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  • GoBowling.com 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 29, 2014) – It is difficult to believe, but just two months ago the first Pocono (Pa.) Raceway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race took place. And this week it’s time for part two with the GoBowling.com 400 Sunday at the 2.5-mile triangle.

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), hasn’t had the best results at Pocono with a best finish of 29th in her first race in June 2013. She finished 35th and 37th in her last two races there, but one needs to dig a little deeper to see she could be poised for a great finish with a little luck.

    Last July, she was running a respectable 18th when she was involved in a multicar crash in the tunnel turn and ended up 35th. She was poised for a solid top-20 finish before the crash occurred.

    Two months ago, she was running second on lap 138 of 160, but she cut a left-front tire and hit the turn-three wall to end any chance of a good finish. She was scheduled to make another pit stop before the end of the race for a splash of fuel and, even though a top-10 was probably out of the question, a top-15 was what the team was aiming for when the accident occurred.

    She finished 37th in the race, two laps down, after repairs had to be made.

    Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson are hoping this week will be the one when a good finish finally comes to fruition, and they’ll be bringing a familiar car. Chassis No. 10-849 worked rather well last week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so the GoDaddy team is getting it ready for a rare second race in a row.

    At Indianapolis, Patrick qualified 14th and was in the top-15 all day before the rear locker broke after a lap-68 pit stop, causing her to finish 42nd. While the finish was disappointing, Gibson and his crew got the car back Monday morning and immediately began preparing for a similar 2.5-mile track in Pocono.

    They are hoping their hard work will finally lead to a solid finish come Sunday.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Pocono?

    “It’s a neat place, definitely a unique track. It’s still a place I don’t have a ton of experience at. I know Tony Gibson has won there a couple of times and does a good job setting up the car. It’s just an odd place to set the car up because the corners are so different. If you are really good in turn one, then maybe two and three are a little off. Or, if you’re good in three, maybe one and two are different. I will say that the straightaway is enormous. There’s a lot of distance between turns three and one.”

    You are bringing back last weekend’s Indianapolis racecar to Pocono. Talk about that.

    “It was a good chassis and it handled well at Indy, so we decided to bring it to Pocono. I know the guys are working hard to get it turned around and I appreciate that. Hopefully, we’ll have a good run. We’ve run well in the past. We just need to finish better.”

    Back at media tour and media day, there was so much conversation about this team and the four big personalities and how everybody was going to get along. It seems like, at this juncture of the season, it’s been a total nonstory. Can you address the chemistry there?

    “I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be a story. It was more of an interesting story from the beginning that wasn’t going to materialize. I feel like, with all of our personalities, while we’re strong, we’re not necessarily strong at each other. We’re just strong personalities and have opinions but, more than anything, we all want to do well and get better. For sure, in my position, I’m lucky to be with guys who have so much experience I can learn from. You know, you get a lot of really constructive progress and constructive criticism along the way, and everybody can get better and everybody wants to get better. So, when everybody wants to get better and they’re not defensive, then it all goes – it’s all just to get better and everybody knows that. I think that’s why you’ve seen an improvement in our team this year and everything from top to bottom is just a little bit better – better communication – and it shows.”

    How have your teammates Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch impacted you this year? Have they helped you out quite a bit?

    “Kevin is probably someone who’s helped the most. He’s just able to put things in terms and ways and words that I understand and I’m able to put them to use. Kurt has been helpful, as well, but Kevin the most, and it helps. It just helps. Little things like when you get up to speed, are you flat out around (turns) three and four, and what are some of your tricks when it gets tight or gets loose, or where is there a little extra grip on the track. So they both are helpful. They’re all helpful. Tony is, too, but I think, above all of them, Kevin is probably the best at teaching. I don’t think everyone has the gift and I don’t think I do, but he’s pretty good at it.”

    We hear so much about rookies getting experience. Halfway through your sophomore season, what has changed for you in the car? What’s different for you and the team overall this year compared to what you went through last year?

