|Date: Nov. 5, 2017
Event: AAA Texas 500 (Round 34 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 334 laps, broken into three segments (85 laps/85 laps/164 laps)
Start/Finish: 14th/17th (Running, completed 333 of 334 laps)
Point Standings: 27th (498 points)
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):
● Danica Patrick started 14th and finished 18th.
● The No. 10 Aspen Dental “$10M for Veterans” Ford Fusion driver battled a tight-handling condition a majority of the stage.
● Patrick pitted under green for fresh tires at lap 54, but the team opted not to pit at the end of the stage in order to take the wave-around.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):
● Started 18th and finished 17th.
● The Aspen Dental driver noted a loose-handling sensation on the initial stage restart.
● Patrick pulled onto pit road for a stop on lap 94 for four tires and fuel. She restarted 16th.
● Lap 143 saw the Aspen Dental crew pit for right-side tires and fuel. Once Patrick was back on the track, the team relayed that her lap times were better than the pack ahead of her.
● Patrick noted at the end of the stage that, “If I drive in hard it slides.” She also reported a lack of grip through the rest of the turn.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-334):
● Started 17th and finished 17th.
● Patrick pitted during the first caution in the stage for four tires and fuel. She was racing as high as 15th by lap 185.
● The Aspen Dental Ford was loose off of turn four and into turn one during the middle of the final stage.
● Patrick earned the wave-around on lap 236 with only nine cars on the lead lap prior. The Aspen Dental team maintained a top-20 position through the remaining laps, ultimately finishing 17th.
● This was Patrick’s 11th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and her 188th career NASCAR Cup Series start.
● Patrick earned 20 points in Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, which puts her at 498 total points for the season thus far. She is ranked 27th in the driver point standings.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 40 laps.
● Only 16 of the 40 drivers in the AAA Texas 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Kevin Harvick won the AAA Texas 500 to score his 37th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Texas Motor Speedway. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was 1.58 seconds.
● Truex leads the championship standings with 4,168 points and has a 50-point margin over his nearest pursuer, Kyle Busch.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!