After leading nine laps in Sunday’s Bad Boy Off Road 300, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) scored an 18th-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
Patrick started the race from the 24th position and quickly gained ground, moving inside the top-20 by lap nine. As the field cycled through green-flag pit stops in the midst of a long, green-flag run, Patrick went a lap down to the leader at lap 77. When the caution flag waved at lap 123 for debris, crew chief Billy Scott called for Patrick to take the wave-around, putting the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet back on the lead lap in the 18th position for the following restart.
On the subsequent run, Patrick held her position but went a lap down to the leader at lap 164. The caution flag waved on the following lap, and as Patrick was the first car one lap down, she was in the free-pass position and got back on the lead lap. Scott called her to pit road for tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment, and Patrick restarted in 18th at lap 171.
Another long, green-flag run ensued, and Patrick inherited the lead at lap 234 as other teams pitted. The caution flag waved at lap 240, and Scott called Patrick to pit road for tires and fuel. The No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet restarted from the eighth position when the field went back to green at lap 248, and Patrick worked her way up to sixth before contact from another car dropped her back to eighth.
Patrick was scored in the 11th position when the caution flag waved again at lap 264, but she fell to 17th with a left-rear tire rub before the caution flag waved at lap 284. The No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet team pitted for tires and a chassis adjustment at lap 286, and Patrick restarted in the 18th position at lap 289. She raced her way up to 13th before the caution flag waved for the final time at lap 291. Stuck on the bottom on the final restart, Patrick dropped back to 18th in the closing laps.
“We definitely didn’t need that final caution,” Patrick said. “We had a really strong run going before it came out, but it is what it is. My Nature’s Bakery team did a great job on pit road all day and helped make the car better as the race progressed.”