Sometimes when it rains, it truly does pour. For Danica Patrick, the second-year driver experienced just that on Sunday in Indianapolis.
Following a top-10 finish at Daytona, Patrick was unable to sneak into the top 20 at New Hampshire. But heading into the Brickyard 400, she was driving well and garnered confidence running inside the top 15 throughout much of the day.
Unfortunately, all of that good fortune came crashing down as her car suffered a broken axle and ruined her chances at a good finish. Though nothing is promised in NASCAR, it appeared Patrick was having her best run at the Brickyard before the mechanical issues.
That tough luck is something Patrick knows all too well, and it might continue this coming weekend. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has never performed well at Pocono, without a top-20 finish in three tries.
Before the Sprint Cup circuit moves on to the Tricky Triangle, here's a look at the latest standings and news surrounding Patrick.
|Danica Patrick 2014 Results|
|Brickyard 400||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||14||42|
|Camping World RV Sales 301||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||29||22|
|Coke Zero 400||Daytona International Speedway||29||8|
|Quaker State 400||Kentucky Speedway||10||21|
|Toyota/Save Mart 350||Sonoma Raceway||11||18|
|Quicken Loans 400||Michigan International Speedway||27||17|
|Pocono 400||Pocono Raceway||16||37|
|FedEx 400||Dover International Speedway||28||23|
|Coca-Cola 600||Charlotte Motor Speedway||4||39|
|5-Hour Energy 400||Kansas Speedway||9||7|
|Aaron's 499||Talladega Superspeedway||7||22|
|Toyota Owners 400||Richmond International Raceway||35||34|
|Bojangles' Southern 500||Darlington Raceway||33||22|
|Duck Commander 500||Texas Motor Speedway||24||27|
|STP 500||Martinsville Speedway||10||32|
|Auto Club 400||Auto Club Speedway||27||14|
|Food City 500||Bristol Motor Speedway||36||18|
|Kobalt 400||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||22||21|
|The Profit on CNBC 500||Phoenix International Raceway||33||36|
|Daytona 500||Daytona International Speedway||27||40|
|2014 Sprint Cup Chase Grid|
|Pos.||Driver||Points||Wins||Top 5||Top 10|
|4||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||693||2||9||14|
Despite the end of the race leaving her near the back of the pack at Indy, she had a promising run on Sunday.
In fact, the 32-year-old was running 12th when she suffered the broken axle at the Brickyard. Though she finished 42nd, Patrick was able to joke about the issues, per Jay Pennell of Fox Sports:
We looked at everything and it looks like the launch was fine. It just one of those things. It's too bad and these things never happen when you're having a bad day. We were having a good day. It's disappointing and the GoDaddy guys built me a really good car. Hendrick gave me great horsepower. We were the fastest car out there at times.
She also took to Twitter following the race to voice her thoughts:
Patrick would return to the track much later in the race in an attempt to collect points but was 28 laps down by that point. While she collected just two points for the team, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving offered his opinion on her performance:
The unfortunate finish also hurt her in the standings. While she's nowhere near being in contention for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, somehow getting to Victory Lane would have essentially locked up a spot in NASCAR's postseason.
But let's be honest—nobody was catching Gordon on Sunday afternoon.
Patrick is now 28th in the standings and heading to a track where she's never experienced success. The Tricky Triangle is exactly that for the SHR driver, as she has finished outside of the top 30 during the last two races.
Here's a look at Patrick's career results at Pocono, via DriverAverages.com:
|Danica Patrick Pocono Results|
|Date||Start||Finish||Laps Led||Driver Rating||Status|
|June 8, 2014||16||37||0||55.9||Running|
|Aug. 4, 2013||35||34||0||52.2||Accident|
|June 9, 2013||30||29||0||58.1||Running|
Though she has minimal experience at Pocono, the results look daunting for Patrick. She has a chance to improve those statistics drastically on Sunday, especially after a strong run at a similar track in Indy.
As time continues to run out on Patrick and several other drivers in the field, she needs a strong run and potentially her first victory to keep hopes alive for the Chase. With hopes fading, Patrick won't get that elusive win and will fall further behind her competition.
Predicted finish: 32nd
Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter: