Danica Patrick The Glen

Danica Patrick has driven in three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course races and each result was better than the previous one.

So the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is hoping for her best NASCAR Sprint Cup road course race yet in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355k at The Glen, which takes place at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

Patrick is driving the same chassis – No. 10-759 – that she drove in all three previous road-course races. She qualified 31st and finished 29th in her first race in June 2013 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, and then qualified 35th but improved to 20th in last August’s race at Watkins Glen.

Her best race yet came in June 2014 at Sonoma, where she qualified 11th and finished 18th.

Patrick’s qualifying this year has been far superior to last year as, through 21 races in 2013, her average starting spot was 31.0 while this year she averages 21.0. Eight starts have come from the top-15, while last year only twice was she in the top-15 for all 36 races and both of those were at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

She has plenty of experience at Watkins Glen, but only two starts have come in NASCAR, with one in Sprint Cup and one in Nationwide.

Six of those starts came in the IndyCar Series and unfortunately won’t offer much assistance to Patrick. As if the incredible difference between a stock car and an Indy car weren’t enough, the IndyCar Series used the longer version of the Watkins Glen road circuit, which includes the famous “boot” portion of the track. Her performances were OK – her best start was seventh in 2009 and her best finish was eighth in 2006. 

Patrick did compete in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen, but she finished 43rd after Ryan Truex spun in front of her on the start. She could not avoid his spinning car and made heavy contact with his machine.

She is hoping for much better results this week and hopefully can gain the best road-course finish of her career.

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Steven B. Wilson

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