    “It’s a good question. I really think just the experience in the car is helping me feel what’s happening more, and so it leaves less options for the crew chief to make changes when you can be more specific about what the car is doing. And then your progress on the weekend tends to be better. I also think just getting up to speed quicker from the get‑go also helps in not doing a big circle with the setup. Usually, if you’re not driving hard enough at the beginning of practice when you first hit the track, you are loose. And then, as soon as you get more confident and you’re driving in harder, all of a sudden you’re tight again. And, what do you know? You’re right back where you started but you’re a session behind, now. I think getting up to speed and then also just being able to identify a little bit better, and I mean a little bit better. I don’t mean – I have a lot to learn and a lot of progress to still make on being able to feel the little things about the car I need to help even more, but I think those two things are really helpful overall on our weekends and help us to be more methodical and fine‑tune the car.”

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  • Crown Royal Presents 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 27, 2014
    Event: 21st Annual Brickyard 400 (Round 20 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 14th/42nd (Rear Gear, completed 114 of 160 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (382 points, 335 out of first)
    Winner: Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    For the first 69 laps of Sunday’s Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Danica Patrick had a top-15 car. But a broken rear gear when she exited her pit stall on lap 69 ended her chance of a top-10 finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and she ended up 42nd.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 14th and was in the top-15 for much of the race when she was called to pit on lap 69 by crew chief Tony Gibson. After four tires were changed and fuel was added, the jack was dropped and she took off. Unfortunately, a cloud of smoke came out from her car immediately, and the crew figured something had broken in the rear of the car.

    “We looked at everything, and it looks like the launch was fine,” Patrick said. “It's just one of those things. It’s too bad and these things never happen when you’re having a bad day (laughs). We were having a good day. It’s disappointing and the GoDaddy guys built me a really good car. Hendrick gave me great horsepower. We were the fastest car out there at times. We qualified better and had a good car for the race, it just didn’t end the way we wanted it to. The good thing is, I get to come back to Indy and that makes me happy.”

    Crew chief Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy crew repaired the car, but Patrick was only able to complete 114 of 160 laps.

    “It looks like the locker broke in the rear end,” Gibson said. “There is a locker spring and that’s what tells the right rear to spin versus the left rear and both of them together. From what I can see, visually, it looks like the locker spring broke. So nothing would spin other than the right-rear tire. We changed the transmission and all that just to be sure. You don’t see it all that often, but with what we are asking these things to do, dropping off the jack and going at 9,800 rpm, it doesn’t take much to break them. We had a fast car and I’m proud of what the team did.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR by finishing eighth. He started from the pole after a track-record qualifying lap on Saturday and led twice for 12 laps en route to his ninth top-10 this season and his eighth top-10 in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis. It was also his 218th top-10 in 486 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, started sixth and finished 17th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started seventh and finished 28th, one lap down.

    Jeff Gordon won the 21st annual Brickyard 400 to score his 90th career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his series-best fifth at Indianapolis.

    Kyle Busch finished 2.325 seconds behind Gordon in the runner-up spot, while Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson, Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Austin Dillon comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 16 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

    With round 20 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th with 565 points, 152 behind first-place Gordon. Stewart is 19th with 529 points, 188 out of first. Kurt Busch is 25th with 456 points, 261 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 382 points, 335 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the GoBowling.com 400 on Sunday, Aug. 3 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Crown Royal Presents 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 22, 2014) – Danica Patrick probably has one of the best records of a driver never to win the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. Six top-10 finishes in seven races, including a fourth in 2005 and a third in 2009.

    Five times she started in the top-10, and she basically holds just about every record for a woman in the 500.

    But having focused on her big transition to NASCAR since 2011, the 500 is now just a memory.

    Which brings us to the Brickyard 400 – the 160-lap stock car race which she debuted in last year, finishing 30th. And while it’s 100 miles shorter than the 500, a lot of people who have dreamed about winning the 500 have actually won the 400.

    Jeff Gordon, a four-time winner of the Brickyard 400, grew up wanting to race IndyCars before he moved south to take on NASCAR. John Menard tried unsuccessfully for 20 years to win the Indy 500 as an owner, then won the ‘400’ with son Paul in 2011. Jimmie Johnson, who was a fan of four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears, thought about driving in the 500 but has managed to win the 400 four times.

    Patrick’s teammates have experienced Indy, as well, with Tony Stewart failing to win the 500 in five starts, but capturing the 400 in 2005 and 2007. Kevin Harvick also grew up as a Mears fan and took the checkered flag in the 400 in 2003. And Kurt Busch has never won either race but this past May attempted “The Double,” finishing sixth in the Indy 500 and 40th later that day in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. An engine failure prematurely ended his attempt to complete The Double at Charlotte.

    Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson will bring a brand new No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS to the Brickyard 400 as chassis No. 10-894 has never been used. When they brought brand new Chassis No. 10-837 to Kansas Speedway in Kansas City in May, Patrick started ninth and finished seventh.

    Patrick hopes that luck will continue at Indy and she can score another top-10 finish at a place that has been so good to her in the last decade.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What did you do during the off week?

    “I presented at the ESPY’s on Wednesday night and then went Lake Tahoe to cheer for Ricky (Stenhouse) in the American Century Championship. It was fun to watch him play golf and it was a fun experience. I’m ready to get back, though, and I think the guys got some much-needed time off and I think we’re ready for the final 17 weeks.”

    Indianapolis has always been a special place for you. Talk about running there.

    “I don’t care what I drive around Indy, I love being there. I just like everything about it. I like the facility. And, to me, the special thing about Indy is, obviously, I’ve had great experiences, but it’s about the track. It doesn’t matter what kind of car I drive there, I’ve had great experiences, memories. So that’s what I like so much about it. And I love the tradition. The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what’s important and what matters and what means the most to you.”

    Compare driving a stock car at Indianapolis to driving an Indy car.

    “It’s just about finding a balance with the car out there, which is no different than in an Indy car. You’re just trying to find a balance. All you’re doing in an Indy car is trimming it out and, if I could have more downforce in these cars, I’d probably take it because, in an Indy car, we learned very quickly that it’s about how much throttle you could carry around. The stock cars get very low in the corners, and that can be a little bit of a danger in an Indy car, especially if you get just a little bit too low and get a little loose. So that’s a little bit different, I suppose, but nothing that was terribly unexpected. It did feel a little funny driving through Gasoline Alley the first time. We used to walk it. And I’m used to seeing the ‘Alley Cats’ (legion of local fans who have been a fixture at the entrance to Gasoline Alley during the Indy 500 month of practice, qualifying and the race for more than four decades) and I didn’t see them there. I just saw a bunch of ‘Yellow Shirts’ (security guards) and that was nice. But I didn’t see any ‘Alley Cats.’”

    When you were in Indy cars, which turn gave you the most trouble at Indy?

    “Turn one. I always feel like turn one is just – it has the most amount of issues, for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s partly because you get there a little quicker because (turns) two, three and four are a little bit more smooth and the arc is nice and smooth through the corner. I don’t feel like there’s as much adjusting. I don’t know what it is, but turn one has always been the issue no matter what car I’ve been in. So that was my answer for Indy cars, and it’s my answer for stock cars. It always gives you that little bit of a loose feeling getting in, at times. And, with these cars especially, I feel you have to set them up for the long haul. You have to set them up for the whole run as opposed to, where in IndyCar, they have so much downforce and grip that you could set it up and it’d stay like that through the whole race or the whole run. So there’s a little bit of sacrificing and compromising on the car as far as what you have at the beginning so you have a good car at the end.”

    Talk about what it’s like when you drive through the tunnel at Indianapolis and get ready for a race weekend.

    “I think the best thing about coming back is that it feels familiar and it feels comfortable. I like seeing it. It feels very comfortable, very familiar. I just feel like I’ve had a lot of different experiences here that can help me and, again, it’s just a special place where I feel like, from the beginning, I’ve always really believed that you have to show this track respect and it will hopefully show you the respect back. I’ve always thought that and, especially in IndyCar, this place can bite you pretty big. I don’t think it’s too much different in a stock car, to be honest. It’s just a very familiar place. We spent so much time there during the month of May that it becomes like a second home, almost. It’s not like the Indy 500 was a three-day show. You spent just about the entire month there. My parents live outside of Indy, now, as does my sister and her husband, so it’s nice to come back.”

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  • Camping World RV Sales 301 Post-Report

    Date: July 13, 2014
    Event: Camping World RV Sales 301 (Round 19 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 29th/22nd (Running, completed 305 of 305 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (380 points, 290 out of first)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)

    Danica Patrick battled a tight-handling car and finished 22nd in Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 29th but went a lap down on lap 84. She and crew chief Tony Gibson then chose to not pit under caution on lap 115, taking the wave-around to get back on the lead lap when the race restarted. Then on lap 153, just as Patrick was about to pit and go back a lap down, the caution flew, allowing her to remain on the lead lap and pit for much-needed service.

    After pitting for four fresh tires, Patrick then restarted 23rd, but that was pretty much it. She reached as high as 18th but was running 22nd when the checkered flag flew.

    “We were just too tight late in the race,” Patrick said. “We were pretty much between 18th and 23rd all day and ended up 22nd. It’s not the best day, but we’ve had lots worse, too. I’d like to thank the GoDaddy crew. I think it will be nice to get the off week and get to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks and see what we’ve got.”

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing seventh. He qualified fourth and drove to his sixth top-10 this season and his 18th top-10 in 30 career Sprint Cup starts at New Hampshire. It was also his 296th top-10 in 540 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 18th and finished 17th after leading one lap.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 12th and was running second on the final restart but ran out of gas and finished 30th.

    Brad Keselowski won the Camping World RV Sales 301 to score his 13th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at New Hampshire.

    Kyle Busch finished .750 of a second behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while rookie Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 35 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 305-lap race, which was extended four laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round 19 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is 13th with 528 points, 142 behind series leader Jeff Gordon. Stewart is 19th with 502 points, 168 out of first. Kurt Busch is 25th with 440 points, 230 out of first. Patrick is 27th with 380 points, 290 out of first.

    Sprint Cup teams will enjoy their second and final off-weekend of the 2014 season before embarking on a slate of 17 consecutive races, beginning with the July 27 Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 21st running of the event begins at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Camping World RV Sales 301 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 8, 2014) – Danica Patrick doesn’t exactly have a favorite track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. But there are a few that are high on the like list and one of them is New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    The 1.058-mile oval in central New Hampshire has been a favorite of Patrick’s even though she’s only raced there five times.

    She finished sixth in the 2011 IndyCar race and 14th in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, but comes to this week’s Camping World RV Sales 301 Sprint Cup Series race with a bit of momentum.

    In her last four races, she has averaged a 16th-place finish and has finished 18th or better six times in 18 races – more than she did in all 36 last year. Since the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway tour stop in May, she has averaged a starting spot of 15.6, which is an almost 100-percent improvement on her average of 30.1 for all races in 2013.

    Last week at Daytona, Patrick finished eighth – her third career top-10 result. But it wasn’t without the trials and tribulations to get there.

    The race was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday morning due to rain, and then the drivers got in just seven laps before rain delayed the race for 25 minutes. Once they got going again, there was a 16-car accident on lap 21, and Patrick somehow avoided any damage despite having to go low and then high on the racetrack to avoid wrecking cars. Other than a small vibration and needing repairs to the left front of the car, all was good with her machine.

    Patrick worked her way into the top-10 by lap 80 and was ready for a midrace pit stop when she slid through her pit box. She had to back up and get in position to get fuel and tires and fell back to 30th, about 15 seconds behind the lead pack.

