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

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Danica Patrick: Latest News and 2014 Sprint Cup Ranking Ahead of Bristol
USA TODAY Sports

The roller-coaster ride of a season for Danica Patrick continued on Sunday. Only this time, Patrick had to rally back from an accident she was deemed responsible for by a fellow driver.

Patrick was running well when she spun out and collected several cars in an early crash. With drivers such as Trevor Bayne, Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr., the accident was a costly one for the notable names.

At the end of race, Patrick captured a top-20 finish and has three in her first four career races at Michigan. After qualifying 14th and going two laps down thanks to the accident, Patrick's record at the track remained consistent.

Just three races remain in the first 16-car Chase for the Sprint Cup, and Patrick is well outside of the window. Without a win before the 26th race, Patrick will likely be driving for pride and experience at the end of the year.

As the Sprint Cup circuit moves on to Bristol, here's a look at the latest news, ranking and results for Patrick ahead of the Irwin Tools Night Race.

Danica Patrick 2014 Results
Race Track Start Finish
Pure Michigan 400 Michigan International Speedway 14 18
Cheez-It 355 Watkins Glen International 43 21
GoBowling.com 400 Pocono Raceway 10 30
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

NASCAR.com

2014 Sprint Cup Chase Grid
Pos. Driver Points Wins Top 5 Top 10
1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 813 3 11 16
2 Jeff Gordon 816 3 8 16
3 Brad Keselowski 733 3 9 11
4 Jimmie Johnson 686 3 6 13
5 Joey Logano 714 2 9 13
6 Kevin Harvick 687 2 7 12
7 Carl Edwards 679 2 5 9
8 Kyle Busch 620 1 6 9
9 Denny Hamlin 589 1 5 10
10 Aric Almirola 556 1 2 4
11 AJ Allmendinger 556 1 2 4
12 Kurt Busch 542 1 5 5
13 Matt Kenseth 709 0 8 14
14 Ryan Newman 679 0 2 8
15 Clint Bowyer 672 0 3 10
16 Greg Biffle 660 0 3 8
28 Danica Patrick 445 0 0 2

NASCAR.com

 

Latest News

Driving through adversity has been a theme for Patrick and the entire Stewart-Haas Racing team, but Sunday was a special exception.

Not only did Patrick get involved in a wreck, but she was called out by Jeff Burton, who was driving in place of teammate Tony Stewart. Burton's thoughts on the accident were shared by Bob Pockrass of Sporting News:

Where will Patrick finish at Bristol?

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Patrick appeared to lose control of the vehicle but couldn't recover to avoid the melee on the track. Though she dropped two laps down, the 32-year-old did make some noise at Michigan.

After catching the "Lucky Dog" on Lap 179, the SHR driver made it count by coming in as the last remaining car on the lead lap. Patrick spoke about her eventful afternoon following the race, per SHR's official site:

“To come back from the accident and being two laps down to finishing 18th, I’ll take it,” Patrick said. “It was a good job by the GoDaddy crew to fix the damage, and we ran well to get back up to 18th. It was a tough day, but I’m happy with where we finished.”

The accident on Sunday was just the most recent issue in a long line for Patrick in the Sprint Cup. Brant James of ESPNW.com provides a breakdown of her last several races:

Patrick's four-race stretch since an eighth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway in early July has been testing. She finished 22nd at Loudon, New Hampshire, 42nd at Indianapolis Motor Speedway because of a gear problem and 30th at Pocono after qualifying 10th.

Then things got really interesting. During last Friday's first practice at Watkins Glen she missed a shift and broke the motor, then in the final session crashed into the tire barrier after a left front shock failure. 

It was far from perfect, but Patrick still nailed down her seventh top 20 of the season. In order to make the Chase, she'll need perfection moving forward.

The SHR driver needs one thing to make NASCAR's postseason—a checkered flag. Though she clinched a career-best 18th-place finish at Bristol during the spring race, she has never had a top-10 result.

Here's a look at her career results from the short track, via DriverAverages.com:

Danica Patrick Bristol Results
Date Start Finish Laps Led Driver Rating Status
March 16, 2014 36 18 0 55.6 Running
Aug. 24, 2013 22 26 0 46.2 Running
March 17, 2013 41 28 0 41.4 Running
Aug. 25, 2012 43 29 0 46.3 Accident

DriverAverages.com

While her slow progression at the "World's Fastest Half Mile" is evident, she hasn't finished near the top of the pack. Rather than being a luxury for Patrick to win the race, it's a necessity to make the Chase.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of a victory over the next three races is minuscule. As the Chase fast approaches, Patrick's chances would continue fading away without a win at the Bullring.

Predicted finish: 22nd

 

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