After starting the 2014 AAA 400 in 13th, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet were forced to walk out of Dover International Speedway with a 25th-place finish.
Through five career races on the mile-long concrete track, Patrick has an average finish of 25.80 and was right on that mark again Sunday. In the first Dover race of the season, the No. 10 car finished 23rd.
The current game plan the team has been employing is not working. When Patrick and her team return to Delaware in 2015, they must incorporate new ideas to help get her into contention. Dover is not an easy track to learn, but Patrick should be showing more improvement than she has thus far.
Here are Patrick’s full 2014 results, the updated Sprint Cup Series standings and the latest news surrounding one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers.
|Danica Patrick 2014 Results|
|AAA 400||Dover International Speedway||13||25|
|Sylvania 300||New Hampshire Motor Speedway||18||19|
|MyAfibStory.com 400||Chicagoland Speedway||18||19|
|Federated Auto Parts 400||Richmond International Raceway||13||16|
|Oral-B USA 500||Atlanta Motor Speedway||27||6|
|Irwin Tools Night Race||Bristol Motor Speedway||24||27|
|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|
|2014 Sprint Cup Chase Grid|
|Pos.||Driver||Points||Wins||Top 5s||Top 10s|
|7||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||3000||3||0||11|
Here's a look at last year's top five moments from Kansas Speedway, including Patrick's crash:
This week’s race will be the Hollywood Casino 400 from Kansas Speedway. It's the second race of the season from Kansas, which is good news for Patrick, who has done well at this track in the past.
In the first Kansas race of 2014, Patrick qualified in ninth place and ended up finishing seventh overall. Her composure on the track helped her team put her in a position to succeed, and she followed through with a top-10 finish.
Here are Patrick's career stats at Kansas:
|Danica Patrick Kansas Results|
|Date||Finish||Start||Laps Led||Driver Rating||Status|
|May 10, 2014||7||9||0||101.4||Running|
|Oct. 6, 2013||43||29||0||29.3||Accident|
|April 21, 2013||25||25||0||55.8||Running|
|Oct. 21, 2012||32||40||0||40.4||Running|
After finishing dead last in this race in 2013 due to an accident, Patrick looks to use the momentum she created earlier this season to once again register a solid result. Finishing 25th at Dover won’t help her confidence, but Patrick knows she can buck the trend Sunday at a track she is comfortable on.
Crew chief Tony Gibson took to Twitter to share his feelings on Dover and moving on to Kansas:
Tony Gibson @TonyOldman41
Well not the day we wanted but @DanicaPatrick never gave up and nether did the @GoDaddy team. On to Kansas can't wait ✌️🏁9/28/2014, 10:14:23 PM
When asked about her improvements on the track, Patrick spoke to Jared Turner of FoxNews.com regarding the impact Gibson has had on the No. 10 team's strides:
Everyone just works hard, and it's paying off. We actually should have finished better at New Hampshire (19th) but the yellows at the end probably didn't help. We're just getting better. Tony Gibson (crew chief) and the GoDaddy guys are giving me really good cars, and we just keep finishing better. I haven't run that well at Dover, but we've done better at all the tracks we've been to lately, so we're ready.
Former NASCAR driver and analyst Kenny Wallace shared his thoughts on Patrick:
Kenny Wallace @Kenny_Wallace
My friend @DanicaPatrick is INCREDIBLY Talented, BUT even @StenhouseJr has NOT WON in #CUP yet, #NASCAR CUP is "The Best Of The Best" 🏁9/27/2014, 6:09:07 PM
Wallace may be right that this is the big leagues of driving, but Sunday's race at Kansas could be Patrick’s chance to break out and make an impact. She has the confidence following a stellar performance on this track, and her team has been one of her biggest strengths all season.
With many of the top drivers in the sport worrying about positions and advancing to the next round of the championship chase, Patrick will only be focused on one thing Sunday: winning.
Instead of mailing in her effort for the remainder of the year, Patrick knows, as a driver who is still learning the craft, this is valuable time she can be learning. Every driver’s ultimate goal is to win a championship, and Patrick is getting the opportunity to watch the chase from the outside.
If she builds confidence at Kansas and carries it into Charlotte Motor Speedway the next week and at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks, Patrick could be heading toward a breakout season in 2015 with Stewart-Haas Racing.
With a talented team, quality cars and a driver who is ready to emerge as a top star, Patrick’s success rate should continue to climb with a standout performance at Kansas.
Predicted Finish: Ninth
*Stats via NASCAR.com.