It appears as though Danica Patrick and GoDaddy/Get Found team have “found” their groove.
After a rough first two races of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Patrick and her team have quietly but steadily found better finishes and, as a result, more confidence and a better points position.
Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was involved in accidents not of her making at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and at Phoenix International Raceway and finished 40th and 36th, respectively.
But since leaving Phoenix, Patrick finished 21st at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 18th at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and 14th last week at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. It’s been a quiet, steady climb that moved Patrick from 39th in the championship standings with just 13 points after Phoenix to 27th in the order with 92 points – a gain of 12 spots and 79 points.
Patrick and the GoDaddy/Get Found team next hope to continue their climb at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, site of Sunday’s STP 500 Sprint Cup race. The .526-mile oval in Southern Virginia was one of the best tracks for the team last year as Patrick finished 12th in the spring and 17th in the fall.
Her performance in the spring was impressive, given that she’d never seen Martinsville until the first practice session and then had to start at the rear of the field due to an engine change prior to the race. The setback didn’t hamper her, however, and she marched her way through the field and scored an impressive top-15 finish.
The noteworthy rookie outing 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. Six-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.
With their season heading in the right direction and their confidence on the rise after solid finishes last year at Martinsville, Patrick and her team are hoping Sunday a top-10 finish may “Get Found.”