Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) finished 22nd in Monday’s rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
“Overall we had a decent day, but I really wanted to make those final 22 laps,” Patrick said after earning her 19th top-25 finish of the season. “We worked all weekend on getting more stability in the front end, and the tough part here is that the car reacts differently in each of the three corners. I’m proud of the effort of all the guys on the Mobil 1 team today. We had a little issue with a pit-road speeding violation but were able to overcome that and hang around the top-20 for most of the race.”
Patrick started 26th in the race, which was scheduled for 160 laps, and crew chief Billy Scott made an early call on the competition yellow for right-side tires only. During the ensuing run, Patrick remained consistent and climbed from 21st on lap 35 to 18th on lap 47. Scott called for Patrick to pit near lap 50, so she relinquished 10th position to get four tires and fuel.
Unfortunately, the No. 10 Mobil 1 Chevrolet was penalized for pit-road speeding, and Patrick was forced to make a pass through. As a result, Patrick went down a lap to the leader, but she received the wave-around following a lap-66 caution flag. Two laps later, Patrick pitted and Scott called for four tires and a full load of fuel.
Patrick returned to action in 28th and reached 25th on lap 80. Scott followed the lead of a number of other teams when the race was slowed again by another caution on lap 85 electing to keep Patrick out to gain track position. He reminded his driver to continue conserving fuel whenever the opportunity presented itself. Patrick restarted 13th but wasn’t able to hold off the drivers behind her that were on newer tires, and by lap 120 she was running 22nd.
Following another stop on lap 125, Patrick clocked her best lap of the race at 51.366 seconds. She was consistently posting top-three lap times before the race was halted because of visibility issues caused by a heavy fog and moisture in the air. The field made a number of laps under caution before pulling down pit road under the red flag. NASCAR officials called the race official approximately 25 minutes later with 138 laps complete.