they’ll wait out two days of rain and watch the race on a Tuesday like back in 2007.

    They stay up late and tell old bench racing stories with daylight lasting until after 10 p.m.

    People will come to watch 43 drivers navigate the 2 miles of asphalt and use multiple lanes to figure out the fastest way for their car. They will see Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing, try to make history.

    Race fans will hope they can see her lead five laps and finish seventh, like she did in the 2007 IndyCar race, or go from 39th to 13th like she did in the June 2013 Sprint Cup race.

    Overall, they will hope to see a good, competitive, safe race.

    It’s the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

    Pure racing. Pure Michigan.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Michigan?

    “I think it’s a momentum track and I feel like I come from a background of carrying a lot of momentum and using a lot of throttle and being smooth. Hopefully, those are things that will help me at Michigan. At the end of the day, it has to handle well. It has to feel good. It has to be a fast car. Here at this Cup level, it’s very competitive and being a little off is being a lot off. I think my strength of carrying momentum is something I’m used to doing.”

    Talk about your race at Michigan last June.

    “I think we caught some breaks. Yellows definitely helped us be able to get track position as far as closing up the gaps and being able to pit a few times. We tried to take right-side (tires) and get track position early on. It just didn’t go well, and we just hadn’t gotten ourselves to a good place with the car that I could carry the speed I needed to run with the (pack). It didn’t work out so well. We worked on it and got it better. At the end of the race, the last run was the best run, I felt, as far as the balance of the car, which I was surprised about because we had fallen off a little bit at the end of the run before. We had only taken right-side tires again for a second time. It was nice to just get a decent finish for the team and for GoDaddy.”

    Does it help going back to a track a second and third time?

    “Of course. Just having some experience to draw upon is huge. So many of the drivers you race against have 20 or 30 starts at these tracks, so to have any experience to draw upon is big for me. That’s what you want when you go back to these places a second, third and fourth time. You want to get better and hopefully the results ultimately show that.”

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  • Pocono 400 Post-Report

    Danica Patrick cut a left-front tire on lap 138 and hit the turn-three wall, ending any chance of a good finish in Sunday’s Pocono 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 37th in the race, two laps down after repairs had to be made.

    The green and orange GoDaddy car was running second at the time, but was scheduled to make another pit stop before the end of the race for a splash of fuel. Even though a top-10 was probably out, a top-15 was what the team was aiming for when the accident occurred.

    “I just went into turn three, and the car just shot to the wall,” said Patrick after only her third Sprint Cup start at Pocono. “It looks like the left front lost air for some reason. I believe Harvick had the same thing happen to him. Goodyear said our cars had similar left front tire issues – lost air in tires and sidewalls bowed out. It’s disappointing, because I think we could have had a good finish.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started second and finished third to score his third top-five this season and his 11th top-five in 26 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono. It was also his 103rd top-five in 485 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 12th and finished 13th after leading four times for 24 laps.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, started fourth and finished 14th.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Pocono 400 to score his 21st career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his first at Pocono.

    Brad Keselowski finished .439 of a second behind Earnhardt in the runner-up spot, while Busch, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr. and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 26 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

    With round 14 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th with 403 points, 95 behind new series leader Gordon. Stewart is 18th with 368 points, 130 out of first. Busch is 27th with 283 points, 215 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 246 points, 252 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 15 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Pocono 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Danica Patrick has been racing stock cars since 2010, full-time since 2012 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. She’s been full-time in the Sprint Cup Series since 2013 and has plenty of experience at several of the racetracks.

    Pocono (Pa.) Raceway is not one of them.

    In her seven years of IndyCar experience, the series never competed there, although it does now in July. The Nationwide Series doesn’t run there, either.

    So for Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart Haas Racing (SHR), her only two starts at “The Tricky Triangle” came in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series.

    Not a lot of experience for Patrick at one of the more unique racetracks where the Sprint Cup Series competes.

    Pocono’s triangular layout was designed by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rodger Ward and remains unlike any other track in the world with three different corners each modeled after a different track.

    Turn one, which is banked at 14 degrees, is modeled after the legendary Trenton (N.J.) Speedway. Turn two, banked at eight degrees, is a nod to the turns at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And turn three, banked at six degrees, is modeled after the corners at The Milwaukee Mile.

    Patrick is used to turns two and three, having raced IndyCars at Milwaukee and IndyCars and stock cars at Indianapolis. Turn one is unfamiliar as Trenton closed in 1980, two years before she was born.

    While her experience is minimal at Pocono, she has a strong team behind her, including veteran crew chief Tony Gibson, who won at Pocono in June 1992 with Alan Kulwicki and in July 1998 with Jeff Gordon. He served as car chief during both events.

    Gibson is hoping, with his experience and Patrick’s willingness to learn, that they can master the three-turn layout – and score a good finish at Pocono.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Pocono?

    “It’s a neat place, definitely a unique track. It’s still a place I don’t have a ton of experience at. I know Tony Gibson has won there a couple of times and does a good job setting up the car. It’s just an odd place to set the car up because the corners are so different. If you are really good in turn one, then maybe two and three are a little off. Or if you’re good in three, maybe one and two are different. I will say that the straightaway is enormous. There’s a lot of distance between turns three and one.”

    Describe your races at Pocono last year.

    “Well, on Friday of the first weekend, it rained so I didn’t get to run (laughs). So that put us in a tight box for Saturday, having two practices and then, ‘Let’s go race.’ We were 20th or 21st and the final restart came with three laps to go, and we got shuffled back to 29th. It was pretty disappointing because we should have been much better. It was the same feeling I had in the second race. We were almost to 15th with about 50 to go and got in an accident and ended up 35th. So there was some good to the races but not the finishes we wanted. Hopefully, this week we’ll get the better finish and have a good day.”

    Are you settling in for the summer stretch of races?

    “I am ready for it. Pocono and Michigan are always fun and I actually really like going to New Hampshire. It’s a fun stretch of races and it’s nice that the weather is good. Hopefully we can continue to run well and continue to improve. It is a long season, but the summer stretch is always fun.”

    Does it ever get tiring when fans come and young ones say they admire you and want to be like you, and even ask for advice? How do you handle that?

    “I never, ever get sick of that. That’s sometimes the best part of your day, to hear a little kid say they look up to you. Or, what I get a lot of the time is their parents saying it for them because – they are a lot of times – kids get shy. Most kids get shy. Some of them are very, very open and they feel like they know you and they come and hug you and there’s that kind of perspective. I don’t know what makes them like that, but some kids are really open. But it’s a nice feeling. It makes it all feel kind of worthwhile on days that aren’t good, and to put you in the perspective that it’s just one day and that it will pass and they like you because they’ve seen you do well and that they enjoy you as a competitor. So it can definitely brighten up your day. Advice? I give the same advice to kids or adults. It’s just to find something that you love to do. I think that’s the most important thing. If you didn’t like what you’re doing, you’re not going to be very happy. So, finding something that you love to do is the most important thing. If it works out that you make a decent living at it, too, that’s a bonus.”

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  • FedEx 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 1, 2014
    Event: FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (Round 13 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
    Start/Finish: 28th/23rd (Running, completed 396 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (239 points, 224 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick got a late-race pit road speeding penalty and finished 23rd in Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), pitted on lap 322 of 400, but her entrance onto pit road was deemed too fast by NASCAR officials. She was forced to serve a drive-through penalty under green, costing her any chance of a better finish.

    “It’d be interesting to see where we would have finished had we not had that penalty,” said Patrick after only her fourth Sprint Cup start at Dover. “It didn’t kill us, but it’d be interesting to see. We were pretty rough at the beginning of the race, but we got it better in the later going. Actually we’re running really good laps. We’d just lost a few laps by that point and couldn’t get them back. But we battled through and did OK. It’s our best finish here, and I think we’re getting better.”

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished seventh. It was Stewart’s 17th top-10 in 30 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover. It was also his 295th top-10 in 534 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 20th and finished 17th. He led twice for 24 laps.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 24th and finished 18th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks to score his 68th career Sprint Cup victory. It was his second straight win and his ninth at Dover, the most of any NASCAR driver, past or present.

    Brad Keselowski finished .885 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five. Martin Truex Jr., Stewart, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Paul Menard comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 41 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    With round 13 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th with 373 points, 90 behind new series leader Kenseth. Stewart is 21st with 336 points, 127 out of first. Busch is 27th with 241 points, 222 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 239 points, 224 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Pocono 400 on Sunday, June 8 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • FedEx 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 27, 2014) – With Memorial Day in the books, Danica Patrick and the other 42 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series look forward to the unofficial start of summer – 400 miles at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    The FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race kicks off the month of June and begins the warm weather and northern swing on the schedule.

    For Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), she’s hoping she can continue to improve on what was an impressive month of May. She qualified seventh at Talladega, ninth at Kansas and then a season-best fourth last week at Charlotte.

    She finished a career-best seventh at Kansas, but then blew an engine while competing in NASCAR’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, and finished 39th.

    But the emotions remain high for Patrick and the GoDaddy team as they head into June and, specifically, Dover.

    The concrete mile oval’s 24-degree banking in the turns and 9 degrees on the straightaways, and being surrounded by 42 other Sprint Cup machines each producing nearly 900 horsepower, equate to one challenging race for any driver.

    A good car (and a little luck) can mean good things at Dover and Patrick is prepared to seize on that opportunity should it present itself.

    But after their strong May, Patrick, crew chief Tony Gibson and the rest of the GoDaddy team are ready.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts about Dover?

    “I always like going to Dover. The track is pretty fun. I remember everyone telling me how unique and challenging Dover was prior to my first race. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot to compare that track to. They said it was like a larger version of Bristol, but I hadn’t raced at Bristol yet, either. It’s nice to have more of a handle on what to expect heading in there now. Dover is fun. It’s fast and it can make for a really long day of racing. I think that’s part of the appeal of it – how demanding it can be. We definitely want to stay out of trouble, which is easier said than done at these types of tracks.”

    You’ve qualified really well the last three weeks. Talk about that.

    “All the cars have been good and the team has done well. At Charlotte, the car was really good. I think the big difference that came for me was in the second round. (Tony) Gibson (crew chief) made really good adjustments and anticipated the offset from run one to run two really well, and the balance was really good. I did that 20-whatever-seven, which was quickest in the second group. We have a lot to be proud of. I mean, let’s face it. This is the part of the weekend that I dreaded every time. I had to train myself to not say I hate qualifying. We were third in a round, we were first in a round and we were fourth in a round. A lot to be proud of at Stewart-Haas and for the GoDaddy car.”

    How has knockout qualifying worked for you and the GoDaddy team?

    “It’s definitely better. It’s obviously something that I needed to work on, but you still have to have a good car and the first top-10 was at Martinsville. We saw how I ran that day, and I was absolutely terrible that day. It’s not everything, but it definitely helps. I would venture to say that when knockout qualifying happens and we all get done with our first run, there are a heck of a lot more times that I have been in the top-15. Most of the time, when I finally get things going in knockout qualifying, then it’s like last weekend where everybody goes out again and goes faster. So, no, it’s like I said at the beginning of the year, it all evens out in the end. There are times when you find speed, and you make something happen and you get in. Then there are times that you get in on a good time and you go out and you go from being 11th overall in the first round and then you are 24th – and that sucked. So, if it’s more interesting for the fans, then that is the most important thing for our sport because we are fan-driven so much. We have to keep them entertained, for sure – keep them watching and interested. At the end of the day, it’s just racing, driving as fast as you can, and more of it.”

    You had a disappointing run at Charlotte last week. Talk about that.

    “We had a plan to make a big adjustment (early) that I thought would really help under yellow. We dropped a cylinder or lost power, then we got hit. Unfortunately, we had a lot of bad luck. We weren’t really as fast as we needed to be at the beginning. It’s unfortunate for the whole team. It would have been great to keep the run going that we had. I think we still showed some good things last weekend. We’re not going to forget about where we’ve been lately and about running better. We’ll be back to get them at Dover.”

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  • Coca-Cola 600 Race-Report

    Date: May 25, 2014
    Event: Coca-Cola 600 (Round 12 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 4th/39th (Engine, completed 281 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (218 points, 214 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Engine issues ended Danica Patrick’s solid weekend early in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and relegated the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to a disappointing 39th-place finish.

    “It's really unfortunate for the entire GoDaddy team,” Patrick said. “We started off great and started to get tighter and tighter. We had a plan to make a big adjustment (early) that I thought would really help under yellow. We dropped a cylinder or lost power and lost power, then got rear-ended. That was our day.

    “We’ll just remember the good stuff that happened here at Charlotte (this weekend) and at Kansas last race (seventh-place finish) and build on that for Dover.”

    After qualifying fourth on Thursday night to notch her best Sprint Cup qualifying effort at a non-restrictor-plate race and then practicing in the top-three on Saturday, Patrick and her GoDaddy crew had high hopes for the longest race of the season.

    Early in the running of the Coca-Cola 600, Patrick looked poised for a promising night. She started fourth, and by lap four she had moved into the runner-up position. She was able maintain a top-10 spot for the first 70 laps, but a tight-handling condition began hampering her progress.

    By lap 163, Patrick had been lapped by the leaders and had fallen to 23rd. Although Patrick believed her crew’s adjustments had improved the car’s handling and that they were getting closer to having the right setup for the later runs, she wouldn’t get a chance to show how good her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevy was.

    Shortly after the halfway point, Patrick radioed that something had happened and she was down on power. When the crew brought her in at lap 223 under caution, they were able to confirm that she had gone down a cylinder.

    Unfortunately, Patrick’s night got worse a few laps later when she was hit from behind as she was avoiding a spinning car in front of her. The accident caused heavy damage to the right rear fender of her No. 10 machine. After multiple pit stops to repair the damage, a dejected Patrick – now 28th and four laps down – apologized to her team, saying this wasn’t the night they had wanted. But crew chief Tony Gibson was quick to remind his driver that there would be difficult nights like these and that they would make the best of it.

    Their night ended at lap 285 when Patrick’s engine expired after she had completed 281 laps.

    “Unfortunately, we had a lot of bad luck,” Patrick said. “I think we still showed some good things this weekend. We’re not going to forget about where our GoDaddy team has been lately and running better. We’ll be back to get them at Dover.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Sunday night by finishing second.

    Harvick started 11th and led five times for 100 laps en route to his fourth top-five in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte. It was his fourth top-five this season and his 104th top-five in 478 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 18th and finished 13th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation “America’s Machine Tool” Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 28th and finished 40th. He also experienced engine issues and completed only 271 laps.

    Busch came to Charlotte by way of Indianapolis, where he became just the fourth driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, joining Stewart, John Andretti and Robby Gordon. Busch finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500 and completed a total of 906.5 miles between the two races.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Coca-Cola 600 to score his 67th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his series-leading seventh at Charlotte.

    Harvick finished 1.272 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five. Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 44 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    With round 12 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th with 345 points, 87 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 22nd with 299 points, 133 out of first. Patrick is 27th with 218 points, 214 out of first. Busch is 28th with 215 points, 217 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks on Sunday, June 1 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 21, 2014) – From 2005 to 2011, Danica Patrick looked forward to the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on Memorial Day weekend.

    She led 19 laps and finished fourth in 2005 and scored five other top-10 finishes, including a career-best third in 2009.

    And with the race averaging about three to three-and-a-half hours, she was usually done with everything by 5 p.m. as the race starts at noon.

    Now, 5 p.m. is about when her day really gets started as she prepares for Sunday’s marathon Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    The race begins at 6 p.m. and can last up to four or five hours, depending on the cautions brought out in NASCAR’s longest race.

    But while the race lasts a long time, Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing appear to be ready to go.

    Two weeks ago, Patrick enjoyed a career-best seventh-place finish at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. She drove in the top-10 for the entire race and had arguably the best performance of her Sprint Cup career.

    She’s driven well before, with a 12th-place run last spring at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and an eighth-place run from the pole in the 2013 Daytona 500. But never on an intermediate track has she run so smoothly, and she definitely raised the eyebrows of more than a few observers.

    Patrick drove a brand new car at Kansas and will drive another brand new one this week. And she’s hoping that car will bring even more success to the GoDaddy team.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    How do you prepare for the longest race of the year?

    “Oh, what’s another 100 miles on top of 500? It really doesn’t seem that long. I did it the last two years, right? Last year seemed pretty quick. Mind you, I did get crashed. A lot of it has to do with how you’re doing and how the car is, what’s happening on track, are you actually racing people throughout the race? I always felt like Darlington was the longest race in the whole world. It felt like 800 miles to me. But, for some reason, this year it went quickly. So, actually, I just think it has to do with how your race is going. Another 100 miles, if you’re running well, is going to help. If not, then it’s not. Other than that, it’s just another long race and we have a lot of them.”

    How does your performance at Kansas give you confidence for other races?

    “We’re just doing our best as a team to take the positive from Kansas. Sure, emotionally, but really setup-wise and things like that, we think will translate and carry those on. I think the good part about doing well is it gives some confidence, but it also helps show what stuff works out there. Your car has to be right. You have to qualify well. You have to run strong. You have to make good calls. It all has to get put together. The car is just one part of it.”

    Does it give you confidence?

    “Honestly, I really believe I can do that. I don’t think I would be where I am today without the confidence that I have. At this point in time, after where I’ve been and where I’ve run, it was a little bit of a surprise. But I guess if things had been going well, progressively, from the beginning, these are the kind of races that I would have hoped to have every now and again starting now. But, obviously it hasn’t been nearly that good, yet. But that’s really an example of putting a whole weekend together, everything from getting help from my teammates to qualifying well, making good race calls, making good decisions on the car before the race, using our teammates and all the information we have to do that, and building a really great new car. You have to have everything together to be able to run up front in the Cup Series. It’s just so hard. So, I’m very proud of everyone for putting it all together and doing a great job.”

    What worked at Kansas? The track? The car?

    “It’s something that happens two-fold. I think when the car is good, you can be more daring because it’s not going to step out on you and you trust it and you know what it’s going to do. When things aren’t as good on track and the car doesn’t feel as good, then it’s a lot harder to be more brave because there is a higher likelihood that it’s not going to end well. So, for me, the big difference was that it was really good on restarts. It was really stuck in traffic. And it was really good in the long run. I never noticed a lack of grip at any point. For me, that was what I noticed that weekend above any other weekend – the consistency of it. That’s what allowed me to be able to have great restarts, or definitely not really lose a lot, which has been qualifying, I would say. And restarts are a place where it comes up that I need to work on it and it’s true. Yes, that is the case but I think, Kansas weekend, you see what can happen when the car is right and that gives me the confidence to do more. And I think that, as time goes on and you get more seasoned as a driver, you can overcome some of that, for sure. But it’s still got to be good.”

    So will that translate into more confidence at the 1.5-mile ovals?

    “Weekends like that are just good signs. They show hard work by everybody and they make you excited to do it more. So I think the optimism level goes up because you are riding high and you want to keep doing that. I think we have to keep our expectation levels in check a little bit and make sure we don’t just expect to go out there and run in the top-five or top-10 every time, now. We have to remember that there is a process to it and we skipped over top-15s and went straight to top-10s. Shoot, we pretty much skipped over top-20s and didn’t have many of those, either. We have to keep improving and have to keep getting in the thick of the good drivers and move up like that. It definitely gives confidence, it’s definitely a good sign, and definitely good to have those races. We just hope to have them more often.”

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  • Sprint Showdown Race-Report

    Date: May 16, 2014
    Event: Sprint Showdown (non-points event)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 7h/10th (Running, completed 40 of 40 laps)
    Winner: Clint Bowyer of Michael Waltrip Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick finished 10th in Friday night’s non-points-paying Sprint Showdown NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) qualified seventh and had hoped to build on the momentum from last weekend’s career-best seventh-place finish at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. However, Patrick fought a tight-handling racecar from the drop of the green flag in the 40-lap exhibition race, which was divided into two 20-lap segments.

    Patrick finished the first 20-lap segment in ninth-place. Following the end of the first segment, crew chief Tony Gibson brought Patrick down pit road for right side tires and air pressure and wedge adjustments to help the tight-handling racecar.

    Quick pit work led to a fifth-place restart for Patrick for segment two, but the adjustments didn’t go far enough, and Patrick continued to struggle with a tight-handling condition. Patrick slid back to 10th, where she finished the night.

    “Our GoDaddy Cares Chevy just got way too tight in that second segment, and I just couldn’t carry any speed and get the car to turn the way I needed it to. I had to slow down to get it to turn,” said Patrick, who last year won the Sprint Fan Vote to gain entrance into her first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. “We would have liked to have raced our way into the All-Star Race tonight, but it just didn’t happen. The guys gave a good effort, and we’ll learn from this and hopefully, it will help us next week in the Coca-Cola 600.

    “Last year, we were lucky enough to get the Sprint Fan Vote, and that didn’t happen this year. It’s my understanding that I had more votes than I did last year, but you know, it is what it is. I don’t doubt my fans at all. I know they voted, and I’m grateful for

    all they did to try and get me in the race.”

    Clint Bowyer won the Sprint Showdown. A.J. Allmendinger finished 2.547 seconds behind Bowyer in the runner-up spot. Bowyer, Allmendinger and Sprint Fan Vote winner Josh Wise will all advance to Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race.

    Casey Mears, Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five. Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Patrick comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    Patrick was the only SHR driver in Friday night’s Sprint Showdown. Teammates Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart will all compete in Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race. Coverage of the non-points-paying event begins at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

    Patrick returns to points-paying racing action with the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday, May 25 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The longest race on the Sprint Cup schedule gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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  • Sprint Showdown Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 14, 2014) – Perhaps no driver is looking forward to this week’s exhibition Sprint Showdown at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway more than Danica Patrick.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is coming off a career-best seventh-place finish in last week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. She drove in the top-10 for the entire race and had arguably the best performance of her Sprint Cup career.

    She’s driven well before – with a 12th-place run last spring at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and an eighth-place run from the pole in the 2013 Daytona 500. But never on an intermediate track has she run so smoothly, and she definitely raised the eyebrows of a few observers.

    Now she looks to continue the upward trend Friday night in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte and get herself into Saturday’s Sprint All-Star Race. She can finish in the top two positions and qualify for the All-Star Race or become the top vote-getter online.

    Patrick won the online vote last year and is hoping to do so again.

    If she gets into Saturday’s race, her No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet will be decked out with an all-star lineup of logos from nonprofit organizations, all in support of education. Three organizations are represented: the Boys and Girls Club of America, which helps promote youth development; the SCORE Foundation, which provides free small-business advice for entrepreneurs; and DonorsChoose, a group that promotes K-12 education.

    GoDaddy is donating $10,000 to each non-profit organization and encouraging customers to chip in as part of the GoDaddy Round-Up program, which gives customer a choice to ‘round up’ to the nearest dollar on the purchase for a non-profit organization.

    GoDaddy has a long history of philanthropic work in support of a variety of nonprofit organizations. To find out more, visit www.GoDaddyCares.com.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Describe your Kansas race and your seventh-place result.

    “Honestly, the most rewarding part of my night was probably when I drove around the outside of the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) on a restart. That was probably my most rewarding thing all night. I say that with all the respect in the world. It’s a big deal because he is Jimmie Johnson. Aside from that, I was really just overall proud that we stayed up front all night. That was the biggest thing. When the race started, it was about finishing the weekend off right and just staying up there. You know you’re going to go up, you’re going to go down a little bit, and we sure enough did that. But we more than held our own through the whole race. I’m extremely proud of this crew for building a new car that was just awesome. It was so good on restarts and long runs and tires getting old. Hard work pays off and they definitely put the hard work into it. Obviously, I’m really happy for days like that to give back to GoDaddy, who has always been behind me, and get them on TV a little bit.

    “(Tony) Gibson (crew chief) did a good job in making changes for the race and it was good from the get-go. And I think what says even more are two things: It was really good on restarts and it was really good when it wasn’t quite right, and it was really good on long runs. I think that just goes to show that this is a new car and they built a great one. And we’ve got more of these coming. That’s the even better news. But, overall, I’m just proud for the team. Kevin (Harvick) has been a great teammate in helping me out and obviously he was very fast at Kansas. I am surprised he didn’t win, but congrats to Jeff (Gordon). And I’m happy for GoDaddy who has always been a big supporter of mine, no matter what. And it’s races like Saturday night that hopefully makes them smile and makes it all pay off a little.”

    What does this do for your confidence moving forward?

    “I’ve always believed in myself. I’ve always believed that, in the right situation, I can do it. And it’s with all respect that these little moments, like when you drive by Jimmie Johnson on the outside, stuff like that, that makes me really proud of myself and those little moments that give me a little bit more confidence.”

    What was the racetrack like? Some drivers said it was tricky.

    “Oh, it was tricky and you really had to be careful how hard you went into the corner. It was easy to get it to step out on entry. So you had to be a little bit careful. But that’s all part of the game. Turns one and two were pretty good. For me, I could run any lane and that really helped me out.”

    You said Kevin Harvick was a good teammate. How much credit do you give to the conversation you had with him this weekend to your performance at Kansas?

    “It definitely paid off in qualifying, for sure. And it did pay off in the race, too. But the little things that he gave me advice on for qualifying really worked. That’s the kind of stuff that I was really excited about when Kevin and Kurt (Busch) came on to the team, and having Tony (Stewart) back full-time, was being able to get those little tidbits from those guys and fast-forward my learning curve instead of having to learn it all myself. So, it’s really cool when you have teammates who are unconditional like that, that want to help you. And when everyone is better and we all get better, it pumps the team up and everybody wants it even more. I guarantee you, we’re going work even harder now. It’s not just sitting back. We’re going to work harder because we love where we’re at and this is what we work for. When you taste it, you don’t want to let it go.”

    When you got up to third, what were you thinking?

    “I was like, no yellow! When I was fifth, I was thinking, ‘This is good, you know? I feel faster than them.’ They got caught up in traffic in (turns) three and four and got checked-up and I got underneath them. But, when I’m running third, I’m honestly trying not to think about the fact that I’m running third, and the fact that I’ve been looking at that car in front of me the whole race and I need to go pass that car. So, it’s probably best really to think about it more like pass the next car for me than being in a place that I’m not normally in. When you just think about it car by car, I think it’s a little bit more calming. The last thing you want to do is get excited out there and start overdriving it and making mistakes.”

    You’ve got a chance to get into the Sprint All-Star Race. How do you feel about that?

    “It was very flattering. I’m very fortunate for the fans that I have. I have to say that from a driver’s perspective. I would rather race my way in but, if I have to get in by fan vote, what other way is better than that? I mean, to have the fans put you in the race was something special. I have been so lucky in my career to have such great fans everywhere I go, so I have to say thank you for that.”

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  • A Vote for Danica is a Vote for 'Good Works'

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (May 12, 2014) -- GoDaddy, the world's largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, is looking to spotlight three important non-profit organizations in NASCAR's Sprint Cup All Star race Saturday. Fans can help make it happen by going online and voting for Danica, between now and Friday.

    If voted into Saturday's race, Danica's No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet will be decked out with an all-star non-profit logo lineup, all in support of education. The three organizations are the Boys and Girls Club of America, which helps promote youth development, the SCORE Foundation, which provides free small business advice for entrepreneurs and DonorsChoose, a group that promotes education for K-12.

    "I think it's pretty cool for GoDaddy to devote so much time and money to not only support these outstanding organizations, but to donate the No. 10 GoDaddy car to the cause in such a high-profile race," Danica said.

    The race draws an intense following with nearly 4 million viewers set to watch Saturday's race. The official vote tally isn't being made public, but Danica is considered a top contender. She competed in her first All Star race last year by way of the fan vote where she completed more than 100 laps and finished 20th. Danica is also in an elite class of 14 drivers to have ever led laps at both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. She's also the first woman in history to lead laps at Talladega.

    "To see Boys and Girls Club logo on Danica's car in this race would raise awareness for our organization as we enter into a critical out-of-school time period," said Boys and Girls Club of America National Vice President, Corporate Partnerships, Chad Royal-Pascoe.

    SCORE Foundation executive director, David Bobbit said, "We love that GoDaddy goes beyond just writing a check and is injecting such creativity into the process ... I hope everyone goes online and votes because being involved in NASCAR like this really will make a difference. We think it helps attract a whole new audience to our cause."

    "This unconventional partnership with GoDaddy and Danica through NASCAR's All-Star race reflects the same creativity and fun we help teachers bring into the educational process," said DonorsChoose.org founder Charles Best.

    GoDaddy is donating $10,000 to each non-profit organization and encouraging customers to chip in as part of the GoDaddy Round-Up program, which gives customer a choice to 'round up' to the nearest dollar on the purchase for a non-profit organization.

    You can vote here NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote every day, up until Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

    GoDaddy has a long history of philanthropic work in support of a variety of non-profit organizations. To find out more, visit www.GoDaddyCares.com.

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  • 5-Hour Energy Race-Report

    Date: May 10, 2014
    Event: 5-hour Energy 400 (Round 11 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 9th/7th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (213 points)
    Winner: Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick finished seventh in Saturday night’s 5-hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, earning her career-best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish in 57 starts.

    For Patrick, the finish was the perfect ending to an impressive weekend at the 1.5-mile oval. The second-year Sprint Cup driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) started ninth on Saturday, her best qualifying effort at a non-restrictor-plate track.

    Patrick’s goal was to maintain her spot in the lead pack of cars, and she did just that as a fixture in the top-10. She rarely fell out of the top-15 and she ran has high as third, making some impressive moves along the way.

    “Honestly, the most rewarding part of my night was probably when I drove around the outside of the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) on a restart,” Patrick said. “That was probably my most rewarding thing of the night. I say that with all the respect in the world. It’s a big deal because he is Jimmie Johnson. Aside from that I was really just overall proud that we stayed up front all day. That was the biggest thing.

    “When the race started it was about finishing the weekend off right and just staying up there. You know you are going to go up, you are going to go down a little bit and we sure enough did that, but we more than held our own through the whole race. I’m extremely proud of this crew for building a new car that was just awesome. It was so good on restarts and long runs and tires getting old. Hard work pays off, and they definitely put the hard work into it. Obviously, I’m really happy for days like today to give back to GoDaddy, who has always been behind me.”

    The seventh-place finish came in Patrick’s fourth career Sprint Cup start at Kansas. It was also her first top-10 of the 2014 season and the second top-10 of her career, as she finished eighth in the 2013 Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    “(Crew chief Tony) Gibson did a good job in making changes for the race, and it was good from the get-go,” Patrick said. “And I think what says even more are two things: It was really good on restarts, and it was really good when it wasn’t quite right and really good on long runs. And I think that just goes to show that this is a new car and they built a great one. And we’ve got more of these coming. That’s the even better news.

    “But overall, I’m just proud for the team. Kevin (Harvick) has been a great teammate in helping me out, and obviously he was very fast tonight. And I’m happy for GoDaddy, who has always been a big supporter of mine, no matter what. And it’s days like today that hopefully it makes them smile and makes it all pay off a little.”

    Gibson could not have been more proud of Patrick and his team’s performance.

    “That was one heck of a run by her,” Gibson said. “She drove a really smart, solid race. I know that we got pretty excited with some of the moves she was making when she was passing guys on the outside. It was just fun to watch. It was just a really good weekend for us. We had a good car right off the truck, a good qualifying effort, and we backed that up with a good race. I’m really proud of what Danica did. I’m really proud of the cars that the guys at SHR are building. This is probably one of our best-ever weekends, and hopefully, this will be something that we can build on. We have two big weeks coming up at Charlotte with the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, and I think she showed what she’s capable of tonight. Just really, really proud for everyone on this team.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent, finishing second. Harvick started from the pole and led four times for a race-high 119 laps en route to his third top-five in 17 career Sprint Cup starts at Kansas. It was his third top-five this season and his 103rd top-five in 477 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started eighth and finished 20th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started sixth and finished 29th after spinning twice.

    Jeff Gordon won the 5-hour Energy 400 to score his 89th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Kansas. He is third behind Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105) on the Sprint Cup all-time win list.

    Harvick finished .112 of a second behind Gordon in the runner-up spot, while Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Carl Edwards, Patrick, Aric Almirola, Johnson and Matt Kenseth comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 47 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round 11 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is 15th with 302 points, 92 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 22nd with 268 points, 126 out of first. Patrick is 27th with 213 points, 181 out of first. Busch is 28th with 211 points, 183 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 17 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Coverage of the non-points-paying event begins at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

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  • 5-Hour Energy Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 7, 2014) – Kansas Speedway in Kansas City has been a roller coaster of emotion for Danica Patrick in her career.

    In 2005, she won her first of three pole positions in the IndyCar Series and finished 11th or better in all but one start. She qualified third in 2008 and 2009 and finished fifth the latter year.

    Her move to the NASCAR Nationwide Series produced solid results as she qualified 15th and finished 15th in 2011 and then started 13th and finished 10th one year later.

    But Patrick’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career has been a bit of a struggle at the 1.5-mile oval, including last fall’s race when she got loose and crashed in turn one – on the first lap.

    Her best finished was 25th last spring, so she’s hoping she can improve on that in Saturday night’s 5-hour Energy 400 Sprint Cup race at Kansas. One thing that will be different is the race will take place at night for the first time.

    Patrick is hoping to carry momentum to Kansas from Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where Sunday she led six laps in the Aaron’s 499, becoming the first woman to lead at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

    She finished 22nd at Talladega after overheating issues caused her to fall back a bit, but the car remained in one piece and will most likely be used again soon.

    But now, the attention is to Kansas and she is hoping that her good run at Talladega will lead to a good finish Saturday night.

    Patrick is hoping to become the first woman to lead at Kansas – and bring home a good result.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Kansas?

    “I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, we can get a good finish there. Our results in Sprint Cup haven’t been great, so hopefully we can turn it around and get some good finishes. Our Nationwide and IndyCar results we’re pretty good, so we need to get the Cup program up there. It’s a night race, so hopefully it’s pretty interesting and good for the fans.”

    You led laps at Talladega last weekend. Talk about that.

    “It was good out front. I wish I could have stayed there. We had heating issues. I (the car) was getting hot a lot. I think you saw that from a lot of cars. It was a hot day there in Talladega. When you get back a little bit in the field, it gets even worse. I think I was the second back in the second lane really early on and it just felt like it kind of died a little bit. Then I started getting passed. So I dropped back to get some clean air. Got some track position a couple of times and got up there a little bit, but heating was definitely an issue. It really limited me to the bottom lane because, as soon as it jumped up, it went there. It was a good car in the lead, which is something that as a team we struggled with. I felt good about that. It was good to get the GoDaddy car to lead some laps because it had been a while and we missed a lot of accidents. The good news is this car is going to get to go to Daytona. That is a positive. The result was not necessarily too much of a positive, but it got rolled up onto the truck, so that is more than a lot of people can say coming from a speedway.”

    This is your third Sprint Cup start at Kansas. What are your thoughts on this weekend’s race?

    “I’ve always liked going to Kansas. It’s a nice facility and I’ve got a lot of experience there compared to some places, even if a lot of it is in IndyCar. I think our 1.5-mile program is better than it was last year, so I feel good going into this week. It’s a two-day show, but I feel like I’ve got a lot of experience there to get going.”

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  • Aaron's 499 Race-Report

    Date: May 4, 2014
    Event: Aaron’s 499 (Round 10 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 7th/22nd (Running, completed 188 of 188 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (176 points, 171 out of first)
    Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick led six laps early in the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway before finishing 22nd in the second of four restrictor-plate races of the 2014 season.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), led laps 6-7 and laps 9-12 before overheating issues forced the second-year Sprint Cup driver to drop out of the lead draft.

    “It was good out front,” said Patrick after only her third Sprint Cup start at Talladega. “I wish I could’ve stayed there. It was getting hot a lot. I think you saw that from a lot of cars. It was a hot day here in Talladega, and when you get back a little bit in the field it gets even worse.

    “I was in the second lane, the second car back, real early on, and it just felt like that line kind of died a little bit. Then I started getting passed. So I dropped back to get some clean air. Got some track position a couple of times and got up there a little bit, but heating was definitely an issue. It really limited me to the bottom lane, because as soon as I jumped up, so did my water pressure. Our GoDaddy Chevy was good out front, and I felt good about that.

    “It was good to lead some laps, because it had been awhile and we missed a lot of accidents. The good news is this car is going to Daytona. That’s a positive. The result was not necessarily too much of a positive, but it’s going to get rolled up on the truck, and that is more than a lot of people can say coming from a speedway like this.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent in the Aaron’s 499 by finishing seventh. Harvick started eighth and led three times for 15 laps en route to his 11th top-10 in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Talladega. It was his fourth top-10 this season and his 213th top-10 in 476 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started ninth and finished 33rd after having his day cut short due to a late-race accident.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 12th and finished 43rd after getting caught up in an accident that unfolded after lap 136 and collected a total of 14 cars. His car was damaged beyond repair, forcing Stewart to retire from the race.

    Denny Hamlin won the Aaron’s 499 to score his 24th career Sprint Cup victory in his milestone 300th start. It was his first win of the season and his first at Talladega.

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  • Aaron's 499 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 30, 2014) – This is a race Danica Patrick has circled on her calendar.

    While many drivers are not fond of the extremely tight packs of cars that dominate the racing action at restrictor-plate tracks like Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Patrick freely admits she enjoys this style of racing.

    And why shouldn’t she? It’s the kind of racing where she has enjoyed her most success in her brief NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.

    In her first-ever Daytona 500 start in February 2013, she won the pole position to become the first woman ever to claim the top spot for a Sprint Cup race. She stayed out of trouble for the remainder of Speedweeks and ran in the top-three for much of the Daytona 500 before dropping from third to eighth on the final lap.

    She rewrote some of the NASCAR record book en route to her eighth-place finish that day, which is the highest finishing position ever by a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    In addition to her history-making pole run and finish in the Daytona 500, Patrick also led five laps – 90 to 91 and 127 to 129 – to become the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead Sprint Cup laps under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 14 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish the feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, A.J. Allmendinger and Tony Stewart. Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 16 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Andretti, Unser, Allmendinger, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    This weekend, Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will once again be Chassis No. 10-758, the same car she used for her history-making run in last year’s Daytona 500. It’s also the same car she used in both Talladega races last season and in this year’s Sprint Unlimited non-points race at Daytona, where she finished 16th after getting caught up in a multicar accident.

    She hasn’t had the same results in her two Sprint Cup starts at Talladega – finishing 33rd in both thanks to a multicar crash in the spring race and an untimely pit miscue in the fall race after running in the top-10 all day. But it still should come as no surprise that Patrick is looking forward to Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega, the second points-paying restrictor-plate race of the season.

    Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet is sporting a different look for Talladega this year. You’ll see the GoDaddy “Peeker” logo, which is usually on the side of the bright green car, adorning the hood this weekend.

    With a proven car beneath her and a style of racing that she loves, Patrick and the No. 10 team will have all eyes on the prize at Talladega this weekend as they hope to rewrite the history books once again.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve run well at the superspeedways. Even if you have been caught up in incidents, you have been consistently in the top-10 throughout each race. Is your confidence level higher at these types of racetracks?

    “I don’t know if the confidence level shifts a tremendous amount as much as the comfort level does. Just being comfortable on these big speedways and comfortable with this pack-style racing that I was so used to in IndyCar on the ovals. Just having a feel for it. It is something that I probably caught on to quicker than anything in stock car racing. I guess I show up there and it’s just a little bit more comfortable.”

    You finished eighth at Daytona last year and you had solid runs at Talladega last year although the finishes may not necessarily reflect the overall performance. Do you feel you can win Talladega this weekend?

    “I feel like I’ve learned some lessons about the draft and how that unfolds at the end if you are in the right place at the right time. I think that, when we talk superspeedway racing, there’s a lot of luck involved. Like I said, right place at the right time – there are a lot of people who have a good chance of winning Talladega, I think. Hopefully, we are one of them at the end of the race. But, we won’t know that until the end of the race.”

    You’ve always liked going to Talladega. Why is that?

    “The fans really make that place. The campgrounds – all that stuff makes it one, big party. You see how much fun the fans are having and that makes it fun for us as drivers. It’s just a unique place. The sheer size of the facility is amazing. I liked it from the first time I went there and, hopefully, we can have a good run and a good finish. The cool thing about superspeedways is that anybody can win. It’s a toss-up, what’s going to happen. So, that’s why it’s fun for me because somebody like me has a chance. On top of that, SHR’s superspeedway cars are really good.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    This will be the first restrictor-plate knockout qualifying round. What do you expect to see Saturday in qualifying and how do you prepare for that?

    “I don’t know if you can prepare for that. We’ve kind of experienced a little bit of it when you are in practice before qualifying, when you are trying to run a fast lap in case it rains. We did it at Talladega last time and it was pretty crazy and scary. It’s not a good situation to be in for any of the drivers, and that’s just my opinion. I don’t know that we’re going to approach it as jumping in a big pack of cars to try to get to the back and get timing right because everybody else is going to be doing the same thing. We’re leaning more toward getting a group of us together and getting in a straight line and running as fast as we can and then park it. I hate to look at it that way, but I don’t want to tear my racecar up, either, because you can put yourself behind pretty quick. I’m not a big fan of the knockout qualifying at restrictor-plate races. I think it’s dangerous. Danica does have experience with it. She did it for the Nationwide race at Daytona and it worked out well for them. They got four cars together and it worked out, but there’s just as good of a chance of it not working out for you. I’m interested in seeing what all these other organizations do, whether they run in a pack or get their group of guys together and run and take what they can get. There are always going to be some of these guys who don’t have teammates to lean on. They’re going to try to be the ones who get in the back of these packs and suck up and draft up quick to get a lap. I think your polesitter could be a surprise. It’s going to be hectic and crazy and we’re just going to do our best to stay clean and stay out of trouble.”

    Danica has been comfortable with restrictor-plate racing from the start. What are your overall thoughts going to Talladega?

    “I think our best shot of winning a race is going to be a restrictor-plate race. She runs well there and, obviously, now we have more teammates at Stewart-Haas who are really good restrictor-plate racers who could help in a situation and be a good drafting partner. Our odds are up, now, because we have more teammates to draft with. If we get separated, there are three other teammates and we could pick up one or two of those and get back to the front. It helps all of us. I feel if we can get at least two or three of our Stewart-Haas cars in the top-10 coming to the final couple of laps, we’ve got a shot of winning the race because we have teammates. I feel like our odds are pretty good going into Talladega.”

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  • Richmond 400 Race-Report

    Date: April 26, 2014
    Event: Richmond 400 (Round 9 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 35th/34th (Running, completed 395 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (153 points, 188 out of first)
    Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

    Incurable tight handling and long green-flag runs worked to the disadvantage of Danica Patrick in the Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Saturday night. The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) finished 34th in what was her 55th career Sprint Cup start.

    “That definitely isn’t the night we were looking for with our GoDaddy Chevrolet,” said Patrick, who now has three career Sprint Cup starts at Richmond. “It was really weird how the car would change during the course of run. It would be a three tight a few laps and then go to being a four and then back to a three. I felt good about some of the changes we made to fix drive-off and a few other handling issues we had, but it seems like no matter what we did it stayed tight through the turns.”

    The word “tight” was a constant refrain on the No. 10 radio from the drop of the green flag at Richmond, where Patrick started 35th. Compounding the issue early was the fact that the car was loose at the exit of the turns, making it difficult to be aggressive on the throttle. Early pit work on the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevy worked to assuage a few of the issues for Patrick, as she reported being able to get back to the gas quicker after the first round of adjustments.

    As the race continued, however, so too did the handling issue, with Patrick reporting its severity being a “three out of five tight” during the first 200 laps. Crew chief Tony Gibson called for a variety of adjustments, but it seemed that none of the wedge, track bar or air pressure adjustments would improve the tight issue, which was at its worst in the center of the turns. Adding insult to injury was a slew of long green-flag runs and a torrid race pace that resulted in Patrick going down laps to the race leaders.

    Despite the handling issues Patrick soldiered her way through the event, completing the race without incident and avoiding the glut of tire issues that plagued a number of competitors at the .75-mile track on Saturday night.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Outback Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing 11th. He started fifth and led twice for 23 laps.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, came back from being two laps down to finish 23rd.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 20th and finished 25th.

    Joey Logano won the Richmond 400 to score his fifth career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his first at Richmond.

    Jeff Gordon finished .946 of a second behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. A.J. Allmendinger, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 66 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    With round nine of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 15th with 243 points, 98 behind first-place Gordon. Harvick is 20th with 220 points, 121 out of first. Kurt Busch is 25th with 185 points, 156 out of first. Patrick is 29th with 153 points, 188 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Aaron’s 499 on Sunday, May 4 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Richmond 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 22, 2014) – Patience. It’s a word Danica Patrick will hear again and again as she and her No. 10 GoDaddy Racing Team tackle Richmond (Va.) International Raceway this weekend for the Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

    Perhaps the idea of patience dominating the night’s conversation could be a bit odd at the .75-mile Virginia layout known as “The Action Track,” where attempts to pass cars often lead to frustration, which then turns into beating and banging, and even wrecking. But for Patrick, who will be making just her 55th career Sprint Cup start and her third at Richmond, practicing patience will be the name of the game.

    Patrick will lean on the advice doled out from her Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) crew chief Tony Gibson – “Be patient. Focus on you. Race the racetrack. Take what the car and the track will give you all night. If you can do that all night, you’ll end up with a solid finish.”

    That’s the same guidance Gibson gave his driver prior to the Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. As Patrick continues to learn the racetracks on the Sprint Cup circuit, Gibson says patience and focus are key to improving each time the No. 10 GoDaddy team returns to a racetrack.

    Patrick repeated Gibson’s advice over the car radio during the Darlington race. She focused, raced the racetrack and took what the car and track would give her. And when the checkered flag waved, Patrick brought home her green No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS in 22nd place and on the lead lap – her best finish in four starts at the uber-challenging 1.336-mile oval.

    This weekend, Patrick & Co. hope that same advice pays off once more.

    While Patrick is no stranger to racing at Richmond, her best finishes at the track have come from her efforts in the Verizon IndyCar Series. In five IndyCar starts at the three-quarter-mile oval, Patrick scored four top-10 finishes, including sixth-place results in 2007 and 2008 and a fifth-place finish in 2009. She’s also raced there in three NASCAR Nationwide Series and two previous Sprint Cup events.

    Despite her past challenges at Richmond, Patrick is looking forward to Saturday night’s short-track race. She has produced a series of solid performances at the short tracks on the circuit. Last spring, she recorded an impressive 12th-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and followed that up with a 17th-place effort in the fall.

    This season, Patrick earned a top-20 finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. And while she didn’t get the finish she had hoped for at Martinsville, the No. 10 team did earn its best qualifying effort of the year at the .526-mile oval – a 10th-place starting position.

    Patrick will lean on those short-track successes, as well as her performance at Darlington, as she returns to Richmond this weekend. And hopefully, with a little patience, Patrick will continue to improve on the past and score another solid finish come Saturday night.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about heading to Richmond this weekend.

    “If anybody has the key to Richmond, please pass it along because I have not figured it out, yet. I haven’t run well at Richmond, yet. I loved going there in IndyCar, and I had good success there, I feel like. I had lots of top-fives there in IndyCar, or at least running consistently in the top-five. It just hasn’t been that way in stock cars. I have a really hard time getting into turn one. I feel like the car is going to spin out the whole time, so I don’t know. Hopefully, this time will be different. I have said in the past when people ask me what my favorite track is, I say ‘Whatever I’ve done well at,’ and I’ve gone from hating to loving a track in one day. So, hopefully, that will be the case at Richmond.”

    You had success at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway last season, posting a top-12 finish and a top-20 finish. This year, you had a top-10 qualifying effort at Martinsville. How does Richmond compare to the other short tracks we go to in the Cup Series.

    “Both ends are different at Richmond. I feel like you drive kind of downhill into turn one, and you kind of drive up and into turn three. It’s getting old so it’s losing grip, and power down and rear traction off the corner is at a premium, so that’s always what we try and figure out how to get.”

    Last weekend was the first one of two off weekends the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes, so at the first break in the season, rate your year, so far.

    “I really feel like it has been a lot better than last year as far as the race goes, and qualifying, even. It’s been, I feel like, a lot better. It’s still not great but it’s definitely getting better. We started off the year really well in practice and running like top-15 in practice, and Las Vegas was great. We were one of the fastest cars for most of the time we were on track in practice. But that didn’t lead to good results in the race. With getting crashed and not having great races, that kind of puts a damper on the whole weekend. I’ve had other weekends where I’m not running well at all in practice, but then I go out in the race and the car seems to be OK. So, I guess I would rather struggle through the weekend and then have a good race than the other way around. At some point in time, you’ve got to put it all together and you’ve got to run fast, qualify well and run great in the race.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    The last race was Darlington and the No. 10 team had a solid finish. How does what the team accomplished at Darlington help heading into Richmond?

    “That was awesome. I think we learned a lot from the last time we were at Darlington with Danica, as far as being patient and just what she needed with the car. I think that helped us be more patient. Like I told her, that’s a place where, if you can just be patient and race the racetrack, you’ll end up with a good finish. We fought all night and, as a team, we worked well together – pit stops and everything – so I feel like it was a win for our team. Each week, we build on what we know from last year, and we learn more, and I think we’re able to definitely take positives from each race we’ve run and build on that. I’m really proud of what we accomplished at Darlington, and I think we’re going to have to have that same kind of focus heading into Richmond. It’s another track where I want her to be patient and focus on racing the racetrack and not get caught up in what the other guys are doing because that’s where you’re going to run into problems. She’s run a lot of races at Richmond, but most of those were in IndyCar, and that’s a lot different from how she drives the track in a stock car. A lot of this weekend will be about her leaning on her teammates and talking to them about how they get around the track. I think that’s going to help her a lot more than I might be able to. From our end, we just have to stay focused. It’s not about going out there on the track and beating Jimmie Johnson or beating Tony Stewart. Our focus is to get her on the track and have her be the best Danica Patrick that she can be. And that’s the key for us each week. Danica is still learning, and part of the learning process is learning to be patient and learning how to race the racetrack, and that’s what we’ll be focusing on this weekend at Richmond.”

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  • Southern 500 Race-Report

    Date: April 12, 2014
    Event: Southern 500 (Round 8 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 33rd/22nd (Running, completed 374 of 374 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (143 points)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing in a green-white-checkered finish (Cheverolet)

    Danica Patrick’s goals in Saturday night’s Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway were simple: Race the racetrack and take what the car and the track would give. Patrick’s crew chief, Tony Gibson, told his driver that if she focused on those things throughout the night at one of the toughest racetracks on the Sprint Cup circuit, she would have a good night and a solid finish.

    When the checkered flag waved, it was mission accomplished for Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) as she ended up with a solid 22nd-place finish.

    “Tonight was such a big improvement for us from where we have been in the past at this track,” said Patrick, who made her 54th career Sprint Cup start and her third at Darlington. “The guys gave me a really drivable GoDaddy Chevy, and we kept making improvements to it all night. I just needed it to turn a little better. I’m just really proud of Tony Gibson and all the guys tonight. The guys on pit road did a great job all night long, and really, it was just a good night for me and the entire team. We’ll take this and look forward to the next race after a well-deserved break.”

    Patrick battled a tight-handling racecar from the drop of the green flag, but she was able to give feedback to Gibson and her crew that helped them make improvements to her GoDaddy Chevy at each stop. Despite going a lap down early in the race, Patrick and the crew did not give up.

    Instead, they continued work to improve the car in the pits, and Patrick worked to put herself in position on the racetrack to get back onto the lead lap.

    Throughout the night, the crew made a series of trackbar, wedge and tire-pressure adjustments throughout the race, while also making a shock adjustment to help improve the handling of the racecar. The crew also took advantage of both the wave-around rule and the “Lucky Dog,” which allowed Patrick to get back on the lead lap.

    The changes made the car better throughout the night, and by the end of the race, Patrick was solidly in the top 25, finishing in 22nd-place.

    Gibson agreed that the night was a success for Patrick and the entire team.

    “We talked about it starting on Monday at the shop,” Gibson said. “I told Danica to focus on racing the racetrack, and if you focus on that, you’re always going to get a good finish. And that’s just what she did tonight. She gave good feedback on the car all night, which helped us to keep working on it and making it better for her. A 22nd-place, lead-lap finish at Darlington is a big improvement for us from last year. I’m really happy with what Danica and this whole GoDaddy team did tonight.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Saturday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway by winning the Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. It was the 22nd points-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009.

    Harvick started first and led seven times for a race-high 238 laps en route to scoring his first win in 18 career Sprint Cup starts at Darlington. It was also his 25th career victory in 474 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished ninth. It was his 12th top-10 in 22 career Sprint Cup starts at Darlington. It was also his 294th top-10 in 529 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, was fighting for a spot in the top-10 when he was hit from behind ending his night. He finished 31st.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished .558 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-five. Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Larson, Stewart and Ryan Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 11 caution periods for 50 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 374-lap race, which was extended seven laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round eight of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th with 224 points, 73 behind first-place Jeff Gordon. Harvick is 22nd with 186 points, 111 out of first. Kurt Busch is 26th with 164 points, 133 out of first. Patrick is 29th with 143 points, 154 out of first.

    The Sprint Cup Series takes a rare weekend off for Easter before returning to action April 26 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway for the Richmond 400. The race starts at 7 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Southern 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 9, 2014) – Its reputation as the toughest and most challenging racetrack on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit is widely known.

    Successfully maneuvering around Darlington (S.C.) Raceway – aptly nicknamed “The Track Too Tough To Tame” – is like a carefully choreographed dance thanks to its distinctive layout. The 1.366-mile oval is uniquely configured thanks to a pond that the owner refused to relocate when constructing the racetrack in the late 1940s. The track’s architect made one end of the track tight, narrow and high-banked while the other he made wide, sweeping and flat.

    Racing at Darlington produces a host of challenges. Drivers and their teams are constantly adjusting to the tires, the bumps and the overall character of the racetrack. And the racing occurs predominantly just inches from the outside SAFER Barrier.

    The odd shape also means that, to find the fast way around the track, drivers race against the outside wall in each turn, sometimes brushing up against the wall and thus earning what has affectionately become known as a “Darlington Stripe” on the right side of the car. And the black marks left on the walls by the tires rubbing up against them all race weekend have led to the track’s other nickname – “The Lady in Black.”

    This weekend, “The Lady in Green” – Danica Patrick, driver of the green-colored No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing – will make her third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and her fourth overall NASCAR start at “The Lady in Black” for Saturday night’s Southern 500.

    Two years ago, Patrick made her first-ever start at Darlington in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. She started 15th and finished and impressive 12th. One night later, she made just her second Sprint Cup start ever, finishing 31st.

    Her weekend impressed several NASCAR observers as Darlington is known as a track that is tough on first-timers. But “The Lady in Green” completed 513 of 519 laps in her first weekend at “The Lady in Black,” and did so without being in an accident – also a tough feat for a rookie, much less a seasoned veteran.

    Last year, Patrick’s outing at Darlington – in her first full season on the Sprint Cup circuit – perhaps was a bit more challenging. She was forced to use her backup car after an accident in Friday practice caused heavy damage to her primary machine. Despite starting 40th in the backup car, Patrick still finished 28th.

    This weekend, “The Lady in Green” returns with the same car she has raced in each of her previous starts at “The Lady in Black.” With two Sprint Cup races there already under her belt, Patrick hopes she has mastered some of the right steps in the intricate dance that is racing at Darlington.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve had a total of three NASCAR starts at Darlington – two in the Sprint Cup Series and one on the Nationwide side. Talk about your experiences and what you have learned going into this weekend.

    “Having those starts is definitely a help not just to me but also to the entire team. I think it makes me more comfortable behind the wheel, and it also gives the guys information about what I like or need in the car, which is huge. I know that last year we were far better off unloading and hitting the track because we had a baseline to go off of from my previous start. Unfortunately, I crashed in practice and that kind of put us behind. But, what we learned last year just gives us more to build on as we go there this weekend. Darlington is definitely a challenging track. And I think I’ve learned a lot in the few starts I’ve had. Each time we go back there, I’m more comfortable. The first time I raced there, I had never seen Darlington until that actual race weekend. So that’s always a bit interesting when you go somewhere you’ve never been. But I accomplished all the things I wanted to accomplish over the weekend. Things went well on the Nationwide side. On the Cup side, my goals were to be respectable out there. I think I held my own. And the other goal was to finish, and both of those things happened. So, overall, it was a good night. Hopefully, my experience from that first weekend and last year will pay off for us this weekend.”

    So many drivers get that Darlington Stripe. Is it just the nature of the beast or are drivers just that little bit over the edge?

    “The reason for so many stripes – Darlington Stripes – on cars there is you are really just driving against the wall. You are carrying a lot of speed through (turn) one and you use the wall all the way out. You are riding it while you’re in and out of throttle up there. It’s not like it’s a straightaway. It’s a corner, so you are still turning. The same thing goes through (turns) three and four. You are also searching for grip so, sometimes, that line is a little bit higher getting in. Sometimes, it’s a little bit lower. You are using the grip all the way up to the wall, which means you are flirting with that wall.”

    TONY GIBSON, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Danica has two starts at Darlington. Does that help you at all going into “The Track Too Tough To Tame?” And what are your overall thoughts going into this weekend?

    “It’s hard because it’s only one race a year at Darlington. We’ve really struggled there. Last year, we wrecked our primary car in practice. I wasn’t with her the first race she ran there – (Greg) Zipadelli was – so last year was my first year with her. We were better in the race, but we just really struggled to get going. It’s such a difficult racetrack. The corners are so different. You have to run right up against the wall, and she kind of struggled with that, which is normal for a lot of the drivers their first time at Darlington. Obviously, it helps that we have two races already going there but, when you only go there once a year, it’s not in your mind as much as these other racetracks. It does help having been there before because we have data and notes to go off of to help her and us. That part of it helps a lot. That place is just a place where it’s tough. Veterans with lots of experience around there, they know how to do it. They know how to make it work, but they also have trouble there, too. I feel like it is probably going to be a struggle again. There’s just no way to sugarcoat that. I think the key for her and for us is to just be open-minded and for her to be patient with herself. If you try to get aggressive and try to outsmart the racetrack, that’s when you get in trouble. It’s in our best interest to just go there and be calm and just make laps, get laps under her belt and re-familiarize herself with the racetrack. We don’t want to get caught up in speed and caught up in what others are doing because it will get you in trouble.”

    This track isn’t just challenging for the driver, it can also be quite the challenge for the team to find the right setup. How difficult is the role of the crew chief at Darlington?

    “It’s difficult. I love the place. I’ve had a lot of success there with drivers and have had really good runs there. For us, and with what we are hoping to accomplish, we really just have to go into Darlington with a positive attitude and remember that you are there to learn. We’re on a different program than everybody else. Stick within our little walls and don’t let the track freak you out because it can do it in a hurry and it can frustrate you. Darlington is mentally challenging. We have been there with so many different tires in the last two or three years with the repave, and now it is starting to get old again. It’s a chasing game, too. The track sits there. We only race on it once a year. The winters come along and the weather plays a big role in the asphalt aging. So, we’ve had the different tires and now our car is different. The cars are even different from what it was when we were there last year, so a lot has changed. You’ve got to go through that learning curve, too. So far this year, our qualifying has gotten better. I think our cars are better, and I think the new ride heights have helped that. So, I’m hoping that will be another step in the right direction for us to help us with the learning curve at Darlington.”

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  • Duck Commander 500 Post-Report

    Date: April 7, 2014
    Event: Duck Commander 500 (Round 7 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 24th/27th (Running, completed 338 of 340 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (121 points)
    Winner: Joey Logano of Penske Racing in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)

    Danica Patrick struggled with an ill-handling car and finished a disappointing 27th in the rain-postponed Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Monday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 24th and early on dealt with a car that was tough to handle. Throughout the race, crew chief Tony Gibson made a series of changes – adjusting track bar, wedge, tire pressure and shocks and removing a spring rubber in the left-rear spring –to help improve the handling of the racecar.

    The changes made the car better throughout the afternoon, but Patrick fell two laps behind the leaders and had to settle for a finish outside the top-25.

    “We definitely made the GoDaddy/Get Found Chevy better throughout the race for sure, but the track changed a lot today with the weather, and I think that really hurt us,” said Patrick, who made her 53rd career Sprint Cup start and her fourth at Texas.“It was disappointing, because we had a fast racecar today; but we did make the right adjustments, and the pit crew did a nice job in the pits all day.”

    Gibson said he was pleased with the effort of his GoDaddy/Get Found crew.

    “We made a lot of changes today to help get the car into the racetrack better and to free the car up,” Gibson said. “The good thing is that we definitely were making the car better with those adjustments each stop. I’m proud of what the guys did on pit road, and I’m proud of the effort. I think we learned a lot today that hopefully will help us as we get into the schedule and go to more of these 1.5-mile tracks.”

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing SHR contingent Monday by finishing 10th. Stewart started from the pole and led three times for 74 laps en route to his third top-10 of 2014 and his 13th top-10 in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Texas. Stewart is now the all-time Sprint Cup lap leader at Texas with 801 total laps led, 26 more than next-best Matt Kenseth.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 11th and finished 39th as two flat tires conspired against him.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, started third and finished 42nd after suffering an engine problem only 28 laps into the race.

    Joey Logano won the Duck Commander 500 to score his fourth career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Texas. He is the seventh different winner in the seven races held this season.

    Jeff Gordon finished .476 of a second behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five. Greg Biffle, Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard and Stewart comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 49 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 340-lap race, which was extended six laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round seven of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 14th with 189 points, 70 behind new series leader Gordon. Kurt Busch is 25th with 151 points, 108 out of first. Harvick is 26th with 138 points, 121 out of first. Patrick is 29th with 121 points, 138 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Southern 500 on Saturday, April 12 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The race starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 6 p.m.

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  • Duck Commander 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 2, 2014) – There’s no doubt that the eyes of the sports world will be firmly focused on Texas this weekend.

    Not only does the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series head to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for round seven of its 36-race season, but this weekend the city of Dallas plays host to the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.

    So, for this weekend at least, everything is bigger in Texas, particularly when it comes to live sporting events.

    And while Danica Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Racing team will be focused on “finding” what it takes to have a strong performance at the 1.5-mile oval, the No. 10 team also hopes to take a cue from the college basketball players across town competing for the NCAA championship by rebounding from a disappointing 32nd-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway last weekend.

    For Patrick, Texas could be just the place to regain some momentum as it is the racetrack where she has gained the most experience in her career.

    Of all the tracks where Patrick will compete in 2014, she has the most starts at Texas, having driven in 15 major-league races – three Sprint Cup, four NASCAR Nationwide Series, and eight in the Verizon IndyCar Series. And it’s a track she’s taken a liking to in all three divisions.

    In her first Sprint Cup outing at Texas in November 2012, Patrick finished a respectable 24th. The race was also her first with crew chief Tony Gibson. In her four Nationwide Series races, Patrick has three top-15 finishes, including an eighth-place effort in April 2012. In Patrick’s eight IndyCar Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval, she has five top-10 finishes, including a third-place result in June 2007 and a second-place finish in June 2010.

    Already this season, Patrick has posted solid performances at two other intermediate tracks on the circuit. At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, she and the No. 10 team were fast most of the weekend. She posted the fifth-fastest lap during Thursday afternoon’s four-hour test session and then was 13th-fastest in Friday practice.

    During knockout-style qualifying at Las Vegas, Patrick posted the 10th-fastest lap during round one and advanced to round two, where she placed herself 22nd on the starting grid. From there, she continued to turn heads by clocking the sixth-fastest lap in Saturday morning’s practice session and the fastest 10-lap average.

    Patrick rolled off 22nd in the race, fell to 30th in the early going and went a lap down, but she fought her way to a respectable 21st-place result.

    Then, two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Patrick started 27th. She overcame a flat left-front tire late in the race and survived a treacherous green-white-checkered restart to score a 14th-place finish – her first top-15 of the 2014 season.

    With the combination of Patrick’s experience at the Texas track and the team’s fast racecars and impressive runs on intermediate tracks earlier this season, the No. 10 team hopes that Texas benefits from the state’s “everything is bigger” reputation and that this is the weekend a top-10 finish can “Get Found.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Last weekend at Martinsville didn’t go exactly how you had hoped, but now you’re headed to Texas and you have had strong cars and finishes on similar tracks at Las Vegas and California. Talk about that.

    “Yeah, Martinsville was disappointing. We ran so well there last year and we had high hopes for another good finish, especially since we had some momentum going our way. Unfortunately, we struggled all race long. (Tony) Gibson kept making adjustments and we hit on something about halfway through the race, but by that point we were already a couple of laps down. It was just disappointing. But, that being said, we had a good qualifying effort Friday and started the race 10th, so that was a big deal for us. Qualifying is something I know I’ve got to get better at. I’ve got to get better at getting all of it out of the car every time, so what we accomplished Friday at Martinsville was a bit of a positive reinforcement for me. Hopefully, we can continue that at Texas. Overall, we’ve had really good cars every week and have been fast. We had such strong cars at Las Vegas and at California that I’m really looking forward to getting on track with the GoDaddy Chevy at Texas.”

    You have a lot of experience at Texas and you seem to really enjoy racing there. Why is that?

    “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. 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.”

    What is your favorite memory of racing at Texas?

    “The Dan Weldon/Danica Patrick boxing duo promotion coming off of (the) Milwaukee (IndyCar race in 2007). That was probably my favorite. I also just about won in 2009. It was (Ryan) Briscoe and I on the last stop. I came out in front of him but I just didn’t have the speed and he went around me. But I almost won that race. That was a good night.”

    TONY GIBSON, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    The GoDaddy/Get Found team had a fast car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which is another 1.5-mile track, and finished 21st. Then the team scored a top-15 at Fontana. Is there anything from those two tracks and races that will transfer over to Texas this weekend?

    “As far as chassis setup-wise, those tracks are really similar to what we will have this weekend in Texas. The loads are a little different but our chassis setup will be really close. It’s a different car. It’s a new car. Aero-wise, there’s no difference. I feel like the biggest thing that will be different is we have a different right-side tire than what we’ve had at Texas before, so it’s kind of an unknown as far as the tires. The one thing I worry about is the left-side tire because we had problems in California, and we’re going to be running extremely fast on another bumpy racetrack at Texas – probably faster than we were at California. The loads are going to be higher, so I worry more about the tires than I do anything else. But chassis-wise and body-wise, the setups are really, really close. I feel like having two good races under our belt, hopefully we can go there and be just another step better or at least just try to be consistent. It does help to run well on two intermediate tracks already this season because we struggled last year on those. Hopefully, this year, we can capitalize on a couple of good runs and be better going into Texas and Charlotte and places like that. Hopefully, we will have it a little more fine-tuned by then.”

    You had the two solid performances at Las Vegas and California. Then last weekend, the team had a great run in qualifying and started 10th in Martinsville. Do those things help build the team’s and Danica’s confidence heading into this weekend at Texas?

    “We just try to take any positive from a weekend each weekend and build on that. So, anything that you can do that shows improvement, I think, helps. Last weekend, we really thought we would race better than what we did. The track conditions were really, really off and it burnt the tires right off the car. It came down to tire management and she doesn’t have a whole lot of experience in managing tires when they burn off like that. It was a tough weekend, but it was a great weekend because we qualified really well. I hate that we didn’t get any more practice on Saturday because I think that hurt us more than others. We needed some more track time to get the balance of the car a little bit closer. But we build off of the positives during the weekend and qualifying that well was definitely a positive. Bristol was a positive – we wrecked our primary car and then came back and finished 18th. I thought that was really, really good. Fontana was a good weekend for us. Performance-wise, I think we are building confidence. She’s getting some confidence in her and hopefully we can keep doing that and each race have something good come out of the weekend that we can build on.”

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  • STP 500 Post-Report

    Date: March 30, 2014
    Event: STP 500 (Round 6 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 10th/32nd (Running, completed 494 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (104 points, 123 out of first)
    Winner: Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS, finished 32nd in the STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    Patrick started 10th, her best Sprint Cup starting position at a non-restrictor plate racetrack, but had to deal with an ill-handling car early in the 500-lap race. The No. 10 Chevrolet was tight in the middle of the corners and loose off, causing Patrick to lose track position early at the .526-mile oval.

    “It was a disappointing day,” Patrick said. “We ran so well at Martinsville last year, but we struggled all race long today. It’s disappointing for everyone on the GoDaddy team. We had high hopes coming into this race based off what we accomplished last year, but we missed the setup. Tony (Gibson, crew chief) made changes every time we came to pit road and really hit on something around halfway. But by that point, we were already a couple of laps down.”

    The GoDaddy/Get Found team gambled by staying out on two late-race cautions – on lap 341 and again on lap 412 – to try and regain laps, but the strategy didn’t pay off as Patrick had to pit under green-flag conditions late in the race, causing the team to lose additional laps.

    “We tried staying out on a couple of the cautions to take the wave-around and get a couple of laps back,” Patrick said. “It wound up biting us toward the end when we had to make a green-flag pit stop because the tires were killed. Needless to say, it wasn’t the finish we were looking for today.”

    Enjoying a much better day was Patrick’s Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Kurt Busch. The driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS won the STP 500 by .263 of a second over six-time Sprint Cup champion and eight-time Martinsville race winner Jimmie Johnson.

    Busch started 22nd and led three times for 23 laps en route to his 25th career Sprint Cup victory and first since Oct. 2, 2011 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, a span of 83 starts. It was also his second Sprint Cup win at Martinsville, with his previous triumph coming in October 2002. Most importantly, the win punched Busch’s ticket for the 16-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

    Busch is the sixth different winner in the first six Sprint Cup races of the season, the most in the Chase era and the longest streak to start a season since 2003.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished seventh. It was his 12th top-10 in 26 career Sprint Cup starts at Martinsville.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 17th.

    Finishing third in the STP 500 behind Busch and Johnson was Dale Earnhardt Jr., while Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five. Kenseth, Harvick, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 14 caution periods for 92 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    There was also a track-record 33 lead changes. The previous record was 31, set on April 3, 2011.

    With round six of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 15th with 154 points, 73 behind first-place Earnhardt. Busch is 20th with 146 points, 81 out of first. Harvick is 25th with 135 points, 92 out of first. Patrick is 29th with 104 points, 123 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Duck Commander 500 on Sunday, April 6 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 2:30 p.m.

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  • STP 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 26, 2014) – It appears as though Danica Patrick and GoDaddy/Get Found team have “found” their groove.

    After a rough first two races of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Patrick and her team have quietly but steadily found better finishes and, as a result, more confidence and a better points position.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was involved in accidents not of her making at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and at Phoenix International Raceway and finished 40th and 36th, respectively.

    But since leaving Phoenix, Patrick finished 21st at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 18th at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and 14th last week at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. It’s been a quiet, steady climb that moved Patrick from 39th in the championship standings with just 13 points after Phoenix to 27th in the order with 92 points – a gain of 12 spots and 79 points.

    Patrick and the GoDaddy/Get Found team next hope to continue their climb at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, site of Sunday’s STP 500 Sprint Cup race. The .526-mile oval in Southern Virginia was one of the best tracks for the team last year as Patrick finished 12th in the spring and 17th in the fall.

    Her performance in the spring was impressive, given that she’d never seen Martinsville until the first practice session and then had to start at the rear of the field due to an engine change prior to the race. The setback didn’t hamper her, however, and she marched her way through the field and scored an impressive top-15 finish.

    The noteworthy rookie outing bested those of some other name drivers in their Martinsville debuts, most notably her team owner Tony Stewart, who finished 20th in his first Martinsville start in 1999. Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut in 2002. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th in 1984. Dale Jarrett finished 14th in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished 26th in 2000. Kyle Busch finished 39th in 2005. Matt Kenseth finished 21st in 2000. Kurt Busch finished 37th in 2000. And Fred Lorenzen finished 24th in 1956.

    With their season heading in the right direction and their confidence on the rise after solid finishes last year at Martinsville, Patrick and her team are hoping Sunday a top-10 finish may “Get Found.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Martinsville?

    “Our finishes have steadily improved the last three weeks, which has given the team a good boost. We had two good runs at Martinsville last year, so I feel good heading into this week. Tony Gibson (crew chief) has had a lot of success there and knows how to set up a car for Martinsville. It’s a tough place, very tight with a lot of beating and banging, but hopefully we can stay out of trouble and have a good run. We’re looking forward to it.”

    You surprised a lot of people with your first race at Martinsville last year. Talk about that.

    “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. He’s a great crew chief. And my car was pretty good all day. 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 – coming back from two laps down to being on the lead lap and then grabbing a 12th place at the end.”

    After a rough start to the season, do you feel like you and the team are back on track?

    “We’ve had really good cars every week and have been fast. We just didn’t have any luck in the first two weeks. We’ve rebounded nicely and have been able to get everything pointing in the right direction. I’m proud of the team for the hard work and effort to help dig us out of the hole we were in. We’ve improved each week and hopefully we can keep doing that.

    TONY GIBSON, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    The GoDaddy/Get Found team had a good run at Fontana. Talk about the race.

    “It was a crazy, crazy race. For the last three weeks for the GoDaddy Chevy, it’s been good. We were 21st at Vegas, we knew we should have been better than that but our goal this year was to be more consistently in the top-20. We felt for our improvement this year that was a solid goal – to be a top-20 car and work our way forward from there. Last weekend (at Fontana) was another good weekend for us. We were consistent in practice. I thought we’d be better in qualifying. We were 15th during practice and I thought we’d qualify better, but we failed to do that, so it kind of put us in the back a bit. But Danica did a really nice job and all the guys on the crew did an awesome job. By the midway point in the race, we were a solid 16th - to 18th-place car and at the end we were able to put four tires on it. We wanted to be in offense mode, not defense mode, so we chose four over two. She did a great job on the restart and passed four cars and ended up 14th. It was a great weekend and we’re looking forward to this weekend at Martinsville.”

    Overall thoughts heading into Martinsville?

    “We’ve always run well there and I’ve had some success there with other drivers, as well. It’s one of my favorite racetracks. We were fortunate enough to win there with Ryan (Newman) in 2012. We’ve had some success as a company there, so we took the same mindset with Danica going in there (the first time). We went and did some testing at Little Rock (Rockingham, N.C.) and that really paid off. It really helped us get her in that rhythm. We knew when we left there that it might not be a bad deal for us. She was pretty sporty at Little Rock. We were able to go up to Martinsville and get a good 12th-place finish and I think we were all kind of looking at each other going, ‘What just happened here?’ We went back in the fall and had another good run – we didn’t finish as well, but were still strong. Our car was really good again and she did a really good job. We’re pumped to go there, but Martinsville is a place where you can go and think you’re going to run really well and it will dish out a case of ‘humble’ to you. It’s a tough place and you’re fighting the beating at the banging all day. But we’re positive and excited to get there.”

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  • Auto Club 400 Post-Report

    Date: March 23, 2014
    Event: Auto Club 400 (Round 5 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th /14th (Running, completed 206 of 206 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (92 points)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing in a green-white-checkered finish (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), earned a hard-fought 14th-place finish – her best finish of the season – in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

    Patrick overcame a flat left front tire late in the race and survived a treacherous green-white-checkered restart to score her first top-15 of the 2014 season.

    “It seems like some of our most trying weekends end up with our better results, so we’ll take it and we’ll know that there is so much more potential for those weekends where we feel like we are running a lot better,” Patrick said. “It was a steady race. My hope was that our GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet was close on the first run, so I knew we could make it better. It is always so difficult when you start off in the beginning, and it really wasn’t too bad to start off with today. I think that’s usually the common denominator in us having a good race is just that first run – the car being there.

    “It was, so we just made little adjustments here and there, and I don’t think we were extremely fast, but we were fast enough to pick them off and move up and have a steady day. That is what we did. It’s nice when you get fortunate and lucky and your best running position on track happens to be the last lap, so I will take it.”

    Patrick, who started 27th, battled a tight-handling racecar early in the race, but by halfway she had settled into a spot in the top-20. However, trouble struck for Patrick at lap 139 when she was forced to pit for a flat left front tire, which she believes may have been caused when her car ran over debris.

    The setback forced her to give up her spot in the top-20 and bring the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet to pit road for four fresh tires. The unscheduled stop put her one lap down to the leaders, but when the caution flag waved two laps later at lap 141, Patrick took the wave-around and got back on the lead lap in 32nd-place.

    From there she and the GoDaddy/Get Found team began picking off cars, and she found herself back inside the top-20 when the final caution of the day came out on lap 198.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson brought Patrick down pit road for four fresh tires and an air pressure adjustment on lap 199, and Patrick restarted 18th for the two-lap green-white-checkered finish. She got a solid jump on the restart and was able to pick up four more spots before the checkered flag waved to come home a respectable 14th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing third to score his first top-five of the 2014 season. The strong showing came at the home track for Haas Automation, as the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world is located just 100 miles west of Auto Club Speedway in Oxnard, Calif.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 10th and finished fifth to give the three-time Sprint Cup champion back-to-back top-five results, as Stewart finished fourth last week at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, started fourth and finished two laps down in 36th after two flat tires forced him to make unscheduled pit stops.

    Kyle Busch won the Auto Club 400 for the second straight time to score his 29th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Fontana.

    Kyle Larson finished .214 of a second behind Kyle Busch in the runner-up spot, while Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Stewart rounded out the top-five. Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers, A.J. Allmendinger, Paul Menard and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 42 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 206-lap race, which was extended six laps by the green-white-checkered finish.

    With round five of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 17th with 127 points, 59 behind new series leader Carl Edwards. Kurt Busch is 24th with 99 points, 87 out of first. Harvick is 25th with 97 points, 89 out of first. Patrick is 27th with 92 points, 94 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the STP 500 on Sunday, March 30 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Auto Club 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 19, 2014) – Earlier this week, the leprechaun was looking for his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

    On Sunday, Danica Patrick, who like the leprechaun wears quite a bit of green, will bypass the pot of gold and look to find continued improvement. She’ll do so not at the end of the rainbow, but at the western edge of the Continental United States as she takes part in the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

    Patrick, driver of the green No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has found her groove in the last two weeks after a rough start the season.

    In the first two races, she was involved in accidents not of her making at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and at Phoenix International Raceway and finished 40th and 36th, respectively.

    Two weeks ago at Las Vegas, she and the No. 10 team rebounded and were fast most of the weekend. She posted the fifth-fastest lap during Thursday afternoon’s four-hour test session and then was 13th-fastest in Friday practice.

    During knockout-style qualifying, Patrick posted the 10th-fastest lap during round one and advanced to round two, where she placed herself 22nd on the starting grid. From there, she continued to raise some eyebrows by turning the sixth-fastest lap in Saturday morning’s practice session and the fastest 10-lap average.

    Patrick rolled off 22nd in the race, fell to 30th in the early going and went a lap down, but she fought her way to a respectable 21st-place result.

    Last week at Bristol, Patrick overcame a three-hour rain delay, an early race accident not of her making and late-race transmission problems to finish a solid 18th. She did so in a backup car after an accident in her primary car during Friday’s first practice session.

    After exiting Phoenix 39th in the championship standings with just 13 points, Patrick has gained 11 spots and finds herself 28th, with 62 points.

    On Sunday, Patrick will drive Chassis No. 10-828, the same car she drove at Las Vegas.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson, Patrick and the rest of the GoDaddy/Get Found crew are hoping that car will be even faster than at Las Vegas and help them continue to find better finishes.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Fontana?

    “Fontana’s pavement has not aged gracefully (laughs), so it makes for a challenging race. It’s a challenge to set up the car – the seams move the car around a lot. It’s very fast, yet you still have to get the car to rotate and it seems really tight off of (turn) two. It’s one of the tougher places to get the balance right. But if you do strike a good balance in practice, you have a chance to have a really good day on Sunday. We’re bringing the same car from Vegas, so hopefully we can find the speed we had there and continue to get back on track after a rough start to the year. We’ve had two decent weeks, but we’d like to finish better and hopefully we can do that this week.”

    After a rough start to the season, the results have been better the last two weeks. Talk about that.

    “We’ve gotten better, but it hasn’t been easy. The GoDaddy/Get Found guys have worked really hard. We had a great car at Vegas and were running good lap times. We just couldn’t get our lap back. At Bristol, we had to go to a backup car and we didn’t qualify well, but the crew did a great job and (Tony) Gibson made some great decisions and we had a fast car for the race. We had the early accident and then, later in the race, we lost all but fourth gear, but it hung on and we got a decent finish out of it. I think we could have had better finishes both times, but we’ll take them. Hopefully we can get even better at Fontana.”

    Two races thus far have been affected by rain. How challenging is that for you as a driver?

    “It’s tough because you get geared up for a race and then it’s delayed. So you do your best to kill time, but also keep yourself focused. It’s the same thing when rain comes in the middle of the race. The hardest thing is you just don’t know when the race will resume – nobody does, so you have to keep focused and also be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Fortunately, as drivers we have motorhomes to go to – it’s a lot tougher on the crews and it’s really tough on the fans. I’m always impressed by the fans and how they stick it out. It’s not easy when it’s raining and cold, but they stick around. We appreciate it.”

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  • Food City 500 Post-Report

    Date: March 16, 2014
    Event: Food City 500 (Round 4 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 36th/18th (Running, completed 502 of 503 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (62 points)
    Winner: Carl Edwards of Roush-Fenway Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick overcame a rain delay, an accident not of her making and transmission problems to finish a respectable 18th in Sunday’s Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), scored her best finish of the year while driving a backup car after she crashed her primary car for the weekend during Friday’s first practice session.

    The backup car proved tough as Patrick survived an eventful night, starting with a more than three hour rain delay that began after completion of lap 125. Once the race resumed, things got interesting for Patrick. Running 23rd on lap 157, she was on the outside of Cole Whitt exiting turn four, and the right side of Whitt’s car slammed into the left side of Patrick’s machine, forcing her into the outside retaining wall.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy/Get Found crew were able to make quick repairs without losing too much time or track position, and Patrick returned to the action, but more obstacles were to come.

    Just past halfway, transmission issues caused Patrick to lose first, second and third gear, leaving her only with fourth gear working. This created problems exiting her pit box, and on her last stop of the day, she made contact with Clint Bowyer’s car pitted a few stalls ahead. Despite all these obstacles, Patrick was still able to bring the car home and score a solid result.

    “The GoDaddy/Get Found guys worked hard all weekend,” Patrick said. “We had to go to a backup car just four laps into practice, so I appreciate the effort of Tony Gibson and the guys. It was a tough weekend, so to come out of here with 18th, I’ll take it. It was an eventful night. The 26 (Cole Whitt) wasn’t clear and got into us and so we had some damage. Then I lost first and second gear and then finally third gear, so the last 100 or 200 laps I only had fourth gear. That’s why I hit Clint (Bowyer) in the pits. It wouldn’t go so I dipped the clutch and got sideways, and when it was about to spin around, I lifted, it caught and then it went straight and it wouldn’t stop. So I hit him. I apologized to his crew after the race. And then it was like yellow after yellow, and if there was any day I didn’t want yellows, it’s today because I didn’t have any gears. We survived and got a decent finish out of it. Gibson made good calls all night, and hopefully we can build on this going to Fontana.”

    Gibson was pleased with the effort of his crew through a challenging weekend.

    “It was a lot to overcome,” Gibson said. “No one quit or gave up. It shows that if you stay strong and keep your head up, you can turn it around, and that’s what we did today. We had a fast race car, we just didn’t have track position all day. To be only one lap down and finish 18th, I’ll take that. From where we started, wrecking a car, to qualifying in the back, to having damage early, to losing a transmission, we just had so many things to overcome. It seems like every time the yellow would come out we’d have to overcome something. I’m just proud of everybody. I’m proud of her, I’m proud of the guys. It was a good effort.”

    Perhaps most challenging of all was overcoming the transmission issues late.

    “It was hung in fourth (gear),” Gibson said. “All we had was fourth gear. So when she left the pits (the last time), she gassed on it, and when she did the car just kind of slid sideways, and then when she got to the next pit stall the rear tires grabbed, and when it did, it pulled the car around and she ended up hitting the 15 (Bowyer). It can happen, you see it happen – not quite like that, but you see guys run into each other on pit road. I don’t think there was anything she could have done any different. If she would have had regular first gear, that wouldn’t happen.”

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished fourth.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 35th after spending the majority of the race among the top-15. Busch led three times for 28 laps, but was involved in an accident on lap 394. He was able to complete the race, but finished 30 laps down after making repairs.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 39th after a broken oil line knocked him from the lead and into the turn-one wall with 50 laps remaining. Harvick was in command of the race, having led 28 consecutive laps before misfortune struck.

    Carl Edwards won the Food City 500 to score his 22nd career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Bristol.

    Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished behind Edwards in the runner-up spot, while Aric Almirola, Stewart and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five. Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers and Kyle Larson comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 12 caution periods for 95 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 503-lap race, which featured a three-hour, 19-minute stoppage for rain and eventually ended under caution when more rain swept over the track.

    With round four of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 21st, 74 points behind new series leader Brad Keselowski. Stewart is 23rd, 75 points out of first. Patrick is 28th, 101 points out of first. Busch is 31st, 106 points out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 23 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 2:30 p.m.

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  • Food City 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 12, 2014) – With the madness of Daytona Speedweeks and the two-week West Coast swing now complete, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves into a bit of a normal stretch.

    Teams and drivers spent 12 days in Daytona Beach, Fla., preparing for the 56th Daytona 500, and then the majority of them spent an additional 12 days out West in Phoenix and Las Vegas for races two and three on the Sprint Cup Series schedule.

    This week’s Food City 500 Sprint Cup race represents the “second” start of the season and everyone begins to get into a groove and a routine after a hectic first month.

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is hoping to build on what was a solid run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend after two rough weeks to start the season.

    She was involved in accidents not of her making at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and at Phoenix International Raceway and finished 40th and 36th, respectively.

    At Las Vegas, she and the No. 10 team rebounded and were fast most of the weekend. She posted the fifth-fastest lap during Thursday afternoon’s four-hour test session and then was 13th-fastest in Friday’s practice session.

    During knockout-style qualifying, Patrick posted the 10th-fastest lap during round one and advanced to round two, where she placed herself 22nd on the starting grid. From there, she continued to raise some eyebrows by turning the sixth-fastest lap in Saturday morning’s practice session and the fastest 10-lap average.

    Patrick rolled off 22nd in the race, fell to 30th in the early going and went a lap down, but she fought her way to a respectable 21st-place result. Her lap times through the second half of the race were among those of the leaders, so there were positive takeaways from the weekend – especially after the previous two weeks.

    While Patrick and the GoDaddy team have “found” speed, they’ll also be helping GoDaddy customers “get found” online through the next four races. A special GoDaddy/Get Found logo will appear on the green Chevrolet at upcoming races at Bristol, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    GoDaddy, the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, expanded its product portfolio in late January with the introduction of Get Found, which helps small businesses attract new customers via popular destinations including Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Yelp.

    Using GoDaddy Get Found, businesses can publish critical information like location, phone number, hours of operation, as well as service lists, menus and photos on search engines, social media, top local sites and mobile apps. Additionally, having updated and accurate information across various popular websites increases a customer’s visibility in search engine results.

    When consumers search for businesses and see inaccurate or conflicting information, they often go elsewhere. When a business signs up for Get Found and provides its business location, services, contact information, etc., the correct information is automatically pushed everywhere. Business owners are then also able to track where their business is showing up online and verify the correct material is displayed.

    Customers using Get Found at launch will be showcased on the Web, mobile sites and apps including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Foursquare, YP (Yellowpages), Citysearch, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, Local.com, Judy’s Book, MerchantCircle and MojoPages.

    Get Found is an evolution of the Locu product, which GoDaddy acquired in August 2013.

    While helping small business “Get Found,” Patrick, crew chief Tony Gibson and the rest of the GoDaddy/Get Found team will look to “find” more success and build on the momentum they have coming out of Las Vegas.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts heading into Bristol?

    “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 that is 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.”

    Thoughts coming out of Vegas?

    “For us on the 10 car, we were really good all weekend. The guys gave me a great car. The weakest session we had all weekend was the last practice. I’m really happy with the cars this year. I was running with the leaders the last half of the race, but I was a lap down. Unfortunately, one car always stayed out (rather than pitting), so we couldn’t get our lap back (via the wave-around). And we just missed the Lucky Dog spot.”

    How crucial was it for you and the team to have a good weekend after bad luck the first two races?

    “It was huge. When things go bad, it can snowball quickly, but everyone kept his head up and kept working hard. And that can be hard to do when things get tough. The biggest thing I kept reminding myself was that we had really good cars. We just got taken out in accidents that we didn’t start. Our cars have been awesome all year and that’s a product of a lot of hard work by Tony Gibson and all the guys. I’m proud of their effort and I think we’ve got a lot of good days ahead. I’m excited for the next few races.”

    Your GoDaddy Chevrolet has the logo of “Get Found” on it for the next four races. Talk about that.

    “GoDaddy is all about helping small business succeed and this is another part of that. Being online is essential, but being able to be found online is even more important, and GoDaddy’s ‘Get Found’ product helps small business get found when people search for them on the Web and through Apps. On top of that, it makes sure that the information about the business is accurate, from location to hours of operation and phone numbers. It’s something you don’t really think about but is extremely important. It seems like, every month, GoDaddy comes out with something new and helpful for small business and this is a prime example of that. It’s a very cool feature.”

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  • Kobalt Tools 400 Post-Report

    Date: March 9, 2014
    Event: Kobalt 400 (Round 3 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 22nd/21st (Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 33rd (36 points)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 21st in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, who started 22nd, fell to 30th in the early portion of the race and went a lap down, but she fought her way to a respectable 21st-place result.

    “For us on the 10 car, we were really good all weekend,” Patrick said. “The guys on the Aspen Dental Chevy gave me a great car. The weakest session we had all weekend was the last practice. I’m really happy with the cars this year. I was running with the leaders the last half of the race, but I was a lap down. Unfortunately, one car always stayed out (rather than pitting), so we couldn’t get our lap back (via the wave around). And we just missed the lucky dog spot.”

    For Patrick, it was a solid run, given her luck of the last two weeks. She was involved in accidents not of her making at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and at Phoenix International Raceway and finished 40th and 36th, respectively.

    “Obviously you always want more, but I’m happy with it, especially after what we’ve gone through the last two weeks,” Patrick said. “It’s a good day and gives us something to build on going to Bristol.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 26th, while Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, finished 33rd.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 41st. Harvick led twice for 23 laps, but an issue with a wheel hub forced him to the garage for repairs, and he finished the race 30 laps down.

    Brad Keselowski won the Kobalt 400 to score his 11th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Las Vegas.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished 1.530 seconds behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Paul Menard, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 18 laps, with only one driver failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round three of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 14th, 50 points behind first-place Earnhardt. Stewart is 27th, 85 points out of first. Busch is 28th, 86 points out of first, and Patrick is 33rd, 97 points behind Earnhardt.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Food City 500 on Sunday, March 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Kobalt Tools 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 5, 2014) – The city of Las Vegas has given plenty of people reason to smile through the years.

    Danica Patrick hopes to hit it big in Vegas this weekend and leave with a smile, but it won’t be on red or black on the Roulette table, nor will it be in her familiar green Chevrolet.

    For this weekend’s Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Patrick’s car will sport the blue and white colors of Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of dental care providers in the U.S. with more than 430 locations in communities across 27 states, providing millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable dental care.

    Every Aspen Dental practice offers a full range of dental services — including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, dentures, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work.

    Patrick is driving the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS at both Las Vegas this weekend and on Labor Day weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It’s part of Patrick shining a spotlight on an often overlooked healthcare issue – oral health. She’s teamed up with Aspen Dental to support the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community-giving initiative designed to deliver free dental care to thousands of people in need in communities across the U.S., and oral health education to millions more.

    Through the Healthy Mouth Movement, dentists and team members from Aspen Dental practices in 27 states will volunteer a day to provide much-needed dental care to those who need it most, free of charge, no questions asked. And to reach communities where care isn’t available, the newly constructed Aspen Dental MouthMobile – a fully-equipped dental office on wheels – will go directly into communities to not only provide free service, but to raise awareness.

    The Healthy Mouth Movement has already impacted communities across Florida and Georgia where, in just a single week in February, Aspen Dental teams delivered more than $136,000 in donated dentistry to nearly 400 patients.

    And if Patrick has a successful run Sunday, it won’t be the first time she’s left Vegas with a smile. In March 2011, she finished fourth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the best finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by Sarah Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts heading into Las Vegas?

    “Hopefully our luck turns around after Daytona and Phoenix. We just seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s disappointing because the crew has given me two great cars and we have nothing to show for it. We had a good run in the Nationwide Series race at Vegas a few years ago and we’d love to have another one. It seems like SHR is really headed in the right direction, especially with Kevin (Harvick’s) win last week. Congrats to him and the team. I think our cars are really strong and the hard word of the entire team is starting to show.”

    There are new colors on the car for you this week with the blue and white of Aspen Dental. Talk about that.

    “We do have different look this week. I’m excited about it. We’re lucky to have Aspen Dental on the car this week at Vegas and then in September at Atlanta. I spent some time at Aspen Dental’s headquarters in Syracuse (N.Y.) last year and have done a lot of work with them in the offseason and what they’re doing is amazing. I didn’t realize until I starting working with them that lack of dental care is a serious issue. Last year, 100 million Americans didn’t visit a dentist, and millions more live in communities with little or no access to dental care. It’s an issue that affects a lot of hard-working people, including NASCAR fans, who are often living in pain. Aspen Dental decided to do something about it, and that’s why I’m proud to partner with them.”

    How beneficial is the extra test day for the Aspen Dental team Thursday at Las Vegas?

    “I’m never going to complain about more track time. It’s helpful for me, it’s helpful for Tony Gibson (crew chief), it’s helpful for the engineers and the entire team. Hopefully we can learn a few things and have a good car for qualifying and the race. We still need to improve on qualifying and that’s going to be a big focus for us. Things are just so much easier when you qualify well and it’s frustrating when you don’t.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    The Aspen Dental team had a strong car last week at Phoenix before an accident took the team out of contention. Talk about that.

    “The car was really good at the start of the race. We moved up to 23rd by the first caution. Things were going well, the car was handling well and Danica was doing a phenomenal job. It’s one of those deals where, on the restarts, if you’re further back than 10th, you’re probably in jeopardy. And we got hooked up with the wrong guys back there and got knocked around and knocked the fenders in against the tires. We got it beat back out and didn’t lose a lap, so we’re we still looking pretty good. And then, on low air pressure, we had a fender brace get against the tire and cut it, so that’s when we spun and lost a few laps trying to get that fixed. It was a tough day for us but, on the good side of it, we had a fast car – probably the fastest car we’ve had in a long time. We were fast in happy hour. All of our Stewart-Haas cars were fast and Danica was really pumped coming into the race. We started the race passing cars and going forward but it just wasn’t meant to be. We’ll keep our head down and keep digging. Really proud of the guys on the 4 car (Kevin Harvick). They worked really hard to build a team from nothing and the whole company has pitched in and done a great job. It’s great for our company for Kevin to come out and dominate like that.”

    What do you tell Danica to pump her back up after a tough start to the season?

    “Well, it’s tough. Once we knew our day was pretty much done, we talked about it on the radio. She said herself, ‘We have to be proud of the car we brought today.’ The cars are better than they were last year, they’re faster. She’s more competitive. You’ve got to look at the bright side and pick out the positive parts of the day. When you have bad days, you’ve got to try to find a little glimmer of hope and that’s what we’re hoping to build on. We’re making progress and the good days will come.”

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  • The Profit on CNBC 500k Post-Report

    Date: March 2, 2014
    Event: The Profit on CNBC 500k (Round 2 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 33rd/36th (Running, completed 306 of 312 laps)
    Point Standing: 39th (13 points)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was caught up in a midrace accident not of her making midway through The Profit on CNBC 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and finished a disappointing 36th.

    Patrick, who had a strong car but lacked track position, was 24th and one lap down on lap 172 when she was involved in an accident in turn one with Justin Allgaier and Travis Kvapil. Her car suffered damage to the left front and left rear, but the GoDaddy crew was able to do a “quick fix” in order to get her out on track without losing a lap and dropping only to 27th.

    Unfortunately, just 13 laps later, the damaged left rear fender ended up rubbing against Patrick’s left rear tire, causing it to lose air. With a flat left rear tire, she spun in turn three, bringing out another caution. This time the GoDaddy crew was forced to do extensive repairs, and Patrick went four laps down and restarted in 39th.

    “It’s tough,” Patrick said. “That’s two weeks in a row we’ve had good cars and nothing to show for it. The car was good all day, we just needed track position. I’m starting to think if we didn’t have bad luck, we’d have no luck at all. The GoDaddy guys built me a great car for the second week in a row. I hate it for them, and I hate it for GoDaddy. This is obviously an important race for them. Hopefully things turn around in Las Vegas.”

    Last week, Patrick was involved in another accident not of her making at the 56th Daytona 500 and finished 40th.

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, started 13th and led four times for a race-high 224 laps en route to his fifth Sprint Cup win at Phoenix, where he is now the all-time leader in Sprint Cup victories. It was also Harvick’s 24th Sprint Cup victory in 468 career starts.

    It was the 20th point-paying Sprint Cup victory for SHR since the team’s inception in 2009.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished .489 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 16th. The fourth member of SHR, Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished 39th after suffering engine failure on lap 292.

    There were eight caution periods for 38 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 312-lap race.

    With round two of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is fourth, 11 points behind series leader Earnhardt. Stewart is 20th, 53 points out of first. Kurt Busch is 30th, 61 points out of first. Patrick is 39th, 77 points out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 2 p.m.

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  • The Profit on CNBC 500k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Feb. 25, 2014) – With the long days and nights of Daytona Speedweeks now gone, Danica Patrick and the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers begin the remainder of the marathon 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule with Sunday’s The Profit on CNBC 500k at Phoenix International Raceway.

    For many, Phoenix is just simply “Race No. 2.”

    But for Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), Phoenix means much more than just 312 laps around the mile oval.

    Patrick owns a home in Scottsdale, Ariz., but more importantly, the region is home to Patrick’s longtime sponsor, GoDaddy, the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses.

    GoDaddy and Patrick have been together since 2007 and navigated Patrick’s transition from IndyCar to NASCAR. In addition, Patrick has appeared in a record 13 Super Bowl commercials for GoDaddy, with the most recent airing earlier this month during Super Bowl XLVIII.

    With that as a backdrop, Patrick hopes to put on a good show for the many GoDaddy executives, employees and customers who will be in attendance at Sunday’s 500-kilometer Sprint Cup race.

    And while she wants to run well for GoDaddy, she also wants to rebound from a disappointing 37th-place finish in the 56th Daytona 500. She was caught up in an accident not of her making and her day was done after 145 of 200 laps.

    The season kicks into high gear this weekend and Patrick and the GoDaddy team know “It’s Go Time.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts heading into Phoenix?

    “We ran well there in the November 2012, my first race with (Tony) Gibson (as crew chief). Unfortunately, we haven’t left there without a torn-up racecar. We got caught up in accidents in November 2012 and then again in November 2013. We cut a tire and crashed last spring, so it’d be nice to have a good clean run with the GoDaddy car. I like Phoenix and Gibson has won there a few times. Hopefully, our luck will turn around and we can have a good smooth run and get back on track.”

    Thoughts on Daytona Speedweeks?

    “Obviously, it wasn’t what we were hoping it would be. We tore up two really good cars in accidents that we didn’t start. But that’s the nature of plate racing. A lot of times you’re caught up in things that you had nothing to do with. It was a tough couple of weeks and we didn’t get the results we wanted. The GoDaddy guys worked really hard, though, and I really appreciate that. They had a lot thrown at them and they worked hard and stayed positive. I know the rain delay was tough on every team, not just ours, especially turning around and going to Phoenix this week. People don’t see how hard the crews work. I’ve got a great team that works hard and believes in me and I’m really fortunate to have them behind me.”

    Phoenix is a big weekend for the GoDaddy team, given that the company is based in nearby Scottsdale. Talk about that.

    “It’s always fun to go to Phoenix because of GoDaddy. We’ll go out on Thursday and see a lot of the executives and employees. It’s really fun to talk to everyone because I always want to know what the latest and greatest is with GoDaddy and new things they are doing, and they want to ask me about racing and what we’re doing. I’m fortunate that we get to race in GoDaddy’s hometown twice a year so we get to visit them and have them at the track. I think it’s really important and it’s nice knowing I’ve got a lot of fans pulling for me at the racetrack.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on how the new qualifying format will work at Phoenix?

    “Phoenix is a weird place because, the later you go, the better the track is because it’s cooler. So everyone will be hanging out waiting to go at the very end. For us, we have to weigh out whether we want to – do we want to risk going late and getting caught in traffic, or do we want to go a little earlier and get clean laps? That’s something we’re going to have to pick through as we go. For me, I’m leaning toward going a little bit earlier than most of the other guys go, just so I know I can get a clean lap. It’s going to be hectic, it’s going to be crowded, it’s going to be crazy. You’re going to have people blending onto the racetrack and off the racetrack while people are running, so it’s going to be interesting. It could be a disaster or it could be really cool. We’ll see how it goes.”

    You said that qualifying is one area where the GoDaddy team needs to improve in 2014. How challenging is it to try to adapt to a new formula while also trying to improve from 2013?

    “It’s difficult because now we’re trying to figure what the best scenario is for us and for her to do this. So, you throw that on top of her just trying to get better at qualifying. Now, we can’t take what we did last year and just tune on that. We’ve got a whole different thing to worry about. It may help us. Who knows? The car is only going to be at its best when it has max downforce, least amount of drag and the tires are at their maximum. That’s usually at one or two laps.”

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  • Daytona 500 Post-Report

    Date: Feb. 23, 2014
    Event: 56th Daytona 500 (Round 1 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th/40th (Running, completed 145 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 37th (5 points)
    Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 40th in the season-opening Daytona 500 after a hard crash ended her night 145 laps into the 200-lap race.

    Patrick, who led once for two laps, was running midpack on lap 145 when the cars of Kevin Harvick, Brian Scott and Aric Almirola got together exiting turn four and Almirola’s machine was sent into the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall. Almirola’s No. 43 Ford then shot across the track and hit Patrick’s GoDaddy Chevy in the rear, causing her machine to veer to the right and make hard contact with the concrete retaining wall on the outside of the frontstretch.

    Her car came to rest in the infield grass, too heavily damaged for her to continue. She was checked and released from the infield care center.

    “I think more than anything I am just upset because the GoDaddy car felt really good and it was the best car that I had all Speedweeks,” Patrick said. “It seemed like we could catch whoever and it seemed like we could move around, make lanes and just move around and move forward at the end of the day. I felt like everything was going pretty well, so it’s just upsetting. It’s a bummer, but you know that is the excitement of speedway racing that anything can happen, and it was unfortunate that I was on the short end of the accident. But that is the kind of thing that happens, and I appreciate everyone sticking around and watching, and we will go get them at Phoenix.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR at Daytona by finishing 13th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 21st after leading once for 15 laps.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 35th after encountering fuel pressure issues midway through the race and completing only 174 of 200 laps. It was Stewart’s 16th start in the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and his first since Aug. 4, 2013, at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, as Stewart missed the last 15 races of the 2013 season while he recovered from a broken right leg sustained in a sprint car crash on Aug. 5.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr., won the Daytona 500 to score his 20th career Sprint Cup victory and second Daytona 500 win. He also won in 2004.

    Denny Hamlin finished behind Earnhardt in the runner-up spot as the race ended under caution, while Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Greg Biffle, Austin Dillon and Casey Mears comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 39 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race, which was stopped for 6 hours, 22 minutes after just 38 laps due to rain.

    With round one of 36 complete, Kevin Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th, 17 points behind first-place Earnhardt. Busch is 20th, 24 points out of first. Stewart is 32nd, 39 points out of first. Patrick is 37th, 43 points out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is The Profit on CNBC 500k on Sunday, March 2 at Phoenix International Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 2 p.m.

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  • Drive4COPD 300 Post-Report

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fl(February 23, 2014) - Danica Patrick had a strong start to the beginning of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season, taking the green flag from the third position after an impressive 1-2-3 qualifying effort by Turner Scott Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway. However, a loss of track position and difficulty to make passes under green kept the No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet outside the top 10 for a majority of the day, ultimately resulting in a 19th-place finish in the Drive4COPD 300.

    Turner Scott Motorsports kicked off the 2014 season in an exceptional manner, laying down the first, second and third-fastest lap times in NASCAR's new qualifying format. Setting the third-quickest time with a 46.867-second lap, Patrick and the No. 30 team were poised for a strong day in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. After the wave of the green flag, Patrick's line quickly lost momentum, and by the time the first caution flag of the day waved on lap nine, Patrick was mired back in the 19th position. Patrick reported to crew chief Mike Greci that everything about her Chevrolet Camaro's balance felt fine, but that it was difficult to make passes running in two side-by-side lines and that track position really depended on being in the right place at the right time. Greci called his driver into the pits for fuel and a chassis adjustment, sending her back out onto the track in the 16th spot.

    A long green-flag run ensued after the lap-15 restart, forcing the field to begin green-flag pit stops on lap 50. Bringing her Florida Lottery machine to the attention of her crew on lap 52, Patrick, who was scored 21st, received two right-side tires and fuel before returning to the track in the 15th position. Greci reported to Patrick, who had commented before the stop that her Camaro was beginning to get a little bit tight, that her right-rear tire was going flat, and was likely the cause of her tight condition.

    The 57-lap green-flag run came to an end on lap 72 for a debris caution, and Patrick was scored 14th now that pit stops had cycled completely through. Patrick commented that she was having a very difficult time getting by anyone with the two-lane racing and inability to push other cars, but remarked that she believed that the inside line was the best way to go. Patrick was once again called to pit road for two right-side tires and fuel, and she returned to the track in 13th, with several competitors opting to go with fuel-only stops.

    With 45 laps remaining, the action on the racetrack grew dicier, with more competitors risking going three-wide in order to gain track position. Patrick remained in the 13th position when the yellow flag waved on lap 94, and she was summoned to pit road for a quick splash of fuel to ensure that she could make it to the end in the event of a green/white/checkered finish. The strategy came in handy when the final caution flag of the day waved on lap 117 with Patrick scored in 17th, setting the field up for the first attempt at a green/white/checkered finish. With the field once again running side-by-side lines, Patrick was unable to make a move to fight her way to the front, ultimately crossing the finish line in 19th and narrowly avoiding a melee after the wave of the checkered flag.

    "This really wasn't quite as much fun as I'd hoped it would be," said Patrick after the race. "It was great to be able to bring my Florida Lottery Chevrolet home in one piece at a superspeedway race, but I felt a little helpless out there without being able to draft the way we're all used to. It was really tough to make any moves or gain positions, and everything really depended on what line you wound up in. I really have to thank Turner Scott Motorsports for building me such a fast car and Florida Lottery for the chance to run this race; I always enjoy competing in the Nationwide Series. I think I definitely learned a lot about this new style of superspeedway racing, which I think will help me out a lot in the future."

    The NNS next heads to Phoenix International Raceway for the Blue Jeans Go Green 200 presented by Cotton, The Fabric of Our Lives on Saturday, March 1 at 3:45 p.m. EST.

    First Practice

    Position: 12th

    Laps: 12

    Fastest Lap: 48.243

    Final Practice

    Position: -

    Laps: -

    Fastest Lap: -

    Qualifying

    Position: 3rd

    Fastest Lap: 46.867

    Race

    Position: 19th

    Laps Led: 0

    Laps Completed/Total Laps: 121/121

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  • Budweiser Duel Post-Report

    Date: Feb. 20, 2014
    Event: Budweiser Duel at Daytona (non-point qualifying races for the 56th Daytona 500)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 13th/13th (Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Budweiser Duel No. 1)
    Winners: Budweiser Duel No. 1 – Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
    Budweiser Duel No. 2 – Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 13th in the first Budweiser Duel qualifying race Thursday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    The Budweiser Duel consists of twin qualifying races that set the 43-car field for the season-opening Daytona 500, and Patrick earned the 27th starting position for Sunday’s race. However, because the GoDaddy team changed an engine earlier in the week, per NASCAR rules, Patrick will drop to the rear of the field before the green flag drops on the “Great American Race.”

    Despite having to drop to the rear of the field, Patrick and the GoDaddy team escaped any significant damage in the Budweiser Duel, a concern for drivers and teams every year.

    “I think every time there is a chance that something could happen, then you worry that it could happen,” Patrick said. “From a couple of days ago, it was really more the mentality ‘Let’s just go out and race,’ and ‘Let’s just see if we can make something happen.’ ‘Let’s see what happens when we try various different things.’ That is kind of what I did out there. I kind of keep getting the same results when I try things as in like when I try this, this happens. When I try that, that happens. That’s all good information for Sunday, to be honest.”

    Patrick knows she will have to come from the rear of the field but is confident in her ability to do it.

    “It could be challenging, but I think if you get a few people behind you, I think it will be fine,” Patrick said. “I know my GoDaddy pit crew is really good, so I know when it comes to pit stops, they’ll help get cars behind me. They are awesome. I know that (crew chief Tony) Gibson will try strategy to get me track position. With those two things, we’ll get in the thick of it. From there it will be a matter of using those things that I have learned over the last week and put them to good use.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR by finishing third in the second Budweiser Duel race He will start eighth for the Daytona 500.

    Patrick’s other SHR teammates – Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS and Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS – competed with her in the first Duel. Stewart finished 10th and Harvick was credited with a 24th-place finish.

    Harvick actually finished second in his Duel but was dropped to last place after his car failed post-race inspection. NASCAR officials determined his car “exceeded the maximum split on the track bar.” As a result, Harvick will start 38th in the Daytona 500 via a provisional.

    Stewart earned the 21st starting spot for the Daytona 500, but like Patrick, he will drop to the rear of the field due to an engine change.

    Matt Kenseth won the first Budweiser Duel by .022 of a second over Harvick. With Harvick’s second-place run being stricken from the record, everyone behind Harvick moved up a position. Kasey Kahne finished second, while Marcos Ambrose, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Josh Wise took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Aric Almirola, A.J. Allmendinger, David Gilliland, Ryan Newman and Stewart.

    Denny Hamlin won the second Budweiser Duel, which ended under caution due to a multicar accident on the last lap just before the checkered flag. Jeff Gordon finished second, while Busch, Paul Menard and Brian Scott comprised the remainder of the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 were Trevor Bayne, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Landon Cassill and Clint Bowyer.

    With the Budweiser Duel now complete, the field for the Daytona 500 is set. On the pole is Austin Dillon, and alongside him is Truex. By notching the two quickest times during Sunday’s time trials, both drivers were able to lock themselves into the front row for the Daytona 500. Truex, however, will have to move to the back of the Daytona 500, for he was involved in the last-lap wreck in the second Duel which forced him to a backup racecar.

    Failing to qualify for the Daytona 500 were Ryan Truex, Michael McDowell, Joe Nemechek, Morgan Shepherd, Eric McClure and Dave Blaney.

    The Daytona 500 gets underway at 1 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 23, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Drive4COPD 300 Pre-Report

    Danica Patrick
    No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Camaro
    Daytona International Speedway
    DRIVE4COPD 300
    February 22, 2014

    Ready, Set, Go...The 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season opens at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) this Saturday, February 22. Danica Patrick, who embarks on her second full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season this year, will be behind the wheel of the No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Camaro for Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) in the NNS season opener. The race will mark Patrick's third event for TSM, and will be her 61st-career start in the NNS. Veteran crew chief Mike Greci will be calling the shots from atop the pit box.

    DIS Stats...Patrick, who made her NASCAR debut at DIS in 2010, has six previous NNS starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Patrick has one top-10 finish, which she earned in July of 2011, and one pole, which she earned in February of 2012. In her six events at the Daytona Beach, Fla. track, Patrick has started in the top five three times and has never taken the green from outside the top 15, tallying an average start of 7.0. Patrick made her TSM debut in last year's season opener and surged to an early lead before an electrical failure forced her to retire early and resulted in a 36th-place finish.

    This Week's Camaro...Patrick and the No. 30 team will unload chassis TSM-334 for this weekend's race at DIS. TSM-334 utilized three times in 2013 (Daytona I, Talladega Superspeedway, Daytona II) by Justin Allgaier. Allgaier's best finish was achieved at Talladega where he scored a fifth-place finish.

    Watch and Listen...The DRIVE4COPD 300 can be seen live on Saturday, February 22 on ESPN. Race coverage will begin at 1:15 p.m. EST, and the event can also be heard live on MRN Radio, as well as SiriusXM Radio, channel 90.

    Danica Patrick on driving at Daytona International Speedway

    "I've run some really strong races at Daytona in the past, but with the racing at superspeedways being what it is, I haven't always had the finishes to reflect how well we ran. Every time I come to one of these superspeedway tracks, I learn a little more; it really comes down to patience and being in the right place at the right time. Turner Scott Motorsports has built me two really great cars in the past, and I have no doubt the same will be true this weekend. [Teammate] Dylan [Kwasniewski] was very fast when the team came down and tested last month, and I've got two strong teammates to work with. I appreciate Florida Lottery coming on board and allowing me to run this race, so hopefully we'll be able to get them into victory lane."

    NNS results at Daytona International Speedway:
    Starts: 6
    Wins: 0
    Poles: 1
    Top 5: 0
    Top 10: 0
    Laps Led: 5
    Average Start: 8.0
    Average Finish: 37.5

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  • Sprint Unlimited Post-Report

    Date: Feb. 15, 2014
    Event: Sprint Unlimited (non-points race)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 12th/16th (Accident, completed 35 of 75 laps)
    Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was caught in a multicar accident and finished a disappointing 16th in the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    Patrick, who ran as high as fourth in the early part of the event, was involved in a lap 35 accident along with Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and her SHR teammates Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch. The accident began with the cars ahead of Patrick, and she went low on the track and into the infield grass to try to avoid the crash. By doing so, she lost control of the car and spun before being hit by Stenhouse’s car.

    “I didn’t know how far they (the cars in front) were going to come down or go up,” Patrick said. “You just don’t know how the accident is going to keep unfolding, so I just went as low as I could. I thought I would end up just going straight through the grass, but I don’t know if it is just a little bit of a dropoff or if it’s wet, but it just hooked on it and spun around. I was sitting there and pretty much just about stopped, and then I got hit and that was it.

    “Ricky (Stenhouse) said his hood was up so he couldn't see anything, which is a bummer because I was pretty much just going to need four tires. It was a real bummer, because I was having fun and I felt like I was really learning a lot. It was good to run with those guys. It would have been nice to get it to the end for the experience and for GoDaddy.”

    The Sprint Unlimited is a non-points exhibition race featuring drivers who won a pole during the 2013 season, as well as past winners of the Sprint Unlimited. Patrick earned her way in by winning the pole for last year’s Daytona 500.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR by finishing fifth. It was Harvick’s sixth top-five finish in 10 career Sprint Unlimited starts. He won the event in 2009, 2010 and 2013 and was the only SHR driver to finish the 75-lap race.

    Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, was credited with an 11th-place finish. He earned his way into the race by being a three-time winner of the Sprint Unlimited (2001, 2002 and 2007).

    Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished 14th. He won the Sprint Unlimited in 2011.

    Denny Hamlin won the Sprint Unlimited. It was his second win in the non-points race, with his first victory coming in 2006.

    Brad Keselowski finished .197 of a second behind Hamlin in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Harvick rounded out the top-five. Jamie McMurray, Marcos Ambrose, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 13 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish.

    Next up for SHR is qualifying for the 56th Daytona 500, where Stewart, Patrick, Harvick and Busch will be among 49 drivers going for the pole. Qualifying is set to get under way at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 16, with live coverage provided by FOX. The Budweiser Duel – twin 150-mile races that will set the rest of the Daytona 500 field – takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1. Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona then culminates with the Daytona 500 at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Danica to Run Daytona NW Race with TMS

    MOORESVILLE, N.C. (February 12, 2014) – It was announced today that Danica Patrick will pilot Turner Scott Motorsports’ third entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Daytona International Speedway. Patrick, who will compete in her second full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) in 2014, will be behind the wheel of the No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Camaro in the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300. Veteran crew chief Mike Greci will once again be calling the shots from atop the pit box.

    Patrick made her TSM debut in last year’s season opener and surged to an early lead before an electrical failure forced her to retire early and resulted in a 36th-place finish. The former IndyCar driver made her Nationwide Series debut at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in 2010 and has six previous NNS starts in Daytona, with a best finish of 10th (July, 2011). Patrick has three top-five NNS starts at the Daytona Beach, Fla. track, including one pole award, which she earned in the first race of the 2012 season. Patrick earned the pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the February event at the track in 2013, ending the race with a solid eighth-place finish.

    Patrick, who is the first woman in history to win an IndyCar race, has raced in a total of 60 NNS events, completing one full-time season in 2012. The Roscoe, Ill. native also earned the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver award following her first full-time NNS campaign. In her first full-time season of NSCS competition, Patrick finished the season with one top 10, one pole and was running at the finish of 31 events.

    Patrick will be sponsored by the Florida Lottery for the event, which has partnered with TSM in the past with drivers Ben Kennedy, James Buescher and Nelson Piquet Jr. The Florida Lottery’s sole mission is to generate as much revenue as possible, through ticket sales and promotions, for the benefit of education in the state of Florida. The Lottery reinvests nearly 98-percent of its revenue back into Florida's economy through transfers to education, prize payouts, commissions to Florida retailers and payments to vendors. Since the Lottery opened its doors in 1988, more than $26 billion has been transferred to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.

    "I'm really looking forward to competing in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona once again and driving the No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Camaro,” said Patrick. “Turner Scott Motorsports is a great organization and I worked really well with Mike Greci and the whole team in both of the races I did with them last year. I know that I’m definitely capable of a win this year working with that group, it just comes down to making it until the end. I have to thank Florida Lottery for coming on board; they’re giving me the opportunity to run this race and to support education in the state of Florida.”

    Turner Scott Motorsports heads to Daytona International Speedway as a previous winner of the February race; 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher claimed his first NNS win at the season opener in 2012. Patrick will partner with TSM teammates Kyle Larson and Dylan Kwasniewski for the 300-mile event.

    “We are so happy to announce that Danica will be returning to TSM in Daytona,” said team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. “We think a lot of Danica and she was a very strong competitor in both of the races that she ran for us last year. Restrictor-plate racing is tough, but she’s shown a lot of skill at Daytona in the past. I have no doubt that she has everything it takes to bring our car to victory lane.

    The NASCAR Nationwide Series season kicks off on Saturday, February 22 with the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. The race will air live on ESPN and MRN beginning at 1:15 p.m. ET.

    About Turner Scott Motorsports: Turner Scott Motorsports was established in 1999 by Texas businessman Steve Turner, who was joined by partner Harry Scott Jr. as co-owner in 2013. This season will mark the fourth season of full-time NASCAR competition for the organization, which expanded in 2011 from a two-truck operation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) to become the largest stand-alone multi-series team in NASCAR’s top-tier touring series. The team earned its first championship when James Buescher captured the NCWTS title in 2012. Turner Scott Motorsports operates out of an 110,000 square-foot state-of-the art facility in Mooresville, N.C. The Chevrolet-backed team has created alliances with General Motors’ powerhouse team Hendrick Motorsports, which provides engine support for both its NNS and NCWTS programs, and Earnhardt Technology Group for drive train and suspension technology assistance. For more information on Turner Scott Motorsports, visit www.TurnerScottMotorsports.com.

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  • Speedweeks Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Feb. 11, 2014) – Danica Patrick’s 2014 Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway will be different than the 2013 version. But the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) wants to at least experience some similarities.

    Two changes stand out: Patrick’s participation in the non-points Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 15, and the move of the Budweiser Duel 150-mile qualifying races from its traditional Thursday afternoon slot to Thursday night under the lights (Feb. 20).

    Patrick’s participation in the Sprint Unlimited comes via her historic pole position in last year’s Daytona 500, when she became the first woman to ever qualify in the top spot for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. All 17 drivers that won a Sprint Cup pole in 2013 are eligible, as are Terry Labonte, Ken Schrader and SHR co-owner Tony Stewart, all of whom are past winners of the event.

    The exhibition race will give Patrick valuable track time in race conditions, which will help her prepare for the Budweiser Duel and the 56th Daytona 500. Her car for the Sprint Unlimited will be familiar, Chassis No. 10-758, which Patrick drove when she started on the pole and finished a career-best eighth in last year’s Daytona 500.

    In addition to her history-making pole run and Daytona 500 finish, Patrick also led twice for five laps to become the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead a Sprint Cup race under green. Janet Guthrie previously led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    Her car for qualifying, the Budweiser Duel and the Daytona 500 will be Chassis No. 10-835, a brand new GoDaddy Chevrolet built by Daytona Beach native Tony Gibson and his veteran crew. It has performed well in wind-tunnel tests and will make its on-track debut during the first Daytona 500 practice on Saturday, Feb. 15.

    With an extra race and the format of Budweiser Speedweeks changing, Patrick, Gibson and the GoDaddy crew are prepared for a different experience at Daytona than the one they cultivated 12 months ago. But the same successful mindset they employed last year at Daytona is in place again this year, bolstering their chances for another strong showing on NASCAR’s biggest stage.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on beginning your sophomore season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series?

    “Our goal is ultimately, of course, to progress from where we were last year, but we really didn’t finish in the top-15 very much, and I think that’s something we thought we were going to be able to do based on just the 10 races I had done in 2012. Top-20 wasn’t really a problem, and having a great run at Phoenix for a 12th or 13th or whatever it was going to be with about a lap left and getting punted. It’s the goal again this year. You have to set one goal and then, once you achieve it, move on to the next one. It’s true, there is so much enthusiasm with the team and everybody around the shop and all the drivers and everybody. I really feel like this is a year where we might not make a small step in the right direction, but I feel like we’ll hopefully make a big jump in the right direction. Kevin (Harvick) is super excited, and Kurt (Busch) is, and I know Tony (Stewart) is itching to get back in the car. For me, I love being able to have those guys around to ask questions to, and they want to help me, and that feels good.”

    You have two new teammates at SHR with Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch joining you and Tony. Do you get along with all of them?

    “I get along with all of them very well. I mean, Tony and I go so far back. Gosh, I remember watching Kurt test in IndyCar at Sebring back when I was not even a Formula Atlantic driver, And, I suppose outside of the car, Kevin and I have actually spent a fair amount of time hanging out. We went and played golf last year, had dinner with him. So I feel like I know all of them pretty well. I mean, Kevin was definitely very helpful at the test, you know, just giving me little pointers as to what to do and things to think about out there, and he said that’s the case with every track. There are a couple of things with every track that he’ll be able to point out, and that’s a very valuable thing for me. That’s not something everyone has the opportunity to have. I don’t intend on wasting it, and if I haven’t seen him early on in a weekend, I will seek him out and get those little tidbits he said were going to be the case for every track. But I have a feeling everyone is going to be helpful. And I know it’s definitely not up to them to come to me. It’s about me going to them.”

    Are you excited to participate in the Sprint Unlimited?

    “Being able to do the Sprint Unlimited race is a great bonus for me. Helps us get warmed up for the year, helps us most importantly get warmed up for the Daytona 500, and just get more laps. There’s nothing like racing there. Even practice you don’t – there’s so much on the line that you have to be – you’ve got to be a little bit careful along the way. But when you’re in a race condition, you’re completely 100 percent. So it’ll be good to do that. I’m lucky and fortunate that I’m in it, and it was all because we qualified on the pole for the Daytona 500.”

    What is your comfort level like compared to a year ago?

    “I just feel like I know the car much better than I did at this point last year, have been to all the tracks now, have a general idea of a better way to go about the race weekend. That leads to better results, whether it be qualifying, practice or race, and just what it takes to get there. I think those are the things I learned from last year that make me feel more comfortable going into this year.”

    What did you learn in your first full season of Sprint Cup racing?

    “I would say I really just learned how much commitment it takes and how much attention to detail you need to be competitive. At the Cup level, it is ultra-competitive and people are pushing extremely hard, and you can feel like there’s nothing more you can do, but you have to keep digging deeper and you have to keep that pace up. It seems like we made some progress through the summer last year when we were pushing very hard after we had a struggling start, all of us as a team, and you see progress and then you kind of sit on that, and all of a sudden you get that progress seems to become invisible again. You have to have such an intense commitment to getting better every single day.”

    How was your offseason?

    “It was nice. The season ended and, the next day, Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) and his family and myself and my family, we all went on vacation together. That was probably one of the highlights of it. That was a lot of fun. We went down to the Caribbean for five days and got sunburned and had a good time. That was probably one of the most fun things we did. But I love the offseason for the holidays and I love spending time with family, and we did lots of that.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Last year, short of winning, the GoDaddy team had about as perfect Budweiser Speedweeks as possible. How hard will it be to repeat that?

    “The top priority is to have a smooth Budweiser Speedweeks. I’ve been there multiple times and it’d be a disaster. I’d rather it be a smooth, consistent Speedweeks – be competitive and be fast. If we’re able to get down there and have a shot to repeat and get the pole again, that’s great. Obviously there are no guarantees. We’re going down there with the attitude that we can do it. The mindset is to go down there and try to sit on the pole again. If we can’t sit on the pole, then we’ll do the best we can. We’re in the Sprint Unlimited, too, and that’s a wide-open race for everyone, so there’s no reason to hold back. You need to be aggressive and get what you can.”

    What is your strategy for the Sprint Unlimited?

    “The fans are going to dictate your strategy because they’re going to vote on how long each segment is going to be and when and how we pit, so it’s hard to go in there with any strategy. The fans are going to dictate what you do, so we’re going to have to play that by ear. We have all four Stewart-Haas cars in the Sprint Unlimited and three from Hendrick Motorsports, so we have a decent amount of support this year. It should be pretty exciting.”

    With the Budweiser Duels now at night, does that change your strategy?

    “The only thing that may change is a little bit of aerodynamic changes. The track will probably be a little bit more free at night. So maybe just a little bit of a handling deal that we may have to go through that we normally wouldn’t go through during the day. It’s not going to change too much, though.”

    You and your team have so much experience with the two weeks at Daytona. How important is experience given how grueling the days can be?

    “It’s a stressful time. Especially when you have a two activities in the same three or four days. With qualifying going on and Sprint Unlimited practice and the race, there’s a lot of stuff going on. That first week is really tough to keep everyone focused and not make mistakes and keep everybody calm and make it a smooth weekend. I think where the experience comes in is when you do have problems and you do have setbacks during that first few days. Having a crew that’s experienced and been through that, they know how to rebound from it and they know how to react to adversity. The experience my guys have – they’ve been through about everything you can go through.”

    What are the goals for the GoDaddy team in 2014?

    “I think the biggest thing I want to accomplish is to be a more competitive top-20 racecar. Be able to run in the top-20 more frequently and get better in our qualifying. I know qualifying is going to be a different procedure this year, so I don’t know that you’ll be able to compare last year to this year – we’ll have to wait and see. Our goal is to try and qualify further up in the field, which helps our race program. Qualify better and race in the top-20, that’s our goal.”

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  • Ford EcoBoost 400 Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 17, 2013
    Event: Ford EcoBoost 400 (Round 36 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)}
    Start/Finish: 24th/20th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (646 points)
    Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Champion: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 20th in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    Patrick, who started 24th, twice went a lap down to the leaders. But she rallied both times to return to the lead lap via the “Lucky Dog” rule, which states the first car one lap down when the caution comes out gets its lap back.

    “I’m proud of the GoDaddy guys,” said Patrick, who made her 46th Sprint Cup start and her first at Homestead. “They gave me a good, consistent car that drove well. Tony Gibson (crew chief) made great calls all night, and the pit crew was outstanding, as they always are. The handling and the balance were good all night, and we did a good job of keeping up with the track and changes that needed to be made. It was a solid run for us – a good way to end the year and go into the offseason.”

    Patrick, who was competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished two spots in the race ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 22nd. Patrick finished the season 27th in the point standings with 646 points. She finished runner-up to Stenhouse for 2013 Rookie of the Year title.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 17th. The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 19th.

    Denny Hamlin won the Ford EcoBoost 400 to score his 23rd career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his second at Homestead.

    Matt Kenseth finished .799 of a second behind Hamlin in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 37 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    Newman represented SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and came into the final race of the 10-race Chase in 11th place among the 13 Chase drivers. He ended the season 11th in the standings with 2,286 points.

    This was the sixth Sprint Cup title for Johnson, one shy of the record of seven Sprint Cup championships earned by NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

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  • Ford EcoBoost 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Nov. 12, 2013) – On Friday, Danica Patrick will attend her 46th and final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie meeting. And for the 46th and final time, the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will sport yellow stripes on the rear bumper.

    Come Monday, Nov. 18, Danica Patrick will no longer be a rookie in NASCAR’s top division.

    While the 2013 season was “officially” designated as Patrick’s rookie season, she also drove 10 Sprint Cup races last year for SHR, which meant 46 rookie meetings and 46 races with a yellow rookie stripe.

    Like any rookie season, it’s been a year of highs and lows for Patrick and the GoDaddy team. And the year started off on a high note that prompted several rewrites in the history books.

    Short of winning the 55th Daytona 500, Patrick’s participation in February’s Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway was nearly flawless.

    She was the fastest during the first practice of the year Feb. 16, then backed that up by winning the pole for the Daytona 500 one day later to become the first woman ever to claim the top spot for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. She stayed out of trouble for the remainder of Speedweeks and ran in the top-three for much of the Daytona 500 before dropping from third to eighth on the final lap.

    She set one NASCAR record with her eighth-place finish, which was the highest finishing position ever earned by a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    In addition to her history-making pole run and finish in the Daytona 500, Patrick also led five laps – 90 to 91 and 127 to 129 – becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead Sprint Cup Series laps under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 13 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish this feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Stewart. Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 15 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    Two months later at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Patrick shocked some NASCAR observers with an impressive 12th-place finish at the .526-mile paper-clip oval, known for being especially hard on rookies. It was made more impressive by the fact she started 43rd after an engine change before the race. She looked like a veteran on the shortest track on the circuit which, viewed from the air, looks like a paperclip as its long straightaways lead into tight, flat turns. The racing there can be described as “give-and-take,” with drivers giving some bumps and taking some bumps as 43 cars fight for space on its tight confines.

    None of that seemed to be an issue for Patrick, whose impressive rookie performance bested those of some other name drivers in their Martinsville debuts, most notably her team owner Tony Stewart, who finished 20th in his first Martinsville start in 1999. Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut in 2002. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th in 1984. Dale Jarrett finished 14th in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 26th in 2000. Kyle Busch finished 39th in 2005. Matt Kenseth finished 21st in 2000. Kurt Busch finished 37th in 2000. And Fred Lorenzen finished 24th in 1956.

    Patrick hopes to score another solid finish in Sunday’s 400-mile season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. And then like most of the NASCAR community – take some time off.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve just about completed your first full season in Sprint Cup. What was the biggest transition from IndyCar to the Nationwide Series, and then Nationwide to Sprint Cup?

    “That’s a good question. It was definitely a bigger transition to go from Indy cars to stock cars. It’s just that I was doing it on a smaller platform with the Nationwide Series. I’m really glad that GoDaddy was supportive of the recommended process of getting to Sprint Cup. If I had gone from IndyCar straight to Sprint Cup, it would have been an incredible challenge. I’m appreciative of my partners standing behind the recommended way to do things and to have that patience and belief. Stock cars are definitely a lot different than an IndyCar. Understanding the flow of the races and what the cars do, it was important to have the base of the Nationwide Series experience before going to Cup. It’s still very hard, but it was definitely bigger going in from open wheel.”

    Can you look back on your progress and how it’s been and perhaps where you would like it to be?

    “I feel like the rookie year I’ve had has been actually similar to Nationwide, to be honest. I wasn’t super-fast figuring out how to go fast. When I figured out how to go faster, it was riddled with bad luck, things happening and silly mistakes. Then, come the end of the year, I started to get it together, it did happen. A lot of that happened this year. I’d like to be running better at this point. A couple of weeks ago at Martinsville was definitely a better weekend for us. We’ve been qualifying better at some of the tracks. At Charlotte, by the end of the race, I said I didn’t know what else you could do to make it better other than throwing a couple hundred pounds more downforce on this thing so I could go faster, or 50 pounds or 20 pounds or anything.

    “We have been making improvements but, at the same time, come the end of the year, because we’ve been looking ahead to next year, we’ve also been taking bigger chances. We’re trying different things with the car that we haven’t tested because we need to get ahead for next year. While we’re not throwing away this year, we are using it as a way to get ready for 2014. Those are some things that hadn’t happened at the end of my Nationwide year. It’s been similar but on a slightly diluted level because everyone is so good in Sprint Cup. If we can find our way to the next little level, it’s going to be really competitive and a much more satisfying spot to be in. I can’t tell you where I expected to be. I don’t know. I’ve always said to you guys the last couple of years that everyone learns at a different pace and a different rate. There are going to be times when I do better than you expect, and there are going to be times where I do worse that you expect. That path is going to happen for a couple of years until you can get into a rhythm and know what you’re doing.”

    What have you learned about yourself this year?

    “I always thought I was a patient driver and methodical, and there is a lot of that. But I really realized this year how getting a little overly excited or anxious or frustrated can bite you so hard. We’re that close to the edge all the time. You push that limit and bad things can happen. I’ve found that I’ve had to be more patient than I am normally. That’s one thing that, as far as a personality in the car, that has surprised me a little bit.”

    Are you ready for the season to be over?

    “I’ve always said, I’ll never turn down a little time off. It will be good to get some rest. It’s the longest season I’ve ever done. It’s 40 weeks, with two off weekends. One of those is Easter and one of those I was in a wedding, so I haven’t really had the chance to ‘choose’ what I wanted to do for quite some time (laughs). I’ve said for the last couple of weeks, I’m not tired from the season, I’m tired of the season. It will be nice to get away some and recharge for 2014.”

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  • AdvoCare 500k Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 10, 2013
    Event: AdvoCare 500k (Round 35 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 32nd/33rd (Running, completed 302 of 312 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (622 points)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 33rd after being involved in an accident on lap 146 of the AdvoCare 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

    Patrick, who started 32nd, battled a loose-handling racecar early in the event and then was caught in an accident not of her making at the midway point of the race.

    “It was a tough day all around,” said Patrick, who made her 45th Sprint Cup start and her third at Phoenix. “We started out pretty loose and got down a lap early. Then obviously we got caught up in the accident. Someone spun in front of me, and there was so much smoke I started to check up, and all of a sudden my car got hit from behind. It tore the back of the car up pretty good. It’s disappointing, but the GoDaddy guys did a good job of fixing it as best they could so we could finish. It’s tough to have a day like this, especially with a lot of people from GoDaddy here watching. Obviously, we wanted to put a better performance on for them. We’ll go to Homestead and see if we can have a good run to end the season.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 21 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 12th. Patrick fell two spots to 27th in the point standings and has 622 points.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 10th. The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 15th.

    Kevin Harvick won the AdvoCare 500k to score his 23rd career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his fourth at Phoenix.

    Kasey Kahne finished 1.796 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five. Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 49 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 312-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup and entered the ninth race of the 10-race Chase 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 118 points behind Chase leader Johnson. Newman leaves Phoenix in 11th, 125 points behind Johnson, who is 28 points ahead of second-place Kenseth.

    Just one race remains before a champion is crowned following the Ford EcoBoost 400 Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Heading into the season finale, the top-13 Chase drivers rank as follows, with only Johnson, Kenseth and Harvick eligible for the title.

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  • AdvoCare 500k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Nov. 5, 2013) – Danica Patrick knows she’s made a name for herself at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. It is those two tracks were she’s enjoyed her biggest career moments.

    The story is well told – in seven Indianapolis 500 starts, Patrick finished in the top-10 six times, including a third-place result in 2009, the best finish ever for a woman in the historic race. At Daytona, Patrick won the pole for the February 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and then, one year later, became the first woman ever to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole by taking the top spot for the 55th Daytona 500. She went on to finish eighth in the Daytona 500, the best result ever for a woman in the history of the race.

    Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., is another track close to Patrick’s heart as she grew up in Roscoe, Ill., about 116 miles north and west of the 1.5-mile oval.

    If there’s a fourth track that important to Patrick, it’s Phoenix International Raceway, the mile oval that will celebrate its 50th year of competition in 2014. Patrick owns a home in Scottsdale, Ariz., but more importantly, the region is home to Patrick’s longtime sponsor, GoDaddy, the Web’s largest platform for small businesses.

    GoDaddy and Patrick have been together since 2007 and navigated Patrick’s transition from IndyCar to NASCAR. In addition, Patrick has appeared in a record 12 Super Bowl commercials for GoDaddy, and it was recently announced that Patrick will participate in a 13th spot in February’s broadcast of the game on FOX. GoDaddy will air two spots during the game with Patrick appearing in one of them.

    With that as a backdrop, Patrick hopes to put on a good show for the many GoDaddy executives, employees and customers who will be in attendance at Sunday’s AdvoCare 500k Sprint Cup race at Phoenix.

    And while she wants to run well for GoDaddy, she also wants to build momentum heading into the offseason, which is rapidly approaching. After Phoenix, only the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway remains.

    But before the season finale, “It’s Go Time,” for Patrick and GoDaddy at Phoenix.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts heading into Phoenix?

    “We had a good run there last fall and got wrecked on the last lap. We were OK in the spring and cut a tire midway through and wrecked. I think it’d be nice to get out of Phoenix without destroying a racecar (laughs). Both accidents did a lot of damage to the cars so, to go the distance and finish clean would be a good thing (laughs). I feel good about it. I’ve always liked Phoenix. Tony (Gibson, crew chief) has won some races there and knows how to set up a car for that place. So I feel confident going in. I’m looking forward to it.”

    You have a house in the Phoenix area and GoDaddy is based out there, as well. How big of a weekend is this for you?

    “It’s a real big weekend. I’ve got a lot of friends out there and my family is coming out, as well. And I’ll be doing a lot at GoDaddy headquarters on Wednesday and Thursday. It will be nice to see everyone and chat with them and see the latest and greatest of what they’re doing. Blake (Irving, CEO) has done some amazing things since taking over and I really like where they’re headed. They’ve been so supportive of me for so many years – I’m really lucky to have them in my corner. It’s fun to meet with the executives and the employees and hear what’s going on. I go in and want to see what they’re doing and they want to ask me what’s going on with racing, so it’s a fun weekend for me and for them. I know we’ll have a lot of support on Sunday and that means quite a bit.”

    It was announced you’ll be in another Super Bowl commercial for GoDaddy. Talk about that.

    “Their creative is very important, as is their marketing campaign and, in particular, their Super Bowl commercial. I was really happy last year when they had me and I’m very happy to be in it again. I don’t necessarily see these Super Bowl commercials as a specific change in philosophy. That has kind of been happening for a little while as we saw the rollout of the Jean-Claude Van Damme series of commercials and social media pictures of him doing splits and things. The problem is that not a lot of people knew what GoDaddy did outside of just domain names. It was smart to expand on that and, in particular, help the small businesses of America grow and have that platform to, in GoDaddy’s words, ‘kick ass.’”

    You ran well at Martinsville in the spring and again two weeks ago. It’s a track that is usually really challenging for rookies. Any idea why that tough track seems to fit your style of driving?

    “There are two things. I think that Tony Gibson (crew chief) has traditionally had good cars there. We had a really good test at Little Rock at the beginning of the year before we went to Martinsville. That really gave us a good base setup that I felt comfortable with because every driver is a little bit different. Beyond that, I think it’s a track where it’s a lot about rhythm, patience and discipline. It’s very easy there, after 20 laps, to blow the entry and have mistakes. It was catastrophic to get into the marbles 1.5 lanes up. Limiting those mistakes was how I moved up so much. I think, between those two things, that’s what has been working at Martinsville. Then, I don’t know, maybe I’m just OK there.”

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  • AAA Texas 500 Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 3, 2013
    Event: AAA Texas 500 (Round 34 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 30th/25th (Running, completed 331 of 334 laps)
    Point Standing: 25th (611 points)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 25th in the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    Patrick, who started 30th, battled a loose-handling racecar early in the event. But as the ambient temperature dropped, her car began to experience a tight-handling condition later in the event.

    “From where we unloaded on Friday, we actually made a lot of gains throughout the weekend,” said Patrick, who made her 44th Sprint Cup start and her third at Texas. “Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy guys really worked hard this weekend and made some huge gains on the setup. We never quite got it, but we certainly made progress. We were loose early on, but then as it got cooler, it definitely tightened up. I’m proud of how hard everyone worked all weekend and throughout the race. Everyone kept their head up and worked hard to get it better. The pit crew, as usual, was outstanding. I think they did an 11.7 (second) stop at one point. I’m excited to get to Phoenix next week. GoDaddy is based out there, so it’s a big race for us.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished nine spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 16th. Patrick climbed three spots to 25th in the standings with 611 points.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Outback Chevrolet SS, finished ninth. The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 11th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the AAA Texas 500 to score his 66th career Sprint Cup victory, his sixth of the season and his third at Texas. Johnson led 255 laps, the second-highest amount in Texas history behind Stewart, who led 278 circuits en route to victory Nov. 5, 2006.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 4.390 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Newman and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 26 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 334-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup and entered the eighth race of the 10-race Chase 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 106 points behind Chase leaders Kenseth and Johnson, who were tied for the point lead. Newman leaves Texas still in 12th, 118 points behind Johnson, who is seven points ahead of second-place Kenseth.

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  • 'It's Go Time' For GoDaddy Super Bowl

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 31, 2013) -- For a 10th year-in-a-row, GoDaddy is in the Super Bowl commercial line-up. The Web's largest platform for small businesses has purchased two thirty-second spots, one in each half of the game to be broadcast on FOX February 2. At least one of the two spots will feature Danica Patrick, who has already been in more Super Bowl commercials than any other celebrity.

    Creative details and storylines are not yet being revealed, however, GoDaddy is confirming what won't be in the new commercials -- risqué innuendo. GoDaddy's marketing has evolved with the company's overall transformation under new CEO Blake Irving, who is committed to maintaining GoDaddy's edge, but in a way that speaks inclusively to the customer base and demonstrates the value the company provides to small businesses and entrepreneurs. "The Super Bowl ad strategy allows us to have fun and be edgy, and demonstrate how we help the little guy kick ass," Irving said. "2014 marks a new era for GoDaddy Super Bowl commercials."

    The new Super Bowl spots are being produced by Deutsch New York, the same agency that helped GoDaddy re-launch its brand last September with the "It's Go Time" campaign featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme as the "kick ass" inspiration inside every small business owner.

    The new approach comes after months of extensive research, customer segmentation analysis, customer surveys and employee input from every corner of the company. GoDaddy's dramatic shift is about much more than advertising. Since taking over as CEO in January, Irving has reshaped GoDaddy through strategic technology hires, acquisitions and product improvements all aimed at helping small business owners and entrepreneurs leverage the power of the Internet.

    One Spot to Feature Danica Patrick

    As a woman thriving in a male-dominated sport, Danica Patrick is an inspiration for many women and very much a part of the evolving GoDaddy brand. She's been a GoDaddy spokesperson for nearly seven years, well before making history as a race car driver in both IndyCar and NASCAR. "I love what's going on at GoDaddy. Since our last Super Bowl, I've been to the new Silicon Valley office and talked with customers who are genuinely grateful for how GoDaddy helps them grow their businesses online. GoDaddy is for the go getter, the 'little guy' looking to compete with the 'big guys' and I love that," Danica said.

    GoDaddy employs more than 4,000 people and opened new offices this year in technology hubs like the Bay Area and the Seattle area. The company serves 12 million paying customers from all over the world, most of whom are very small business owners. People running their own business have a special appreciation for GoDaddy's brand of personalized telephone support, which routinely earns Net Promoter Scores on par, or better, than Nordstrom, Zappos, Apple and Amazon.

    "Hitting the decade mark with our Super Bowl advertising is a milestone worth celebrating, it's a new beginning and we're celebrating the go getter," said GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman. "We're back where we started, on Fox, where our first commercial aired in '05. It was actually our first TV ad of any kind. It spoofed the infamous wardrobe malfunction and drove a whole lot of media attention, which was great for a young company starting out. Now, we've matured. We've evolved. Our new brand of Super Bowl commercials will make it crystal clear what we do and who we stand for. We may be changing our approach, but as we've always said, we don't care what the critics think. We are all about our customers."

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  • AAA Texas 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (October 30, 2013) – Of all the tracks Danica Patrick has competed at, she is most associated with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    In seven Indianapolis 500 starts, Patrick finished in the top-10 six times, including a third-place result in 2009, the best finish ever for a woman in the historic race. At Daytona, Patrick won the pole for the February 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and then, one year later, became the first woman ever to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole by taking the top spot for the 55th Daytona 500. She went on to finish eighth in the Daytona 500, the best result ever for a woman in the history of the race.

    But while Indianapolis and Daytona have provided plenty of good memories for Patrick, it’s Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, site of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race, that has provided the most experience.

    Of all the tracks where Patrick will compete in 2013, she has the most starts at Texas, having driven in 14 major-league races – two Sprint Cup, four Nationwide Series, and eight in the IZOD IndyCar Series. And it’s a track she’s taken a liking to in all three divisions.

    In last November’s Sprint Cup race at Texas, Patrick started 32nd and finished 24th. It was, at the time, her best career Sprint Cup finish and it came in her first race with Tony Gibson as her crew chief. In her four Nationwide Series races, Patrick has three top-15 finishes, including an eighth-place result in April 2012. In Patrick’s eight IndyCar Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval, she has five top-10 finishes, including a third-place result in June 2007 and second-place finish in June 2010.

    Patrick enters Texas after a solid race last week at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, where she started 41st and finished 17th. The result came after an accident during practice Friday that forced her to a backup car – a machine that had last been used June 14, 2011, when Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton drove it at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International as part of Mobil 1’s “Seat Swap.” Hamilton drove Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet for four laps and Stewart drove the McLaren MP4-23 Hamilton used to win the 2008 Formula 1 title.

    The GoDaddy team is hoping its strong recovery at Martinsville will propel Patrick to strong runs in the final three races of the season at Texas, Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You have a lot of experience at Texas and you seem to really enjoy racing there. Why is that?

    “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. 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.”

    Talk about last weekend 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 there 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. I’m just really thankful to have a road crew and a pit crew that works so hard, as well as everyone back at SHR. People have no idea how much effort went into last weekend after the crash to get a backup car prepared and then a third car prepared back at SHR just in case. The guys worked so hard and I really appreciate that.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (continued):

    What is your favorite memory of racing at Texas?

    “The Dan Weldon/Danica Patrick boxing duo promotion coming off of (the) Milwaukee (IndyCar race in 2007). That was probably my favorite. I also just about won in 2009. It was (Ryan) Briscoe and I on the last stop. I came out in front of him, but I just didn’t have the speed and he went around me. But I almost won that race. That was a good night.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about the effort the GoDaddy team put into last weekend’s race at Martinsville.

    “I’m really proud of all the hard work from everyone on the GoDaddy team all weekend. 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. She drove a smart race. And I’m proud of what our pit crew did in the pits.”

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  • Goody's 500 Race-Report

    Date: Oct. 27, 2013
    Event: Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 (Round 33 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 41st /17th (Running, completed 499 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (592 points)
    Winner: Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick delivered a solid performance in the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, patiently marching her way from a 41st starting position to a 17th-place finish.

    Patrick’s run was even more impressive because she did it behind the wheel of a backup No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) that had not seen action since 2011.

    “I’m really proud of what our GoDaddy team accomplished today,” said Patrick, who finished 12th in the spring at Martinsville, her only other start at the .526-mile, paperclip-shaped oval. “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.”

    Patrick’s weekend at the Virginia short track didn’t get off to a good start. Just minutes into opening practice Friday, Patrick wheel-hopped her pink No. 10 Chevy, causing it to spin, hit the wall and heavily damage the rear of the car. The team was forced to pull out the backup car – a machine that had last been used June 14, 2011 when Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton drove it at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International as part of Mobil 1’s “Seat Swap” where Hamilton drove Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet for four laps and Stewart drove the McLaren MP4-23 Hamilton used to win the 2008 Formula One title.

    With just a handful of laps in Friday’s practice on her backup car, Patrick qualified 41st. Despite starting in the back of the field at a track where it is difficult to pass, Patrick and her GoDaddy team were confident they could produce a similar outcome as they did in the spring when Patrick drove from 43rd to 12th place.

    Patrick fell one lap down to the leaders by lap 50, but thanks to her team’s efforts in the pits and her work on the track, she put herself in position to earn the Lucky Dog free pass and get her lap back when the caution flag waved at lap 217.

    From there, Patrick drove an impressive race, moving as high as 10th at one point in the 500-lap event. She finished 17th, her eighth top-20 result of the season.

    “I’m really proud of all the hard work from everyone on the GoDaddy team all weekend,” crew chief Tony Gibson said. “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.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 14 spots ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 31st. Patrick remains 28th in the point standings and has 592 points.

    Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Stewart, finished 36th. Martin was running 14th when he was collected by a spinning Kurt Busch on lap 204 that inflicted heavy damage to the right-front corner of Martin’s Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy. The crew made repairs and sent Martin back onto the racetrack, albeit 45 laps down.

    Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 State Water Heaters Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 38th. Newman ran as high as third before being tagged by Kevin Harvick on lap 319. The contact sent Newman backward into the turn one wall, causing extensive damage that sent Newman to the garage for lengthy repairs. He eventually returned to the track, 68 laps down.

    Jeff Gordon won the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 to score his 88th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his eighth at Martinsville. His victory clinched the 2013 manufacturer’s title for Chevrolet, the brand’s 37th in the Sprint Cup Series and 11th in a row.

    Matt Kenseth finished .605 of a second behind Gordon in the runner-up spot, while Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 17 caution periods for 111 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the eighth race of the 10-race Chase – is the AAA 500 Nov. 3 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race begins at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 2 p.m.

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  • Sequential Brands Group Announces Danica Patrick as Brand Ambassador for REVO Eyewear

    NASCAR Racing Star to Ring The NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell With Sequential Brands Group Today

    NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sequential Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:SQBG) ("Sequential" or the "Company"), announced today that NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick will partner with Sequential to promote its performance brand REVO.

    Patrick is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world and drives the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet in the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series — the premier form of motorsports in North America. Danica will be wearing REVO both on and off the track and will be featured in upcoming brand campaigns. She will be involved in the product development process and is lending her extensive experience with eyewear to add her unique design aesthetic for the 2014 collection. In addition, she will be featured in the Spring 2014 advertising and marketing campaign, and featured throughout REVO's social media platforms.

    "REVO is an incredible brand known for its innovative technology and crystal clear lenses," stated Danica Patrick. "I am honored to be an ambassador for such a renowned brand, and I'm eager to celebrate this new partnership with Sequential by ringing the opening bell of NASDAQ together with them today."

    Sequential Brands Group began trading on the NASDAQ Capital Market on September 24, 2013, and in celebration of its new listing, was invited to participate in the opening ceremony bell ringing scheduled for this morning at 9:30 ET.

    Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of Sequential, stated, "We are thrilled to celebrate our recent listing on NASDAQ by ringing the opening bell with our friend and partner Danica Patrick. Today marks a major milestone in Sequential's evolution into a leading global Brand Management organization."

    Founded in 1985, REVO quickly became a global performance eyewear brand known as the leader in polarized lens technology. REVO sunglasses were first created by utilizing lens technology developed by NASA as solar protection for satellites. Nearly three decades later, REVO continues to build on its rich tradition of technology and innovation by offering the clearest and most advanced high-contrast polarized sunglasses available. Designed for the active consumer, the REVO eyewear collection is available at Sunglass Hut stores and other premium retail locations worldwide.

    REVO was acquired by Sequential in July 2013 and is the fourth brand to be added to the company's portfolio within the past year and the seventh overall.

    ABOUT SEQUENTIAL BRANDS GROUP, INC.

    Sequential Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:SQBG) owns, promotes, markets, and licenses a portfolio of consumer brands that presently include William Rast®, People's Liberation®, DVS®, Heelys®, Caribbean Joe®, Ellen Tracy® and Revo®. Sequential seeks to ensure that its brands continue to thrive and grow by employing strong brand management, design and marketing teams. Sequential has licensed and intends to license its brands in a variety of consumer categories to retailers, wholesalers and distributors in the United States and in certain international territories. For more information, please visit Sequential's corporate website at: www.sequentialbrandsgroup.com.

     

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  • Goody's 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 23, 2013) – When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series headed to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April, history was going to be made no matter how Danica Patrick finished.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), etched her name in the record books by being the first female driver to compete in a Sprint Cup race at the .526-mile oval. And what a history Martinsville has considering it opened for business in 1947, two years before NASCAR was formed. Every NASCAR champion has raced there and the Sprint Cup Series has conducted events at Martinsville twice a year since 1950.

    But Patrick did more than drive in the April race. She surprised many NASCAR observers with a solid 12th -place result – made more impressive by the fact she started 43rd after an engine change before the race. She looked like a veteran on the shortest track on the circuit which, viewed from the air, looks like a paperclip as its long straightaways lead into tight, flat turns. The racing there can be described as “give-and-take,” with drivers giving some bumps and taking some bumps as 43 cars fight for space on its tight confines.

    None of that seemed to be an issue for Patrick, whose impressive rookie performance bested those of some other name drivers in their Martinsville debuts, most notably her team owner Tony Stewart, who finished 20th in his first Martinsville start in 1999. Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut in 2002. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th in 1984. Dale Jarrett finished 14th in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 26th in 2000. Kyle Busch finished 39th in 2005. Matt Kenseth finished 21st in 2000. Kurt Busch finished 37th in 2000. And Fred Lorenzen finished 24th in 1956.

    Nearly six months after Patrick’s Martinsville debut, she hopes to enjoy the same – if not more – success in her second trip to the historic track for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500. She and crew chief Tony Gibson will utilize the same chassis, No. 10-535, in their efforts to earn another solid result.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about going from the biggest track on the circuit, Talladega, to Martinsville, the smallest track on the circuit.

    “Two extremes going from Talladega to the short track. I had a great car in the spring at Martinsville, so the challenge for me this time around will be to not downshift from fourth to third when I come out of the pits and over-rev the engine (in practice) and have to start from the back and, in general, just have a better qualifying run so I can start further up and work from there. 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.”

    You had a great run in the spring at Martinsville. Talk about that.

    “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. He’s a great crew chief. And my car was pretty good all day. We kind of bounced around from being a little loose to a little tight, but we got the GoDaddy Chevy back up 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.”

    This is the first year for the Gen-6 Chevrolet SS. Talk about the new style of car for NASCAR and how you feel it has performed this year.

    “I think it’s been a successful year for the car. I feel like there have been very few issues. It’s just a different balance of a car. I think it suited some driving styles better than others, probably, but I think it really comes down to, as we felt and saw as a team to start the year off, that you’ve got to bring the best cars possible. I feel like we started a little bit behind but have rapidly throughout the year been learning and understanding the car better and better. What is hard is everyone else does that, too, to some degree, but I think it’s going to give us a lot of knowledge going into the offseason for what we need to work on to arrive with better cars next year.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve been racing in the Sprint Cup Series for a long time. Talk about the historic significance of Martinsville.

    “It’s one of those places where there’s a lot of history. It’s like Darlington, where it’s been around forever. It makes or breaks a lot of racecar drivers. When you go into a place like that, you don’t want it to be a bad experience. You want to have a positive experience and be part of the history, not part of the negative history. I enjoy going there and racing where some of the greats have raced.”

    Talk about Danica’s race in the spring at Martinsville.

    “I never dreamed it would go that well. I knew after Saturday and Friday that we had a good GoDaddy Chevrolet. I knew she was capable of doing it speed-wise and as far as driving. To be able to go through all that beating and banging and survive and finish 12th was unbelievable. I knew that with 30 laps to go the restarts were going to get more and more aggressive, and that’s why I told her it’s not going to get any easier. I was really, really happy to see how aggressive she got. You know, being able to be on the defensive. They would bump her and she wouldn’t get flustered. I was really, really impressed with that. That was the biggest thing I was nervous about – how she would do in a situation like that. It helped her gain some confidence.”

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  • Camping World RV Sales 500 Post-Report

    Date: Oct. 20, 2013
    Event: Camping World RV Sales 500 (Round 32 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 23rd/33rd (Running, completed 187 of 188 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (565 points)
    Winner: Jamie McMurray of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished a disappointing 33rd in the Camping World RV Sales 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala) Superspeedway.

    Patrick was in the top-10 for much of the race, but a mistake on her final pit stop ended any chance of a good finish for the GoDaddy team.

    Due to the nature of restrictor-plate racing at Talladega and its sister track, Daytona (Fla) International Speedway, green flag pit stops are challenging for drivers, crew chiefs and spotters. The majority of the 43-car field is in a tight pack, using the “draft” of other cars to maintain the maximum speed possible. If a car is removed from the draft, it quickly loses pace with the lead cars and cannot make up the difference alone.

    Because of this, teams work with other teams to pit on the same lap so the cars always have drafting partners to work with once they resume racing. Often when the lead car in the draft heads to pit road, the cars behind will attempt to follow to ensure they stay in a group.

    Patrick was in the middle of the draft on the high side of the racetrack on lap 161 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.

    Unfortunately, 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. “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.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 30 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed third. Patrick remains 28th in the point standings and has 565 points.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 WIX Filters Chevrolet SS, started 17th and finished ninth. The third member of SHR, Austin Dillon, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, started 16th and finished 26th.

    Jamie McMurray won the Camping World RV Sales 500 to score his seventh career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his second at Talladega.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second behind McMurray under caution, while Stenhouse, Paul Menard and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. David Ragan, David Gilliland, Martin Truex Jr., Newman and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were three caution periods for 10 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 188-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the sixth race of the 10-race Chase 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 78 points behind Chase leader Matt Kenseth. Newman leaves Talladega in 11th, 72 points behind new Chase leader Jimmie Johnson. Johnson holds a four-point lead over Kenseth with just four races remaining.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the seventh race of the 10-race Chase – is the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Oct. 27 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.

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  • Danica Patrick All Smiles About New Look, Partnership with Aspen Dental

    TALLADEGA, Ala. – Danica Patrick is giving NASCAR fans another reason to smile with the addition of Aspen Dental as primary sponsor of the No. 10 team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) for two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races beginning in 2014. Patrick will take to the track in the fresh, new blue-and-white No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS March 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Aug. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    Based in Syracuse, N.Y., Aspen Dental is one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the United States.

    “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. “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.”

    “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, president and CEO of Aspen Dental Management, Inc. “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.”

    “Danica is incredibly focused and driven to succeed, and that includes delivering for her partners,” said Tony Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “She’ll be a great ambassador for Aspen Dental, and Stewart-Haas Racing will continue to help Aspen Dental remain one of the most successful and progressive organizations in dentistry.”

    Aspen Dental has more than 400 locations in 27 states, with nearly 5,000 dentists and team members focused on helping patients get the care they need by offering a full range of quality dental and denture services, from preventive care to general dentistry to restoration.

    GoDaddy will continue to serve as the primary sponsor for Patrick and the No. 10 team at all other Sprint Cup races. When not serving as primary sponsor, Aspen Dental will be an associate sponsor with placement on the B-post and lower-rear quarter panel of the No. 10 Chevrolet, with additional placement on the upper chest of Patrick’s uniform.

    Patrick is currently a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series, but she’s been a motorsports mainstay since May 2005 when she led 19 laps and finished fourth in her first Indianapolis 500 – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five in the historic race. In April 2008, Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series with her victory in the IndyCar Series event at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan. In February 2013, Patrick won the pole for the Daytona 500 and began her rookie season in the elite Sprint Cup Series by leading twice for five laps before finishing eighth. It was a record-breaking performance as Patrick became the first woman to win a pole, and her eighth-place finish is the highest finishing position for a woman in the “Great American Race”. By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined a select group of only 13 drivers who have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500.

    About Aspen Dental:

    Aspen Dental is one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the U.S. with more than 400 practices in communities across 27 states, providing millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable dental care. Every Aspen Dental practice offers a full range of dental and denture services – including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work.

    In 2012, Aspen Dental-branded practices recorded nearly 2.6 million patient visits and welcomed more than 550,000 new patients. The dentists and staff at Aspen Dental practices have a deep commitment to patient satisfaction, and every Aspen Dental office is accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

    Aspen Dental practices are supported by Aspen Dental Management, Inc., a dental services organization that provides non-clinical business services to licensed, independent dentists.

    To learn more about Aspen Dental practices and services preview the Aspen Dental patient experience, get answers to general treatment questions, find a location, and schedule appointments, visit www.AspenDental.com. To learn more about careers at Aspen Dental, visit www.AspenDentalJobs.com.

    About Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The team fields three entries in the elite Sprint Cup Series – the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart, the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for 2008 Daytona 500 and 2013 Brickyard 400 winner Ryan Newman, and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Danica Patrick. Based in Kannapolis, N.C., Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 140,000-square-foot facility with more than 200 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing and follow on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng.

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  • Camping World RV Sales 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 16, 2013) – Danica Patrick freely admits she enjoys the style of racing that takes place at restrictor-plate tracks like Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

    So it’s no surprise that Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is looking forward to the fourth and final restrictor-plate race of the season – Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega.

    Patrick is hoping to replicate her success from the season-opening Daytona 500.

    She was the fastest during the first practice of the year Feb. 16, then backed that up by winning the pole for the Daytona 500 one day later to become the first woman ever to claim the top spot for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. She stayed out of trouble for the remainder of Speedweeks and ran in the top-three for much of the Daytona 500 before dropping from third to eighth on the final lap.

    She rewrote some of the NASCAR record book en route to her eighth-place finish, which is the highest finishing position ever by a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    In addition to her history-making pole run and finish in the Daytona 500, Patrick also led five laps – 90 to 91 and 127 to 129 – to become the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead Sprint Cup Series laps under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 13 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish the feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Stewart. Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 15 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    One thing that should make Patrick quite happy this weekend is that she’ll be driving Chassis 10-758, the same car she used for the Daytona 500. She also used the car in the May race at Talladega but finished just 28th after being involved in a multi-car accident late in the race. Since then, the car has been repaired and tested in the wind tunnel.

    And Patrick is hoping that car will help her make history on Sunday.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    A lot of drivers don’t look forward to Talladega. Are you looking forward to racing there?

    “The reason they don’t look forward to it is exactly why I do, because someone like me has more of a shot there, just like everybody else. So, they’re in the Chase and have run really well and been fast all year. So, when we get on more traditional tracks, that’s where they’re going to fall into place more often than not. But with superspeedways, it’s a toss-up what’s going to happen. So, that’s why it’s fun for me because somebody like me has a chance. On top of that, Stewart-Haas superspeedway cars are really good. Hopefully it will be one of the good days at the end of the year.”

    Are you more ready to win a race on a superspeedway than you were at the beginning of the year?

    “I feel more comfortable. 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. I’ve lost the draft and that’s not good, either. But I was ready at the beginning of the year. I think, as a racecar driver, when you get to this level, you’re ready for anything that comes at you. But as I said at the beginning of the season coming from Daytona, you have to at least know what your car can do to get a run and get by somebody. I’m more apt to practice that now in practice and in the race.”

    You’ve always liked going to Talladega. Why is that?

    “The fans really make that place. The campgrounds – all that stuff makes it one big party. You see how much fun the fans are having and that makes it fun for us as drivers. It’s just a unique place. The sheer size of the facility is amazing. I liked it from the first time I first went there and, hopefully, we can have a good run and a good finish.”

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  • Bank of America 500 Post-Report

    Date: Oct. 12, 2013
    Event: Bank of America 500 (Round 31 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 35th/20th (Running, completed 332 of 334 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (554 points)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Penske Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 20th in the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, who started 35th, overcame an incident on pit road early in the race which caused minimal damage to her racecar and dropped her to as low as 38th in the running order. Patrick was entering her pit stall under caution at lap 26 when she was tagged in the left-rear fender by Paul Menard, who was exiting his stall. The contact turned Patrick, facing the wrong way on pit road. So her crew improvised and changed her right-side tires while she was backward in her pit box. Patrick then turned around on pit road and returned to the racetrack. She came to pit road a second time for left-side tires and to repair the minimal damage to the car’s left-rear fender before restarting the race at lap 30.

    Despite that rocky start, Patrick and her GoDaddy team didn’t give up. Patrick battled through a tight-handling condition early in the running of the race, but her feedback and her team’s adjustments at each stop helped improve the handling of the GoDaddy Chevrolet throughout the course of the race. Despite having a good handling and quick racecar as the night wore on, Patrick couldn’t make up the track position and finished 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 just because how tough it is to run in traffic and as a result pass,” said Patrick, who made her 41st Sprint Cup start and her third at Charlotte. “It really was just a little tight the first couple of runs and then man, I don’t know what else we could have done to fix the balance. 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.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished seven spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 13th. Patrick remains 28th in the point standings and has 554 points.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished eighth. The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 42nd.

    Brad Keselowski won the Bank of America 500 to score his 10th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Charlotte.

    Kasey Kahne finished 1.022 seconds behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Newman, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 20 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the fifth race of the 10-race Chase 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 73 points behind Chase leader Kenseth. Newman leaves Charlotte still in 12th, 78 points behind Kenseth.

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  • Bank of America 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 9, 2013) – Danica Patrick splits her time between Scottsdale, Ariz., Chicago and Charlotte, N.C., when not residing in her motorhome during one of the 38 race weekends that comprises the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

    Even though she’s spent plenty of time in Charlotte this season, this week’s Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway isn’t exactly a “home” race for her like events at Phoenix International Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., or even Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    For her GoDaddy crew however, Charlotte is a home game and a valuable one at that. For, given that the race is scheduled for Saturday night, it will offer the rare chance for crewmembers to enjoy a short drive home and an entire Sunday away from the racing world.

    While nearly all of Patrick’s crew resides in or around Charlotte, many of them also grew up there. All told, eight GoDaddy crewmembers were raised in North or South Carolina, so this week’s race is understandably more meaningful than others.

    As was the case last weekend at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will be predominantly pink in support of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    Following up on its $50,000 donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation along with the Public Interest Registry, GoDaddy’s “Round-Up for Charity” lets customers round up their purchase to the nearest dollar with proceeds going to the foundation. GoDaddy is also donating a portion of proceeds from sales at Patrick’s merchandise trailer throughout the month of October.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    This is your third Sprint Cup start at Charlotte. What are your thoughts on this weekend’s race?

    “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. It’s fun for me at Charlotte because a lot of the crews have young kids, so it’s fun to meet them and see them around the hauler during the race weekend. It’s just a bit of a different experience than a lot of the tracks we go to.”

    The season is coming to a close. What are your thoughts as you enter the final six races?

    “What enters my mind when I think about this season and it coming to an end is not that I want it to just get over with. I want it to end well, that’s all. Even if you can just have one or two good races at the end of a season where it’s been up and down and a lot of down, and especially being a rookie season, that’s a good way to end. I feel like we’ve made improvements through the year and I definitely learned a lot. But we started off a little behind and made improvements during the summer. And I feel like we’ve fallen a little bit behind again. It’s hard. The Sprint Cup Series is hard. Everybody is pushing and everybody works so much and so hard that it’s just difficult. That’s what makes it so gratifying when you do well.”

    Your car is pink once again this weekend. Talk about GoDaddy’s efforts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    “GoDaddy has replaced the normal ‘GoDaddy Green’ color on my car with the color pink for the entire month of October, which is really cool. GoDaddy and the Public Interest Registry made a $50,000 donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and their ‘Round-Up for Charity’ promotion lets customers round up their purchase to the nearest dollar with proceeds going to National Breast Cancer Foundation. Plus, a portion of proceeds from sales at my merchandise trailer at the racetrack throughout the month of October will be donated. I’ve met survivors and their passion, strength and the fight they have is really inspirational. And getting the message out there is important. I have a friend from high school who took the breast cancer gene test six or seven years ago and it was positive, so she decided to have a double mastectomy. We’ve all been affected by it in some way or through someone we know, so it’s important to raise awareness and that’s why I’m proud to be a part of what GoDaddy is doing.”

    The movie Rush has been very popular since its recent release. Have you had a chance to see it?

    “I did see the movie, Rush. I didn’t know the story. I had heard of both of the drivers (James Hunt and Niki Lauda) before, for sure, but I didn’t know the story at all. It was a fascinating story come the end of the movie. I thought it was a really good racing movie. I think it’s always hard to portray exactly what’s happening when you’re, like, taking cockpit shots and things like that, but I thought it was pretty good. I thought it was done really well. It was a very interesting story and kind of a sad story in the end, I guess. But it was really cool. It’s always fun as someone who is in racing to see a movie about racing be done so well and be done with such great actors and by such a great director. So, it’s cool.”

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  • Hollywood Casino 400 Post-Report

    Date: Oct. 6, 2013
    Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 30 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 29th/43rd (Accident, completed 0 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (530 points, 21 behind 27th)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was involved in a first-lap accident and finished a disappointing 43rd in the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

    Patrick, who started 29th, spun in turn one and her car made hard contact with the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall between turns one and two. She was checked and released without injury from the infield medical center, but her car was too damaged to continue.

    “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 so – I said that before the race even – I said make sure that we’re on top of who is on my door and who is behind me. And I knew all that was going to be happening on the start. 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.”

    While Patrick was the first, she certainly wasn’t the only driver who was involved in an accident as there was a track-record 15 cautions for 71 laps. Most of the cautions were for accidents similar to Patrick’s.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 13 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 30th. She remained 28th in the point standings and has 530 points, 21 behind 27th-place David Ragan.

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Mark Martin, interim driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 22nd.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Code 3 Associates Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 35th after being involved in an accident on lap 137. His car was able to be repaired but he completed only 188 of 267 laps.

    Kevin Harvick won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his 22nd career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Kansas.

    Kurt Busch finished 1.14 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot while Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    In addition to the track-record 15 caution periods for 71 laps, nine drivers failed to finish the 267-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the fourth race of the 10-race Chase seventh among the 13 Chase drivers, 48 points behind Chase leader Matt Kenseth. Newman leaves Kansas in 12th, 73 points behind Kenseth.

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  • Hollywood Casino 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 2, 2013) – In the spirit of breast cancer awareness, Danica Patrick is trading green for pink for the month of October.

    Her iconic green No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will be pink for upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    The car was unveiled in New York City alongside the pink Chevrolet Camaro SS that served as the pace car for last month’s Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and will also pace the field at Talladega and Martinsville.

    Following up on a $50,000 donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation along with the Public Interest Registry, GoDaddy’s “Round-up for Charity” lets customers round their purchase up to the nearest dollar with proceeds going to the foundation. In addition, GoDaddy is also donating a portion of proceeds from sales at Patrick’s merchandise trailer throughout the month of October.

    Chevrolet will donate $200 for every lap the pink Chevrolet Camaro SS leads the field under caution for the Atlanta, Talladega and Martinsville races. Since 2011, more than $2.2 million has been raised for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative. In addition to the pink pace car program, the activities have included dealership walks, national test drive promotions and national service rebate promotions.

    The pink No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS takes to the track for the first time for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 Sprint Cup race at Kansas.

    Patrick scored her first career IndyCar Series pole at the 1.5-mile oval in July 2005 and has three top-10 results in IndyCar Series competition at Kansas. In addition, she finished in the top-15 in each of her two Nationwide Series starts at the track in 2011 and 2012.

    Perhaps a little pink will provide good results for Patrick – while raising awareness for a very important cause.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about your trip to New York City Tuesday with GoDaddy and Chevrolet to raise awareness for breast cancer.

    “It was a fun and productive day. Both GoDaddy and Chevy have come up with really cool ways to raise money and awareness. GoDaddy has replaced the normal ‘GoDaddy Green’ color on my car with the color pink for the entire month of October. So I’ll be driving a pink car for the next several races. GoDaddy and the Public Interest Registry made a $50,000 donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and their Round-up for Charity promotion lets customers round up their purchase to the nearest dollar with proceeds going to National Breast Cancer Foundation. Plus, a portion of proceeds from sales at my merchandise trailer at the racetrack throughout the month of October will be donated. Chevrolet is using the pink Chevy Camaro SS as the pace car at three NASCAR races and, for every lap the car leads the field under caution, Chevy will donate $200 to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative. I did an event with Chevrolet last month in Atlanta where I had the privilege to meet survivors and sign autographs for them and give them rides around the racetrack in the Pink Chevy Camaro SS, so that was pretty amazing. The passion, the strength and the fight the survivors have really is inspirational. And getting the message out there is important. I have a friend from high school who took the breast cancer gene test six or seven years ago and it was positive, so she decided to have a double mastectomy. We’ve all been affected by it in some way or through someone we know, so it’s important to raise awareness and that’s why I’m proud to be a part of what GoDaddy and Chevy are doing. It was a great event on Tuesday.”

    This is your third Sprint Cup Series start at Kansas. What are your thoughts on this weekend’s race?

    “I’ve always liked going to Kansas. It’s a nice facility and I’ve got a lot of experience there compared to some places. Even if a lot of it is in IndyCar. I think our 1.5-mile program is better than it was in the spring, so I feel good going into this week. I think the test on Thursday will be an advantage and help us, especially in qualifying.”

    You mentioned the four-hour test Thursday. How valuable is that track time?

    “Anytime you can get track time, it’s a good thing, especially if you’re a rookie. I certainly don’t mind going in a day early to get four extra hours on track. Every bit helps and I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, we’re able to learn a lot and have a good weekend.”

    A few weeks ago, it was announced that you’ll be co-hosting the American Country Awards with Trace Adkins in December. How did that all come about?

    “It’s the first time someone’s asked me to host and it’s a great opportunity for me. I’ve really gotten into country music in the last year or so. I’m excited. Country music fans and the people and the artists are so nice. I got the first introduction with Miranda Lambert when I was asked to be in her video for ‘Fastest Girl in Town.’ And she was awesome. Then, Colt Ford asked Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) and I to be in his newest video and we shot that last month. It just all fits and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m a little nervous, though. I’m told it’s going to be really easy, with no issues and no problems, but I just keep thinking, ‘That can’t be true’ (laughs). But these guys are the professionals and we’ll be ready. I co-hosted ‘The View’ a few years ago and, lately, I’ve presented awards at the ESPY’s every year. I’ve been asked to present awards at a lot of awards shows and I’d like to do more, but scheduling is tough because of how much we race. I’m excited, though – this is a big next step.”

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  • Danica Patrick & GoDaddy "Go Pink" For All of October

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 1, 2013) – Don’t expect to see Danica Patrick behind the wheel of her iconic “GoDaddy green” Chevrolet on the NASCAR track this month – Danica’s GoDaddy No. 10 is sporting a bright pink paint scheme for each of the four October races as a way to raise breast cancer awareness.

    “GoDaddy has been such a strong partner in the fight against breast cancer … the fact GoDaddy wanted to ‘go pink’ for the whole month of October really says a lot about our commitment to this cause,” Danica said.

    Wearing her pink GoDaddy sneakers in New York City this morning, Danica unveiled GoDaddy’s 2013 No. 10 Chevrolet on network television. Danica’s first ‘pink’ race is set for the Hollywood Casino 400 Sunday in Kansas City.

    In addition to the eye-catching pink color scheme, GoDaddy is teaming up with the Public Interest Registry to donate $50,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. GoDaddy is also engaging customers with its ‘Round-up’ for charity program, which encourages customers to round their purchase up to the nearest dollar with proceeds going to support breast cancer research. Fans at the track who buy merchandise from Danica’s NASCAR trailer will be contributing because GoDaddy is also donating a portion of the October proceeds to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

    According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Of those, nearly 400,000 succumb to the disease.

    GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving is one of the many people whose family has been impacted by breast cancer. His mom has the distinction as the longest-surviving breast cancer patient in New Mexico. “My mom is an amazing woman, who not only is surviving breast cancer, but is thriving … living an active lifestyle and giving a lot of inspiration to the people she meets,” Irving said. “Our commitment to the cause right now at GoDaddy is to stand up and do our part financially, but also to inspire more people to join the fight against breast cancer.”

    GoDaddy driver James Hinchcliffe is looking to add a little inspiration on the IndyCar side. ‘Hinch’ is driving a pink version of his No. 27 Chevrolet in this weekend’s Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston races, both Saturday and Sunday.

    “I’ve been told real men wear pink, so I am all for it,” said Hinchcliffe, who like Danica is wearing pink GoDaddy sneakers today as a visible sign of solidarity. “But seriously, it's a great opportunity to support a fantastic cause and I'm really happy GoDaddy invited us to be a part of their campaign. They have been tremendous supporters of breast cancer research in the past. It's great to see GoDaddy keep this effort going and for us to help out in our little way.”

    To learn more about GoDaddy’s charitable causes, visit: www.GoDaddyCares.com.

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  • AAA 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 29, 2013
    Event: AAA 400 (Round 29 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile concrete oval)
    Start/Finish: 31st/29th (Running, completed 394 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (529 points, 1 behind 27th)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 29th in the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Patrick, who started 31st, battled through a tight-handling condition early in the race. That problem caused her to drop as low as 38th in the running order. Her feedback and her team’s adjustments at each pit stop helped improve the handling of the GoDaddy Chevrolet somewhat, but it was still a disappointing day for Patrick and the team.

    “It was just a frustrating day,” said Patrick, who made her 39th Sprint Cup start and her third at Dover. “We just couldn’t get a handle on the GoDaddy Chevy today. It was too tight from the start, and that put us behind early. It wasn’t for a lack of effort by Tony Gibson and the guys because they adjusted on the car all day. It would get better there in the middle of the race, but when it was in traffic, it would be just as tight as it was at the start of the race. It’s disappointing, but we’ll move on.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 12 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 17th. Patrick dropped to 28th in the point standings and has 529 points, one point behind 27th-place Mark Martin, her SHR teammate.

    Patrick’s other teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 State Water Heaters Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and earned his 14th top-10 finish of the season and his 12th top-10 finish in 24 career starts at the 1-mile concrete oval.

    Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 19th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 400 to score his 65th career Sprint Cup victory, his fifth of the season and his eighth at Dover.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished .446 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Newman, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 21 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the third race of the 10-race Chase ninth among the 13 Chase drivers, 47 points behind Chase leader Kenseth. Newman gained two positions at Dover and sits seventh in the standings, 48 points behind Kenseth.

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  • AAA 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 26, 2013) – Danica Patrick has raced on concrete surfaces many times during her career, having done so in IZOD IndyCar Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

    And, for the fourth and final time in 2013, Patrick and the rest of the Sprint Cup Series drivers will take to the concrete for Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Dover’s 24-degree banking in the turns and 9 degrees on the straightaways, and being surrounded by 42 other Sprint Cup machines each producing nearly 900 horsepower, equate to one challenging race for any driver.

    Fortunately for Patrick, who drives the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), concrete has been good to her, at times.

    In four IndyCar Series starts from 2005 to 2008 at the 1.33-mile concrete oval at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn., Patrick never started or finished outside the top-10, and she scored three top-five results and two starts on the outside of the front row.

    She led her first-ever laps in a stock car on the concrete surface at Dover in September 2010, holding the top spot for three circuits en route to a sixth-place finish in the Sunoco 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.

    And last season, in her first Sprint Cup Series race at the .533-mile concrete oval at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Patrick was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining in the Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series event before her car was hit by another car and she contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.

    That said, Patrick knows the Sprint Cup races at Dover are unlike any other, and she’ll need mental and physical toughness to finish strong on the concrete.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts about Dover?

    “I always like going to Dover. The track is pretty fun. I remember everyone telling me how unique and challenging Dover was prior to my first race. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot to compare that track to. They said it was like a larger version of Bristol, but I hadn’t raced at Bristol yet, either. It’s nice to have more of a handle on what to expect heading in there now. Dover is fun. It’s fast and it can make for a really long day of racing. I think that’s part of the appeal of it – how demanding it can be. We definitely want to stay out of trouble, which is easier said than done at these types of tracks.”

    This is your third Sprint Cup Series start at Dover. Do you review previous races before going to an event?

    “I look through notes at what the feel was from the time before. If I’ve got some in-car (video), I’ll look at that, too. That’s really all there is to do. 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. 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.”

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  • Sylvania 300 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 22, 2013
    Event: Sylvania 300 (Round 28 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 21st/27th (Running, completed 300 of 300 laps)
    Point Standing: 26th (514 points, 9 back of 25th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 27th in the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    Patrick, who started 21st, was in 17th place for the race’s final restart on lap 256 but fell to 27th.

    “I’m not sure if I got hit or just got really loose on the last restart,” said Patrick, who made her 38th Sprint Cup start and her second at New Hampshire. “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.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 24th. She remained 26th in the point standings and has 514 points, nine behind 25th-place David Ragan.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 16th.

    The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 23rd.

    Matt Kenseth won the Sylvania 300 to score his 31st career Sprint Cup victory, his series-best seventh of the season and his first at New Hampshire.

    Kyle Busch finished .533 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 37 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 300-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup and entered the second race of the 10-race Chase eighth among the 13 Chase drivers, 28 points behind Chase leader Kenseth. Newman leaves New Hampshire ninth in the standings, 47 points behind Kenseth.

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  • Sylvania 300 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 18, 2013) – While it’s hard to believe, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has hit the three-quarter mark of the season – 27 races down, nine to go.

    There is no season quite like the Sprint Cup Series as it stretches from February to November with just two weekends off during the season.

    Despite racing since she was 10 years old, Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing has never experienced a season quite like her rookie year in the Sprint Cup Series. The IZOD IndyCar Series averaged 16 to17 events per season when she competed in that discipline and, while her first NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule was 33 races, most of those were one- or two-day commitments at the racetrack.

    But the Sprint Cup Series schedule is comprised of 38 weekends, the vast majority of which require a three-day effort at the racetrack, making it by far the busiest racing schedule Patrick has ever endured.

    Patrick and the other 42 Sprint Cup competitors will open the fourth and final quarter of the season by competing in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The first Sprint Cup Series start for Patrick came in July but was ended prematurely by an accident on lap 237. She finished 14th in the July 2012 Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire and sixth in the 2011 IndyCar Series event at the 1.058-mile oval.

    While Patrick’s mind is on the final quarter of the season, she’s also looking ahead to the offseason – specifically, co-hosting the American Country Awards with Trace Adkins on Dec. 10, live on FOX. The event will take place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on New Hampshire?

    “I like going to New Hampshire. It’s a neat racetrack and I’ve always liked going there. It’s challenging, but I think we’ve got a lot of notes to work off of. We tested there earlier in the year and then have the notes to go off of from July, so I feel good going in there. We’ve qualified and raced better in recent weeks, so we need to build on that and keep getting better.”

    The final quarter of the season is upon us. Talk about participating in the longest season you’ve ever done.

    “It’s the longest season I’ve ever done, for sure. Even Nationwide, it was one- or two-day shows. Now, it’s usually three days at the track, so it’s been a bit of an adjustment. There’s been a lot of testing and other team obligations. But it’s been a good year – a learning year. I feel like we’re moving in a good direction. Qualifying better, racing better. We want to continue that in the last quarter of the season and show even more improvement. The GoDaddy guys have been working really hard at building new cars and striving to get better and I’ve worked hard to give good feedback and continue to get better each week.”

    It was announced this week that you’ll be co-hosting the American Country Awards with Trace Adkins on Dec. 10. Talk about that.

    “I’m excited about it. It should be fun. I’ve been to the ESPY’s and the Kids Choice Awards, but never hosted or co-hosted, so it will be a new experience. Trace has hosted the last few years, so I’m sure he’ll give me some tips and guidance so it all goes smoothly. I’m really pumped, though. It should be a great time. I’ve become a huge fan of country music, recently.”

    How did you become a fan of country music?

    “It really started when I got to NASCAR. I started picking up on it. 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.”

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  • Danica and Trace Adkins to Co-host the 4th Annual American Country Awards

    Multi-platinum recording artist Trace Adkins and NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick will co-host the fourth annual AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS, airing live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas Tuesday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. This is Adkins’ fourth time serving as a host of the annual awards show, which gives fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite artists in categories such as artists, albums, singles, videos and touring, encompassing the entire spectrum of country music and bestowing honors that no other awards show has. Nominees, performers and presenters to be announced.

    “I can’t wait to see if I have what it takes to keep up with this racing superstar,” said Adkins.

    “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!”

    In addition to his hosting duties, Adkins will be joined by legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff and other guests for a special performance of “Carol of the Drum” (otherwise known as “Little Drummer Boy”). The song is featured on Adkins’ recently announced Celtic-infused Christmas album, “The King’s Gift.”

    The third annual AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS, co-hosted by Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth, featured performances by Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kip Moore, Jake Owen and Rascal Flatts, as well as by Adkins and Chenoweth. The special also featured appearances by Lauren Alaina, Natasha Bedingfield, champion cowboy Trevor Brazile, Lee Brice, Lindsey Buckingham, Carmen Electra, Eli Young Band, Florida Georgia Line, Gloriana, Casey James, Jana Kramer, Miranda Lambert, Love and Theft, Dustin Lynch, Scotty McCreery, Penn & Teller, LeAnn Rimes, the San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt and Barry Zito, Ron White and Chris Young.

    With his trademark baritone and wry sense of humor, Trace Adkins is one of country music’s most accomplished entertainers. With total sales surpassing 10 million albums, a long list of hit singles and platinum albums, he is also a television personality, actor and author. A Grammy Award nominee and member of the Grand Ole Opry, Adkins will release his Christmas album of Celtic-infused carols, “The King’s Gift,” on October 29, 2013, then embark on The Christmas Show Tour, a theatrical musical production for the whole family, in theaters this holiday season. This will be Adkins’ fourth time hosting the AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS.

    Danica Patrick burst onto the scene in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first Indianapolis 500 – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a Top-Five finish in the historic race. Three years later, in April 2008, Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league, open-wheel race in a North American series with her victory in the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.

    In February 2013, Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing, once again made headlines around the world with her record-setting performance in the 55th Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway. She became the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500 and then finished in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS is executive-produced by Bob Bain (TEEN CHOICE 2013, “Kids’ Choice Awards”). Paul Flattery, Tisha Fein and Fletcher Foster serve as producers; and Greg Sills is supervising producer. Michael Dempsey will direct the special.

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  • Geico 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 15, 2013
    Event: Geico 400 (Round 27 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 23rd/20th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 26th (497 points, 11 behind 25th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 20th in the Geico 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.

    Patrick, who started 23rd, drove a smooth, clean race. She ran as high as 16th at one point in the event.

    “I thought it was all right,” said Patrick, who made her 37th Sprint Cup start and her second at Chicago. “We weren’t the fastest car out there, but we were decent and relatively consistent. At the beginning of the year, top-20s were the goal based on last year and we had to readjust that a bit, but now that’s kind of where we’re falling in with things. 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, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 12 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed eighth for his second consecutive top-10 finish. She moved up one spot in the standings and has 497 points, 11 behind 25th-place David Ragan.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 10th. Newman led one lap en route to scoring his eighth top-10 in 12 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval. It was also his 13th top-10 this season.

    Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 17th.

    Matt Kenseth won the Geico 400 to score his 30th career Sprint Cup victory, his series-best sixth of the season and his first at Chicagoland.

    Kyle Busch finished .749 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Stenhouse, Clint Bowyer and Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 46 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race. The event was delayed twice due to rain for a total of six hours, 30 minutes. Mist forced nearly a 90-minute delay of the start, while heavier rain forced the race to be halted for more than five hours after 108 laps were complete.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup and entered the first race of the 10-race Chase seeded 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 15 points behind No. 1 seed Kenseth. Newman leaves Chicagoland in eighth, 28 points behind Chase leader Kenseth.

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  • Geico 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 11, 2013) – For the 12 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, it’s “Go Time” as the 10-race Chase kicks off with Sunday’s Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The 12 drivers best be “Go Getters” from the drop of the green flag if they’d like to be crowned champion 10 weeks from now at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    For the 31 Sprint Cup drivers not in the Chase, it’s also “Go Time,” as each wants to finish out the year as strong as possible to gain momentum and experience heading into 2014.

    For Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the final 10 races are about finishing up her rookie year in strong fashion and continuing to gain valuable experience each time she hits the track.

    Patrick has competed in a Sprint Cup race at every track that comprises the 10-race Chase, save for Homestead. She’ll make her second career starts at Chicagoland, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and her third starts at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Phoenix International Raceway.

    Patrick is hoping to improve on her results at tracks she will visit a second and third time. Of the tracks where she has competed twice – Dover, Kansas, Charlotte, Texas and Phoenix, she improved her finishing result in race two at the first three. Patrick also bettered her qualifying effort at Kansas and Charlotte.

    She and the GoDaddy team are banking on that trend and hope to continue starting and finishing higher than in the previous race. Should that be accomplished, it will provide the team plenty of energy heading into 2014.

    This week’s race at Chicagoland is important on the track for Patrick, but also off the track as Chicagoland Speedway is about 116 miles south and east of her hometown of Roscoe, Ill. It’s a home race for Patrick, who will have plenty of friends and family in attendance at the 1.5-mile oval.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Chicago?

    “I’ve always loved going to Chicago. I love the city – it’s just a great place. 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.”

    You grew up in Roscoe, Ill., about 116 miles northwest of Chicagoland Speedway. Will you have a lot of family and friends at the race this weekend?

    “There are going to be a few people out there. I normally don’t have a lot because I don’t exactly volunteer tickets because it’s a lot of work and there’s a lot going on during the weekend. For people who come out to the track, you want them to have a good time and, if you don’t feel like you can help them have a good time, then there’s not much point. But 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.”

    You participated in the first day of a Goodyear tire test Tuesday at Phoenix. How did that go?

    “It was good. Anytime you can get on track, it’s good thing, whether it’s a team test or a Goodyear test. You just try to give good, consistent feedback and help them pick a good compound for the race. I’m not sure they get the proper credit for how hard they work and the effort they put in each week. They really get after it and we as drivers and teams appreciate that.”

    GoDaddy launched a new advertising and marketing campaign last week and has changed its mission a bit. Talk about that.

    “It’s a simple concept, really – they want to help small businesses succeed and leverage the power of the Internet. And the campaign really is common with what we do in racing. To be successful in racing, you have to be a “Go Getter” and know when it’s “Go Time.” It’s the same for small businesses. In order to be successful in any business, but especially a small business, you have to be a “Go Getter.” GoDaddy offers some amazing products and services to make sure small businesses succeed. The new commercial is really cool with Jean-Claude Van Damme appearing in it. I’m excited about the direction of GoDaddy. Blake (Irving, GoDaddy CEO) has done a lot of great things since he came on board and I think great things are ahead.”

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  • Federated Auto Parts 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 7, 2013
    Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 (Round 26 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 36th/30th (Running, completed 396 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (473 points, 1,542 out of first, OUT OF THE CHASE)
    Winner: Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 30th in the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

    Patrick, who started 36th, never could get the car to her liking during the race.

    “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.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 20 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 10th for his first career top-10. She remained 27th in the standings with 473 points.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished third in the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Newman led four laps before scoring his sixth top-five of 2013 and his sixth top-five in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Richmond.

    The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, finished ninth as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart as the interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS. It was Martin’s 31st top-10 in 56 career Sprint Cup starts at the .75-mile oval.

    Carl Edwards won the Federated Auto Parts 400 to score his 21st career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his first at Richmond.

    Kurt Busch finished .668 of a second behind Edwards in the runner-up spot, while Newman, Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, Martin and Stenhouse comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 29 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    Richmond marked the last race of the regular season, as the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins.

    The top-10 drivers in points are eligible to compete in the Chase, along with two wild-card drivers – Kasey Kahne and Truex – who were admitted to the Chase field by having the most wins among the drivers who were between 11th and 20th in the standings. NASCAR recalibrated the points for the 12 drivers as soon as the Richmond race was over, with each driver getting 2,000 points. With the exception of wild-card entrants Kahne and Truex, drivers also received three bonus points for each of their respective wins during the 26-race regular season. For drivers starting the Chase with identical point totals, their seed was determined by the traditional tiebreaker of best finishes beyond race victories.

    Newman just missed the Chase, as his third-place finish in the Federated Auto Parts 400 put him in a tie with Truex for the second and final wild-card spot. But Truex won the tiebreaker as he had more second-place finishes than Newman.

    Ranked in order of where their bonus points seeded them, the drivers competing for this year’s championship are:

    1. Matt Kenseth (2,015 points)
    2. Jimmie Johnson (2,012 points, -3)
    3. Kyle Busch (2,012 points, -3)
    4. Kevin Harvick (2,006 points -9)
    5. Carl Edwards (2,006 points, -9)
    6. Joey Logano (2,003 points, -12)
    7. Greg Biffle (2,003 points, -12)
    8. Clint Bowyer (2,000 points, -15)
    9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2,000 points, -15)
    10. Kurt Busch (2,000 points, -15)
    11. Kasey Kahne (2,000 points, -15)
    12. Martin Truex Jr. (2,000 points, -15)

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the first race of the Chase – is the Geico 400 on Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.

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  • Federated Auto Parts 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 3, 2013) – When it comes to the history of Richmond International (Va.) Raceway, drivers at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) have played a role at one time or another.

    SHR co-owner Tony Stewart, who is sidelined with a leg injury, scored his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at the .75-mile oval in September 1999.

    Mark Martin, who is subbing for Stewart, started on the pole and finished seventh – his first career top-10 – in September 1981 at Richmond. That was back when Richmond was a half-mile oval, before the current configuration was completed in 1988.

    Ryan Newman scored a victory at Richmond in September 2003 and also won the pole for the September 2004 event.

    While Stewart, Martin and Newman made their mark in the Sprint Cup Series, Danica Patrick’s familiarity to Richmond fans might be more so in open-wheel competition.

    The IZOD IndyCar Series competed at Richmond from 2001 to 2009 and Patrick competed in five of those events. She finished sixth in 2007 and 2008 and then scored a fifth-place result in 2009.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, will make her second trip to Richmond in the Sprint Cup Series for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400. In her first Sprint Cup race at the .75-mile oval in April, she started 30th and finished 29th.

    While she knows her IndyCar experience at Richmond won’t assist her this weekend, she’s hoping a productive Sprint Cup test two weeks ago will. She and Martin split time in the GoDaddy Chevrolet and hope their combined efforts lead to a good finish Saturday night.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Richmond?

    “I’ve always enjoyed coming to Richmond. I had fun racing Indy cars here. 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.”

    You tested at Richmond two weeks ago and Mark Martin also drove the GoDaddy Chevrolet at Richmond. Talk about another driver testing your car.

    “The test went really well. And 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.”

    Are you happy the team line-up is complete for 2014 with Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and you?

    “It is nice. I think it helps from a team perspective to get things in order and in line for the year because there is going to be a lot that we are going to need to get organized – everything from space at the shop to airplane space. There is a lot for the team to get in order and this gives us the appropriate amount of time to do it.”

    Do you see benefits to expanding the organization to four cars?

    “I think the best part about having more drivers is one we are going to start hiring people. We are going to get some fresh ideas and perspectives. We are just going to have more brain power. There are going to be more crew chiefs, more engineers, more of everything and then, when you have a line-up like we do, there is a lot of experience there, especially those other three guys. I feel like it’s going to help our team from top to bottom.”

    The NFL opens its season this week. How big of a Chicago Bears fan are you?

    “I go to games every year. I’m a big Bears fan, for sure. I always watch their games. I even get nervous for their games. That means I’m a fan, right? I’m sure I’m not the biggest fan, but I’m a big fan, for sure.”

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  • AdvoCare 500 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 1, 2013
    Event: AdvoCare 500 (Round 25 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 21st/21st (Running, completed 323 of 325 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (459 points, 378 out of first; 260 behind 10th)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 21st in the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, who started 21st, drove a smooth, clean race and finished eight spots higher than she did a year ago at Atlanta.

    “I’m proud of the GoDaddy guys,” said Patrick, who made her 35th Sprint Cup start and her second at Atlanta. “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.”

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS, finished fifth.

    The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 25th.

    Kyle Busch won the AdvoCare 500 to score his 28th career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his second at Atlanta.

    Joey Logano finished .740 of a second behind Busch in the runner-up spot, while Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch and Newman rounded out the top-five. Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 47 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 325-lap race around the 1.54-mile oval.

    With round 25 of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up one spot to 14th with 699 points, 138 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 20 behind 10th-place Kurt Busch. Patrick remained 27th with 459 points, 378 behind Johnson and 260 away from Kurt Busch.

    Stewart, out of the Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for the remainder of the season, dropped to 23rd in the standings. He has 594 points, 243 out of first and 125 behind 10th-place Busch.

    Just one race remains before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Kasey Kahne, who is 12th in points, has the first wild card via his two wins. Truex holds the second wild card as he is 13th in points with one victory. Newman is the only other driver between 11th and 20th with a victory.

    The No. 14 car is 15th in the Sprint Cup owner standings with 696 points, 141 behind the series-leading No. 48 team of Hendrick Motorsports and 23 points behind the No. 78 team of Furniture Row Racing, which is 10th.

    The No. 5 team of Hendrick Motorsports has the first wild-card spot via its two wins, while the No. 56 team of Michael Waltrip Racing has the second wild card as it is the highest team between 11th and 20th with one victory. The No. 39 team of SHR (14th), the No. 14 team of SHR (15th) and the No. 55 team of Michael Waltrip Racing (18th) each have one victory and are still in contention for a wild-card spot in the chase for the owner championship.

    Following next week’s race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, the owner standings will be reset, with each team getting 2,000 points. With the exception of wild-card entrants (11th- and 12th-place teams), teams also receive three bonus points for each of their respective wins during the 26-race regular season. For teams starting the Chase with identical point totals, their seed is determined by the traditional tiebreaker of best finishes beyond race victories.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished five spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 16th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Richmond. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ABC beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.

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  • AdvoCare 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 28, 2013) – While many Americans will fire up the barbeque one final time and watch the opening weekend of college football this Labor Day weekend, Danica Patrick and her fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitors will be “laboring,” for lack of a better term.

    Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup race is certainly no holiday for drivers as the marathon, 325-lap event around the fast, old and slick 1.5 miles of Atlanta Motor Speedway asphalt is one of the biggest challenges of the season.

    The Atlanta quad-oval is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit, but its old pavement means that cars slip and slide around, putting a driver’s ability to the test. Factor in that the race starts in the hot early evening sun and ends under the stars, and the race is one that can cause headaches for both drivers and crew chiefs as they attempt to figure out how to maximize the handling of their cars from beginning to end.

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), and her crew chief Tony Gibson will attempt to find a handling package that is comfortable to drive but without compromising speed.

    Easier said than done.

    But if Patrick needs any advice about Atlanta, she can certainly lean on her teammates, both current and future.

    Mark Martin, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for SHR as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, has 52 Sprint Cup starts at Atlanta, with his first coming on March 21, 1982 – four days before Patrick was born.

    Of those 52 starts, 23 came on the “old” version of Atlanta, as did Martin’s two wins in November 1991 and 1994. He has seven top-three finishes on the “new” configuration, as well as one pole in March 2009, so Patrick has plenty of knowledge to tap into.

    If Patrick needs qualifying advice, she can turn to the third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS. Newman has seven poles at Atlanta, tied for the most all-time with Buddy Baker.

    Patrick’s teammates for 2014, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick, can also offer perspective as Busch has three Atlanta wins and Harvick one at the 1.5-mile oval.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Atlanta?

    “The first time I raced there was last year and I did both Nationwide and (Sprint) Cup. That seems like a long time ago and that was only my fifth Cup start, so I feel a little more confident and knowledgeable than I did a year ago. It’s a fast place. The tires definitely go off with the surface and the line moves around a lot. It’s a big weekend with a lot going on for GoDaddy, Coke Zero and Chevrolet, so there’s a lot off the track, as well. But I’m looking forward to it.”

    You tested at Richmond this past week and Mark Martin also drove the GoDaddy Chevrolet at Richmond. Talk about another driver testing your car.

    “The test went really well. And 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.”

    Thoughts on Kurt Busch coming to Stewart-Haas Racing?

    “I’m excited. I have known Kurt for a long time. It goes all the way back to when he drove an IndyCar (in 2003) at Sebring (Fla.), I believe. He drove a Rahal Letterman car and I was there watching that day. I’ve always really liked him and got along really well with him. We’ve never had any problems on the track at all, so we have a good working relationship, for sure. I always like having more people to look at as far as their styles. With a four-car team, there are more engineers, there are more crew chiefs, and more people around to develop things. For me I think it’s a great thing.”

    Have you seen Tony Stewart recently?

    “I went and saw him last week and he is progressively getting better. We were joking about how he has to go to the hospital to get a check-up and how the ambulance comes, and they bring him out on a stretcher. Poor guy. But he was in good spirits and he was definitely of the mindset that he needs to do it right, and do rehab right. You know, they hope that he can be back in January. And if he does, he is like, ‘I don’t need to be back any sooner, so let’s just do this right.’ I think that is the right attitude. I think he is in a really good place – as good of a place as you can be with many incisions in your leg.”

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  • Stewart-Haas Racing Expands to Four Teams Beginning in 2014

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 27, 2013) – Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world – will expand to four cars in 2014.

    Kurt Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion and owner of 24 Sprint Cup victories, will drive the Haas Automation Chevrolet SS fulltime alongside Stewart in the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, Danica Patrick in the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet and Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet beginning in 2014. It’s a lineup that features four Sprint Cup championships, 36 poles and 93 wins.

    “Stewart-Haas Racing has proven itself to be a very competitive race team. Every team wants to win, but the preparation and resources Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and everyone at SHR put into their racecars each and every week is incredible,” Busch said. “This is the kind of situation every driver wants to be in, and I’m grateful to Gene Haas and Haas Automation for providing me this opportunity. I didn’t think anyone wanted to win as much as me until I met Gene Haas.”

    “Kurt Busch is a premier talent, one who gives you the opportunity to win races every week and contend for a championship every year,” Haas said. “When he became available, we seized the opportunity to make him a part of Stewart-Haas Racing. This is an organization built on winning, and Haas Automation is a company built on performance. Kurt embodies each of those qualities, and it’s why we’re investing in his abilities.”

    Busch’s Sprint Cup title came in the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Busch is also the 2003 champion of the International Race of Champions (IROC), a series which pitted the best drivers from NASCAR, the IZOD IndyCar Series and the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.

    “I’ve had a tremendous amount of respect for Kurt’s talent and determination for as long as he’s been racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Kurt is extremely knowledgeable, and his input will make all of Stewart-Haas Racing better,” said Stewart, still recovering from a broken right tibia and fibula suffered in a sprint car crash Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

    “When Gene Haas laid out his plans for what he wanted to do in regard to this race team’s future, which included bringing Kurt on board in a fourth car, it was impressive. You can’t stand still in this business. You have to constantly improve. Gene’s investment in this race team ensures the success of Stewart-Haas Racing for many years to come.”

    Work has already begun on the physical expansion of SHR. Land adjacent to the team’s existing 140,000-square foot facility is being cleared for construction of a building that will house research and development, a state-of-the-art pit fitness and training center, and multipurpose space for SHR partners.

    About Haas Automation:

    Haas Automation, Inc., is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. Founded by Gene Haas in 1983, Haas Automation manufactures a complete line of CNC lathes and rotary equipment. All Haas products are built in the company’s 1 million square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, Calif., and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets that provides the industry’s best sales, service and support while offering unparalleled cost-to-performance value. For more information, please visit www.haascnc.com.

    About Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The team fields three entries in the elite Sprint Cup Series – the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart, the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for 2008 Daytona 500 and 2013 Brickyard 400 winner Ryan Newman, and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Danica Patrick. Based in Kannapolis, N.C., Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 140,000-square-foot facility with more than 200 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing and follow on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng.

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  • Irwin Tools Night Race Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 24, 2013
    Event: Irwin Tools Night Race (Round 24 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 22nd/26th (Running, completed 493 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (436 points, 385 out of first; 249 behind 10th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 26th in the Irwin Tools Night Race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, who had been battling through a loose-handling condition, was running a solid race and holding her ground early in the race. But shortly after lap 100, her car slid up the track in turn three and slapped the outside retaining wall. The contact caused damage to the right side of the car and also bent the splitter bar down.

    With the caution out, Patrick brought the GoDaddy Chevy to the attention of her pit crew. They changed four tires, made a track bar adjustment and pulled out the fenders in an effort to fix the damage.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson elected to bring Patrick back down pit road a second time as a precautionary measure. The crew did more work to the right side of the car to ensure the damaged sheet metal did not cause a flat tire once the race returned to green. But the field took the green flag at lap 112 right as Patrick was coming off pit road, which meant she was quickly overtaken by the leaders and went a lap down.

    Despite issues with handling and the splitter, Patrick continued to fight through the 500-lap race and finished in 26th.

    “Overall, I would honestly say we are still on a good streak of running strong,” said Patrick, who made her 34th Sprint Cup start and her third at Bristol. “There is nothing you can do about getting into the wall and having damage. We came back as best as we could and made the car as good as it was at the end. That is a positive. My goal, honestly, in my mind is like, ‘Man, if we can come away with a top-30 with having these problems, then that is all right,’ and we finished 26th through attrition and staying out of trouble. We will take it and move on.”

    Gibson also took positives away from the night.

    “I think we were a solid top-20 car before the accident happened,” Gibson said. “Danica was doing the right thing on the track, and as far as I’m concerned, we had a good weekend here. We have to focus on the positives on a night like this. I appreciate her and the team not giving up and hanging in there together tonight.”

    Patrick’s teammate Mark Martin, interim driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 20th.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 21st.

    Matt Kenseth won the Irwin Tools Night Race, scoring his 29th career Sprint Cup victory, his fifth of the season and his third at Bristol.

    Kasey Kahne finished .188 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Juan Montoya, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Paul Menard, Jeff Gordon, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 11 caution periods for 74 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    With round 24 of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He maintained his 15th-place standing and has 659 points, 162 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 26 behind 10th-place Logano. Patrick maintained her 27th-place standing and has 436 points, 385 behind Johnson and 249 away from Logano.

    The No. 14 car is 13th with 677 points, 144 behind the series-leading No. 48 team of Hendrick Motorsports but only eight points behind the 10th-place No. 22 team of Penske Racing. Stewart, out of the car indefinitely, dropped to 19th in points. He has 594 points, 227 out of first and 91 behind 10th-place Logano.

    Just two races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Martin Truex Jr., who is 14th in points, has the first wild card via his win earlier in the season at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. Newman holds the second wild card as he is 15th in points with one victory. Stewart is next in line for the wild card by virtue of his one victory and 19th-place standing in points.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished eight spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 18th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.

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  • Irwin Tools Night Race Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 21, 2013) – Certain races are circled on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule each year including Daytona, Indianapolis and Darlington, among others.

    Say the words “Bristol Night Race,” and drivers, crew members and fans immediately think of one of the great spectacles on the Sprint Cup circuit. The .533-mile Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is a sight to behold with 160,000 seats wrapped around the track in what may well be the modern day Roman Colosseum.

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), experienced her first Bristol night race last year as she made just her fourth career Sprint Cup start. It was a respectable outing for Patrick as she was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another car and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.

    One night earlier, in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Patrick started 34th and finished a solid ninth.

    The familiar green GoDaddy Chevrolet returns to Bristol this weekend, but with a bit of a different look. Outright.com, which provides bookkeeping for small businesses, will be featured alongside the GoDaddy logo on the hood and bumper of the car.

    GoDaddy, which is expanding its focus beyond domains, websites and hosting to help small-business owners with challenges like bookkeeping and taxes, acquired Outright in July 2012 to better serve small-business owners.

    Outright makes bookkeeping easy by automating time-consuming tasks like keeping track of sales and expenses and showing small-business owners their profit and loss. In addition, Outright eliminates the tax-time nightmare for small-business owners by organizing all the sales and expenses into IRS-approved categories and provides the tax worksheet they need to file.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Bristol?

    “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 that is always the one that everyone says, ‘I want to come see the Bristol night race.’ I feel like the attendance lately has been great, the coverage has been great for NASCAR, and I think we’ll get a lot of people out there.”

    What do you think about having Mark Martin as a teammate for many of the final few races?

    “I think he’s a great choice as a replacement for Tony. His knowledge and experience is probably second to none in the garage. It gives the team some stability throughout the final few months knowing Mark’s in the car for all the races, except for Talladega. And obviously we’ve got Austin (Dillon) in there for that race. I think it just allows us to get back to a little sense of normalcy and, hopefully, get into a routine as an organization. It’s still tough not to see Tony at the racetrack, but we know we’ve got a good plan for the rest of the year. Selfishly, it will be a huge benefit to work with Mark and learn from him. He’s so respected in the garage. I’m excited to get the chance to work with him.”

    Thoughts on Austin Dillon, both working with him last week and working with him at Talladega?

    “It’s nice to have a teammate that you know. Obviously, running with Austin in the Nationwide Series, I know him. I love getting other drivers’ perspectives on the cars and just kind of hearing the way they describe things. I think it will be good for the team. He’s young, he’s got fire and he wants to do it. I think he will be a good addition for Talladega.”

    Now that you have some experience with the transition, what would you tell young drivers coming to Sprint Cup from the Nationwide Series?

    “I think that it’s always difficult as a driver to say the words, like my goal is top-20. It’s not what it needs to be at some point. While your ultimate goal is to win – and, if the opportunity presents itself, you’ll be ready – you still have to set realistic goals along the way to keep yourself upbeat and to keep everybody else upbeat. That’s been something I’ve dealt with this year. I think, coming off of last year, I expected to do a little bit better and I let things get me frustrated and I let my spot on the track kind of take me out of my game a little bit. I pushed the limits a little bit too much and we took that week off and I just kind of looked at the season so far and said, ‘Man, every time I try so hard, something bad happens and, every time I just take whatever the car will give me and whatever the race will give me, they are much better days.’ It’s just figuring out – you, yourself – what makes you work and what makes you get the best results possible. For some, it might be to get fired up and for others it might be to just relax and let the race come to you. It’s just figuring that out. Everybody’s different.”

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  • Pure Michigan 400 Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 18, 2013
    Event: Pure Michigan 400 (Round 23 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 28th/23rd (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (418 points, 395 out of first; 245 behind 10th)
    Winner: Joey Logano of Penske Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick finished 23rd in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was making her 33rd career Sprint Cup Series start and her second at Michigan.

    After struggling with the handling of her car early and going one lap down, Patrick’s car came to life in the second half of the race thanks to a series of wedge, tire-pressure and track-bar adjustments called for by her crew chief Tony Gibson. With the car handling well, Patrick was able to secure the “lucky dog” free pass back to the lead lap on lap 136 as she was the first car one lap down when the caution came out.

    She was able to work her way into the top-20 but, after a two-tire pit stop on lap 158, a tight-handling condition on the GoDaddy Chevrolet hindered Patrick from making any more progress and she took the checkered flag in 23rd place.

    “Late in the race, the car just got tight,” Patrick said. “It was really good from the halfway point until we made that last pit stop. Then it just went tight. Overall, though, the car was pretty good all weekend. We had good practices and it felt comfortable throughout the weekend. I’m proud of Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy crew. We’re making progress and getting better each weekend.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans/PTA Chevrolet SS, finished 13th.

    The third member of SHR, Austin Dillon, interim driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 14th.

    Joey Logano won the Pure Michigan 400 to score his third career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Michigan.

    Kevin Harvick finished 1.018 seconds behind Logano in the runner-up spot while Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five. Marcos Ambrose, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 34 laps with six drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

    With round 23 of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He dropped one spot to 15th place and has 636 points, 177 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 27 behind 10th-place Biffle. Stewart, who was forced to miss the race due to injury, dropped one spot to 18th, 594 out of first and 219 points behind Biffle. Patrick remained in 27th place and has 418 points, 395 behind Johnson and 245 away from 10th.

    The No. 14 team is 13th in the owner standings with 653 points, 160 points behind the series-leading No. 48 team of Hendrick Motorsports.

    Three races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Kasey Kahne, who is 11th in points, is the first wild card via his two wins. Martin Truex Jr. holds the second wild-card spot as he is 12th in points with one victory. Logano, Newman, and Stewart each have one victory and are 13th, 15th, and 18th in points, respectively.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished four spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 19th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Irwin Tools Night Race Saturday, Aug. 24, at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ABC beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.

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  • Pure Michigan 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 14, 2013) – There is no replacement for experience.

    Given that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are limited to just four two-day tests per year at tracks where the Series competes, the more practice, qualifying and race experience drivers can get, the more knowledgeable they become.

    Especially the rookies.

    With the second half of the Sprint Cup Series season in full swing, rookies like Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), are seeing tracks for the second time this season. And knowledge gained from the first race of 2013 can pay off in the second race.

    It was evident for Patrick two weeks ago at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway when she made her second start at the 2.5-mile triangle. She was more aggressive on restarts, knew the track better and had at least a small notebook of knowledge to draw upon. While the day was cut short by an accident just past the halfway point, her second race was much better, overall, than the first.

    Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson hope the same holds true for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The GoDaddy team posted a respectable 13th-place result in the first race at Michigan and hope to build upon that for an even better finish in round two at the 2-mile D-shaped oval.

    Prior to their trip to Michigan, Patrick, Gibson and the rest of the No. 10 team will participate in a two-day test at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn., as the quest for speed and better results continues.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Michigan?

    “I think it’s a momentum track and I feel like I come from a background of carrying a lot of momentum and using a lot of throttle. Being smooth and hopefully that is something that can help me at Michigan. At the end of the day it has to handle well. It has to feel good. It has to be a fast car. Here at this Cup level, it’s very competitive and being a little off is being a lot off. I think my strength of carrying momentum is something I’m used to doing.”

    Talk about your race at Michigan in June.

    “I think we caught some breaks. Yellows definitely helped us be able to get track position as far as closing up the gaps and being able to pit a few times. We tried to take right-side (tires) and get track position early on. It just didn’t go well, and we just hadn’t gotten ourselves to a good place with the car that I could carry the speed I needed to run with the (pack). It didn’t work out so well. We worked on it and got it better. At the end of the race, the last run was the best run, I felt, as far as the balance of the car, which I was surprised about because we had fallen off a little bit at the end of the run before. We had only taken right-side tires again for a second time. It was nice to just get a decent finish for the team and for GoDaddy.”

    Does it help going back to a track a second and third time?

    “Of course. Just having some experience to draw upon, especially with the Gen-6 car, is huge. So many of the drivers you race against have 20 or 30 starts at these tracks, so to have any experience to draw upon is big for me or for any rookie. I think at Pocono, while the result doesn’t show it because of the accident, we were better there than we were in the spring. And that’s what you want when you go back to these places a second, third and fourth time. You want to get better and hopefully the results ultimately show that.”

    You’ve been asked this several times, but do you feel a responsibility to little girls who watch you race?

    “I think it starts off as you just race. I think I’m kind of getting a little bit older now and recognizing how honored I am to be in a position to be looked up to and to have them want to grow up to be like me, or to just purely cheer for me. There are a lot of choices out there. There are a lot of different sports to look at. I do what I can to kind of nurture that or take care of it and spend time with kids. If I’m ever running about and don’t have a lot of time, but I have a little bit I always try and make sure I pick out the kids and take time for them. I do feel some sort of responsibility to be someone they want to look up to and a good role model for them. Mostly just not break their heart. I feel like one of the hardest things when you are young is you have this idea of your idols or your role models and it’s so high. It’s hard to not disappoint because they have built you up so much. I do my best to just not let them down and, if I have a second, I at least say hello or wave.

    “There was a little girl at the PGA Championship last Thursday. She wasn’t little, she was maybe 10 (years old) and her dad was telling her who I was as I was walking by. I could hear it all happening – you know, it’s right behind me. He had said, ‘Hello,’ and so as I kind of turned off to walk another way, I looked over just to wave at her. It would be easy enough for me to just keep walking and they didn’t say anything to me. They didn’t try and say hello again or take a picture or anything, but I could tell she figured out who I was and she thought that was cool. So I just turned around to wave at her. She will have that story, now, as opposed to me walking away. Just little stuff like that.”

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  • 355k at The Glen Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 11, 2013
    Event: 355k at The Glen (Round 22 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International (2.45-mile, 11-turn road course)
    Start/Finish: 35th/20th (Running, completed 90 of 90 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (397 points, 411 out of first; 228 behind 10th)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick weaved her way through two late-race accidents and finished a respectable 20th in the 355k at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was making her 32nd career Sprint Cup Series start and her first at Watkins Glen.

    “I think at the end of the day, there was a lot going on, especially at the end,” Patrick said. “Really just trying to finish and really just trying to not get frustrated, no matter what is going on out there, and just taking what the car will give you. So I just tried to stay calm and stay focused on not making any mistakes. It was really easy to make mistakes out there, and we worked on the car, and I feel like we have a direction for next time. We didn’t nail it today, that is for sure, but I think we made gains, for sure, from the beginning of practice until the end of the race. It’s just a matter of using that for next time and getting better.”

    Twice in the closing laps, Patrick managed to avoid multi-car accidents in front of her which could have resulted in a damaged racecar and a poor finish for her and the GoDaddy team.

    “The spotters did a great job today,” Patrick said. “It’s so tough sometimes to see what’s going on ahead of you on a road course, but they kept me aware and kept me out of trouble, especially at the end. I’m proud of the entire GoDaddy team.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation 30th Anniversary Chevrolet SS, finished 14th to score his seventh top-15 finish in 12 career starts at Watkins Glen.

    Max Papis, interim driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he substitutes for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 15th. It was his second top-15 finish in four career Sprint Cup starts at Watkins Glen.

    Kyle Busch won the 355k at The Glen to score his 27th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his second career win at Watkins Glen.

    Brad Keselowski finished .486 of a second behind Busch in the runner-up spot, while Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and AJ Allmendinger comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 21 laps, with nine drivers failing to finish the 90-lap race.

    With round 22 of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up one spot to 14th place and has 605 points, 203 back of series leader Johnson and 20 behind 10th-place Truex. Stewart, who was forced to miss the race due to injury, dropped six spots to 17th with 594 points, 214 out of first and 31 points behind Truex. Patrick maintained her 27th-place standing and has 397 points, 411 behind Johnson and 228 away from 10th.

    The No. 14 team is 11th in the owner standings with 623 points, 185 points behind the series-leading No. 48 team of Hendrick Motorsports.

    Four races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Kasey Kahne, who is 12th in points, is the first wild card via his two wins, while Newman is the second wild card because he is the highest-standing driver between 11th and 20th with one victory.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished two spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 18th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, Aug. 18 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • 355k at The Glen Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 7, 2013) – The road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International is one of the few tracks on the NASCAR schedule where Danica Patrick has a lot of experience.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has made seven starts at Watkins Glen dating back to 2005.

    Six of those starts came in the IZOD IndyCar Series and unfortunately won’t offer much assistance to Patrick as she competes in Sunday’s 355k at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. As if the incredible difference between a stock car and an Indy car weren’t enough, the IndyCar Series used the longer version of the Watkins Glen road circuit, which includes the famous “boot” portion of the track.

    Patrick did compete in last year’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen, but she finished 43rd after Ryan Truex spun in front of her on the start. She could not avoid his spinning car and made heavy contact with his machine. It was part of a memorable, if not downright strange, three-race Nationwide Series road course experience for Patrick last season.

    In June 2012 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., Patrick was fourth on the final lap when she was bumped into the gravel trap by Jacques Villeneueve, which dropped her to a 12th-place finish.

    One week later, Patrick led 20 laps and was on the point at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal when a fan threw a shoe onto the track and she ran over it on lap 38 of 81. Shortly thereafter, whether the shoe caused the problem or not, Patrick was forced to pit for mechanical repairs and finished 27th.

    Patrick’s only Sprint Cup Series start on a road course came two months ago when she started 31st and finished 29th at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. She and the GoDaddy team are hoping that a productive test July 30 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., will help them to a solid finish at one of the most famous racetracks in the world.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    First things first, what are your thoughts on your teammate and boss, Tony Stewart?

    “I’m obviously thinking about him and hope he gets better very soon. It’s hard to hear that news no matter who it is, but when it’s your teammate and friend, it’s obviously tougher. He’s been a huge help throughout my rookie year in Sprint Cup and it’s going to be strange not seeing him drive at Watkins Glen. We’re all just wishing a speedy recovery for him and we know, when he comes back, he’ll be as good as ever.”

    What are your thoughts about working with Stewart’s substitute driver Max Papis this weekend?

    “Max is a great guy and a great road racer. It’ll be fun to have him as a teammate this weekend. I wish it were under different circumstances, but it will be nice to work with him. We tested together last week at Road Atlanta and he was really good to work with. I’ve known him for a few years and I’m sure he’s excited for this opportunity.”

    Talk about the test at Road Atlanta last week.

    “The GoDaddy car felt really good when we went and tested. It is about as good as it’s unloaded off the truck at any point this year, anywhere we’ve gone. So, I hope that translates to good things. It’s not a bad thing, anyway.”

    Do you feel good, in general, about a road-course race?

    “If you had asked me when I was at Sonoma or anywhere around then, I would have said I don’t feel very good. But our test at Road Atlanta was very good and, in general, I feel very comfortable on road courses. So, it will be nice because the road courses are a real opportunity for me to get the GoDaddy car further up where some of these tracks are a little bit more challenging for me. So, it’s definitely not Nationwide when you’re racing Cup on the road courses, but I still feel like there’s an opportunity to have a decent weekend if we can nail the balance of the car and qualify well.”

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  • GoBowling.com 400 Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 4, 2013
    Event: GoBowling.com 400 (Round 21 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
    Start/Finish: 34th/35th (Accident, completed 110 of 160 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (373 points, 399 out of first; 226 behind 10th)
    Winner: Kasey Kahne of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick had a strong racecar and appeared to be in contention for a solid top-20 finish in the GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

    But Patrick’s efforts were foiled just 50 laps shy of the race’s completion when she was caught in a wreck at lap 110 in the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

    Patrick was 18th and moving forward when she was involved in the multi-car accident. Travis Kvapil was on the outside of Patrick as they drove into Pocono’s turn two. While the two cars didn’t touch, it appeared the close racing between the two cars resulted in the air being taken off of the No. 10 Chevy, causing it to spin up the racetrack before being hit by two other racecars.

    Patrick’s GoDaddy Chevy sustained heavy front-end damage. She was able to drive her No. 10 Chevy to the garage but was unable to continue in the race due to the damage.

    “There was a car outside of me, and when there is a car outside of you going through fast corners, it takes the side force off of it, and the car gets looser when someone is there,” Patrick said. “It hadn’t been a problem all day. I didn’t do anything different that time. I even kind of told myself going into the corner, ‘It’s fine, just run through the corner.’ I don’t know if he was closer than other cars had been to my outside or not.

    “We had freed the GoDaddy car up just a little bit, but not drastically, just a little bit because we were tight. I don’t know if that was enough to just tip it over the edge from where it was. It’s never as much rear grip when someone is outside of you. I feel bad for the team because we were having a good day, and I know it’s nice to finish those days off and it would have been nice to finish in the top 20. That is just my goal.

    “It’s simple, it’s nothing crazy, but it’s been a challenge this year. It would have been nice to do that, and we were just having a steady race and a good race, and it’s over. We were way better than we were last time. We were competitive, and we were making good calls in the pits. Everything was going; it just happens.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fourth to score his fourth top-five of the season and his ninth top-five in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2.5-mile triangle.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished ninth. It was his 22nd top-10 in 30 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono and his eighth top-10 of the season.

    Kasey Kahne won the GoBowling.com 400 to score his 16th career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his second at Pocono.

    Jeff Gordon finished 1.392 seconds behind Kahne in the runner-up spot, while Kurt Busch, Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Stewart and Greg Biffle comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 35 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

    With round 21 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He remained 11th and has 594 points, 178 back of series leader Johnson and five points behind 10th-place Biffle. Newman gained one spot to his 15th-place standing and has 575 points, 197 out of first and 24 behind Biffle. Patrick lost one spot and is 27th in the standings with 373 points, 399 behind Johnson and 226 away from Biffle.

    Five races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Stewart, Martin Truex Jr. and Newman are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory. Since Stewart and Truex sit 11th and 12th, respectively, in the standings, they hold the first and second wild-card spots.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished one spot behind Stenhouse, who placed 34th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the 355k at The Glen Sunday, Aug. 11 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

     

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  • GoBowling.com 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 30, 2013) – Walking through the garage this weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Danica Patrick will spot another driver in a GoDaddy firesuit.

    And it won’t be because GoDaddy IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe took a wrong turn on his way to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington.

    It’s because Patrick’s boss and Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Tony Stewart has joined the GoDaddy team for Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono and will drive the No. 14 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS.

    While Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, will be behind the wheel of her iconic green car at Pocono, Stewart’s will be painted primarily black.

    And both will attempt to figure out how to go fast around the one-of-a-kind 2.5-mile triangular racetrack at Pocono.

    Designed by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rodger Ward, Pocono has three different corners each modeled after a different track. Turn one, which is banked at 14 degrees, is modeled after the now-closed Trenton (N.J.) Speedway. Turn two, banked at 8 degrees, is a nod to the turns at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And turn three, banked a 6 degrees, is modeled after the corners at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis.

    Patrick made her first start of any kind at Pocono in the June Sprint Cup Series race, when she started 30th and finished 29th.

    She’s hoping to improve in her second race at the “Tricky Triangle” as the long summer stretch marches on.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Pocono?

    “It’s a neat place, definitely a unique track. It was helpful to test there before the last race, especially since Friday practice was rained out during the race weekend. It’s good to go to these places a second and third time. It’s just part of the learning process. I feel more comfortable going there this time than last time and I’m sure I’ll feel even more comfortable next year. Going to these tracks a second and third time helps.”

    Tony Stewart will be driving a black GoDaddy Chevrolet SS this weekend. Talk about that.

    “I think it’s neat, especially with a little different paint scheme. I think the black car looks good. Any extra exposure is great for GoDaddy and their employees and customers. It’s a pretty unique situation having two GoDaddy cars out there. I’m excited about it.”

    How are you gauging your rookie year thus far?

    “I think it is important to look at how it is going overall with the team. I think we’ve had some struggles this year and we are trying to come to grips with the new car. I wish I was better off than I am right now, but we are getting better. It’s just that everyone gets better throughout the weekend. I asked Tony (Gibson, crew chief) after Loudon how I was doing, and what does he really expect out of me. To some degree, that’s the real question – what are the expectations of me? Do you think I am supposed to be top-20 and top-15 all the time? Or am I not? He said, ‘If I saw there being an issue, or something that stood out as a problem, or an area you needed to work on, I would have come to you already, but I don’t see it. And every time I am behind you, you are doing the right thing’. He said we have to work on the cars and make them better, and he thinks I am doing a good job.”

    Talk about your teammate Ryan Newman’s win last week at the Brickyard 400.

    “I was really happy for him and the team. Ryan’s a laid-back guy but, when I went to victory lane after the race, you could tell he was pretty excited and happy. I’m really happy for him and (crew chief) Matt Borland. They’ve both been a huge help to me and it was great to see them get such a big win.”

    Is it daunting to know that getting a win or top-10 finishes is very difficult for rookies in the Sprint Cup Series?

    “You are competing against a lot of experience and good relationships team-wise, driver- and crew chief-wise, and familiarity. It’s just tough. I think hoping for top-10s and wins all the time is fairly unrealistic. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Daytona was a top-10 to start the year off, but I think it’s far more realistic to hope for top-15s and top-20s, right now. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s about baby steps and it’s about making realistic goals you can achieve. Otherwise, it’s just constantly frustrating because, if you had set a goal of top-20 and you finish there, then you have something to be happy about where, if you don’t set that goal at all and you’re 20th, then you are like, ‘I suck, I’m 20th.’ You have to set goals along the way and it’s a process. That is why experience pays off. For the most part in your whole career, you don’t stop learning and you continue to get better. It’s just a little bit more so at the beginning.”

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  • Brickyard 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 28, 2013
    Event: 20th Annual Brickyard 400 (Round 20 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 33rd / 30th (Running, completed 237 of 302 laps)
    Point Standing: 26th (364 points, 376 out of first; 195 behind 10th)
    Winner: Ryan Newman of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick finished 30th in Sunday’s 20th Annual Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was making her first Sprint Cup Series start at the 2.5-mile oval. She competed at Indianapolis seven times in the IZOD IndyCar Series in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and finished in the top-10 six times.

    “I just kind of kept with it and hoped to catch a break somewhere, or that the car would get a lot better, and it just kind of stayed real steady,” Patrick said. “We took two tires on one of the stops and we got track position out of it but, unfortunately, it just didn’t run very well. So, we tried something, it just didn’t work, and that’s that. It just was what it was. When we came into this weekend, I said ‘OK, I’m not going to try to take anything from the car that it doesn’t really have’ and, unfortunately, that’s what we had today. Or, that’s what I had today.

    “I said it all week, that this is a special place and always will be. It would have been nice to have a better day than this and be able to march forward. We just didn’t. And that’s just all there is to it. Sometimes, these are just the days you have. So, that’s all right. We’ll roll on to Pocono and hope for better.”

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans/Smurfs 2 Chevrolet SS, won the Brickyard 400. It was the 19th point-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and its second this season. Tony Stewart won June 2 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Newman started from the pole after a track-record qualifying lap Saturday and led four times for 48 laps en route to his first win of the season and his first at Indianapolis. He is the third driver to win the Brickyard 400 from the pole, joining Kevin Harvick (2003) and Jimmie Johnson (2008). This was Newman’s 17th career Sprint Cup victory and his first since April 1, 2012 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    “I’m happy for Ryan, he is an Indiana boy,” Patrick said. “He got the pole, so I’m really happy for him. I’m happy for Stewart-Haas. We’ve had a trying year, for sure. And so, the high point of Tony winning at Dover and Ryan winning here is pretty cool. This is a special place and I’m sure he’s very happy in victory lane.”

    Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for SHR, finished fourth. It was Stewart’s seventh top-five and 11th top-10 in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis. It was also his fifth top-five and seventh top-10 this season.

    Johnson finished 2.657 seconds behind Newman in the runner-up spot, while Kasey Kahne, Stewart and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were three caution periods for a total of 14 laps with all 43 cars running at the finish of the 160-lap race.

    With round 20 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up two spots to 11th and has 558 points, 182 back of series leader Johnson and just one point behind 10th-place Gordon. By virtue of his victory, Newman gained three spots and sits 16th with 534 points, 206 out of first and 25 behind Gordon. Patrick gained one spot and sits 26th in the standings with 364 points, 376 behind Johnson and 195 away from 10th.

    Six races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., and Newman are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory. Since Stewart and Truex sit 11th and 12th in the standings, respectively, they hold the first and second wild-card spots.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished five spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 25th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the GoBowling.com 400 Sunday, Aug. 4 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Brickyard 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 23, 2013) – While Jim Nabors won’t be part of the pre-race ceremonies for Sunday’s 20th Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there’s a chance Danica Patrick might be humming the tune (Back Home Again in) Indiana, as she makes her way around racing’s most hallowed grounds.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), made quite a name for herself in an Indy car from 2005 to 2011 competing in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

    She burst onto the scene at Indy in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading three times for 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first “500” – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race.

    She set numerous records during her Indianapolis 500 debut and set the tone early when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times during the month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carburetion Day.

    Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month and the fastest turned by any woman in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning her rave reviews for her car control by longtime Speedway observers. She ended up qualifying fourth, the best-ever starting position for a woman in the race.

    On race day, with 11 laps remaining in the 200-lap event, Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to slow down in order to conserve fuel to make it to the finish. Her efforts earned her Rookie of the Year honors.

    Patrick scored six top-10 finishes in seven starts at Indianapolis and qualified 10th or better five times. Her third-place result in 2009 is the best finish ever for a woman in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

    She returns to Indianapolis this week and is hoping her success in the “500” can carry over to the Brickyard 400.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Indianapolis has always been a special place for you. Talk about competing in your first Brickyard 400 this week.

    “I don’t care what I drive around Indy, I love being there. I just like everything about it. I like the facility, obviously. And, to me, the special thing about Indy is, obviously, I’ve had great experiences, but it’s about the track. It doesn’t matter what kind of car I drive there, I’ve had great experiences, memories. So that’s what I like so much about it. And I love the tradition. The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what’s important and what matters and what means the most to you.”

    Compare driving a stock car at Indianapolis to driving an Indy car.

    “It’s just about finding a balance with the car out there, which is no different than in an Indy car. You’re just trying to find a balance. All you’re doing in an Indy car is trimming it out and, if I could have more downforce in these cars, I’d probably take it because, in an Indy car, we learned very quickly that it’s about how much throttle you could carry around. The stock cars get very low in the corners, and that can be a little bit of a danger in an Indy car, especially if you get just a little bit too low and get a little loose. So that’s a little bit different, I suppose, but nothing that was terribly unexpected. It did feel a little funny driving through Gasoline Alley last year, though. We used to walk it. And I’m used to seeing the ‘Alley Cats’ (legion of local fans who have been a fixture at the entrance to Gasoline Alley during the Indy 500 month of practice, qualifying and the race for more than four decades) and I didn’t see them there. I just saw a bunch of “’Yellow Shirts’ (security guards), and that was nice. But I didn’t see any ‘Alley Cats.’”

    What did you do during the off week?

    “I wouldn’t say there was much downtime, to be honest (laughs). I was on The Tonight Show last Tuesday and then presented an award at the ESPYs the next night, so it was a bit busy. Over the weekend I was in a wedding, which was fun. But, it wasn’t like we had a ton of downtime. Still, it was good to get away from the racetrack for a week and try to get ready for the final 17 races.”

    When you were in Indy cars, which turn gave you the most trouble at Indy?

    “Turn one. I always feel like turn one is just – it has the most amount of issues, for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s partly because you get there a little quicker because (turns) two, three and four are a little bit more smooth and the arc is nice and smooth through the corner. I don’t feel like there’s as much adjusting. I don’t know what it is, but turn one has always been the issue no matter what car I’ve been in. So that was my answer for Indy cars, and it’s my answer for stock cars. It always gives you that little bit of a loose feeling getting in at times. And with these cars, especially, I feel you have to set them up for the long haul. You have to set them up for the whole run as opposed to, where in IndyCar, they have so much downforce and grip that you could set it up and it’d stay like that through the whole race or the whole run. So there’s a little bit of sacrificing and compromising on the car as far as what you have at the beginning so you have a good car at the end.”

    Talk about what it’s like when you drive through the tunnel at Indianapolis and get ready for a race weekend?

    “I think the best thing about coming back is that it feels familiar and it feels comfortable. I like seeing it. It feels very comfortable, very familiar. I just feel like I’ve had a lot of different experiences here that can help me and, again, it’s just a special place where I feel like from the beginning I’ve always really believed that you have to show this track respect, and it will hopefully show you the respect back. I’ve always thought that and, especially in IndyCar, this place can bite you pretty big. I don’t think it’s too much different in a stock car, to be honest. It’s just a very familiar place. We spent so much time there during the month of May that it becomes like a second home, almost. It’s not like the Indy 500 was a three-day show. You spent just about the entire month there. My parents live outside of Indy, now, as does my sister and her husband, so it’s nice to come back.”

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  • Camping World RV Sales 301 Post-Report

    Date: July 14, 2013
    Event: Camping World RV Sales 301 (Round 19 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 32nd / 37th (Running, completed 237 of 302 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (350 points, 346 out of first; 173 behind 10th)
    Winner: Brian Vickers of Michael Waltrip Racing in a green-white-checkered finish (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick was involved in a late-race accident and finished a disappointing 37th in Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was on the lead lap and in 25th position when she made contact with the cars of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Travis Kvapil going into turn one on lap 238. All three cars slid up and made contact with the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall.

    Patrick’s car suffered damage that couldn’t be repaired in a timely fashion, so her day was over after completing 237 laps.

    “What it felt like was either I misjudged the braking or everyone jammed up a little bit,” Patrick said. “I got sideways trying to slow down so that I didn’t drive up into the back of anyone. I just got sideways and there is nothing you can do. The worst part is that you know, obviously, I didn’t want to take anybody with me. I feel bad. What can I say? We were having a reasonable race and just didn’t mean to do it.”

    It was a tough ending for Patrick, who rallied from a lap down and a spin earlier in the race to put herself in position for a respectable finish in just her 29th Sprint Cup Series start and her first at New Hampshire.

    Patrick’s teammate, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished 26th after leading once for 84 laps. Unfortunately, Stewart ran out of fuel on a lap-301 restart while running in second place. Stewart was passed for the lead by eventual winner Brian Vickers with 16 laps remaining.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 WIX Filters Chevrolet for SHR, finished 39th after being involved in an accident on lap 226 with Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne. Like Patrick’s machine, Newman’s car was too damaged to continue.

    Vickers won the Camping World RV Sales 301 to score his third career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at New Hampshire.

    Kyle Busch finished .582 of a second behind Vickers in the runner-up spot while Jeff Burton, Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kenseth and Jeff Gordon comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 12 caution periods for 58 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 302-lap race, which was extended one lap by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round 19 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He dropped three spots to 13th and has 518 points, 178 back of series leader Johnson and five points behind 10th-place Kahne. Newman also dropped three spots and is 19th in the standings. He has 487 points, 209 out of first and 36 behind 10th-place Kahne. Patrick dropped two spots to 27th and has 350 points, 346 behind Johnson and 173 away from Kahne.

    Seven races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Truex (11th) and Stewart (13th) are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory, so they hold the first and second wild-card spots, respectively.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Stenhouse, finished three spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 34th.

    Sprint Cup teams will enjoy their second and final off weekend of the 2013 season before embarking on a slate of 17 consecutive races, beginning with the July 28 Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 20th running of the event begins at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Camping World RV Sales 301 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 10, 2013) – This week’s Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon marks the 15th consecutive week that Danica Patrick and the other NASCAR drivers have competed in a race.

    That streak started in early April at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway just as the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament was wrapping up and just as Major League Baseball’s regular season – which reaches its All-Star break marking the ceremonial midpoint of its 162-game regular season – was just getting underway.

    Fifteen consecutive weekends is quite a number for Patrick, for whom 17 races encompassed an entire season when she drove in the IZOD IndyCar Series before heading south to NASCAR. Now, 15 races is just a stretch in the season as, following Sprint Cup’s traditional mid-July off weekend, the series competes in another 17 consecutive races before crowning a champion in November.

    It’s all part of the adjustment Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has made moving from IndyCar to NASCAR.

    The 15th and final consecutive weekend of this season’s current run takes place at New Hampshire, the 1.058 mile track in Loudon that Patrick has competed at twice in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and once in the IndyCar Series. She finished 14th in last year’s Nationwide Series event and sixth in the 2010 IndyCar race.

    While New Hampshire is still relatively new to Patrick, for her crew chief Tony Gibson, it’s a place he’s been to many times. In fact, he’s been there every time. He’s worked as a crew member in all 36 Sprint Cup races conducted at the track. He was there for the first one on July 11, 1993, working as a crew member of Jimmy Hensley’s car, which started 13th and finished 11th. The team was still technically owned by the late Alan Kulwicki but was in the process of being purchased by Geoffrey Bodine.

    Gibson has been part of two victories at New Hampshire, the first coming as car chief for Jeff Gordon in August 1998, when Gordon started on the pole and led 68 laps en route to the checkered flag. Ryan Newman delivered Gibson a victory at Loudon as a crew chief in July 2011, when he, too, started on the pole and led 119 laps along the way.

    While Gibson knows his driver doesn’t have the Sprint Cup experience of Gordon or Newman, he’s hoping a solid run will give the team momentum heading into the rare off week.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts heading to New Hampshire?

    “We had a good test at New Hampshire last month. It’s obviously helpful to get track time, especially at a place I’ve never been in a Cup car. It’s a challenging place, for sure, but I’m happy we got some extra track time there and hopefully we can have a good run with the GoDaddy Chevy.”

    Restarts have been a topic of conversation recently. Can you talk about how you’ve improved on restarts and how they might compare with IndyCar?

    “As far as me and the restarts go, I feel like they are getting better and better. A lot of it has to do with the car, sometimes. If it’s really tight or really loose on a restart, there is just nothing you can do about it. You’re just hanging on. So, you tend to not have as good a restart in those situations. But there are other ones where, man, I’ve passed five cars and I’m having awesome restarts. So I feel like I’m actually having those days now. That’s very important, especially this year with how important track position has been. That’s where you can make up the most amount of ground. It’s challenging to pass. It’s really tough to pass. So, that’s good. Now, the difference between IndyCar and NASCAR starts are totally different. I think it’s hard for people to understand just how quickly Indy cars accelerate. In NASCAR, it’s really just about turn one. In IndyCar, it’s just about who gets flat (out) first. That’s the whole restart. It’s who can get flat first and anticipate that, even jumping the start on some. There’s a lot of jumping the start that goes on in IndyCar, I feel like. In NASCAR, there is a penalty for it. But it’s been this way for a long time, so it’s a much more organized start and I feel like it leads to a little bit more of kind of putting yourself in the right place at the right time and understanding how each lane works and where you might need to go. Sometimes at a track, the outside lane is really where you want to be and, sometimes, it’s the inside. So, I’m always hoping to get in the right line. In IndyCar, it gets a lot more spread out a lot quicker and it all happens right on the initial start, when the green comes out or, as I said, maybe just before.”

    You’ve finished on the lead lap in five consecutive races and scored two top-15 finishes in the last four races. The GoDaddy team talked about small steps at the beginning of the year. Do you feel like you’re making progress?

    “Yeah, I mean, it is getting better. Do I wish it would get better faster? For sure. I mean, everybody who is not running in the top-10 every weekend wishes it would get better faster. It’s small steps, and part of it is being a rookie and learning. Part of it is just making changes and making the car better or making things better internally so that you can go faster. Faster cars, all that kind of stuff, so there is a lot more that plays into it than just getting experience. Through getting experience on the track I’m also getting experience and understanding how a team works and giving my input on how I think it could get better.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing; Daytona Beach native:

    The GoDaddy team tested at New Hampshire June 25 and 26. How will that help the team as you return for the race weekend?

    “The test went really good. The first day was her kind of learning the track and learning the Cup car. We struggled a little bit for speed on the first day. The second day, she got up to speed pretty good and was only a tenth or a couple tenths off the fast guys, so we felt better about it and she felt much more comfortable. It ended up pretty good. We’ll go back in qualifying trim since we did test there. Hopefully, we’ll be able to just work on qualifying and get a good starting spot.”

    The team finished 12th in April at Martinsville, another flat track, but one that is only a half-mile. Are there any similarities that will carry over to the 1.058-mile track at Loudon?

    “It’s the same type of rhythm. There’s a lot of straight-line braking and trying to roll the center. The forward drive is not as critical as at Martinsville as the rolling speed is a lot faster. But, a lot of characteristics of the track are the same, just a little bit bigger, obviously. It’s the same style of driving to get around there.”

    You were working at the first Sprint Cup Series race at Loudon in July 1993 and have been to every race conducted there. Talk about your first race there and what you remember.

    “I was there with Jimmy Hensley as the driver and Geoff Bodine was in the process of buying the team since Alan (Kulwicki) had been killed earlier in the year. It was a nice little racetrack. I’ve always loved Martinsville and it was real similar to that. I thought it was a really cool, really neat racetrack. I’ve been fortunate to run really well there and been with some great drivers. It’s probably one of my better tracks because it kind of fits my style of set-up stuff. It’s a really cool track and I loved it the first time I saw it. I’m looking forward to going back there and I’m glad we race there twice.”

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  • Coke Zero 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 6, 2013
    Event: Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola (Round 18 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 11th / 14th (Running, completed 161 of 161 laps)
    Point Standing: 25th (343 points, 315 out of first, 156 behind 10th)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet) in a green-white-checkered finish

    Danica Patrick finished 14th in Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway despite being caught up in a multi-car accident on the final lap of the 161-lap event, which ended under a green-white-checkered finish.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was in the top-10 for much of the Coke Zero 400, including on the final restart on lap 159. She fell to 13th on lap 160 when the white flag flew for the final lap and, as the pack entered turn four for the last time, chaos ensued.

    Patrick’s car came together with the car of David Gilliland, triggering a multi-car accident as the pack came to the start-finish line with nearly 10 cars being collected in total. Patrick was uninjured and able to drive her damaged GoDaddy Chevrolet back to the garage.

    “Well, a green-white-checkered finish is always exciting,” Patrick said. “(Dale Earnhardt) Junior and I had a good run through the middle and then up high around (turn) four. And I just watched the replay. It felt like I ran just along the wall but it could have been me that came down in front of the No. 38 (Gilliland). It definitely wasn’t what I was trying to do at all. I was just following the No. 88 (Earnhardt Jr.). So, if that’s what happened, then I definitely apologize. I lost spots doing it.

    “All in all, it was a solid day. I felt like we were a little slow to get going but I felt like we made the car better and I felt like I figured out some things in the car that helped. We got the GoDaddy car in a decent position. We ran strong and that’s what we want to do. I thought the Chevys looked really good in the race.”

    Patrick’s teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet SS, finished second to score his ninth top-five and 14th top-10 in 30 career point-paying Sprint Cup starts at the 2.5-mile oval. It was also his fourth top-five and sixth top-10 this season.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet for SHR, finished 10th. It was his sixth top-10 in 24 career point-paying Sprint Cup starts at Daytona and his eighth top-10 of the season.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola to score his 64th career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his third at Daytona. Johnson, who also won the season-opening Daytona 500, became the first driver since NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 in the same year.

    Stewart finished .107 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip rounded out the top-five. Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Earnhardt, Casey Mears and Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 27 laps, with nine drivers failing to finish the 161-lap race.

    With round 18 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up six spots to 10th and has 499 points, 159 back of series leader Johnson and six points ahead of 11th-place Martin Truex Jr. Newman moved up two spots to 16th and has 482 points, 176 out of first and 17 behind 10th-place Stewart. Patrick picked up two spots to 25th and has 343 points, 315 behind Johnson and 156 away from Stewart.

    Eight races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Truex (11th) and Kasey Kahne (12th) are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory, so they hold the first and second wild-card spots, respectively.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 11th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Camping World RV Sales 301 on Sunday, July 14 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Coke Zero 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 2, 2013) – Short of winning the 55th Daytona 500, Danica Patrick’s participation in February’s Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway was nearly flawless.

    She was the fastest during the first practice of the year Feb. 16, then backed that up by winning the pole for the Daytona 500 one day later to become the first woman ever to claim the top spot for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. She stayed out of trouble for the remainder of Speedweeks and ran in the top-three for much of the Daytona 500 before dropping from third to eighth on the final lap.

    She rewrote some of the NASCAR record books with her eighth-place finish, earning the highest finishing position ever earned by a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    In addition to her history-making pole run and finish in the Daytona 500, Patrick also led five laps – 90 to 91 and 127 to 129 – becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead Sprint Cup Series laps under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 13 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish this feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Stewart. Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 15 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    She returned to the 2.5-mile oval in April to take part in a Goodyear tire test and now returns for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola. She’ll do so with a bit of a different look on the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) as the car will be its traditional green, but with touches of red, white and blue, along with the logo of “Start with .US” on the hood and rear decklid.

    The country code domain for the United States of America is .US and, since 2001, Neustar has been providing domain name registry services, critical infrastructure services and policy expertise for .US on behalf of the United States Department of Commerce. GoDaddy has partnered with Neustar for several years on offering domain names that end in .US.

    Guided by her crew chief, Tony Gibson, a Daytona Beach native, Patrick is hoping she can continue to make history, this time by going all the way to victory lane.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts heading back to Daytona?

    “I’ve always liked the superspeedways like Daytona and Talladega. It’s a high-speed chess match. Obviously, it’s a big weekend with it being the Coke Zero 400 and me having a good partnership with Coke Zero. Hopefully, we can build on what we had at Daytona in February and have a good run with the GoDaddy Chevrolet SS.”

    Looking back on the Daytona 500, do you wish you had a better plan at the end of the event to try and make a move for the win?

    “I was disappointed at the end of the race that I just didn’t have a better grasp as to what I needed to do to shoot for a better finish than where I was. Although, if they had just thrown that yellow, you know? Third. But you have to finish the race, I understand. That’s good for the sport when we finish under green. It makes it exciting. It really helped teach me, I feel, what happens at the end of the race and how to set them up. (Dale Earnhardt) Junior is really good at those big speedway races and knowing how to set things up. But, I just felt like I was just frustrated that I didn’t have a better plan. Tony (Stewart) said to me, ‘I really feel like you had more to lose in your position than you had to gain by trying something, so I think that you did the right thing.’ That made me feel better – a little bit. Was I still mad that I went from third to eighth on the lap? No, I was still disappointed in it. But to have somebody like Tony Stewart say something to me like that was very kind, and it put it in perspective. Jimmie (Johnson) did a nice job. We had a little conversation, and he told me I did a nice job, too. And I said I had wished I had a better plan but, ‘Thank you and I have a lot to learn.’ He said that in the two wins he had, he didn’t have a plan, and sometimes you just have to take it on the fly and work with what happens in the moment. He very kindly, later that day, said he’d seen the end of the race and said, in his opinion, the only thing I could have done was back up to Junior when he backed up, but as far as what happened on the back straight when Junior went low, in his opinion, he thought I did the right thing. So, to have somebody like Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson tell me that on some level I made good decisions out there at the very end, that was a really nice thing for them to say. It makes me feel a little bit better. I still feel like I want to have a better plan in the future but, in that moment, I had made some good decisions. So, it was appreciated.”

    You’re bringing a different car to Daytona than what you raced in February. Talk about that.

    “Well, we lost that poor car at Talladega, so we are going back with our backup, which is a really good car, anyway. We tested with it at the beginning of the year and I expect it to go in a similar fashion. I think we will still be pretty fast. Will we qualify on the pole and run in the top-three or five all day? I don’t know, maybe. The heat always changes things a little bit, but it’s a different car, and it’s going to be a different Hendrick engine. All that stuff just leads to a slightly different weekend. But I expect it to be somewhat similar, at least from a good standpoint in my head.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing; Daytona Beach native:

    You’re from Daytona Beach, originally, and you were part of history in February. Talk about that.

    “Well, it was obviously extremely gratifying to go down there and run well. To go to your hometown, where I grew up, to be in front of all your friends and family, and to go there and to do something that is pretty amazing, to make history, to just be a part of that is incredible. It was something that obviously will never be done again, and I feel real fortunate to be a part of that. I’ve got to thank Go Daddy, Danica and Stewart-Haas Racing and all my guys for sticking through the testing and the building of cars and going and doing all the things it takes to go down there and put those two laps together and make history. It was pretty crazy, too, with all the media and all the hype going into it, and the pressure of actually testing well and going down there and repeating and making it happen, it was a huge relief. But it was also very gratifying and ranks up there as probably one of the greatest things I’ve accomplished in my career. Goals for this July race are the same as they were in February when we went to Daytona. We want to go down there and we want to make a statement. We want to try to sit on the pole again, obviously, and this time finish a few spots further up. We felt like we had a shot to win it, ran in the top-three or four all day and had a fast car, and it came down to the last lap and kind of got snookered a little bit there at the end. But we felt like we were definitely in contention to win it, so we’re going back there with the same mindset, to try to be the fastest car in qualifying and try to close the deal at the end of this thing.”

    Going to Daytona and being from there, do you feel like it’s an advantage, of sorts?

    “Well, I think it does. I think, for me, I have a lot of family down there, a lot of friends, and a lot of history at that place. And I think it’s kind of like going and playing football or baseball or basketball in your hometown. You always feel like you’ve got that little – you’ve got the eighth man there, and it’s a little bit of a pump-up and a boost, and knowing that your friends and family are there and rooting for you. Yeah, I think it’s different, and I think it’s a plus.”

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  • Quaker State 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 30, 2013
    Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 17 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 29th/23rd (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (313 points, 297 out of first, 166 behind 10th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick finished a respectable 23rd in the Kentucky 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), ran a smooth, clean race in weather that was quite different than teams expected.

    The race was scheduled for Saturday night, but persistent rain forced NASCAR officials to postpone the race until Sunday at noon EDT. So instead of the race being conducted at night with cooler temperatures, drivers and teams raced with the sun shining on the track surface and air temperatures approaching 80 degrees.

    With the hot conditions, Patrick fought a car that wasn’t quite to her liking throughout the day.

    “We had a couple of runs where the GoDaddy car was pretty good,” Patrick said. “But every time we tried to make another adjustment and get the car better, it seemed to get worse. So we’d have to go back on the adjustment and try something new. We were really loose in turn three, and then at the end of the race we were just loose all over the place. The guys worked hard, and I hate that everyone had to stay an extra day.”

    Patrick’s teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 14th, while the third member of SHR, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 20th.

    Matt Kenseth won the Kentucky 400 to score his 28th career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Kentucky.

    Jamie McMurray finished .699 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 10 caution periods for 42 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round 17 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He dropped one spot to 16th and has 457 points, 153 back of series leader Johnson and 22 points behind 10th-place Logano. Newman maintained his 18th-place standing and has 448 points, 162 out of first and 31 behind Logano. Patrick maintained her 27th-place standing and has 313 points, 297 behind Johnson and 166 away from 10th.

    Nine races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Kasey Kahne and Stewart are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory, so they hold the first and second wild-card spots, respectively.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished six spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 17th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 6 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Quaker State 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 26, 2013) – It started in the Silicon Valley and will end in Kentucky. In between, Danica Patrick has been “Here, There and Everywhere.”

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), spent last Thursday in GoDaddy’s new Silicon Valley office meeting with employees and checking out the new digs. From there, she headed to Sonoma, Calif., for three days to participate in the Toyota/SaveMart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race before flying to Concord, N.C., following the event Sunday night.

    After participating in the Stewart-Haas Racing team debrief Monday, she headed up to Loudon, N.H., to test at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday. After a brief stop in Concord once again, it will be off to Kentucky Speedway in Sparta for Sunday’s Kentucky 400 Sprint Cup Series race.

    In short, the usual busy summer stretch is in full swing for Patrick and the other Sprint Cup Series drivers.

    The stretch continues in the Bluegrass State and Kentucky Speedway is yet another new venue for Patrick in the Sprint Cup Series. But, like several other tracks on the schedule, she has competed there in an IndyCar or a NASCAR Nationwide Series car.

    She competed in both Nationwide Series races at the 1.5-mile oval in 2012, starting 11th in both races and finishing 12th in June and 14th in September. In seven IZOD IndyCar Series starts at Kentucky, Patrick has one pole (August 2005) and four top-10 finishes.

    After a long week of travel, nothing would conclude the “Here, There and Everywhere” tour like a solid run at Kentucky. And, if she and the GoDaddy team can produce one, she may hear the voice of the late Happy Chandler singing “My Old Kentucky Home.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Kentucky?

    “It’s one of those tracks where I have experience but, obviously, not in a lot of it in a stock car. 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.”

    You’ve been all over the country the last week or so. How challenging is that?

    “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.”

    You were ranked 91st on the “World's Most Powerful Celebrities” list published by Forbes magazine. Talk about that.

    “It’s pretty flattering. You see the names on that list and it’s pretty incredible to be included. It’s obviously great for GoDaddy and for all of my sponsors, as well. It’s a great honor for me and everyone involved. I’m certainly happy to be included.”

    The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona is next week. Have you thought about that race at all, given your success there in February?

    “I think about Daytona. I never mind going to speedways. I find them fun. Obviously, being the Coke Zero 400 and being a sponsor of mine, it’s an even bigger event. It’s kind of hard to believe we’re already heading back to Daytona. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. We had a good Speedweeks there and hopefully we can keep that momentum going in the Coke Zero 400.”

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  • Toyota/Save Mart 350k Post-Report

    Date: June 23, 2013
    Event: Toyota/SaveMart 350k (Round 16 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (10-turn, 1.99-mile road course)
    Start/Finish: 31st/29th (Running, completed 110 of 110 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (292 points, 281 out of first, 161 behind 10th)
    Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Michael Waltrip Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick struggled at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and finished a disappointing 29th in the Toyota/SaveMart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), went off course twice during the 110-lap race, the second coming on lap 64 when she cut a tire and hit the tire barrier in turn 10, causing moderate damage to her car.

    “It was a long day – a long weekend,” Patrick said. “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. 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.”

    Patrick’s teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation 30th Anniversary Chevrolet SS, finished 15th.

    The third member of SHR, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 28th after late-race contact with Jeff Burton ended a chance at a top-10 finish.

    Martin Truex Jr. won the Toyota/SaveMart 350k to score his second career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Sonoma.

    Jeff Gordon finished 8.133 seconds behind Truex in the runner-up spot, while Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five. Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 19 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 110-lap race.

    With round 16 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He dropped five spots to 15th and has 433 points, 140 back of series leader Johnson and 20 points behind 10th-place Truex. Newman maintained his 18th-place standing and has 418 points, 155 out of first and 35 behind Truex. Patrick maintained her 27th-place standing and has 292 points, 281 behind Johnson and 161 away from Truex.

    Ten races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished two behind Stenhouse, who placed 27th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kentucky 400 on Saturday, June 29 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Toyota/Save Mart 350k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 19, 2013) – Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway is one of the few tracks on the NASCAR schedule where Danica Patrick has a lot of experience.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has made seven starts at Sonoma dating back to 2005.

    Those seven starts came in the IZOD IndyCar Series and unfortunately won’t offer much assistance to Patrick as she competes in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma.

    About the only things familiar to Patrick will be the garage area, pit lane and portions of the track. The reason only portions of the track will be familiar is that the IndyCar Series used two different layouts during the seven years Patrick competed there and neither is identical to the 1.99-mile, 10-turn course she will drive on Sunday.

    It will be Patrick’s first career Sprint Cup Series start on a road course and she is hoping her efforts produce better results than her three NASCAR Nationwide Series road-course finishes last year.

    All three were memorable, if not downright strange.

    In June at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., Patrick was fourth on the final lap when she was bumped into the gravel trap by Jacques Villeneueve, which caused her to finish 12th. Two months later, Patrick finished 43rd at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International after Ryan Truex spun in front of her on the start and she could not avoid his spinning car and made heavy contact with his machine.

    But the strangest experience of all came one week later when Patrick led 20 laps and was on the point at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal when a fan threw a shoe onto the track and she ran over it on lap 38 of 81. Shortly thereafter, whether the shoe caused the problem or not, Patrick was forced to pit for mechanical repairs and finished 27th.

    At Sonoma, Patrick is hoping to run a smooth and clean race, avoid any shoes on course, and build upon a solid 13th-place finish she and the GoDaddy team scored last week at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Last year, you ran well on the road courses in the Nationwide Series. How confident are you going into Sonoma?

    “Every step up, you take it to another level of difficulty and, by all means, in the Cup series there are a lot of good road-course drivers. It’s going to be challenging. I don’t think it’s going to be one of those things where I’m going to go qualify in the first two rows and lead the race the whole time, or at least I shouldn’t expect to be able to just do that right away. It still took a little bit for Tony Eury Jr. (Nationwide Series crew chief) and I to get a setup that worked for me on the road courses. My first trip to Montreal was very different than my second trip. It’s going to take a little bit of time, but it is a little bit of a comfort zone for me. I feel like I know what I’m doing and I feel comfortable. Stock-car drivers just don’t get a lot of time on road courses and I’ve spent my whole career doing it, for the most part. It’s nice to go to a place where I feel comfortable, I suppose.”

    You tested at Virginia International Raceway a couple of weeks ago. Talk about that test.

    “It was a productive day. It wasn’t so much about setting up the car for Sonoma because, obviously, the tracks are completely different. It was more about getting a good brake package and making sure I’m comfortable in the car. It’s my first road-course race with Stewart-Haas and my first time working one with Tony Gibson (crew chief), so it was just about making sure everything is smooth. There is so much that goes into a road-course race – shifting, braking, mirrors, the seat – you just want to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible so you don’t have to work on those things too much once you get to the track.”

    You competed at Sonoma in an IndyCar. Will that help you at all in a stock car?

    “Other than being familiar with the garage and pit lane, no (laughs). The cars are obviously so different that nothing will translate. It’s just such a different style of driving. This also is a slightly different course than what we ran in IndyCar, so nothing really translates. I’m excited to go out to Sonoma, though. I’ve always liked it out there and, hopefully, we can have a great weekend.”

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 16, 2013
    Event: Quicken Loans 400 (Round 15 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 37th/13th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (277 points, 261 out of first, 140 behind 10th)
    Winner: Greg Biffle of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick drove a smooth, clean race and finished a respectable 13th in the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), scored her third top-15 finish of 2013. She finished eighth in February in the season-opening Daytona 500 and 12th in April at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    “I think we caught some breaks out there,” Patrick said. “Yellows definitely helped us be able to get track position as far as closing up the gaps and being able to pit a few times. We tried to take right side (tires) and get track position early on. It just didn’t go well, and we just hadn’t gotten ourselves to a good place with the car that I could carry the speed that I needed to run with the (pack). It didn’t work out so well.

    “We worked on it and got it better. At the end of the race, the last run was the best run I felt as far as the balance of the car, which I was surprised because we had fallen off a little bit at the end of the run before. We had only taken right-side tires again for a second time. It’s nice to just get a decent finish for the team and for GoDaddy. It’s been rough going since Martinsville. This will hopefully get everyone’s head up a little bit, and we will go on. I think we have been strong lately. We just needed to have days like today where we finished it off.”

    Crew chief Tony Gibson was pleased with Patrick’s first Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan.

    “We had a really good car all day,” Gibson said. “She did a really nice job. We were a little loose to start, but once we got that fixed, we were definitely a top-15, top-20 car. We tried to stay on the same track position as all the other leaders and make sure we didn’t get ourselves in a bad position. And then we let her do the rest. It was a good day for us. She drove hard. Johnny (Klausmeier, race engineer) and all the guys did a great job with the fuel. It all worked out. It was good team work today. I’m proud of Danica and everybody on the GoDaddy Chevy. It’s a good weekend to build on to head to Sonoma.”

    Patrick’s teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished fifth to score his 12th top-five in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2-mile oval. It was also his third top-five this season.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for SHR, finished 18th.

    Greg Biffle won the Quicken Loans 400 to score his 19th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his fourth at Michigan.

    Kevin Harvick finished 2.989 seconds behind Biffle in the runner-up spot, while Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Stewart rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Jeff Burton comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 38 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

    With round 15 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up three spots to 10th and has 417 points, 121 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and two points ahead of 11th-place Paul Menard. Newman maintained his 18th-place standing and has 389 points, 149 out of first and 28 behind Stewart. Patrick picked up one spot to 27th-place in the standings and has 277 points, 261 behind Johnson and 140 away from Stewart.

    Eleven races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 16th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Toyota/Save Mart 350k on Sunday, June 23 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage of the road-course event provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at 2 p.m.

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 11, 2013) – With the conclusion of last weekend’s Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has been to all 23 tracks that host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

    Pocono was the last facility where Patrick had yet to compete in Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide Series or IZOD IndyCar Series competition at some point in her career.

    While she has been to every track at least once, there are seven tracks where she has driven in either Nationwide or IndyCar competition but has yet to race in a Sprint Cup car. That list includes Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    That list will reduce to six after the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup event this Sunday at Michigan. Patrick has two Nationwide Series starts and three IZOD IndyCar Series starts at the 2-mile oval but will make her first Sprint Cup start at Michigan.

    Last year, Marcos Ambrose won the pole for the June Sprint Cup race with a stock-car track-record lap of 203.241 mph. But high speeds at Michigan are nothing new to Patrick, who qualified for her final IndyCar race at Michigan in 2007 with a lap of 216.967 mph.

    Michigan has always been a favorite track of drivers, as the high banks and wide surface provide opportunities to move the car around quite a bit, depending on the handling of the car. And Patrick is hoping Michigan, which is located in the Irish Hills region of the state, brings her and the GoDaddy team a little luck this weekend.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve competed at Michigan in both IndyCar and NASCAR. Do you think people really understand the challenges associated with moving from IndyCar to NASCAR?

    “I think that people have been really understanding of the fact that this is a learning curve and coming from IndyCar is a totally different place. I feel like that’s been actually very publicized by you guys (the media), that there is going to be time needed to see that through. It doesn’t stop me from getting mad or wanting more. I think that’s just the nature of someone competitive. There are a lot of times that my crew chief (Tony Gibson) wants to remind me that I am doing a good job and that this is the first year, not only in Cup, but my second full time in stock cars. But I have high expectation levels, so I don’t think it’s a bad quality to have. But it keeps me pushing. But, on the other side, I think you guys (the media) have done a good job of educating maybe the more casual fan that it’s a big transition.”

    NFL legend Jim Brown was at the race at Pocono, and his daughter wanted to meet you. You met with her on the grid. Do those requests ever surprise you, and do you ever get overwhelmed or tired of them?

    “I never, ever, get sick of that. That’s sometimes the best part of your day, to hear a little kid say that they look up to you. Or, what I get a lot of the time is, you get their parents saying it for them because there are a lot of times kids get shy. Most kids get shy. Some of them are very, very open, and they feel like they know you and they come and hug you and there’s that kind of perspective. I don’t know what makes them like that, but some kids are really open. But it’s a nice feeling. It makes it all feel kind of worthwhile on days that aren’t good, and to understand that and to put you in the perspective that it’s just one day and that it will pass and they like you because they’ve seen you do well and that they enjoy you as a competitor. So it can definitely brighten up your day.”

    What advice do you give to young kids who look up to you?

    “I give the same advice to kids or adults – it’s just to find something that you love to do. It think that’s the most important. If you didn’t like what you’re doing, you’re not going to be very happy. So finding something that you love to do is the most important thing. So it works out that you make a decent living at it, too, that’s a bonus, sometimes.”

    What are your thoughts on Michigan?

    “Michigan is a wide, fast track. There’s lots of room to move around and try different lines. The intermediate tracks have been a struggle for us this year, but I think we’re improving as a team overall at SHR and I think I’m improving, as well. Our goals are the same as they are every week – to improve on qualifying and to race better. The GoDaddy crew has worked really hard, especially in the last month. We’ve tested a lot, and that means extra days on the road for everyone. I can’t thank the guys enough for their efforts. They’ve really put in a ton of work, and it would be nice to see that work pay off.”

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  • Pocono 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 9, 2013
    Event: Party in the Poconos 400 (Round 14 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
    Start/Finish: 30th/29th (Running, completed 160 of 160 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (246 points, 275 out of first, 149 behind 10th)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick was near the top-20 in the closing laps of the Party in the Poconos 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, but she was shuffled back during two late-race restarts and finished 29th.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was running 21st in her first career start at Pocono when the green flag flew on lap 152 of 160. She fell to 23rd before the final caution of the day flew on lap 155 due to Dave Blaney’s accident in turn three. After two laps of caution, she entered the final restart in 23rd but unfortunately dropped six spots in the final four laps.

    “The guys gave me a good GoDaddy Chevrolet,” Patrick said. “We just got shuffled back at the end on the restarts. It’s disappointing because we could have had a much better finish. It’s just part of the process, learning how to get better on restarts, especially at the end of races. That’s where you can really gain a lot of spots.”

    Patrick’s teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, finished fourth to score his 12th top-five in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono. It also was his second top-five this season.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished fifth after leading three times for 19 laps. It was his eighth top-five in 23 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono and his second top-five of the season.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Party in the Poconos 400 to score his 63rd career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his third at Pocono.

    Greg Biffle finished 1.208 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Stewart and Newman rounded out the top-five. Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 19 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

    With round 14 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up three spots to 13th and has 378 points, 143 back of series leader Johnson and 17 points behind 10th-place Biffle. Newman gained two spots to his 18th-place standing and has 363 points, 158 out of first and 32 behind Biffle. Patrick picked up one spot to her 28th-place standing and has 246 points, 275 behind Johnson and 149 away from Biffle.

    Twelve races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker. With his victory Sunday, June 2 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Stewart holds the first wild-card spot as he is the only driver between 11th and 20th in points with a victory.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 26th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 16 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Pocono 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 4, 2013) – In the early 1970s, Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway were constructed as auto racing moved from its smaller grassroots past and into a big business. Racing was the “Sport of the ’70s,” as any racing program from the early part of the decade will tell you.

    Ontario, which was demolished in 1980, was a 2.5-mile replica of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway built about 2 miles from where Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., currently sits. It was dubbed the “Indy of the West,” and hosted its first 500-mile IndyCar event in 1970. Jim McElreath took home $150,384 for his big victory in the California 500.

    One year later, the 2.5-mile Pocono facility opened and hosted its first 500-mile IndyCar race. Mark Donohue took home $87,874 for his big victory in the Schafer 500.

    Pocono’s triangular layout was designed by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rodger Ward and remains unlike any other track in the world with three different corners each modeled after a different track. Turn one, which is banked at 14 degrees, is modeled after the now-closed Trenton (N.J.) Speedway. Turn two, banked at eight degrees, is a nod to the turns at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And turn three, banked a six degrees, is modeled after the corners at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis.

    Of course, in the spirit of the ’70s, it was nicknamed the “Indy of the East.”

    While Pocono hasn’t been referenced with that moniker since Richard Nixon was in The White House, Danica Patrick and the GoDaddy team are hoping the 2.5-mile oval is indeed the “Indy of the East.”

    Patrick’s IndyCar record at Indianapolis is well known, having scored six top-10 finishes in seven starts, including a third-place result in 2009, the best finish ever for a woman in the Indianapolis 500.

    But she won’t be driving an IndyCar at Pocono during Sunday’s Party in the Poconos NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. And the 2.5-mile oval is unlike any other in the world, despite its similarities to Indianapolis. With that in mind, Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), spent two days testing there last week along with her SHR teammates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman.

    It was a productive test for the organization but probably most beneficial to Patrick, who had never even been on the grounds of Pocono, let alone driven any type of vehicle there.

    Pocono will be the final track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule that Patrick has not competed at in an IndyCar, Sprint Cup car or NASCAR Nationwide Series car.

    And, why not save the “Indy of the East” for last?

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You tested at Pocono last week and it was your first time there. What are your thoughts on the track?

    “It seems like a neat place, definitely a unique track. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m glad that we tested so I was able to get familiar with the place before coming back this week. These official tests are really, really helpful for people like me who still had yet to be to certain tracks. This is the last track that I hadn’t been to, so it’s good that we tested.”

    You have done a lot of testing recently. As a rookie, how has that helped you, especially since you have tested at tracks where there are Sprint Cup races, something that wasn’t always available to rookies in prior seasons?

    “As far as being a rookie in a series goes, I think this is probably a good year to be one with all the testing. The official tests that we are able to do – going to Dover, going to Pocono – and getting track time on tracks where we’re going to race, it’s a good time to be a rookie. So we’ve been doing a tremendous amount of testing this year, and we still have a lot more lined up. I think it’s a good time to do it. I don’t think it’s ever easy, but I think it’s a good time.”

    When you test at Pocono, a track you’ve never been to previously, how helpful is it to do so with your teammates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman?

    “It is helpful. It’s just little things. I poke my head in the car and ask both of them how it’s going. Questions like, ‘Can you carry the brake in there very deep?’ If they are shifting in all the corners right now – just braking markers and things like that. Having them around is helpful but, to be honest, really having their data to look at and be able to just kind of look at their braking points and their brake pressure, minimum speed through the corner and things like that – that’s the stuff that is the most helpful because you can tell a driver what to do, but we all have our own styles. You can’t exactly replicate it or it doesn’t even feel comfortable, or sometimes it doesn’t even make sense so, really for me, the most help I get is when I’ve been out there a while. Then I can ask more specific questions. That’s where I feel like I get the most benefit. And they’ve been very helpful the whole time.”

    SHR has struggled this season as an organization. What are your thoughts on Tony’s victory Sunday at Dover?

    “I was happy for him and I was happy for the team. It’s been a struggle for everyone this year, but everyone has worked really, really hard. The drivers, the crew chiefs, the engineers, everyone at the shop – everyone on the team is working extra hard to get better. To get a victory is huge for the team. It gets the momentum going in the right direction and I’m sure it will make everyone work even harder. I think it was something that was needed.”

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  • FedEx 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 2, 2013
    Event: FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (Round 13 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (concrete, 1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 39th/24th (Running, completed 396 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (231 points, 242 out of first, 140 behind 10th)
    Winner: Tony Stewart of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    During the latter half of the FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Danica Patrick heard crew chief Tony Gibson tell her several times over the radio that her lap times in the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) were comparable with drivers running in the top-10.

    That’s music to the ears of any Sprint Cup driver, much less one who was competing on Dover’s legendary “Monster Mile” for just the second time.

    Patrick put forth a gritty performance on a hot, humid afternoon on one of NASCAR’s most difficult racetracks, taking the checkered flag in 24th place after starting 39th and battling back from contact in the early going.

    She moved up to 34th after the green flag dropped, but on lap 37 she made contact with the car of David Stremme from behind and cut a tire. She pitted immediately for a new set of tires and to allow the crew to inspect the car, but no significant damage was found. The green-flag stop dropped Patrick three laps off the pace.

    “It was one of those Martinsville-like deals, where we got all bunched up and I had no option but to keep the steering wheel straight or else we both would’ve gotten taken out,” Patrick said over the radio.

    Despite dropping to 41st after the unscheduled stop, the rest of Patrick’s day was rather strong. She picked up 17 positions and lost just one more lap over the final 360 tours of the often-unforgiving, high-banked concrete oval.

    “I definitely didn’t make our day start off right by getting into the 30 in (turns) three and four and getting a cut tire,” Patrick said. “We were only 30 or so laps into the run, so we really were three laps down from the get-go. It made for a long day, but it didn’t mean that the GoDaddy team gave up. We still salvaged points, of course. That’s what we have to keep doing – learning and finishing all of these races so I can get better.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, took the lead for the first time on lap 398 of the 400-lap race and led the final three laps en route to his 48th career victory and first this season. It was his third victory, 11th top-five finish and 16th top-10 in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover. It was also his third top-10 this season.

    The victory also extended Stewart’s streak of winning at least one race per season since joining the Sprint Cup Series in 1999.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished 36th after starting fifth. It was his 23rd career Sprint Cup start at Dover and was marred by a mid-race accident.

    Juan Pablo Montoya finished .788 of a second behind Stewart in the runner-up spot, while Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 32 laps, with nine drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    With round 13 of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up four spots to 16th and has 338 points, 135 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 33 points behind 10th-place Paul Menard. Newman fell four places to 20th in the standings and has 323 points, 150 out of first and 48 behind Menard. Patrick picked up one position to 29th in the standings and has 231 points, 242 behind Johnson and 140 away from Menard.

    Thirteen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 11 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 13th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Party in the Poconos 400 on Sunday, June 9 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • FedEx 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 29, 2013) – With the two weeks of Charlotte complete, the competitors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now begin the summer stretch of races, the majority of which are conducted in the northern part of the country.

    For Danica Patrick, it means a lot of races at tracks she is familiar with, just not in the Sprint Cup Series. Of the next eight races on the schedule, Patrick has raced at seven of them in one series or another, save for Pocono (Pa) Raceway, sight of next week’s Sprint Cup race.

    Following Pocono, the series heads to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Patrick competed at all three tracks in the IZOD IndyCar Series and drove in NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Michigan and Kentucky.

    From Kentucky, the schedule heads back to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where Patrick started on the pole, led five laps and finished eighth in February’s 55th Daytona 500. The eight-race summer stretch concludes with races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – two tracks Patrick has driven in both IndyCar and Nationwide Series competition.

    In seven Indianapolis 500s, Patrick scored six top-10 finishes including a third-place result in 2009 – the best finish ever for a woman in the history of the race.

    The summer stretch kicks off this week with the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 38th and finished 28th in September 2012 in her only Sprint Cup start at the concrete mile oval.

    She’s made three Nationwide Series starts at Dover and finished 16th in September 2012. Patrick started 13th and finished sixth in a September 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Dover. She led three laps in the event to become the first female driver to ever lead laps in the series.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You tested at Dover a couple of weeks ago. How did that test go?

    “The Dover test was pretty good. We had 11 or so cars there (three from SHR and eight from other teams). I know that Stewart-Haas was really good there last year with not a lot of rubber down. And then, coming back for the race and being really bad and not feeling like they had made a lot of progress with the car, and being way out of balance. So, I think that will help pay off. Any kind of testing we can do on tracks we’re going to race on is absolutely going to help for that one, but we’re going to tracks and we’re using the right tires when we’re doing it. So, it was a good test and we made a lot of progress and we learned a lot.”

    What are your thoughts about Dover?

    “I always like going to Dover. The track is pretty fun. I remember everyone telling me how unique and challenging Dover was prior to my first race. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot to compare that track to. They said it was like a larger version of Bristol, but I hadn’t raced at Bristol yet, either. It’s nice to have more of a handle on what to expect heading in there now. Dover is fun. It’s fast and it can make for a really long day of racing. I think that’s part of the appeal of it – how demanding it can be. We definitely want to stay out of trouble, which is easier said than done at these types of tracks.”

    This is your second Sprint Cup Series start at Dover. Do you review previous races before going to an event?

    “I look through notes at what the feel was from the time before. If I’ve got some in-car (video), I’ll look at that, too. That’s really all there is to do. 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. There are little tiny 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.”

    Now that Charlotte is complete, the summer stretch really begins. What are your feelings about the next two months?

    “Last year I raced at Daytona, Darlington and Charlotte in the Sprint Cup Series and then there was a summer break before I raced at Bristol in August. So other than Dover and Daytona, I haven’t raced in the Sprint Cup Series at a lot of the tracks coming up. I’ve been to Michigan, Sonoma, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indy either in a Nationwide car or an IndyCar, or both. So while I may not have seen them in a Cup car, I’ve been to a lot of the tracks and have an idea about them. Pocono will be the only new one, but we’re testing there this week, so we’ll get some experience before coming back for the race. I think that will be beneficial. I’m looking forward to the summer stretch. We need to get better and have better results and I know Tony Gibson (crew chief) and the GoDaddy team are going to work hard, and so am I.”

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  • Coca-Cola 600 Post-Report

    Date: May 26, 2013
    Event: Coca-Cola 600 (Round 12 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 24th/29th (Running, completed 385 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 30th (211 points, 234 out of first, 124 behind 10th)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick just wants a little luck to go her way for a change.

    Despite qualifying 24th, Patrick, the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was forced to start in the rear of the field for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway due to an engine change the team made following first practice on Saturday. Patrick fought her way through the field despite being mired deep in traffic.

    Thanks to a strong racecar, her efforts on the racetrack and a solid performance by her crew on pit road, Patrick appeared to be headed to a solid top-20 finish.

    However, her efforts were foiled just past the three-quarter mark of the 400-lap race when she was caught up in a wreck at lap 319. Patrick was in the middle of a three-wide battle when she made contact with reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, who later took blame for the incident. Keselowski apparently came down on Patrick, which sent her nose first into the turn three outside retaining wall and led to extensive damage to her racecar.

