18th-location finish at Bristol puts Patrick ahead of 2013 factors pace
By: Jenna Fryer, The Connected Press on March 19, 2014
LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC – Danica Patrick waited out 2 rain delays on her way to an 18th-place finish at Bristol on March sixteen.
Despite the fact that she continues to acquire criticism from race fans, Danica Patrick has shown improvement over final year by means of the 1st 4 races of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
And she created huge gains final weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, where she wrecked in the first couple of minutes of the opening practice to set the tone for a extremely rocky weekend. In spite of a bumpy race Sunday, she finished a satisfying 18th.
“We had to go to a backup automobile just 4 laps into practice, so I enjoy the energy of [crew chief] Tony Gibson and the guys,” she explained right after the race. “It was a hard weekend, so to come out of here with 18th, I will take it.”
Patrick opened final 12 months with finishes of 39th at Phoenix, 33rd at Las Vegas and 28th at Bristol in her rookie Sprint Cup season.
This yr she was 36th at Phoenix, 21st and the highest finishing Stewart-Haas Racing driver at Las Vegas, and then 18th at Bristol to enhance 5 spots in the standings to 28th.
Bristol was a handful for Patrick. She was in an early wreck with Cole Whitt, she angered teammate Kevin Harvick when she held him up as he experimented with to pass her midway via the race, and she ran into Clint Bowyer on pit street as she left her stall. It turned out she’;d been driving given that the wreck with Whitt with only 4th gear.
“I lost initial and 2nd gear and then ultimately third gear, so the final 100 or 200 laps I only had 4th gear,” she explained. “Which is why I hit Clint in the pits. It wouldn’;t go, so I dipped the clutch and acquired sideways and when it was about to spin around, I lifted, it caught and then it went straight and it wouldn’;t cease. So I hit him. I apologized to his crew after the race.”
She’;s earned praise from SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli for the progress she’;s produced.
“She is a lot more comfy with this package. It does complement her driving design,” Zipadelli mentioned. “I never know if it is simply because the automobiles do not move all around as a lot and which is type of what she sort of grew up driving. We’;re really satisfied with exactly where the 10 is by their practice speeds. I imagined Vegas was exceptional. Qualifying, it just commenced so dang loose, but she did a good job fighting back. They’;ll keep fighting, they’;ll figure out. But I do feel she’;s accomplished a very good task.”
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