|While four drivers will be vying for the championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Championship 4 round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs, 36 other teams will be competing to end the 2016 season on the highest note possible. Danica Patrick and the No. 10 TaxAct Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will be one of the teams in the latter category and will be ready to take home maximum returns in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale.
Patrick will make her fourth career Sprint Cup start at the 1.5-mile Homestead oval Sunday and she enters the race having earned solid results at intermediate tracks thus far this season. She’s scored top-20 finishes in five of the 10 events at 1.5-mile tracks so far in 2016, including the No. 10 team’s best result of the season – an 11th-place finish last month at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
She finished a career-best 18th at Homestead in November 2014 and has earned top-20 results in two of the three Sprint Cup races she’s competed in at the track. In addition, in three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Homestead, Patrick earned a career-best effort of 13th in November 2012 among a pair top-20 finishes.
In addition to Patrick’s stock car experience, she has competed in five IndyCar Series races at Homestead. She scored a second-place result in 2010 and earned two top-10s.
Patrick and the No. 10 team will close out the 2016 season in the red, white and black colors of TaxAct, the official tax preparation software partner of SHR and Patrick. Sunday’s race marks the fourth event in which TaxAct will have served as the primary sponsor on Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet this year.
As the 2016 season draws to a close for Patrick and the No. 10 TaxAct Chevrolet team, they will be looking to capitalize on their performance at 1.5-mile tracks this year in addition to Patrick’s past results at Homestead. Scoring maximum returns in Sunday’s race would help end the season on a high note and provide a solid base for the team to build on next year.
|DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 TaxAct Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
|What are your overall thoughts heading into Homestead this weekend?
“It’s a mile and a half, but it’s unique in that it doesn’t have the dogleg. I’ve only run a few Sprint Cup races there but ended up with a couple of solid finishes, and I’ve run well there in the Xfinity Series, also. I ended up second in my last IndyCar race at Homestead, so I’ve got some experience at the track, just not a ton in Sprint Cup.”
Your teammate and co-owner Tony Stewart is making his last Sprint Cup start in Sunday’s race. Talk about Tony’s impact.
“Tony experienced great success in IndyCar and has had huge success in NASCAR, as well. He’s one of the very few drivers who’ve run both and have been really, really successful at it. I think he has helped the reach of both series and motorsports, in general, by a ton. He’s a cool, unique person. He has an opinion, which I love, and I think that resonates with people. People appreciate that sense of authenticity versus not, and he brings it.”
What do you think Tony’s legacy is going to be in NASCAR?
“That he was a great racecar driver who was really fun to watch and to listen to.”
During the homestretch of this year’s season, what has been the team’s approach to each weekend?
“I feel like the 10 races of the Chase for us on the No. 10 team have been an effort to try and figure out where we want to start next year from certain technical specifications – car-wise, what-not – and setups. We’re trying to get a direction so that next year, when we start out, we start out bigger, better, stronger and faster. It’s always a challenge when you work together with a crew chief for the first time. Sometimes it works right away and sometimes it takes time. I think we’re coming around. There’s no way you can really put a timeline on how long it takes for you to finally really click and get things going, but we’re getting there.”
