Danica Patrick led six laps early in the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway before finishing 22nd in the second of four restrictor-plate races of the 2014 season.
Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), led laps 6-7 and laps 9-12 before overheating issues forced the second-year Sprint Cup driver to drop out of the lead draft.
“It was good out front,” said Patrick after only her third Sprint Cup start at Talladega. “I wish I could’ve stayed there. It was getting hot a lot. I think you saw that from a lot of cars. It was a hot day here in Talladega, and when you get back a little bit in the field it gets even worse.
“I was in the second lane, the second car back, real early on, and it just felt like that line kind of died a little bit. Then I started getting passed. So I dropped back to get some clean air. Got some track position a couple of times and got up there a little bit, but heating was definitely an issue. It really limited me to the bottom lane, because as soon as I jumped up, so did my water pressure. Our GoDaddy Chevy was good out front, and I felt good about that.
“It was good to lead some laps, because it had been awhile and we missed a lot of accidents. The good news is this car is going to Daytona. That’s a positive. The result was not necessarily too much of a positive, but it’s going to get rolled up on the truck, and that is more than a lot of people can say coming from a speedway like this.”