Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 25th in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
“Our GoDaddy Chevrolet wasn’t that bad today; in fact, I really felt like (crew chief) Daniel Knost made some good changes to the car after practice that made it better. I’m really proud of their work and efforts,” Patrick said. “We just needed to get track position, and we never could get that today.”
Patrick qualified 23rd for Sunday’s 400-miler, which marked the second race for the high-drag package that debuted on Sprint Cup cars three weeks ago at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race package features a nine-inch spoiler (a 3-inch increase) as well as other aerodynamic changes.
A loose-handling racecar hampered Patrick’s efforts early in the running of the Pure Michigan 400. By the time the competition caution waved at lap 20, Patrick had dropped to 30th in the running order. Patrick’s crew changed right-side tires and added fuel under the caution, and the GoDaddy driver returned to the track in 25th place.
Back under green, Patrick made quick work on the track as she picked off positions. By lap 40, she had moved into the top-20; just 10 laps later she was 18th.
During the course of the run, Patrick told her crew that the car still needed more stability so she could continue to gain spots on the track. She made a green-flag pit stop at lap 60 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment in hopes of improving the car’s handling. Unfortunately, the combination of a lengthy pit stop and the blistering pace being set by the leaders caused Patrick to fall one lap down. She returned to the track in 22nd place.Patrick’s GoDaddy crew continued to work on the car’s handling at each opportunity, and even varied their strategy in hopes of getting back on the lead lap. However, Patrick remained mired in heavy traffic and dirty air on the racetrack. She was never able to return to the lead lap, and the No. 10 finished in 25th.