In the season’s first eight events, Patrick scored two top-10 finishes but, since finishing ninth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in mid-April, she’s earned results of 25th at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, 21st at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, 27th at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and 22nd at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
While Patrick’s 19.7 average finish so far this year remains well ahead of where she was at this point in either of her first two seasons in the Sprint Cup ranks – 26.0 in 2014 and 26.5 in 2013 – she and the team still enter the weekend at Dover wanting more. Neither Patrick nor her team is satisfied with the recent results and both want to get back to running inside the top-20 and earning top-10 and top-15 results on a regular basis.
Given the group’s recent struggles, the Dover weekend couldn’t come at a better time for the GoDaddy team. Two weeks ago, Patrick and the No. 10 team spent three days at the high-banked, concrete mile oval taking part in a Goodyear tire test and NASCAR open test session in preparation for this weekend. The information learned during the test has helped provide the team with a solid baseline as it returns to the track for Sunday’s race. The extra laps of practice, Patrick and the team believe, will be just what the doctor ordered to help get the season back on track at Dover.