Danica Patrick: Latest News and 2014 Sprint Cup Ranking Ahead of New Hampshire

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IJuly 8, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet, walks on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

In NASCAR, sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.

For Danica Patrick, she had a little of both on Sunday during the Coke Zero 400. But despite some tough luck, she was fortunate enough to capture her third career top-10 finish after avoiding the second "Big One" at Daytona.

Prior to steering clear of the massive wreck late in the race, Patrick was involved in the first crash and incurred some damage. But with many of the top drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Patrick's owner Tony Stewart out of the race, she navigated her way back near the front before the end of the race.

Following another top-10 result for Patrick, she now heads to a course where she's never finished 20th or better. In the race last July, she also sparked an accident that involved her boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and put her in 37th.

Before the Sprint Cup circuit gets underway at New Hampshire, here's a look at the latest news and outlook for Patrick in the Camping World RV Sales 301.

2014 Sprint Cup Chase Grid
Pos.DriverPointsWinsTop 5Top 10
1Jimmie Johnson5963612
2Dale Earnhardt Jr.6242912
3Brad Keselowski586289
4Joey Logano546269
5Carl Edwards543248
6Kevin Harvick514258
7Jeff Gordon6511613
8Kyle Busch523147
9Denny Hamlin493146
10Aric Almirola452124
11Kurt Busch422144
12Matt Kenseth5810611
13Ryan Newman534016
14Paul Menard516039
15Clint Bowyer509027
16Austin Dillon494012
27Danica Patrick358002
NASCAR.com
Danica Patrick 2014 Results
RaceTrackStartFinish
Coke Zero 400Daytona International Speedway298
Quaker State 400Kentucky Speedway1021
Toyota/Save Mart 350Sonoma Raceway1118
Quicken Loans 400Michigan International Speedway2717
Pocono 400Pocono Raceway1637
FedEx 400Dover International Speedway2823
Coca-Cola 600Charlotte Motor Speedway439
5-Hour Energy 400Kansas Speedway97
Aaron's 499Talladega Superspeedway722
Toyota Owners 400Richmond International Raceway3534
Bojangles' Southern 500Darlington Raceway3322
Duck Commander 500Texas Motor Speedway2427
STP 500Martinsville Speedway1032
Auto Club 400Auto Club Speedway2714
Food City 500Bristol Motor Speedway3618
Kobalt 400Las Vegas Motor Speedway2221
The Profit on CNBC 500Phoenix International Raceway3336
Daytona 500Daytona International Speedway2740
NASCAR.com

 

Latest News

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After rain on Saturday night that led to the Coke Zero 400 taking place on Sunday, two more delays due to showers led to the race ending after just 112 laps.

While Aric Almirola shocked NASCAR fans by earning his first victory, several others in the top 10 were equally as surprising. Names like Casey Mears, Austin Dillon and Michael McDowell all avoided disaster to join Patrick in the top 10.

Patrick, who survived two wrecks that involved a combined 42 cars, spoke about her performance on Sunday, per Jeff Olson of USA Today:

It's been a crazy day. I can't believe we finished eighth.

The car was fast. It has just been a matter of attrition and getting a little lucky and making it through things. We were in two crashes and the car has been OK to keep going, which is hard to do here at Daytona because the splitter height is so critical.

The first of the two accidents collected a total of 16 machines, with Patrick receiving minimal damage. In fact, Stewart-Haas Racing took a look at the left front tire that was cut during the Big One:

While the wreck clearly didn't affect Patrick much at the time, what happened after the pileup could make things interesting.

Stewart, Patrick's team owner, was taken out during the wreck that was apparently started by Stenhouse. The three-time Sprint Cup champion then put the blame on Patrick's boyfriend, per Marty Smith of ESPN:

Stewart then backed off of the original rant just a bit, per Jim Noble of PRN:

Needless to say, that should make for some interesting conversations around the SHR garage in the coming days.

As for Patrick on the track, she was able to rally and return near the front. At her highest point, Patrick reached the fourth position, but she experienced an issue that was self-inflicted as she dropped several places.

During a pit stop, Patrick missed her pit box and was forced to hit reverse before her crew was able to work on the car. Brant James of ESPN.com breaks down exactly what happened to the No. 10 driver during the mishap:

Instead of getting drafting help, she would navigate her way around another multicar pileup and pass over those involved to finish inside the top 10. It might not have been all her doing, but making it through the 26-car accident was no easy feat for any driver at Daytona.

All in all, Patrick came away with her third finish of eighth or higher, but she will need more luck to do the same in New Hampshire. Of the 23 courses on the Sprint Cup circuit, Patrick's average finish of 32nd makes New Hampshire the second-worst track for her in two races thus far.

Here's a look at her career results at New Hampshire:

Danica Patrick New Hampshire Results
DateStartFinishLaps LedDriver RatingStatus
Sept. 28, 20132127057.1Running
July 14, 20133237047.7Accident
DriverAverages.com

Though she was able to finish the Chase race at New Hampshire last September, the results weren't drastically better. Without a top-20 finish at the track, the chances of Patrick doing so this time on the flat track don't look great.

While anything is possible at the flat track, it doesn't look likely that Patrick will have another strong race. After posting poor results at similar tracks like Dover and Phoenix earlier this season, Patrick's luck might just run out this weekend at the one-mile track.

Predicted Finish: 25th

 

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