Thanks to NASCAR fans across the country, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will compete in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
For the third time in her Sprint Cup career, Patrick won the Sprint Fan Vote to earn a spot in the field for Saturday night’s event.
“First and foremost, thank you to the fans,” Patrick said. “The only thing that would make this any better is if I could deliver a great finish for them and an exciting race and pass cars and make the car better for next week. I definitely felt like there were some things we could learn from getting out there. Obviously we got put in the challenging situation of having zero practice with the new package and just going out and racing. So, there were definitely some issues, and we had to kind of Band-Aid them for the couple of segments that we had out there.
“I feel like I was at the wrong place at the wrong time a few times out there, but on the plus side, I felt like we learned about the car. Even if we didn’t make it through, we were going to be more prepared for next weekend. But, it’s just even that much better to know that I have incredible fans that always come through. Don’t think that I don’t see social media, fans. And I see all the times that people said they voted for me. So, thank you very much. I hope to give you something fun to watch tonight.”
Rain washed out all on-track activity on Friday, so the Sprint Showdown was postponed until Saturday morning. The Sprint Fan Vote results were announced after the completion of the Sprint Showdown in which Patrick finished ninth and scored her fourth top-10 finish in the event.
Patrick started the race from the ninth position and fell back to 11th before the conclusion of the first 20-lap segment. She radioed to the team that the car was hitting the track hard on entry but was pretty good center-off. When the field hit pit road for the mandatory pit stop between segments, crew chief Billy Scott called for a four-tire stop and made a wedge adjustment in an effort to improve the car’s handling.
Patrick lined up in the 12th position for the second segment and was able to gain two positions while battling a loose condition. Scott once again called for a four-tire stop when the field came to pit road at the end of the second segment, and Patrick lined up in the 12th position for the final 10-lap stint. She dropped back to 14th at lap 42 but was able to race her way back up to ninth in the closing laps.
Patrick and her SHR teammates will race for a shot at the $1 million winner’s check in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Coverage of the non-points-paying event begins at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.