Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) scored a 21st-place finish in Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
Patrick started the event from the 25th position and fell back to 30th on the initial run as she battled a “loose in, tight off” handling condition. The team made a scheduled, green-flag pit stop at lap 39 for tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. Patrick went a lap down to the leader during the long, green-flag run but was one of 19 cars that took the wave-around to get back on the lead lap when the caution flag waved at lap 46.
Just as a number of cars were making green-flag pit stops near the midpoint of the race, the caution flag waved, and Patrick was scored in the seventh position since the Nature’s Bakery team had yet to pit. Crew chief Billy Scott called Patrick to pit road under caution, and the team changed tires, added fuel and made air pressure adjustments to help improve the car’s balance. Patrick restarted in the 13th position at lap 106 and remained inside the top-20 until lap 129.
At lap 155 the No. 13 car, which was 10 laps down, appeared to get loose inside of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet and drifted up the track into Patrick. She was able to keep her car off of the wall, but then the left front of her No. 10 clipped the No. 44 car. The team pitted to repair the damage, and Patrick returned to the track in the 27th position. In the late stages of the race she was able to pick up several spots and was scored 21st when she took the checkered flag.
“We had an OK day,” Patrick said. “It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t awful either. We’ll take the off-weekend to recharge and dig deep to try and do better moving forward.”