Danica Looks Forward To The Texas Weekend

Danica Patrick

We’ve all heard the expression “everything’s bigger in Texas.” While the saying’s origin may not be clear, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Aspen Dental “$10M for Veterans” Ford Fusion team hope to leave Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth with big, Texas-sized smiles following Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

Of all the tracks where the NASCAR Cup Series competes, Patrick has the most starts at Texas, having driven in 22 major-league races – 10 in the NASCAR Cup Series, four in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and eight in the IndyCar Series.

Patrick’s career-best NASCAR Cup Series result at Texas is 16th, a mark she earned at both events there in 2015. In her four Xfinity Series races at Texas, Patrick has three top-15 finishes, including an eighth-place result in April 2012. In Patrick’s eight IndyCar Series starts at the track, she has five top-10s, including a third-place result in June 2007 and a second-place finish in June 2010.

All of Patrick’s experience at the 1.5-mile Texas oval went out the window earlier this year as the track was repaved and reconfigured. Teams got their first look at the new track surface in April, when they competed in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Patrick called the race “one of the hardest races I’ve ever done in a stock car.” She started 19th and finished 24th, one lap down to the leaders.


 

Despite the modest performance at the track in the spring, Patrick and the No. 10 team head to Texas with something to smile about as sponsor Aspen Dental will be honoring veterans this weekend. On Saturday, veterans will receive free dental care aboard Aspen Dental’s MouthMobile – a 42-foot-long dental office on wheels. In addition, Patrick’s No. 10 Ford Fusion will sport a patriotic red, white and blue Aspen Dental paint scheme throughout the weekend to celebrate the veteran community, as well as Aspen Dental reaching the $10 million mark in donated dentistry to veterans through its Healthy Mouth Movement.

 

As they race to honor veterans and celebrate Aspen Dental’s efforts, Patrick and the No. 10 Aspen Dental “$10M for Veterans” Ford team hope to leave Texas Motor Speedway with a solid finish and some of the biggest smiles ever seen.

DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental “$10M for Veterans” Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
You’ve competed at Texas Motor Speedway for many years, dating back to your IndyCar Series career. Talk about going back to the track for this weekend’s race. 

“Well, since it was repaved before we got there (in April), it changed a lot. I would say it was probably one of the hardest races I’ve ever done in a stock car this time when we went back. What am I looking forward to? Hopefully it’s not quite as narrow of a lane as last time. It’s just challenging when you’ve got a new track and you’ve just got to get some wear on it and put tire rubber down and all sorts of stuff. It makes it more challenging.”

What is your most memorable moment racing at Texas Motor Speedway? 

“It was probably one of the last years I was there in an IndyCar – one of the last couple, I can’t remember. It was the end of the race and it was (Ryan) Briscoe and I. I came out from a pit stop in the lead and it was the last run and I just wasn’t fast enough. I was wide open, holding it on the bottom, and he drove around me. I almost had that one but finished second. That was probably my most memorable Texas memory.”

Your No. 10 Ford Fusion features a special patriotic paint scheme this weekend as Aspen Dental honors veterans. Talk about that.

“I’ve gotten to see first-hand all that Aspen Dental does to support our nation’s veterans. Our country’s veterans have given up so much for our freedom and I am proud to have a partner like Aspen Dental that does so much to honor their service and support their access to quality dental care.”

Aspen Dental Racing Team Report

Round 34 of 36 – AAA Texas 500 – Texas

Car No.: 10 – Aspen Dental “$10M for Veterans” 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

AAA Texas 500 Notes of Interest: 
  • The AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth will mark Danica Patrick’s 188th career start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In 10 previous starts, her best finish at the 1.5-mile track is 16th, a mark she earned in both races at the track in 2015. In four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, she finished a career-best eighth in April 2012.
  • Celebrating $10M for Veterans: Aspen Dental will be celebrating veterans all weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Saturday, veterans will receive free dental care aboard Aspen Dental’s MouthMobile – a 42-foot-long dental office on wheels. And all weekend, Patrick’s signature No. 10 Ford Fusion will sport a patriotic red, white and blue Aspen Dental paint scheme to celebrate the veteran community, as well as Aspen Dental reaching the $10 million mark in donated dentistry to veterans through its Healthy Mouth Movement.
  • Homecoming: Two members of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion team will return to their home state this weekend for the AAA Texas 500. Rear tire carrier Jeremy Howard is a Dalhart, Texas native, and Clayton Brewer, who is responsible for pit support on race day, is from Ding Dong, Texas.
  • Aspen Dental: With more than 600 offices in 36 states, Aspen Dental-branded practices offer patients a safe, welcoming and judgment-free environment to get the full range of dental care they need along with the convenience and speed of onsite denture labs. That’s why the Aspen Dental network of independent dental care providers is one of the largest and fastest growing in the U.S. and saw more than 1.5 million patients in 2016. To find out more about how Aspen Dental practices make it simply easier for each of their patients to get the healthy mouth they deserve, visit AspenDental.com.
  • 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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