Leaning on Experience
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Nov. 3, 2015) – Of all the tracks where Danica Patrick has competed, she is more closely associated with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway than any other.
In seven Indianapolis 500 starts, Patrick finished in the top-10 six times, including a third-place result in 2009, the best finish ever for a woman in the historic race. At Daytona, Patrick won the pole for the February 2012 NASCAR Xfinity Series race and then, one year later, became the first woman ever to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole by taking the top spot for the 55th Daytona 500. She went on to finish eighth in the Daytona 500, the best result ever for a woman in the history of the race.
But while Indianapolis and Daytona have provided plenty of good memories for Patrick, it’s Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, site of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race, that has provided the most experience.
Of all the tracks where the Sprint Cup Series competes, Patrick has the most starts at Texas, having driven in 18 major-league races – six Sprint Cup, four Xfinity Series and eight in the IndyCar Series. And it’s a track she’s taken a liking to in all three divisions.
In April’s race at Texas, Patrick started 21st and finished 16th. It marked her career-best Sprint Cup result at the 1.5-mile oval. In her four Xfinity Series races at Texas, Patrick has three top-15 finishes, including an eighth-place result in April 2012. In Patrick’s eight IndyCar Series starts at the track, she has five top-10 finishes, including a third-place result in June 2007 and a second-place finish in June 2010.
Patrick enters Texas with two Sprint Cup top-10s and 11 top-20s so far this season. She has an average starting position of 22.5 and a 23.9 average finish, and is ranked 24th in the driver standings.
After earning a solid result in the spring, the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is hoping Patrick’s experience at Texas will propel the team to a strong run in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Talk about racing at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I’ve always liked racing at Texas. I first competed there in the IndyCar Series in 2005 and they always put on a great show for the fans. Texas is a nice, weathered-in track that’s rough and bumpy. It’s still very fast, but the tires fall off and the surface has really taken on a lot of character over the years.”
You have a lot of experience at Texas and you seem to really enjoy racing there. Why is that?
“I think, more than anything with Texas, it’s the fact it’s a really high-banked, fast track and those are the kind of tracks I’ve liked the most. I feel that load in the corner and you’re able to carry so much speed through there because of that banking. I feel like it translates more to a feeling I was familiar with from Indy cars. So I like going to Texas.”
What is your favorite memory of racing at Texas?
“The Dan Weldon-Danica Patrick boxing duo promotion coming off of (the) Milwaukee (IndyCar race in 2007). That was probably my favorite. I also just about won in 2009. It was (Ryan) Briscoe and I on the last stop. I came out in front of him but I just didn’t have the speed and he went around me. But I almost won that race. That was a good night.”
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