Back to the Routine
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Aug. 8, 2017) – After spending a weekend in Watkins Glen, New York, making both right- and left-hand turns at one of only two road courses on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) look to settle back into their normal routine as the series travels to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.
Prior to last weekend’s race at the Watkins Glen International road course, Patrick and the No. 10 team had earned four consecutive top-15 finishes on oval tracks of varying length. Those results include a 15th-place effort at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, 13th at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, 11th at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway and 15th at the 2.5-mile Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
Patrick came close to making it five top-15 finishes in a row last weekend at Watkins Glen but, after running as high as 11th, midrace contact dropped her back toward the tail of the field. Patrick was only able to race her way back up to 22nd before taking the checkered flag.
This weekend, Patrick and the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford team return to Michigan International Speedway, a 2-mile oval. In the June event at the track, Patrick and the team had their shot at a top-15 run dashed by late-race contact. She was scored 15th when contact with another car on a restart with 10 laps to go sent the No. 10 Ford into the inside wall and relegated the team to a 37th-place finish.
Patrick has nine NASCAR Cup Series starts at Michigan and her best result is a 13th-place effort earned in June 2013. She has four top-20 finishes at the track.
In addition to her NASCAR Cup Series experience at Michigan, Patrick has made two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the track and her best finish was an 18th-place result earned in June 2012.
Patrick also has three IndyCar Series starts at Michigan with one of those a top-10 effort when she finished seventh in August 2007 after leading five laps.
This weekend, Patrick and the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford team plan to utilize that past experience to get back into a routine and hopefully earn another top-15 finish at Michigan.
What kind of challenges does Michigan present?
“It’s really easy to have an imbalance at Michigan, whether it’s getting the power down on exit or most of the time being tight. I feel like it produces some great racing and there’s a lot of drafting, so you can use that to help pass cars.”
What are your thoughts on racing at Michigan?
“Michigan is a wide, fast track. There’s lots of room to move around and try different lines. I think it’s a momentum track and you have to focus on being smooth. At the end of the day, the car has to handle well. It has to feel good. It has to be a fast car. I think those are the challenges – getting your car to handle well and being smooth and consistent, lap after lap, at such a fast track.”