Danica Patrick Finding Success in Fontana
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.