Event: Overton’s 301 (Round 19 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
Format: 301 laps, broken into three segments (75 laps/75 laps/151 laps)
Start/Finish: 30th/13th (Running, completed 301 of 301 laps)
Point Standings: 28th (254 points, 504 out of first)
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Danica Patrick started 30th and finished 19th.
● The No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion team was scored in the 24th position when NASCAR issued a competition caution at lap 35. Patrick continued progressing toward the front in the second half of the stage and raced her way up to 19th by the end of Stage 1.
● Patrick noted a loose-handling condition during Stage 1, so crew chief Billy Scott called for tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment on the team’s first trip to pit road at lap 37. When Patrick returned to pit road at lap 67, Scott called for a wedge adjustment as well.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
● Started 11th and finished 15th.
● After pitting at lap 67, the No. 10 team elected to stay out at the end of Stage 1, which put Patrick in the 11th position to start Stage 2.
● Patrick was able to hold her ground and remain inside the top-15 until lap 112. She dropped to 17th at lap 117 and noted she needed the car to “roll the center better.”
● At lap 133, Patrick raced her way back into the top-15 and maintain her position until the end of the stage.
● Between stages, the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford team pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-301):
● Started 18th and finished 13th.
● Patrick started Stage 3 from the 18th position and raced her way back into the top-15 just six laps after taking the green flag.
● Scott called Patrick to pit road at lap 219 for a scheduled, green-flag pit stop. The No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford team changed tires, added fuel and made an air pressure adjustment. Once the field cycled through green-flag stops, Patrick was scored in the 12th position.
● When the caution flag waved at lap 261, the No. 10 team pitted for tires and fuel. Patrick restarted 12th when the field went back to green at lap 266. She dropped to 14th at one point but rallied back to take the checkered flag in the 13th position.
● This was Patrick’s ninth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and her 173rd career NASCAR Cup Series start.
● Patrick’s 13th-place finish in the Overton’s 301 was her second top-15 at the track and her third top-15 this season. The effort also marked Patrick’s career-best NASCAR Cup Series result at the “Magic Mile.”
● Patrick earned 24 points in Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which puts her at 254 total points for the season thus far. She is ranked 28th in the driver point standings.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 34 laps.
● A total of 24 of the 39 drivers in the Overton’s 301 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin won the Overton’s 301 to score his 30th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his third at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was .509 of a second.
● Martin Truex Jr. leads the championship standings with 758 points and has a 38-point margin over his nearest pursuer, Larson.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I feel like we probably won somebody some points in fantasy with passing all the cars from starting 30th. The Aspen Dental Ford was pretty good. Honestly, I have had very few races at Loudon where I don’t have a good racecar. We just have to qualify better so that I can take advantage of that and have track position the whole time.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!