Ready To Return to Kansas
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (May 3, 2016) – In the “Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy clicked her heels and said, “There’s no place like home,” in order to return to her home in Kansas.
After a top-10 run at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway was derailed by a late-race accident, the timing couldn’t be better for Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to return to Kansas Speedway in Kansas City for Saturday night’s Go Bowling 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Entering the weekend, Patrick is looking to score results similar to her May 2014 performance at the 1.5-mile track, when she started ninth and finished seventh. The effort was one of two times in her career she has started and finished in the top-10, with the other being the 2013 Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where she started on the pole and finished eighth.
Patrick ran well throughout the night at Kansas that year and was scored as high as third late in the race before finishing seventh.
After finishes of 27th at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, 24th at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and 24th at Talladega, Patrick is looking to get back to a track where she’s found success at every level she’s competed. In addition to her success at Kansas in the Sprint Cup Series, she earned a top-10 run at the track in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition in October 2012. She also has one top-five and three top-10 results in the IndyCar Series at Kansas, and she scored an IndyCar pole there in July 2003.
Given her history at the track, Patrick hopes a return to Kansas this weekend will end with her No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet finding similar success at the 1.5-mile track.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What are your overall thoughts on going back to Kansas this spring?
“I’ve always liked going to Kansas. It’s a nice facility and I’ve got a lot of experience there compared to some places, even if a lot of it is in IndyCar.”
What is the hardest part of the track to figure out at Kansas?
“It’s a fast track. I think it’s the same problem we face at most tracks we go to – you have to get through the center well enough to be comfortable enough to be very aggressive with the throttle at the same time. I think that, for sheer speed, you can’t be too loose, but in the race you can’t be too tight or you’ll fall back.
“These cars are finicky. It’s about focusing on the small things and getting the most out of the car itself instead of trying to throw the kitchen sink at it if you’re a little off. It’s all in the little details. I think that’s the most important thing”
This Sunday is Mother’s Day. What has your mother meant to you?
“She’s just a great, great person. She’s kind and she’s always been someone I go to when I need to be comforted. I feel like that’s the role of moms, and my mom definitely does a great job with that. I wish my mom and dad could be at the race every weekend, but they make it to as many as possible. I’m very grateful to have such great parents and I’m glad they’ll be at the track with me this weekend in Kansas.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine