|Date: Sept. 24, 2017
Event: ISM Connect 300 (Round 28 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
Format: 300 laps, broken into three segments (75 laps/75 laps/150 laps)
Start/Finish: 27th/18th (Running, completed 300 of 300 laps)
Point Standings: 28th (415 points)
Race Winner: Kyle Busch 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 27th and finished 25th.
● The No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion team gained several spots at the start of Stage 1, but with 15 laps to go in the stage, Patrick noted she thought there was an issue with the car, which she later described as, “It’s like I’m on rumble strips when I get to the corner.” In the remaining laps, she dropped from 22nd to 25th and went a lap down to the leader.
● When Patrick pitted between stages, the team found an issue with the right-rear tire.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
● Started 25th and finished 22nd.
● Patrick gained a spot on the initial start and was able to avoid a multicar accident on the backstretch at lap 149.
● The No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford team pitted for four tires and fuel between stages.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-300):
● Started 20th and finished 18th.
● Patrick struggled with a tight-handling racecar during the final stage and went down a second lap to the leader before the team pitted under caution at lap 223 for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
● When the caution flag waved at lap 262, crew chief Billy Scott called for Patrick to stay out and take the wave-around. That strategy paid off for the team as the caution flag waved again a few laps later, and since Patrick was scored the first car one lap down, she earned the free pass to get back on the lead lap.
● In the closing laps Patrick was able to race her way up to the 18th position.
● This was Patrick’s 10th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and her 182nd career NASCAR Cup Series start.
● Patrick earned 19 points in Sunday’s race, which puts her at 415 total points for the season thus far. She is ranked 28th in the driver point standings.
● There were six caution periods for a total of 32 laps.
● Twenty of the 39 drivers in the ISM Connect 300 finished on the lead lap.
● Kyle Busch won the ISM Connect 300 from the pole to score his 41st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his third at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was 2.641 seconds.
● Martin Truex Jr. leads the championship standings with 2,149 points and has a 24-point margin over his nearest pursuer, Larson.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Billy made a good call to wave around, and then we got the free pass, which put us back on the lead lap, and we were able to gain some ground there at the end. Overall though, the Code 3 Associates Ford was just too tight most of the day.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!