Danica Patrick: Latest News, 2014 Sprint Cup Ranking Ahead of Pure Michigan 400

R. Cory Smith@@RCorySmithSenior Writer IAugust 12, 2014

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 08:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

At the end of a trying weekend, Danica Patrick narrowly missed out on a top-20 finish at Watkins Glen.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver went through an engine change after qualifying and subsequently wrecked that car on Friday. Despite starting from the back of the pack and in a backup car, Patrick still finished 21st—narrowly behind boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Though 21st was far from what she needed, moving from the back to 21st proves she was competitive on the road course. Now she climbs back into the car at a track where she's enjoyed success throughout her career.

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 10:  Smoke pours from the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, driven by Danica Patrick, after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 10, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

As the Sprint Cup circuit heads to Michigan, Patrick will happily return to the two-mile oval. Though the 32-year-old has never captured a top 10 at the track, she has averaged a top-20 finish in Michigan.

Here's a look at the latest results, ranking and news for Patrick ahead of the Pure Michigan 400.

Danica Patrick 2014 Results
RaceTrackStartFinish
Cheez-It 355Watkins Glen International4321
GoBowling.com 400Pocono Raceway1030
Brickyard 400Indianapolis Motor Speedway1442
Camping World RV Sales 301New Hampshire Motor Speedway2922
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
2014 Sprint Cup Chase Grid
Pos.DriverPointsWinsTop 5Top 10
1Dale Earnhardt Jr.77331015
2Brad Keselowski6963910
3Jimmie Johnson6503612
4Jeff Gordon7682715
5Joey Logano6712812
6Carl Edwards658259
7Kevin Harvick6452611
8Kyle Busch615169
9Denny Hamlin552159
10Aric Almirola532124
11Kurt Busch529155
12AJ Allmendinger525124
13Matt Kenseth7030814
14Ryan Newman645028
15Kyle Larson6350510
16Clint Bowyer634039
28Danica Patrick419002
NASCAR.com

 

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A horrid weekend for SHR saw some troubles for Patrick before Sunday's race got underway. Patrick already had to replace her engine ahead of Friday's practice and crashed into a wall due to a blown tire on the same day.

It was not a great day for the second-year driver, as she told Jeff Gluck of USA Today:

It has been a record horrible day, I'm pretty sure. So why not stack it on?

... I'd say if you're gonna have to start at the back of a track, the strategies are all over the place on road courses and it just might push us into something that works.

That strategy slightly worked as Patrick was able to nearly reach a top-20 finish. Unfortunately, that still leaves her well outside of the Chase Grid for a chance to make NASCAR's postseason.

Much like A.J. Allmendinger, who won the race at Watkins Glen, Patrick needs a victory to qualify for the Chase. With no room for error at Michigan, the SHR driver would need a perfect weekend rather than having difficult circumstances coming into the race.

Now heading to a track where she's experienced success, USA Today provided a breakdown of her last run at Michigan following the race:

The No. 10 Chevrolet went down a lap early in the race but Patrick remained one of the drivers in position to get back on the lead lap. That opportunity came when the caution flag flew on lap 147 and Patrick earned the "Lucky Dog," restarting 21st.

... Rebounded from going a lap-down early to finish 17th for her second top-20 finish at Michigan in three career Sprint Cup races.

While that doesn't sound extremely encouraging for Patrick, her string of luck at the track might lead to a huge turnaround. Before evaluating where she might finish at Michigan, here's a look at her results thus far, courtesy of DriverAverages.com.

Danica Patrick Michigan Results
DateStartFinishLaps LedDriver RatingStatus
June 14, 20142717068.1Running
Aug. 18, 20132823052.9Running
June 16, 20133713069.2Running
DriverAverages.com

What Patrick needs at this point is a win. While she has two top-10 finishes, inching her way up to the top five and leading laps will be a necessity for Patrick to gain any confidence moving forward.

Following the tough race at The Glen, Patrick made it clear what her intentions are heading into Michigan. According to the SHR website, Patrick plainly said, "We’ll come back at Michigan next week."

In order to live up to those words, she'll need to qualify much better than 27th—where she started the last Michigan race. If she can keep her car close to the front of the pack, Allmendinger might not be the only surprising driver in the Chase.

If she plans to make the Chase, a trip to Victory Lane would propel her into the postseason. But with a limited sample size and no victories during her career, it's still difficult to predict a win.

Predicted finish: 12th

 

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