    Patrick’s GoDaddy Chevy sustained heavy right front and right fender damage, but she was able to drive her No. 10 Chevy to pit road for a series of lengthy repairs over the course of multiple pit stops. Patrick was able to continue but finished the race in a disappointing 29th-place, 15 laps down to the leaders.

    “We obviously started from the back, and track position was really important here at Charlotte,” said Patrick, who made her 22nd career Sprint Cup start and her second at Charlotte. “We fought our way back to trying to be in a position to be on the lead lap. I felt like we were making real progress and starting to get the car to a place that was really good and had an accident, which is unfortunate because we were moving up. But there’s nothing we can do about it now. We just need some luck.”

    Crew chief Tony Gibson was pleased with the GoDaddy team’s performance despite the wreck late in the race.

    “We had a really good car,” Gibson said. “Our car was really strong all day – probably one of the best cars we had had since Kansas (Speedway in Kansas City). It’s tough. Keselowski said he didn’t know that they were three-wide. He came down and caught us, and we got tore up. At that point, our goal became to finish the race. Pit stops were good. Danica did an awesome job. All we could do was get the car fixed and try to finish the race and go on. That’s what we did. We will build on the high stuff from tonight. We had a good car. We’re showing some strength. We’re making our stuff better during the race, and that’s what we’ve got to do.

    “I told Danica that one day we’ll be the windshield and not the bug. We’re making progress. We’re making gains. We just have to be ready for when it’s our turn, and we will be.

    Patrick’s SHR teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, led a lap en route to scoring his sixth top-10 finish of the season and his ninth top-10 in 25 career Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for SHR, finished seventh after leading once for six laps. It was his 13th top-10 in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval and his second top-10 this season.

    Kevin Harvick won the Coca-Cola 600 to score his 21st career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his second at Charlotte.

    Kasey Kahne finished 1.49 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Newman, Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Marcos Ambrose comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 11 caution periods for 61 laps, with 12 drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race. The race was delayed three times for separate incidents which forced NASCAR to display the red flag. The first two of the three red-flag periods were for a camera cable that fell on the track and caused damage to a handful of cars. The first red flag was displayed for 10 minutes and 40 seconds with the second following quickly after the first and lasting 16 minutes and 22 seconds. The third red flag was displayed for an accident on lap 327, delaying the racing action for nine minutes and 13 seconds.

    With round 12 of 36 complete, Newman continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He rose one spot to 16th and has 315 points, 130 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 20 points behind 10th-place Brad Keselowski. Stewart also gained one spot to crack the top-20. He is 20th with 291 points, 154 out of first and 44 behind Keselowski. Patrick lost two positions and is now 30th with 211 points, 234 behind Johnson and 124 away from Keselowski.

    Fourteen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 15 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 14th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks on Sunday, June 2 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 21, 2013) – Racing on Memorial Day weekend is nothing new for Danica Patrick as she’s done it at the professional level for nine years. But for 2013, just as it was in 2012, the car, location, track length and distance will be a bit different than what she became accustomed to from 2005 to 2011.

    In those seven years, Patrick competed in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And nowhere did Patrick perform better than in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” She burst onto the scene at Indy in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading three times for 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first “500” – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race.

    She set numerous records during her Indianapolis 500 debut and set the tone early when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times throughout the month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carburetion Day.

    Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month and the fastest turned by any woman in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning her rave reviews for her car control by longtime Speedway observers. She ended up qualifying fourth, the best-ever starting position for a woman in the race.

    On race day, with 11 laps remaining in the 200-lap event, Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to slow down in order to conserve fuel to make it to the finish. Her efforts earned her Rookie of the Year honors.

    Patrick scored six top-10 finishes in seven starts at Indianapolis and qualified 10th or better five times. Her third-place result in 2009 is the best finish ever for a woman in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

    For the second consecutive year, however, Memorial Day weekend will be different for Patrick, as she’ll watch the start of the Indianapolis 500 on television from her motorhome in the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway infield as she prepares to drive in the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.

    The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will compete in a race that is 100 miles longer than the Indianapolis 500, starts six hours later than the “500” and takes place on a 1.5-mile high-banked oval rather than a 2.5-mile nearly flat rectangle.

    She started 40th and finished 30th in the 2012 Coca-Cola 600, but is hoping extended track time at Charlotte in 2013 will bring a better finish. The GoDaddy team tested for two-days at Charlotte in January as part of a NASCAR open test and then completed 130 laps in race conditions last week between the 40-lap Sprint Showdown and 90-lap Sprint All-Star race, two non-points races at the 1.5-mile oval.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Will you be watching the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday before the Coca-Cola 600?

    “I will watch it. I think we are all curious. We’re all in racing and we all watch racing. I think that’s a common thread and it always will be there, especially with the Indy 500 being such a cool and old, historic race. We’ll all be paying attention. Last year, they put on a great show.”

    Stewart-Haas Racing tested at Dover (Del.) International Speedway last week. Talk about that.

    “The Dover test was pretty good. We had 11 or so cars there (three from SHR and eight from other teams). I know that Stewart-Haas was really good there last year with not a lot of rubber down. And then, coming back for the race and being really bad and not feeling like they had made a lot of progress with the car, and being way out of balance. So, I think that will help pay off. Any kind of testing we can do on tracks we’re going to race on is absolutely going to help for that one, but we’re going to tracks and we’re using the right tires when we’re doing it. So, it was a good test and we made a lot of progress and we learned a lot.”

    You have a lot of experience at Charlotte, especially in 2013. Do you feel more comfortable there than perhaps other places?

    “Yeah, and I always go back to it. It’s really dependent on the car. I mean, essentially, I had better results in my Cup races last year than I have had this year other than Martinsville and Daytona. So we have had a couple of really good highs, but the rest of them have been not so good at all. So I don’t think I unlearned things from last year, it’s just a matter of getting the car to a place where it does what we all want it to do as drivers on the team. So I feel comfortable, yes. There is a lot of stuff I don’t worry so much about and I can just get in the car and go. But things I am more familiar with are looking at a tire sheet, or understanding what happens to a car in the corner and being able to translate to Tony Gibson (crew chief). But it really all comes to being comfortable with the car that you have underneath you to be able to go do the job you need to do.”

    Stewart-Haas Racing has struggled thus far this season. How tough is that for the drivers?

    “Well, I feel like we all have the same feeling about the car and we all have a similar opinion of what the car is doing and, more importantly, what it’s not doing. And when that happens, it’s time to go to work to figure out how to get that out of the car. And I feel like once we do, we are going to be better for the struggles we have had. But we do need to figure those out and I think we are all in agreement that we need to make a lot of progress, and I feel like sometimes that is half the battle.”

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  • Fans Vote In Patrick to First All-Star Race

    Date: May 18, 2013
    Event: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race/Sprint Showdown (non-points events)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish All-Star Race Start/Finish: 22nd/20th (Running, completed 90 of 90laps)
    Start/Finish Sprint Showdown Start/Finish: 7th/9th (Running, completed 40 of 40 laps)
    Winners: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race – Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
    Sprint Showdown – Jamie McMurray of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (Chevrolet)

    It was a night of highs and lows for Danica Patrick on Saturday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick won the Sprint Fan Vote to gain entrance into her first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, which was a high for the Rookie of the Year contender. But she fought a tight-handling No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet in the 90-lap non-points event and finished 20th.

    “First and very foremost, thank you to all the fans who voted for me or maybe voted so many times for me,” Patrick said. “I’m very fortunate to have the fan base that I do, and I never forget that. It really just makes me feel bad to win the Sprint Fan Vote and run in the back of the race. We just couldn’t get the GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet right. We were just too tight. The guys did a great job on pit road. That goes without saying. It was just a tough night, but hopefully we are able to figure out what was wrong, and we can come back here next weekend and have a better run.”

    Patrick earned entry into the race by being the recipient of the fan vote on NASCAR.com. Patrick was eligible for the fan vote by competing in the Sprint Showdown, the undercard event to the Sprint All-Star Race. Patrick started seventh in the 40-lap race, which was broken up into two 20-lap segments. She finished ninth in both segments. Jamie McMurray won the Sprint Showdown to advance into the All-Star Race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second to McMurray to also advance into the All-Star Race.

    After winning the fan vote, Patrick started 22nd in the 90-lap All-Star race. While Patrick had a solid racecar in the Sprint Showdown, that wasn’t the case in the All-Star race.

    Just five laps into the event, Patrick radioed to crew chief Tony Gibson that her GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet was too tight, which became the theme of the night.

    Gibson called for a variety of major chassis adjustments during the race to aid Patrick’s tight-handling condition, including track bar, wedge and air pressure adjustments. The crew also made a variety of shock adjustments. But as the laps clicked off, the handling characteristics of the GoDaddy Cares Chevy didn’t improve, and Patrick continued to tell her crew her racecar wouldn’t roll through the center of the corner, preventing her from gaining spots on the racetrack.

    Gibson was frustrated with the car’s performance but pleased Patrick got valuable track time, which could help the rookie in next week’s Coca-Cola 600.

    “The car was pretty good the first race, and the second race I don’t know what happened,” Gibson said. “It was plowing tight from the very first lap on, and we couldn’t get it fixed. We slung everything I know to sling at it. Maybe we had a bump stop or a shock give up on it, but I just don’t know right now. Everybody dug all night long and we stayed in the game, and that’s all you can do. It’s frustrating because you don’t know what happened. We’ll try to figure out what we’ve got.

    “We just want to thank all the fans for getting us into the race because we never would have been in it if it weren’t for them. We appreciated the support from them, and hopefully one day we can give a little bit of something back to them. Overall, we learned a lot and she got some time on the racetrack, so that will pay dividends next week, I think. It’s just frustrating. I thought we would run way better than that based off our first race there. I’m not sure what happened and what went wrong there.”

    Patrick’s teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS, finished 13th. The third member of SHR, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished 14th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the All-Star Race, his record-breaking fourth victory in 12 All-Star starts, breaking a tie with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt for the most All-Star Race wins. Johnson’s past All-Star Race victories came in 2003, 2006 and 2012.

    Joey Logano finished 1.722 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five. Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.

     

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  • Sprint Showdown Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 14, 2013) – Danica Patrick enters this weekend not quite knowing how many laps she will race on Saturday night.

    She might race 40, or she might race 130 depending on what happens with the Sprint Fan Vote and the Sprint Showdown. Both are part of the non-points Sprint All-Star event Saturday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    Twenty-two drivers are already locked in the 90-lap Sprint All-Star race by virtue of either a Sprint Cup race win in 2012 or 2013, an All-Star Race win at some point in the last 10 years, or a Sprint Cup championship in the last decade.

    Patrick, who has only 21 Sprint Cup starts in her career, does not meet those requirements but has two other ways she can lock herself and the GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet team into the Sprint All-Star Race. She can finish first or second in the 40-lap Sprint Showdown, which takes place right before the Sprint All-Star Race, or win the Sprint Fan Vote. Fans can vote for Patrick until 5 p.m. EDT Saturday at NASCAR.com or on the NASCAR Mobile ’13 app, where votes count twice.

    Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will carry the logo of GoDaddy Cares for this weekend’s Sprint All-Star festivities. GoDaddy Cares is GoDaddy’s charitable branch whose unique “Round Up for Charity” program in which customers who purchase a domain name or a product at GoDaddy have an option of rounding up their purchase to the nearest dollar. Customers then select a charity of their choice from an extensive list offered by GoDaddy.

    Three of the charities on that list are featured on Patrick’s GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS this weekend:

    n Hope for Haiti: Hope for Haiti is a Naples, Fla.-based charitable organization operating in Port-au-Prince and out of Les Cayes in the south of Haiti. Serving in the most remote areas, Hope for Haiti’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children, through education, nutrition, and health care. For more than 20 years, the organization has been working in partnership with the Haitian people to connect, heal, and empower communities on the path toward sustainability.

    n National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF): The National Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by breast cancer survivor Janelle Hail. NBCF continues to grow every year to help more and more women around the world by educating them about breast cancer and providing free mammograms to women in need.

    n VEX Robotics / REC Foundation: The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC) seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the United States and internationally.


    For more information on GoDaddy Cares, visit: www.GoDaddyCares.com

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What do you think your chances are of getting the fan vote into the Sprint All-Star Race?

    “I don’t know. I think about it from a fan’s perspective and I think you want the driver you cheer for to be out there, of course, but you want a good race. Hopefully, they think of me when they think of those two. We always have the opportunity to race in, as well. We’ve been working really hard over the last month on our mile-and-a-half car and we need to. Let’s hope it all comes together by the All-Star Race.”

    You made a funny video about the All-Star voting process with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Talk about that.

    “We thought that was fun. Ricky (Stenhouse) and I shot that little video. I would love to be in the race and I think, more than anything, you want to entertain your fans, of course. I hope I can be in the race to do that. Also, I want to perform well in the Coke 600 and racing in the All-Star Race would definitely help that. It was between GoDaddy and Sprint and them all making that happen. GoDaddy came up with the script and thought it was a clever little script, so we shot it in a matter of about 20 minutes and it aired. Obviously, we both want to be in the race and to try to create a little bit of buzz to get people to go vote and have some fun with it.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    How important would it be for Danica to either race her way in or get voted into the All-Star Race?

    “It’s pretty big for anybody just for track time and being able to work on the car. It’d be nice to get extra seat time for her. So, hopefully, the fans will vote us in if we can’t race our way in and we can get in the thing. Once you’re in it, you never know what can happen. Obviously, we’ve seen in the past someone you think is going to win doesn’t.”

    How big of a thrash is it for the team if you transfer from the Showdown to the All-Star Race?

    “It’s actually not too bad. It’s no different than a pit stop, really. You can do the same things, change tires, change spring rubbers, chassis adjustments – things like that. So it’s not that big of a deal. They don’t take the car to victory lane, anymore, just the driver. So we can get ready and turn it around and go. It’s not that big of a deal, anymore, because there’s a limit on what we can change for the All-Star Race. If we race our way in or get voted in, we’ll be happy to deal with that when the time comes.”

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  • Southern 500 Post-Report

    Date: May 11, 2013
    Event: 64th Southern 500 (Round 11 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 40th/28th (Running, completed 362 of 367 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (196 points, 227 out of first, 119 behind 10th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick steadily got faster throughout the Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, but unusually long green flag runs put her three laps down early, and she finished 28th.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), made her second start at the 1.336-mile egg-shaped oval and was forced to use her backup car after a crash in Friday practice caused heavy damage to her primary machine.

    After starting 40th, Patrick reported early that her car was experiencing a tight-handling condition as the leaders set an incredibly fast pace, while the race had only one caution in the first 303 laps.

    “Those long green flag runs just killed us,” Patrick said. “It’s tough because you get behind, and it’s hard to get caught back up when the pace is that fast and there are so little yellows at the beginning. We had a setback in practice, and that cut into our practice time and because of that we didn’t get to make any qualifying runs, which led us to going out cold in qualifying, which is not a strength of mine anyway. So it was just a tough weekend. Nothing is wasted. No run or no lap is wasted, but sometimes the fruits of your labor aren’t realized until later on.”

    Patrick’s crew chief, Tony Gibson, was pleased with her effort despite the finish lower than what the Go Daddy team had hoped.

    “Obviously we had some issues on Friday, wrecking our primary car,” Gibson said. “So to go to qualifying with no mock (qualifying) runs and go out there raw, she did a good job. It’s tough here when you start that far back. She did a really nice job. Probably about halfway through the race, it kind of clicked, and she started running some really good lap times. She picked up on a few things following other guys, so our progress I thought went really good. The goal coming in here was to run all the laps, and if we can’t run them all, run as many as we can. Learn, then go home and digest all that and put it in our notebook and build off that, and that’s exactly what we did. It’s still a learning process for us, obviously. So to come out of here with a backup car and looking at her lap times and how she gained throughout the race – that’s good. She gave great feedback, and we made the adjustments, and it showed in the lap times. The pit stops were really, really good, and Danica did a good job. We learned a lot, and we’ll build on it for the next one.”

    Patrick’s teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 10th to score his fifth top-10 finish of the season and his 10th top-10 in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Darlington.

    The third member of SHR, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished 15th.

    Matt Kenseth won the Southern 500 to score his 27th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Darlington.

    Denny Hamlin finished 3.155 seconds behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five. Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 25 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 367-lap race.

    With round 11 of 36 complete, Newman continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He maintained his 17th position in the standings and has 276 points, 147 back of series leader Johnson and 39 points behind 10th-place Harvick. Stewart moved up one spot to 21st in the standings and has 253 points, 170 out of first and 62 behind Harvick. Patrick dropped one spot to 28th in the standings and has 196 points, 227 behind Johnson and 119 away from Harvick.

    Fifteen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 10 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 18th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 18 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The non-point-paying event begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by SPEED beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m. SPEED’s “RaceDay” begins at 4 p.m.

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  • Southern 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 7, 2013) – It’s been called the toughest of all tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. So much so that Darlington (S.C.) Raceway years ago was nicknamed “The Track Too Tough To Tame.”

    Darlington is an egg-shaped oval 1.366 miles in length – the odd shape because the western portion of the oval needed a tighter radius on the turns as founder Harold Brasington promised Sherman Ramsey, who owned a farm next to the property, that he wouldn’t disturb his minnow pond when he built the track in 1949.

    The odd shape also means that, to find the fast way around the track, drivers run against the outside walls in each turn, sometimes brushing up against the wall and thus earning what has affectionately become known as a “Darlington Stripe” on the right side of the car. And the black marks left on the walls by the tires rubbing up against them all race weekend have led to the track’s other nickname – “The Lady in Black.”

    For the third time in her NASCAR career and second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, “The Lady in Green,” Danica Patrick, driver of the green No.10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will meet “The Lady in Black,” when she competes in Saturday night’s Southern 500 Sprint Cup race at Darlington.

    Patrick made her NASCAR debut at Darlington last year in the Nationwide Series by starting 15th and finishing and impressive 12th. One night later, she made just her second Sprint Cup start ever and finished 31st.

    Her weekend impressed several NASCAR observers as Darlington is known as a track that is tough on first-timers. But “The Lady in Green” completed 513 of 519 laps in her first weekend at “The Lady in Black,” and did so without being in an accident – also a tough feat for a rookie, much less a seasoned veteran.

    Patrick returns this weekend hoping to improve on her Darlington resume and perhaps tame the track that is “Too Tough To Tame.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Are you more comfortable this year heading into Darlington than last year?

    “Last year, I ran there in the (Sprint) Cup race and it was basically my first Cup race, really. I ran Daytona, but Darlington was like getting thrown into the deep end. That was the purpose of it, to get seat time so I’m not thinking or dreading going there this weekend worrying about what that’s going to look like for me and how it’s going to feel. I have an idea now of how it’s going to feel and what needs to be done.”

    Talk about your experience at Darlington last year.

    “I had never seen Darlington until that race weekend. So that’s always a bit interesting when you go somewhere you’ve never been. But I accomplished all the things I wanted to accomplish. Things went good on the Nationwide side. On the Cup side, my goals were to be respectable out there. I think I held my own. And the other one was to finish, and both of those things happened. So, overall, it was a good night. I definitely got a feel for all the elements. Starts, restarts and pitting, and all that stuff. Just how to get runs on cars. What to do when the car feels a certain way. Which lines to take, and to accommodate for the car and how it feels.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Darlington?

    “Hopefully, she remembers what she learned last year. It’s hard because we only race at Darlington once a year, so it’s hard to remember that far back, sometimes. The biggest thing with Darlington is to race the racetrack, not anybody else. That’s what we did last time. She stayed out of trouble because she raced the racetrack, so that’s what she’s got to do again. I think that’s what impressed me there last time is she didn’t get caught up in trying to race everyone. She raced the racetrack and took what the car gave her. Our goal is to go there and have a clean race and finish. Typically, if you can do that, you can finish 25th or better and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

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  • Aaron's 499 Post-Report

    Date: May 5, 2013
    Event: Aaron’s 499 (Round 10 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 23rd/33rd (Accident, completed 182 of 192 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (180 points, 203 out of first, 100 behind 10th)
    Winner: David Ragan of Front Row Motorsports in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)

    Danica Patrick missed a big accident early and outlasted a three-hour rain delay but couldn’t avoid a late-race multi-car crash, finishing a disappointing 33rd in the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was in the middle of the pack of drafting cars on the backstretch on lap 182 when several cars began crashing in front of her. Despite her best efforts, she was caught up in the accident, and her GoDaddy.com Chevrolet suffered too much damage to continue.

    “I’m probably sure the most common answer is, ‘I have no idea,’” Patrick said. “It happens out here; it is frustrating. Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) was trying to make it four-wide, and the No. 36 (JJ Yeley) came up to block him, and it turned him. Then the No. 78 (Kurt Busch) was spinning; I went high, and somebody came up and clipped me and put me in the wall. I’m not sure which car it was. The No. 32 (Terry Labonte), it looked like. Honestly, it is just the way it goes. People forcing the issue. It is late in the race; I get it. But that’s what causes these accidents that makes speedway racing speedway racing. It’s just unfortunate for everyone on the Go Daddy team.”

    On lap 44, Patrick did a spectacular job avoiding a multi-car accident that unfolded in front of her in turns one and two. She went low on the track and missed several cars crashing in front of her before coming to a complete stop as her path was blocked with wrecked race cars. She then drove around the roadblock and continued, much to the amazement of her crew chief, Tony Gibson.

    “We were watching, and we were like, ‘Holy cow,’” Gibson said. “The next thing you know is she came on the radio, and she just aimed for the empty hole. I don’t know how she missed the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) there at the end. The No. 18 came back down across, and she said she got loose when she got on the first apron. Then when she got on the flat, she got real loose. How she survived, I have no idea. The GoDaddy.com Chevy did good, and our spotter (Brandon Benesch) did an awesome job. It’s unfortunate how it ended up with the late-race crash. But that’s part of restrictor-plate racing.”

    Patrick’s teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished 32nd. Newman, who led once for two laps, had his day cut short after being involved the same accident as Patrick.

    The third member of SHR, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS, finished 27th after being one of 16 drivers involved in the multi-car accident on lap 44 that Patrick avoided. He was able to return to the race but finished five laps down in 27th place.

    David Ragan won the Aaron’s 499 to break a 64-race winless streak. The win is his second career Sprint Cup victory and his first at Talladega.

    Ragan’s Front Row Motorsports teammate David Gilliland finished .212 of a second behind Ragan in the runner-up spot while Carl Edwards, Michael Waltrip and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Regan Smith, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Scott Speed and Aric Almirola comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 31 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 192-lap race, which was extended four laps by a green-white-checkered finish. Heavy rains also delayed the race for three hours, 36 minutes after the red flag was unfurled on lap 124.

    With round 10 of 36 complete, Newman continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He fell one spot to 17th and has 242 points, 141 back of series leader Johnson and 38 points behind 10th-place Greg Biffle. Stewart maintained his 22nd-place standing and has 224 points, 159 out of first and 56 behind Biffle. Patrick dropped one spot to 27th place in the standings and has 180 points, 203 behind Johnson and 100 away from Biffle.

    Sixteen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 20 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 13th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Southern 500 Saturday, May 11 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The race starts at 6:45 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 6 p.m.

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  • Aaron's 312 Post-Report

    TALLADEGA, Ala. (May 4, 2013) - A potentially-strong run for Danica Patrick ended early when an issue with the tandem draft occurred. Patrick started the race on the outside of the second row in the fourth position and had high hopes for a strong finish for the AccuDoc Solutions/Go Daddy team. Just 14 laps into the Aaron's 312, Patrick was logging laps when she and her drafting partner lost contact, sending Patrick spinning in turn three. The damage to the No. 34 was to severe to repair, relegating the team to a 39th-place finish.

    Patrick came into the weekend looking to make her second start of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season with Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM). During Thursday's two practice sessions at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway, Patrick worked on the tandem draft and made a mock-qualifying run. The team was confident going into Friday's qualifying session and Patrick backed it up with a stellar lap, placing the No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions/Go Daddy Chevrolet in the fourth position for Saturday's Aaron's 312.

    After a long rain delay on Saturday, NNS eventually took the green flag hours after the scheduled start time. Patrick wasted no time in picking a partner and rode inside the top five for the first five laps. On lap eight, Patrick found a drafting partner, and the duo worked to make a move to stay towards the front of the lead pack and get to the NASCAR-mandated caution on lap 20. Unfortunately, it was on lap 14 when Patrick got disconnected from her drafting companion and sent the No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions/Go Daddy Chevy spinning. After making a couple trips down pit road, the Turner Scott Motorsports team decided that the damage was too severe to repair and retired from the Aaron's 312 in the 39th place.

    "I hate it for everyone at Turner Scott Motorsports, this is the second time they gave me great car this season," said Patrick. "We were just riding and trying to make our way back up to the front. I'm just disappointed that I wasn't able to bring the AccuDoc Solutions/Go Daddy Chevy home with a finish that I felt like we could have gotten."

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  • Aaron's 499 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 1, 2013) – The stars may be aligning for Danica Patrick as she enters the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday (May 5) at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), always seems run well in the month of May, and she loves restrictor-plate racing, the kind of which takes place at Talladega.

    Her memorable “May Days” have mostly been in the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Indianapolis 500. She burst onto the scene in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first Indianapolis 500 – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race.

    Patrick set numerous records during her Indianapolis 500 debut and set the tone early when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times that month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carb Day.

    Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month and the fastest turned by any woman in the history of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning rave reviews for her car control by longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway observers. She ended up qualifying fourth, the best starting position ever by a woman in the legendary event.

    On race day, 11 laps before the end of the 200-lap race, Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to back off the pace to conserve enough fuel to make it to the finish. Patrick ended up fourth – the best finish ever for a woman at Indianapolis at that time – and earned Rookie of the Year honors for her efforts, which included leading the race three times for 19 laps.

    In seven Indianapolis 500 starts (all in the month of May, of course) Patrick qualified in the top-10 five times and finished in the top-10 six times – including a third-place result in 2009. It remains the best finish by a woman in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

    When she turned her attention to NASCAR full-time, Patrick continued to find promising May results in 2012. She finished 13th or better in three of the four NASCAR Nationwide Series races (Talladega, Darlington, Charlotte) conducted during the month.

    And while the month of May has always been good to Patrick, so have restrictor-plate tracks, and that was again true in February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Like she did at Indianapolis, she made headlines around the world with her record-setting performance in the 55th Daytona 500. She became the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500, and then finished in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    She led laps 90 to 91 under caution, becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race, and then held the top spot under green from laps 127 to 129 to become the first woman to lead a NASCAR race under green. The only other woman to lead laps in a Sprint Cup race is Janet Guthrie, who led five laps under yellow in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 13 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish the feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart.

    Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 15 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    She won’t be in Indianapolis this May, but she’ll look to make even more history in the Sprint Cup ranks during a month that has been very good to her throughout her career. And a victory at Talladega this weekend would certainly add another chapter to her already impressive story.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts on Talladega?
    “Talladega is one of those tracks where anything can happen. Our superspeedway races are really exciting. There are a lot of leaders, a lot of lead changes and just a lot of action. If you’re a fan, this is a race you need to tune into because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

    Given your eighth-place result at Daytona, do you feel you can win Talladega this weekend?
    “I feel like I’ve learned some lessons from Daytona about the draft and how that unfolds at the end if you are in the right place at the right time. I think that, when we talk superspeedway racing, there’s a lot of luck involved. Like I said, right place at the right time … there are a lot of people who have a good chance of winning Talladega, I think. Hopefully, we are one of them at the end of the race. But, we won’t know that until end of the race.”

    There have been some big penalties this year. You’re still new to NASCAR, but what are your thoughts on those penalties?
    “It’s tough for me to know what the things that teams, cars, drivers, owners have been penalized for and to know how bad that is. I think penalties happen more in (Sprint) Cup than anywhere, it seems like, and I haven’t been around that long, and I don’t know how much of these things are performance gains or oversights, or blatant, or something they just got caught for. I just don’t know. I don’t know if it has to do with the new car. I really don’t. So, I would say NASCAR is definitely sending a message that if something is found that they don’t like, there will be penalties for it. That’s pretty clear.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Talladega?
    “She’s pumped up and excited. She’s really excited to run the Nationwide Series race, also. It helps because you can learn a lot about drafting and things like that. Air is air and, the way it moves around, is the same for a Cup car or a Nationwide Series car. Learning to position yourself in certain situations so you have an advantage from Saturday and Sunday is a plus. So, she’s pretty excited to do both races. Obviously she’s a really good restrictor-plate racer. After running Daytona and starting on the pole and running in the top-three all day and finishing eighth, we’re excited. We kind of got snookered there at the end a little bit, but I think she logged that in the memory bank and learned some moves that she needs to keep in mind coming down to the last lap if we’re in a position to win at Talladega.”

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  • Aaron's 312 Pre-Report

    Turner Scott Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series News & Notes:
    Talladega Superspeedway

    Danica Patrick
    No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions/Go Daddy Chevrolet Camaro
    Talladega Superspeedway | Aaron's 312
    May 4, 2013

    Season Recap...
    Danica Patrick will make her second start of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Patrick's first start of 2013 also came at a superspeedway, at Daytona International Speedway in the NNS season opener. Starting in the 12th spot, Patrick quickly moved through the 40-car pack and found herself racing for the lead. Patrick went on to lead five laps before she experienced an electrical failure on lap 31, forcing an early retirement from the DRIVE4COPD 300 and relegating her to a 36th-place finish.

    Return to Talladega...
    Patrick will make her second start at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. Patrick made her first start at the superspeedway last season, starting in 17th and working her way up through the field to lead a lap before eventually coming home with a top-15 finish, in 13th place.

    Welcome Aboard...
    The No. 34 Chevrolet is sporting the colors of AccuDoc Solutions this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway with Go Daddy will also onboard, serving as Patrick's associate sponsor. AccuDoc Solutions is based in Morrisville, N.C. and provides billing-statement printing and processing to hospitals and hospital-based physicians. In addition to paper-based billing statements, ADS enables patients to choose electronic statement delivery and make payments through secure online payment portals. Notable North Carolina based clients include Carolina's Healthcare System, the UNC Healthcare System, Sentara Healthcare, Baptist Health Care Pensacola, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Memorial Healthcare System and WakeMed. To learn more, visit www.AccuDocSolutions.com. Go Daddy is the Web's top platform for small businesses. Visit http://www.godaddy.com/business/small-business.aspx

    This Week's Camaro...
    Turner Scott Motorsports will debut a brand new chassis, TSM-337, for this weekend's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway.

    Follow Along...
    Be sure to follow Turner Scott Motorsports on all social media platforms. You can find TSM on facebook at facebook.com/TurnerScottMotorsports, on twitter at @TSMotorsports and on Instagram at TSMotorsports.

    Watch and Listen...
    The Aaron's 312 can be seen live on Saturday, May 4 on ESPN. Race coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as SiriusXM Radio, channel 90.

    Crew Chief Mike Greci on Talladega Superspeedway:
    "I'm looking forward to working with Danica again this weekend. I felt like we had a lot of chemistry the last time we worked together in Daytona. We were able to run up front and be in contention for a solid finish before we experienced an electrical failure. We have a great crew put together for this weekend, and I feel like we should be able to take the new chassis and compete for a solid finish."

    Danica Patrick on Talladega Superspeedway:
    "I really enjoy racing at the superspeedways, and Turner Scott Motorsports has a great superspeedway package. We had a great run going in Daytona, and I'm hoping we can pick up where we left off. I have a great crew, and I feel like we have an opportunity to bring home a solid finish for AccuDoc Solutions, Go Daddy and TSM."

    NNS results at Talladega Superspeedway:
    Starts: 1
    Wins: 0
    Poles: 0
    Top 5: 0
    Top 10: 0
    Laps Led: 1
    Average Start: 17.0
    Average Finish: 13.0

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  • Danica to Race for TSM in Talladega Nationwide Race

    MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 29, 2013) - Turner Scott Motorsports announced today that Danica Patrick will return to pilot their fourth entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Talladega Superspeedway. Patrick, who is competing full-time as a Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year candidate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) in 2013, will return behind the wheel for her second start of the season in the No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Camaro. Patrick will once again have the veteran crew chief Mike Greci atop the pit box to call the shot in this weekend's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Greci previously served as crew chief for Patrick at the season opener NNS race in Daytona.

    The former IndyCar driver has only one previous start at Talladega, leading one lap and finishing 13th in last year's NNS race. Patrick finished 36th at Daytona International Speedway, after experiencing an engine issue in her only previous start for Turner Scott Motorsports. Despite her bad luck in the NNS race, Patrick had success at Daytona, earning the pole and finishing eighth in the NSCS Daytona 500.

    Patrick, the first woman in history to win an IndyCar race, has raced in a total of 59 NNS events, tallying one top-five and seven top-10 finishes. Patrick completed one full-time NNS season, finishing 10th in the 2012 driver point standings. The Roscoe, Ill. native also earned the NNS Most Popular Driver award following her full-time NNS campaign.

    Long time Turner Scott Motorsports partner AccuDoc Solutions will serve as Patrick's primary sponsor and will also be joined by Patrick's long time sponsor Go Daddy as associate sponsor on the No. 34 Nationwide entry. AccuDoc Solutions, based in Morrisville, N.C., provides billing statement printing and processing to hospitals and hospital-based physicians, while Go Daddy is the Web's top platform for small businesses.

    "I'm thrilled that I get another chance to drive the No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Camaro for Turner Scott Motorsports," said Patrick. "We had a great run going in Daytona, and I'm hoping we can pick up where we left off. I want to thank everyone at TSM, AccuDoc Solutions and GoDaddy for making this great opportunity come together."

    Patrick will have three teammates on Saturday, with full-time TSM drivers Justin Allgaier, Kyle Larson and Nelson Piquet Jr. competing in the 117-lap restrictor plate race.

    "We are very happy to welcome back Danica Patrick to the Turner Scott Motorsports Nationwide lineup this weekend in Talladega," said team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. "We were extremely pleased with Danica's efforts in Daytona and felt like we had all of the pieces in place to be successful. TSM has assembled a great crew for her this weekend and I feel like we have a great deal of potential; there's a very good chance of Danica bringing home Turner Scott Motorsports' first Nationwide win of the season."

    The Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway will air live on ABC at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 4. The race can also be heard on MRN and Sirius XM Radio, channel 90.

    About Turner Scott Motorsports: Turner Scott Motorsports was established in 1999 by Texas businessman Steve Turner, who was joined by partner Harry Scott Jr. as co-owner in 2013. This season will mark the fourth season of full-time NASCAR competition for the organization, which expanded in 2011 from a two-truck operation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) to become the largest stand-alone multi-series team in NASCAR's top-tier touring series. The team earned its first championship when James Buescher captured the NCWTS title in 2012. Turner Scott Motorsports operates out of an 110,000 square-foot state-of-the art facility in Mooresville, N.C. The Chevrolet-backed team has created alliances with General Motors' powerhouse team Hendrick Motorsports, which provides engine support for both its NNS and NCWTS programs, and Earnhardt Technology Group for drive train and suspension technology assistance. For more information on Turner Scott Motorsports, visit

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  • Toyota Owners 400 Post-Report

    Date: April 27, 2013
    Event: Toyota Owners 400 (Round 9 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 30th/29th (Running, completed 402 of 406 laps)
    Point Standing: 26th (169 points, 174 out of first, 102 behind 10th)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing in a green-white-checkered finish (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick finished 29th in the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), dealt with a car that was loose on entry, tight in the center and loose on exit in the corners of the .75-mile oval.

    While crew chief Tony Gibson tried a series of chassis and tire pressure adjustments, nothing brought the GoDaddy.com machine to life. Patrick finished four laps down in her first Sprint Cup Series start at Richmond.

    “We were just so tight in the center of the corner,” Patrick said. “We just couldn’t loosen the car up enough to make the center work the way we needed to. Tony Gibson and the Go Daddy guys threw a lot at it, but we just couldn’t get the center quite right. We were loose in, tight center, loose off, but as much as we tried to loosen up the center, we never really affected the entry either.”

    Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 15th, while Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished 18th.

    Kevin Harvick won the Toyota Owners 400 to score his 20th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Richmond.

    Clint Bowyer finished .343 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Burton rounded out the top-five. Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 11 caution periods for 75 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 406-lap race, which was extended six laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round nine of 36 complete, Newman continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up one spot to 16th and has 229 points, 114 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 42 points behind 10th-place Paul Menard. Stewart fell one spot to 22nd place in the standings and has 207 points, 136 out of first and 64 behind Menard. Patrick dropped one spot to 26th place in the standings and has 169 points, 174 behind Johnson and 102 away from Menard.

    Seventeen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 13 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 16th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Aaron’s 499 Sunday, May 5 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Battle for the Coke Zero Tailgate Championship

    The Party Is On! Danica Patrick to Tour Talladega Boulevard, Award Prizes to Best Decorated Campsite

    Battle for the Coke Zero™ Tailgate Championship is set for Hallowed Ground – Talladega Boulevard

    TALLADEGA, AL – The world famous Talladega Boulevard, a strip of land in Talladega’s infield known as NASCAR’s “Party Capital” for providing fans with the most fun in all of motorsports, just got even better! When the Aaron’s Dream Weekend (May 3-5) rolls into Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick will walk the Boulevard, mingle with fans, and award a one-of-a-kind “Coke Zero Tailgate Champion” trophy to the best decorated campsite.

    After spending time on Talladega Boulevard last year during her first trip to the 2.66-mile unpredictable track, Patrick saw it to be “party central” for fans that featured fun, music, dancing, food, beverages and the most unique display of colorful creativity when it came to the décor of each campsite.

    “I had heard about the Talladega Boulevard from my team prior to us coming to Talladega last year,” said Patrick, who will be a frontrunner for both the pole and race win for the Aaron’s 499. “So, we decided to walk from one end of the boulevard to the next, and I was amazed at how much fun these fans have at ‘Dega. It was unbelievable. After last year, I walked away saying how much I loved Talladega Superspeedway, as well as their super passionate fans.”

    “I can’t wait to get back to Talladega and see the fans again on the track’s ‘Main Street’ in the infield. With the help of the track, as well as Coke Zero, there are some neat things planned for Talladega Boulevard. Race fans out there, make sure to bring anything and everything you can to decorate your campsite, and be ready to have some fun with it! We can’t wait to see you!”

    Plans are for Danica to award the “Coke Zero Tailgate Champion” trophy Saturday afternoon, at some point following the conclusion of the Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

    The most notorious strip of real estate in NASCAR, Talladega Boulevard, is an innovative corridor like no other and has been a mainstay in NASCAR circles since the track was built in 1969. The Mardi Gras-type atmosphere of The Boulevard, complete with strings of beads and shenanigans, is a NASCAR tradition that separates Talladega from other venues. It truly is a sight to behold how tents, RVs, trucks and trailers, with an abundance of ingenuity and creativity, can liven up a large crowd of people.

    “Danica’s passion for Talladega Boulevard shows fans what an incredible place it has been in the past and what it will be in the future,” said Talladega Chairman Grant Lynch. “Our fans will get an opportunity to see Danica up close Friday, so we encourage them to really dress up their area and get ready for a party. We hope the “Coke Zero Tailgate Champion” trophy presentation and competition will become a new tradition here at Talladega.

    “We are thrilled that Coke Zero has come onboard to support Danica’s effort as well. We are also excited to have the Miller Lite Infield Track Bar as a part of Talladega Boulevard, a perfect setting for our Saturday night concert with country music star Chris Young.”

    The most competitive racing in NASCAR combined with a mix of southern hospitality returns to Talladega Superspeedway May 3-5 for the Aaron’s Dream Weekend. Experience the excitement as the superstars of NASCAR attempt to tackle the high-banks of ‘DEGA at 200 mph. Secure your tickets at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or by calling 877-Go2-DEGA. This is more than a race…This is Talladega!

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  • Toyota Owners 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 23, 2013) – It was