Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) finished 11th in Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
In the first outing with her new crew chief, Billy Scott, Patrick started the Sprint Unlimited from the 12th position. Throughout the race, Patrick alternated between the top, middle and bottom lanes to see what worked best for her Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet. She was scored as high as fifth at one point in the race and was running 15th at lap 70 when the No. 31 car appeared to lose power in front of her. Patrick made contact, which damaged the grille of her No. 10 Chevrolet.
Patrick dropped to the tail of the field and lost contact with the draft as temperatures under the hood of her racecar continued to rise. Luckily for the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery team, the caution flag waved at lap 72. Scott called Patrick to pit road multiple times for the team to make repairs, and she rejoined the field in the 13th position for the final restart.
In the closing laps Patrick was caught up in a multicar accident. The No. 10 Chevrolet sustained significant right-front damage, but Patrick was able to complete the final lap and was credited with an 11th-place finish.
“That’s just speedway racing,” Patrick said. “Overall, I think it was a good night for the Nature’s Bakery team, though. It was my first race with Billy (Scott) on the pit box, and I think our communication was really good tonight. We had the issue with the No. 31 car, and as a team we were able to calmly assess the situation, make repairs and get back out there to contend at the end. Given that we’d never even tested together before, I feel really good about how tonight went.”