Accident Ends Top-15 Run for Patrick

Danica Patrick and the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team left New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon with a 40th-place finish in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race after an accident took them out of contention for a top-15 result.

Patrick started the race from the 22nd position, and after the team made air pressure adjustments on the first trip to pit road at lap 38, Patrick began working her way toward the front. She cracked the top-20 at lap 56, raced her way into the top-15 at lap 64 and ran as high as 11th.

A lengthy pit stop left the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet team 21st for the lap-164 restart, but Patrick was able to work her way back into the top-20 before the caution flag waved again less than 30 laps later. Crew chief Daniel Knost called her to pit road for right-side tires and fuel, and she restarted from the 12th position at lap 196.

At lap 203, the GoDaddy team’s strong run was ended when contact from the No. 31 car sent Patrick into the wall in turns one and two. The No. 10 Chevrolet was then hit by the No. 55 car. While Patrick was unhurt, her racecar was not. She was one of five drivers unable to finish the race and ended up with a 40th-place result.

“We were on track to have a potentially good finish today,” Patrick said. “It was kind of back and forth with the two- and four-tire cycle that was happening, but we were definitely right there on the long run. It sucks. It seems like nothing ever goes wrong on those days that you are just trudging along in 22nd – it happens when you are having a good race.

“With that said, when you get in the midst of the drivers that are in the Chase, they are pushing hard. I’m sure everybody is feeling that pressure to get to the next round. I don’t blame them. I don’t think that it was anyone’s fault. I probably wasn’t quite as quick as I needed to be because I was a little loose on two tires. The No. 31 was pushing hard and I know at one point the No. 24 got into him, so I don’t think anyone was intentionally doing anything, but I’m sure there was some intentional hard racing.”