Can Danica Ratchet Up Her Performance At Michigan?

Danica Patrick

After spending a weekend in Watkins Glen, New York, making both right- and left-hand turns at one of only two road courses on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) look to settle back into their normal routine as the series travels to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

Prior to last weekend’s race at the Watkins Glen International road course, Patrick and the No. 10 team had earned four consecutive top-15 finishes on oval tracks of varying length. Those results include a 15th-place effort at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, 13th at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, 11th at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway and 15th at the 2.5-mile Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

Patrick came close to making it five top-15 finishes in a row last weekend at Watkins Glen but, after running as high as 11th, midrace contact dropped her back toward the tail of the field. Patrick was only able to race her way back up to 22nd before taking the checkered flag.

This weekend, Patrick and the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford team return to Michigan International Speedway, a 2-mile oval. In the June event at the track, Patrick and the team had their shot at a top-15 run dashed by late-race contact. She was scored 15th when contact with another car on a restart with 10 laps to go sent the No. 10 Ford into the inside wall and relegated the team to a 37th-place finish.

Patrick has nine NASCAR Cup Series starts at Michigan and her best result is a 13th-place effort earned in June 2013. She has four top-20 finishes at the track.

In addition to her NASCAR Cup Series experience at Michigan, Patrick has made two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the track and her best finish was an 18th-place result earned in June 2012.

Patrick also has three IndyCar Series starts at Michigan with one of those a top-10 effort when she finished seventh in August 2007 after leading five laps.

This weekend, Patrick and the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford team plan to utilize that past experience to get back into a routine and hopefully earn another top-15 finish at Michigan.

DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
What kind of challenges does Michigan present?

“It’s really easy to have an imbalance at Michigan, whether it’s getting the power down on exit or most of the time being tight. I feel like it produces some great racing and there’s a lot of drafting, so you can use that to help pass cars.”

What are your thoughts on racing at Michigan?

“Michigan is a wide, fast track. There’s lots of room to move around and try different lines. I think it’s a momentum track and you have to focus on being smooth. At the end of the day, the car has to handle well. It has to feel good. It has to be a fast car. I think those are the challenges – getting your car to handle well and being smooth and consistent, lap after lap, at such a fast track.”

Code 3 Associates Racing Team Report

Round 23 of 36 – Pure Michigan 400 – Michigan

Car No.: 10 – Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion

 

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: Tony Cardamone

Hometown: Bristol, Virginia

 

Engine Builder: Roush Yates Engines

Headquarters: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Engine Specialist: Evan Cupples

Hometown: Hudson, Illinois

 

Spotter: Brandon Benesch

Hometown: Cumberland, Wisconsin

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Justin Wilson

Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota

 

Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa

 

Second Gas Man: Nate Spoor

Hometown: Penn Yan, New York

 

Front Tire Carrier: Tyler Bullard

Hometown: King, North Carolina

 

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 Larry Lush

Hometown: West Covina, California and Waynesville, North Carolina, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Nathan McGuire

Hometown: Palmyra, New York

 

Shock Specialist: Aaron Kuehn

Hometown: Kensington, Connecticut

 

Engineers: Scott Bingham and William Lee

Hometowns: Lawrenceville, Georgia and Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, respectively

 

Underneath Mechanic: Nick McIntosh

Hometown: Havre, Montana

 

Front End Mechanic: Joe Zanolini

Hometown: Sybertsville, Pennsylvania

Pure Michigan 400 Notes of Interest: 
  • The Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn will mark Danica Patrick’s 177th career start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In nine previous starts at the 2-mile oval, Patrick’s best finish is a 13th-place effort she earned in June 2013. In two Xfinity Series starts at the track, her top result was an 18th-place finish scored in June 2012. In addition, she’s made three IndyCar Series starts at Michigan with one top-10 effort – seventh in August 2007 after leading five laps.
  • Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing professional animal disaster response and resources to communities, as well as administering professional training to individuals and agencies involved in animal-related law enforcement and emergency response. Its mission is accomplished through hands-on animal rescue and care operations during disaster events in the United States and Canada, and through certified animal welfare training seminars, which include animal cruelty training for investigators. More information is available at code3associates.org.
  • Dallas Dogs Available: A plush version of Dallas Stenhouse, the 3-year-old miniature Siberian Husky that belongs to Patrick and her boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr., is now available for sale. Race fans can purchase their own Dallas plush dog at the 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 NASCAR Cup Series 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 (Cup, Xfinity, Truck).
    • Competed in every NASCAR Cup Series race in 2013, becoming the first female driver to complete an entire season in the series.
    • Became the first female to compete in the non-points NASCAR All-Star race (2013) and Sprint Unlimited (2014).
    • Have the most starts of any female in NASCAR Cup Series competition.
    • With seven top-10 finishes, holds the record for the most top-10 finishes of any female in NASCAR 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 STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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