Handling Woes Hamper Patrick

Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) battled handling issues throughout Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway but were able to bring home a 24th-place result.

After the race was delayed more than an hour and a half due to rain, Patrick lined up 35th for the start. The No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet fired off well, and Patrick was able to gain eight positions before the caution flag waved for the first time at lap 14. Crew chief Daniel Knost called her to pit road for four tires when the pits opened at lap 15, and Patrick lined up 19th for the lap-18 restart.

She remained inside the top-20 until the team pitted at lap 41 for tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. Some teams elected not to pit, so Patrick restarted in the 28th position at lap 44. Two laps later, impressive maneuvering by Patrick allowed her to avoid a multicar accident that occurred right in front of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet.

Patrick restarted 17th after that caution, gained three spots once the field went back to green, but then dropped to the 20th position as she struggled with the car’s handling. Knost called for air pressure and wedge adjustments throughout the remainder of the event, but Patrick fell a lap down to the leader at lap 144, and she lost a second lap at lap 218.

When the caution flag waved with just over 10 laps to go, Knost called for Patrick to stay out and take the wave-around, which put her just one lap down to the leader. Patrick took the checkered flag in the 24th position.

“We were able to make up some ground on restarts, and the GoDaddy Chevy seemed to have speed on longer runs, but we seemed to struggle on short and midrange runs,” Patrick said. “Overall, I’m proud of my team for fighting hard all race long to improve the car. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and enjoys the off-season.”

TSC PR

Speedway Digest Staff

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