Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) were ranked inside the top-16 for several weeks earlier this season. After earning a ninth-place finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in April, Patrick was ranked as high as 13th in the driver point standings. But, four back-to-back finishes of 21st or worse dropped Patrick to 18th in the standings and 20 points out of the top-16. While Patrick remains 18th heading into Sunday’s race at Pocono, she was able to close the gap on the top-16 last weekend with a hard-fought 15th-place finish after battling handling issues, damage and a speeding penalty.
As Patrick continues to experience the best season of her Sprint Cup career, the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team must focus on earning more top-10 runs like it scored at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Bristol earlier this year and continue to turn challenging days like the one at Dover into top-15 finishes.
Entering the weekend at Pocono, Patrick looks to improve upon her previous finishes at the 2.5-mile track. In four prior Sprint Cup starts at Pocono, Patrick’s best finish is a 20th-place effort she earned in August 2013. To stay in the hunt for the 2015 Chase field, Patrick will need every point she can get, so a strong finish this weekend is a must.
The heat is on.