Early Detection Is Key
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 20, 2015) – When Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) take to the track for Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, early detection will be critical in the final restrictor-plate race of the season.
Talladega is one of only two racetracks on the Sprint Cup circuit where restrictor plates are used. A restrictor plate is a device installed at the air intake of an engine to limit its power in an effort to reduce speeds, increase safety and help provide an equal level of competition. The horsepower-restricted engines require drivers to draft together, side-by-side at speeds approaching 200 mph.
As a result, superspeedway events often produce wild, unpredictable racing. In turn, there is also the distinct possibility of the inevitable “big one” – a multicar accident that typically eliminates multitudes of drivers from the event.
One tool that can readily assist drivers in navigating their way around the “big one” at superspeedways is the early detection provided by their spotters. Perched high atop the grandstands, spotters have a prime view of the 2.66-mile racetrack and can help keep the drivers apprised of any looming danger throughout the 500-mile event.
That assistance will be key for Patrick as she looks to score a solid finish this weekend. While Patrick has set records at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway – the other restrictor-plate superspeedway on the Sprint Cup schedule – she’s yet to find the same level of success at Talladega. With five prior starts at the track, her career-best finish at Talladega is a19th-place effort she earned in last October’s event. In May, she finished 21st in the Geico 500.
As Patrick depends upon the advice of her spotter during Sunday’s race, her GoDaddy Chevrolet will be promoting the importance of another type of early detection. Once again this week, her normally green Chevrolet will be pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. The special paint scheme is part of a month-long program for Patrick and the No. 10 team in support of GoDaddy’s annual “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer” campaign.
The goal of GoDaddy’s program is to raise awareness and money and to help support the cause. GoDaddy is donating $50,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), inviting customers to “round up” purchases to the nearest dollar for the charity and matching individual employee contributions up to $500 each.
According to the NBCF, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. The NBCF is recognized as one of the leading breast cancer organizations in the world. Its mission is to help women by inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services. According to the organization, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. To help women, the NBCF offers the Early Detection Plan app, which is a personalized reminder system for monthly and yearly breast exams based on age and health history. It’s available in both English and Spanish at iTunes, Google Play, or www.EarlyDetectionPlan.org.
GoDaddy has promoted breast cancer awareness since 2010 and the objective of the “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer” program is to inspire the millions of fans watching Sprint Cup races this month to donate and get regular check-ups.
Many GoDaddy employees and their family members have been impacted by the disease, including CEO Blake Irving. His mother, Patty Irving, holds the distinction as the longest-surviving breast cancer patient in New Mexico.
“She’s a testament to why awareness and early detection are so important,” Irving said. “My mom is a woman who not only survived, but is thriving as an active member of her community, due in large part to early detection and an amazing attitude. It’s inspiring.”
Patrick, spotter Brandon Benesch and the rest of the GoDaddy team hope they will be able to “round up” additional awareness to the NBCF and their early detection campaign by scoring a solid finish in the final restrictor-plate race of the 2015 season. At a track where anything can happen, perhaps Patrick can get the ultimate level of awareness by winning her first-ever Sprint Cup race on Sunday.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
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 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 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 kinds 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.”
Your No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS is featuring a special pink paint scheme for the month of October. Talk about that.
“The pink car really looks great this year and I think fans will definitely notice it on the track. I think we all want to make a statement – I bet there are very few people out there who don’t know someone impacted by breast cancer. My friend had a double mastectomy as a pre-emptive 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. If we all work together, we can help make a difference. Whether it’s starting a conversation or inspiring donations, every little bit helps.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine