Leaning on Experience at Richmond
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (April 20, 2016) – When it comes to the history of Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, members of the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) organization have played a role at one time or another.
SHR co-owner Tony Stewart scored his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at the .75-mile oval in September 1999 and has three career wins at the track.
Kevin Harvick first found his way to victory lane at Richmond in the September 2006 Sprint Cup race and has since earned two additional wins there.
Kurt Busch scored his first Sprint Cup Series win at Richmond in September 2005. Last spring, he dominated the field en route to his second victory at the track.
While Stewart, Harvick and Busch have made their mark in the Sprint Cup Series, Danica Patrick’s success at Richmond thus far has come in the open-wheel ranks.
The IndyCar Series competed at Richmond from 2001 to 2009 and Patrick competed in five of those events. She finished sixth in 2007 and 2008, and then scored a fifth-place result in 2009.
Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS for SHR, will make her seventh trip to Richmond in the Sprint Cup Series for Sunday’s Richmond 400. In the September 2014 Sprint Cup race at the .75-mile oval, she started 13th and scored her best-ever finish at the track – a 16th-place effort.
After back-to-back finishes of 21st at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and 27th at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Patrick enters Richmond looking to turn things around and get back to scoring top-20 results. While she knows her IndyCar experience at Richmond won’t assist her this weekend, Patrick and her No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS team will be leaning on the knowledge of their SHR teammates in an effort to find Sprint Cup success there.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What are your overall thoughts on Richmond?
“I tend to like short tracks. I think they make for good passing and I’ve always enjoyed going to Richmond. I had fun racing Indy cars there. I liked driving the Xfinity car there, as well. We didn’t have the greatest results, but it was still fun.”
What makes the racing so good at Richmond?
“When you have a good car, it creates opportunities to pass. Turns one and two are kind of tight, and three and four are more of a long corner, so it’s a challenge to set the car up. We slip and slide there a bunch, anyway. We typically race at Richmond at night, so there’s usually more grip. It’ll be interesting to see how much we’re all sliding around this weekend since it’s going to be a day race.”
With the new aero package and racing during the day versus racing at night at Richmond, what are your expectations for Sunday’s race?
“We are definitely going to be moving around a lot more at Richmond this weekend. I kind of think we’re going to be miserable some of the time. I mean, there are times where the tires fall off and you’re like, ‘Shoot me out here, it’s terrible.’ And I have a feeling we’re going to have a few ‘shoot me’ moments this weekend where it’s just going to be moving all around and it’s going to be a lot of work. But as long as we have the opportunity to pass, I mean, even if you’re slip-sliding around and it feels like crap and you’re passing somebody, it’s still fun.”
- Krista K. Massey
Former Group Vice President, Director of Sponsorships and Event Marketing
SunTrust Banks, Inc.