KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina – This week, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will embark upon the team’s penultimate journey of the 2016 season as they travel to Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday’s Can-Am 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
As Patrick arrives at Phoenix, she will be looking to outperform her effort at the track last fall. In November 2015, Patrick started 21st and earned a 16th-place finish in the rain-shortened event. In eight starts at Phoenix, that effort marked her career-best result at the mile oval. She has scored a total of three top-20 finishes at Phoenix.
In addition to Patrick’s Sprint Cup results at Phoenix, Patrick has competed in five NASCAR Xfinity Series events at the track, earning a top finish of 10th in November 2012.
Patrick has also made one IndyCar Series start at Phoenix, which resulted in a 15th-place finish in 2005.
Entering Sunday’s race, Patrick and the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery team’s journey through the 2016 season has resulted in 13 top-20 finishes and 30 laps led. This weekend, Patrick and the team will be looking to improve on those results and score a top-10 finish at Phoenix.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Talk about returning to Phoenix for this weekend’s race.
“The Phoenix area just has amazing amenities, like great grocery stores, great restaurants and great shopping. When it comes to the track itself, the fans are such a big part of everything. They get in early to camp out and it’s like they have their own little city. They even have a grocery store at the track. There’s always a really big crowd at Phoenix and it’s great to see how much this area supports our sport.”
What are your thoughts on racing at Phoenix this weekend?
“We had a solid race at Phoenix last fall and hopefully we can do even better when we return to the track this weekend. I like Phoenix and think it’s a great track, so I hope we can have another smooth run and do well.”
We’re closing in on the end of the season. How do you approach these final races?
“I feel like the 10 races of the Chase for us on the No. 10 team have been an effort to try and figure out where we want to start next year
from certain technical specifications – car-wise, what-not – and setups. We’re trying to get a direction so that next year, when we start out, we start out bigger, better, stronger and faster. It’s always a challenge when you work together with a crew chief for the first time. Sometimes it works right away and sometimes it takes time. I think we’re coming around. There’s no way you can really put a timeline on how long it takes for you to finally really click and get things going, but we’re getting there. We’ve got a couple of races to go this year and I like them all.”
Do you have a lot of friends coming out for this race?
“I always have a lot of friends who come out for the races in Phoenix. It’s a nice track for everyone to come out to and, hopefully, everyone has a good time.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine