Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) scored a 24th-place finish in Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Patrick started the race from the 24th position. When the caution flag waved for the first time at lap 22, she reported she was having some trouble with the brakes. She raced her way up to the 18th spot early in the race as the brake issue persisted. Patrick also noted the car’s handling was tight in the center of the corner and that she needed more drive on corner exit.
Crew chief Billy Scott called for air pressure, wedge and packer adjustments and added tape to the openings to the brakes in an effort to help Patrick during the first half of the race. While the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet’s speed improved significantly, Patrick found herself scored two laps down in the 27th position just past the midpoint of the race.
The team made a scheduled, green-flag pit stop at lap 357, and the caution flag waved as the team was performing the stop, which put Patrick three laps down to the leader. She was able to take the wave-around before the field went back to green-flag racing at lap 386 and restarted 24th.
In the late stages of the race, Patrick wasn’t able to make up any ground and took the checkered flag in the 24th position.
“That was a tough one,” Patrick said. “The Nature’s Bakery crew did a great job on pit road all day, and I have to give them credit for that. The brake issue just hurt us so much, especially early in the race, and we weren’t able to rebound as well as we would have liked. It’s tough having days like this, but when you’re down, you just have to dig in and do all you can to finish it out as best you can.”