Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) earned a 14th-place finish in Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, marking the driver’s career-best effort at the 1.058-mile track.
Patrick started the race from the 29th position and, after losing several spots on the initial restart, raced her way up to 28th before the caution flag waved for the first time at lap 35. Crew chief Billy Scott called for a four-tire pit stop with wedge and air pressure adjustments to help improve the loose-handling condition Patrick experienced on corner entry.
On the ensuing run Patrick ran as high as 24th, but she reported the car felt like it was out of the track, so the team went back on the wedge adjustment on the next pit stop under the lap-99 caution. She remained inside the top-30 but went down a lap to the leader at lap 178.
When the caution flag waved at lap 219, Patrick was scored in the 23rd position. Scott elected for the team to take the wave-around, putting the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet back on the lead lap for the final third of the race.
Patrick continued to inch her way forward and cracked the top-20 at lap 271, just before the caution flag was displayed the following lap. On the ensuing restarts she was able to race her way forward, reaching the 12th position by lap 284.
When the field took the green flag for the last restart at lap 290, Patrick was scored in the 11th position. In the final laps she lost three positions to drivers on fresher tires and took the checkered flag in the 14th position.
“Track position was definitely big today,” Patrick said. “My Nature’s Bakery team had a nice, steady day in the pits. Billy made a great call to take the wave-around, and that helped put us in position to pick a ton of spots there at the end.”