As Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) approach the middle of the season, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams return to the sunny shores of Daytona Beach, Florida for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
With 16 races complete, the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford team has earned five top-20 finishes, including a season-best 10th-place result at Dover (Del.) International Speedway earlier this month. Patrick has led a total of seven laps and is currently ranked 28th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings.
When the season kicked off at Daytona in February, Patrick started the Daytona 500 from the 12th position and was scored as high as second near the midpoint of the race. With less than 80 laps to go, the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford was collected in a 17-car accident that ended the team’s day early and left Patrick with a 33rd-place finish.
While the season opener at Daytona didn’t end well for the No. 10 team, Patrick has experienced success at the track in the past, including a history-making performance at the 2.5-mile track in 2013. That year, she became the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500. Patrick led twice for a total of five laps in that event, becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race, as well as the first woman to lead a NASCAR race under green-flag conditions. She finished the race eighth, setting the mark for the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”
The following July, Patrick added an eighth-place finish in the Coke Zero 400. In 10 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona, those two eighth-place efforts mark her top results at the track. Patrick has also started seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Daytona and scored her best finish of 10th in July 2011. She won the pole for the February 2012 event.
When the NASCAR Cup Series teams return to the high banks of Daytona for Saturday night’s race, the weather forecast for the beach town predicts temperatures nearing 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As the summer heat cranks up in Daytona, Patrick and the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford team will be ready to have a fun night at the track and hope to close out the race by celebrating a top finish in the Coke Zero 400 with an ice-cold Coca-Cola.