|TaxAct Racing Team Report
Round 36 of 36 – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Finale – Homestead
|Car No.: 10 – TaxAct Chevrolet SS
Kevin Harvick – No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS
Tony Stewart – No. 14 Always a Racer/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS
Kurt Busch – No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet SS
At-Track PR Contact: Annette Randall, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 805, Annette.Randall@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)
|Primary Team Members:
Driver: Danica Patrick
Hometown: Roscoe, Illinois
Crew Chief: Billy Scott
Hometown: Land O’ Lakes, Florida
Car Chief: Pete White
Hometown: Hinsdale, Massachusetts
Engine Builder: Hendrick Motorsports
Headquarters: Concord, North Carolina
Engine Specialist: Todd Hamm
Hometown: Kutztown, Pennsylvania
Spotter: Brandon Benesch
Hometown: Cumberland, Wisconsin
|Over-The-Wall Crew Members:
Gas Man: Tony Cardamone
Hometown: Bristol, Virginia
Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder
Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa
Second Gas Man: Seth James
Hometown: Fairbury, Nebraska
Front Tire Carrier: Todd Drakulich
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Windshield: Kyle Anderson (also serves as interior mechanic)
Hometown: Jewell, Iowa
Rear Tire Changer: Jonathan Sherman
Hometown: Monroe, Louisiana
Jackman: Nate House
Hometown: Gastonia, North Carolina
Rear Tire Carrier: Jeremy Howard
Hometown: Dalhart, Texas
|Road Crew Members:
Truck Drivers: Wayne Anderson and Scott Robbins
Hometown: West Covina, California and Woodsville, New Hampshire, respectively
Tire Specialist: Nathan McGuire
Hometown: Palmyra, New York
Shock Specialist: Jimmy Rowlands
Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania
Engineers: Oliver Rivera and William Lee
Hometowns: Houston and Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, respectively
Underneath Mechanic: Nick McIntosh
Hometown: Havre, Montana
Front End Mechanic: Joey Elliott
Hometown: Northwood, New Hampshire
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Finale Notes of Interest:
- The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale will mark Danica Patrick’s 154th career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and her fourth at Homestead-Miami Speedway. She finished a career-best 18th there in November 2014. In three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, she earned a career-best effort of 13th in November 2012. In five IndyCar Series races at Homestead, she scored a second-place result in 2010 and earned two top-10s.
- Back on Track with TaxAct: TaxAct, the official tax preparation software partner of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) and Patrick, will return to the track this weekend for the season finale at Homestead. Sunday’s race marks the fourth event in which TaxAct will serve as the primary sponsor on Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet this year.
- Patrick Partners with Williams-Sonoma to Benefit No Kid Hungry: Williams-Sonoma recently launched its latest campaign to benefit No Kid Hungry and, as part of the effort, the retailer revealed its “Cook for a Cause” program, which includes a line of limited-edition, celebrity-designed spatulas. Williams-Sonoma will donate 30 percent of the retail price to No Kid Hungry, which can connect a child with 10 healthy meals for just $1. This year’s spatulas feature illustrations contributed by Jimmy Kimmel, Chrissy Teigen, Trisha Yearwood, Giada De Laurentiis, Ina Garten, Michael Voltaggio, Ayesha Curry, American Girl and Patrick. The limited-edition collection is on sale in stores and online: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/shop/new/new-no-kid-hungry/.
- Dallas Dogs Available: A plush version of Dallas Stenhouse, the 2-year-old miniature Siberian Husky that belongs to Patrick and her boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr., is available for sale. Race fans can purchase their own Dallas plush dog at the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) team store in Kannapolis, North Carolina, the SHR online store and at Shop.DanicaPatrick.com. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will benefit animal charities.
- For the History Books: Since Patrick began competing in NASCAR on a part-time basis in 2010, she has made plenty of history. Here is a recap of how she has altered the record books through the years:
- Became the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the 2013 Daytona 500.
- Led laps 90 to 91 of the 2013 Daytona 500, becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race. She also led laps 127 to 129.
- Became the first woman to lead a NASCAR race under green (Daytona 2013). Janet Guthrie led five laps under yellow in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.
- Finished 2013 Daytona 500 in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”
- Finished 10th in 2012 Xfinity Series points, the highest points finish by a woman in the history of NASCAR’s top three series (Sprint Cup, Xfinity, Truck).
- Competed in every Sprint Cup race in 2013, becoming the first female driver to complete an entire season in the series.
- Became the first female to compete in the nonpoints Sprint All-Star race (2013) and Sprint Unlimited (2014).
- Have the most starts of any female in Sprint Cup Series competition.
- With six top-10 finishes, holds the record for the most top-10 finishes of any female in Sprint Cup Series competition.
- History Maker in IndyCar: Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series in April 2008 by winning the IndyCar Series Japan Indy 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
- Big Stage: In seven Indianapolis 500 starts, Patrick finished in the top-10 six times, including a third-place result in 2009, the best finish ever for a woman in the historic race.
TIL NEXT TIME, i AM STIL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!