Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 18 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three segments (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 20th/15th (Running, completed 273 of 274 laps)
Point Standings: 29th (230 points, 480 out of first)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Danica Patrick started 20th and finished 24th.
● The No. 10 Nature’s Bakery/Feeding America Ford Fusion team went down a lap during the first run but got the free pass when the caution flag waved at lap 30, putting Patrick back on the lead lap.
● The No. 10 team pitted twice during the stage for tires, fuel and adjustments.
● Patrick once again went a lap down to the leader at lap 69 and finished the stage in the 24th position.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Started 24th and finished 16th.
● Patrick got the free pass when the caution flag waved at lap 88, putting her back on the lead lap in the 21st position.
● At lap 93 Patrick made contact with the No. 37 car, and the team pitted for repairs. She restarted the race from the 20th position at lap 99.
● Patrick continued gaining ground in the final laps of Stage 2 and ended up 16th.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):
● Started 19th and finished 15th.
● The No. 10 team made a scheduled, green-flag stop at lap 219 for tires and fuel. Patrick went down a lap to the leaders as the cycle of green-flag pit stops was completed.
● Patrick raced her way forward in the second half of the stage and was running 17th when the caution flag waved at lap 266.
● Crew chief Billy Scott called for the team to pit for tires and fuel, and Patrick lined up 18th for the final restart. She was able to pick up several spots before the caution flag waved again and took the checkered flag in the 15th position.
● This was Patrick’s fifth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Kentucky and her 172nd career NASCAR Cup series start.
● Patrick’s 15th-place finish in the Kentucky 400 was her first top-15 at Kentucky and her second top-15 this season. The effort also marked Patrick’s career-best NASCAR Cup Series finish at the 1.5-mile track.
● Patrick earned 22 points in Saturday’s race at Kentucky, which puts her at 230 total points for the season thus far. She is ranked 29th in the driver point standings.
● The race finished in overtime, going seven laps past its scheduled 267-lap distance.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 39 laps.
● Only nine drivers in the 40-car field finished on the lead lap.
● Martin Truex Jr. won the Kentucky 400 to score his 10th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Kentucky. Kyle Larson finished second as the race ended under caution.
● Larson continues to lead the championship standings with 710 points, but only has a one-point advantage over his nearest pursuer, Truex.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery/Feeding America Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We weren’t as good as we needed to be at the start, but by the end of the race, I was honestly wishing we had more laps, because I think we could have had an even better finish tonight. All in all, it was a great result for our team, so we’ll take it and move on to New Hampshire.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!