Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 24th in Sunday’s Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
Patrick started the event from the 21st position and ran just outside of the top-20 for the first half of the race. Near the midpoint of the event, Patrick dropped to 27th as she battled a lack of front grip. When the caution flag waved at lap 194, crew chief Billy Scott called for wedge and air pressure adjustments to improve the car’s handling. Patrick struggled on the ensuing restart but was able to gain ground later in the run.
When the caution flag waved at lap 312, Scott called for Patrick to stay out as the leaders pitted, getting the wave-around back to the lead lap. The move worked in the team’s favor, because when the caution flag waved again shortly after the field went back to green, the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery team was able to pit for tires and fuel at lap 321. Patrick lined up 20th with less than 70 laps to go. She lost several positions at the start of the run but was able to make up some ground, holding the 23rd position when the caution flag waved at lap 358.
In the final run of the race, Patrick lost several positions but was able to work her way back up to 24th before taking the checkered flag.
“The Nature’s Bakery Chevy was better on the longer runs today,” Patrick said. “It just didn’t take off on restarts. I couldn’t be as aggressive with it as I needed to be and ended up losing a bunch of ground each time. Billy (Scott) made a really great call for us to take the wave-around late in the race.
“At the end of the day, the car wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. Tough times don’t last; tough people do. And we just have to keep working at it hard to get to where we need to be.”