KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – 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.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine