KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – With the month of October in full swing, the color pink is showing up everywhere. Including Danica Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).
This week at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, and coming up at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Patrick’s normally green Chevrolet turns pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. It is part of GoDaddy’s “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer” campaign, which runs through October.
GoDaddy is also donating $50,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and offering customers the opportunity to Round-Up for Charity as part of a GoDaddy program in which customers can round up their purchases to the nearest dollar to help the cause. A few cents here and there can add up quickly. Over the years, GoDaddy customers have “rounded up” to the tune of more than $1.1 million for various philanthropic organizations.
In addition, the names of people impacted by the disease are being placed on Patrick’s GoDaddy racecar for the Oct. 26 race at Martinsville.
While Patrick will wear a pink suit with her pink car, she is also hoping her recent success will help elevate the profile of the program.
She has finished in the top-20 in six of her last eight races, including a career-best sixth in August at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
From there, Patrick arrived in September at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, where she had never qualified or finished better than 30th in three starts. This time, she qualified 13th and finished 16th to continue her successful ways.
Patrick went from Richmond to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, where she had never qualified or finished in the top-20 in two starts. This time, she started 18th after qualifying was rained out and the field was set by practice speeds. She then finished 19th to score her third consecutive top-20.
It was more of the same at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. She qualified a career-best 18th and was as high as fifth late in the race before dropping back at the end and finishing 19th – still her best career finish at New Hampshire.
At Dover, Patrick earned her career-best Monster Mile starting position of 13th but had to settle for a 25th-place finish in the race. She came back last week at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City from starting 28th to finishing 16th for her sixth top-20 finish in eight weeks.
Patrick is hoping to continue her luck in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte. She qualified fourth there in May, but engine problems ended her day after 281 of the 400 laps.
She has never finished better than 24th at Charlotte, but as the last few weeks have shown, a top-20 is very much possible.
With a little pink on her car, Patrick is hoping for more good runs – and to raise awareness for breast cancer.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Overall thoughts on Charlotte?
“I like Charlotte. It’s really nice for the crews because it’s a home race for them. They get to sleep in their own bed and a lot of their family and friends are there. So you want to give them a good performance. It’s fun for me at Charlotte because a lot of the crews have young kids, so it’s fun to meet them and see them around the hauler during the race weekend. It’s just a bit of a different experience than a lot of the tracks we go to.”
Your car is going to feature breast cancer awareness for the month. Talk about that.
“My friend had a double mastectomy as a preemptive strike because she actually tested positive for the breast cancer gene. She went through everything and hopefully avoided it, but it hit close to home. I think far too many people know someone affected by this disease. We wanted to do something a little different this year and something to honor people who have fought the disease.”
You qualified fourth for the May race at Charlotte. Does that make you particularly hopeful of another top qualifying effort?
“We did qualify well. It’s too bad we had some issues in the race that caused us to finished 39th. (Crew chief) Tony Gibson and the guys have given me good cars and, hopefully, we can finish strong at Charlotte. It’s an important race for the team and it’s nice to see everyone’s family out there. Hopefully, we can run well.”
You have finished quite well in six of the last eight races. Talk about that.
“We keep getting better and are trying to get more results in the top-10. I’m getting good cars and the pit crew and road crew have been good. The next step for us is getting top-10 finishes. If we can close the year out with a couple of top-10s, it will be a good year for us and the GoDaddy team.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine