KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Danica Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart Haas Racing (SHR) will look the same for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway as it did the last two weekends at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
But, in addition to the pink paint scheme designed to raise awareness for breast cancer, the car will also feature a multitude of names of those affected by the disease.
Fans who donated at least $10 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation through www.GoDaddy.com/Donate got their name or a loved one’s name on the car. Fans, SHR and GoDaddy employees, crew chief Tony Gibson’s wife Beth, and even Patrick put names on the car of people they care about who have been affected by breast cancer.
One name Patrick put on there is NASCAR.com reporter Holly Cain, who is continuing to battle breast cancer. She has interviewed Patrick many times throughout the last 10 years and both are pulling for a strong recovery.
There are hundreds of names on the car and it is a fitting way to end October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Just after driver introductions at Sunday’s race at Martinsville, Patrick will present a check to the National Breast Cancer Foundation for $50,000 on behalf of GoDaddy. It’s all part of GoDaddy’s initiative to “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer.”
Patrick is also hoping she can run well at Martinsville for those names on the cars.
She has only three starts at the .526-mile track and did quite well there in 2013. Her first race was in April and she surprised many NASCAR observers with a solid 12th-place result – made more impressive by the fact she started 43rd after an engine change before the race.
Patrick’s impressive rookie performance bested those of some other name drivers in their Martinsville debuts, most notably her team owner Tony Stewart, who finished 20th in his first Martinsville start in 1999. Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut in 2002. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th in 1984. Dale Jarrett finished 14th in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 26th in 2000. Kyle Busch finished 39th in 2005. Matt Kenseth finished 21st in 2000. Kurt Busch finished 37th in 2000. And Fred Lorenzen finished 24th in 1956.
Patrick backed that up with a 17th-place finish in October 2013 after starting 41st in a backup car after an accident early in practice. Her two Martinsville performances were among the best in her entire rookie season.
This past March, she started an impressive 10th but faded during the race and finished 32nd.
Despite the less-than-desirable finish in her last outing, she and Gibson are hoping they can put together a good run at the short track this weekend – while remembering the good people whose names are on top of the car.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Talk about going from the biggest track on the circuit, Talladega, to Martinsville, the smallest track on the circuit.
“Two extremes going from Talladega to the short track. I had a great car in the spring of 2013 at Martinsville, so the challenge for me this time around will be to not downshift from fourth to third when I come out of the pits and over-rev the engine (in practice) and have to start from the back, or crash my primary car in practice like in the fall. We actually qualified well there this year but needed to finish better. Hopefully we can do that. It’s a short track and those leaders are on you very quickly if you don’t have a good qualifying run. Qualify better and let it play out from there.”
You had a great run in the spring of 2013 at Martinsville. Talk about that.
“Having never been at Martinsville before, I didn’t know what to expect back then. All I knew was that it was going to be a little bit crazy. I think you take what the car gives you. Tony Gibson (crew chief) has a really good track record there. And my car was pretty good all day. We kind of bounced around from being a little loose to a little tight, but we got the GoDaddy Chevy back up there. People talk about the race result but a lot of the time forget that we spun early and were two laps down at one point in time. So, I feel like that’s almost one of the things I’m most proud of – coming back from two laps down to being on the lead lap and then grabbing a 12th place at the end.”
You led laps at Talladega last weekend and had a decent run. What are your thoughts about that?
“We did lead laps and that was good. We just missed the draft at the end and got shuffled back to 19th. We led late and I thought we had a chance, but its restrictor-plate racing. You get shuffled out of the draft late like we did and it’s over. It happens to everybody. Hopefully next time we’ll be in good position to be there at the end.”
Talk about your pink car this week.
“GoDaddy has done a lot to raise awareness about breast cancer. For this week we have a lot of names on the car of people that are affected by breast cancer. I know I put a few on there, including Holly Cain. I know the Gibson’s donated and put some names on there as did others from SHR, GoDaddy and of course the fans. It’s just a good way to raise awareness and remember the people affect by this terrible disease. We’re all pulling for everybody to get through this and we’re helping ‘Put the Brakes on Cancer.”
TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You’ve been racing in the Sprint Cup Series for a long time. Talk about the historic significance of Martinsville.
“It’s one of those places where there’s a lot of history. It’s like Darlington, where it’s been around forever. It makes or breaks a lot of racecar drivers. When you go into a place like that, you don’t want it to be a bad experience. You want to have a positive experience and be part of the history, not part of the negative history. I enjoy going there and racing where some of the greats have raced.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine