We’ve all heard the expression “everything’s bigger in Texas.” While the saying’s origin may not be clear, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Aspen Dental “$10M for Veterans” Ford Fusion team hope to leave Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth with big, Texas-sized smiles following Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
Of all the tracks where the NASCAR Cup Series competes, Patrick has the most starts at Texas, having driven in 22 major-league races – 10 in the NASCAR Cup Series, four in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and eight in the IndyCar Series.
Patrick’s career-best NASCAR Cup Series result at Texas is 16th, a mark she earned at both events there in 2015. In her four Xfinity Series races at Texas, Patrick has three top-15 finishes, including an eighth-place result in April 2012. In Patrick’s eight IndyCar Series starts at the track, she has five top-10s, including a third-place result in June 2007 and a second-place finish in June 2010.
All of Patrick’s experience at the 1.5-mile Texas oval went out the window earlier this year as the track was repaved and reconfigured. Teams got their first look at the new track surface in April, when they competed in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Patrick called the race “one of the hardest races I’ve ever done in a stock car.” She started 19th and finished 24th, one lap down to the leaders.
Despite the modest performance at the track in the spring, Patrick and the No. 10 team head to Texas with something to smile about as sponsor Aspen Dental will be honoring veterans this weekend. On Saturday, veterans will receive free dental care aboard Aspen Dental’s MouthMobile – a 42-foot-long dental office on wheels. In addition, Patrick’s No. 10 Ford Fusion will sport a patriotic red, white and blue Aspen Dental paint scheme throughout the weekend to celebrate the veteran community, as well as Aspen Dental reaching the $10 million mark in donated dentistry to veterans through its Healthy Mouth Movement.
As they race to honor veterans and celebrate Aspen Dental’s efforts, Patrick and the No. 10 Aspen Dental “$10M for Veterans” Ford team hope to leave Texas Motor Speedway with a solid finish and some of the biggest smiles ever seen.