    As she began to move up with the race nearing lap 100, a massive 26-car accident on the backstretch found Patrick in the upper part of the racetrack with nowhere to go. Amazingly, she got through it with only minor damage – a flat left-front tire. It was a crafty bit of driving that enabled her to go from 22nd to eighth in one lap.

    From there, only six more laps would be run under green, and Patrick stayed in eighth place when the mighty rains came once more. The officials called an end to the race after 112 of the scheduled 160 laps.

    Patrick credits her improved results this season to her rapidly growing experience in stock cars and the effort of her entire Tony Gibson-led crew on the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing.

    Gibson is no stranger to success at Loudon, having served as crew chief when Ryan Newman earned a pole and victory there in July 2011 and another pole in September 2011. In eight races as car chief for Jeff Gordon between 1998 and 2001, the No. 24 team finished sixth or better seven times at Loudon, won three poles and took the checkered flag in August of 1998.

    Patrick and Gibson look to put together another good run this weekend, and then enjoy the second and final off weekend of the season.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on New Hampshire?

    “I really like going there. I like that area of the country and like the restaurants and what it has to offer. I haven’t been there a whole lot, but I enjoy it and like it. We were OK last year and I’m anxious to see what we’ve got this year. Tony Gibson and his guys have won there before, so I’m ready to get going.”

    How challenging is New Hampshire to set up for?

    “It’s flat and tough to get around sometimes. You just have to make sure you get through the corners OK and are able to get on the gas quick on the straightaways. It’s tough but, if you have a good car, you can pass and move up through the field. But it can be challenging if it’s not working in your favor.”

    You’re coming off an eighth-place finish at Daytona and you have improved on qualifying and race results this year. Talk about that.

    “We’re getting better. The more I get to these racetracks and get experience, the better I am. I think we’re qualifying better, for sure, and I think our race results are better. A lot of that has to do with the GoDaddy team and Tony Gibson giving me good cars. It’s a process, but I think it’s moving in the right direction.”

    There was more rain at Daytona. Talk about that.

    “It’s tougher for the guys more than anything. They lost a precious Sunday off. It’s been a tough year with weather at both Daytonas, at Bristol and at Texas. But it’s also part of it. I still can’t believe we got through two accidents, blew by my pit stall and finished eighth. It was pretty unbelievable.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS:

    You were working at the first Sprint Cup Series race at Loudon in July 1993 and have been to every race conducted there. Talk about your first race there and what you remember.

    “I was there with Jimmy Hensley as the driver and Geoff Bodine was in the process of buying the team since Alan (Kulwicki) had been killed earlier in the year. It was a nice little racetrack. I’ve always loved Martinsville and it was real similar to that. I thought it was a really cool, really neat racetrack. I’ve been fortunate to run really well there and been with some great drivers. It’s probably one of my better tracks because it kind of fits my style of setup stuff. It’s a really cool track and I loved it the first time I saw it. I’m looking forward to going back there and I’m glad we race there twice.”

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  • Coke Zero 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 6, 2014
    Event: Coke Zero 400 (Round 18 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 29th/8th (Running, completed 112 of 112 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (358 points, 293 out of first)
    Winner: Aric Almirola of Richard Petty Motorsports in a rain-shortened race (Ford)

    At the end of the day, Danica Patrick finished eighth in Sunday’s rain-delayed Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. But getting to that point was a bit of a wild card for the driver of the No. 10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

    Patrick was slightly involved in two major accidents, blew past her pit stall during a pit stop and dodged rain to score her third career top-10 finish.

    “The car was fast,” Patrick said. “It has just been a matter of attrition and getting a little lucky and making it through things. We were in two crashes, and the car has been OK to keep going, which is hard to do here at Daytona because the splitter height is so critical, because if it’s a little too low you can’t go the speed you need to because it will just hit the track. We have been really fortunate from that perspective, getting a yellow in the middle when I made the mistake on pit road of missing my pit box. It’s been a crazy day. I can’t believe we finished eighth.”

    The race was delayed from Saturday night to Sunday morning due to rain, and then the drivers got in just seven laps before rain delayed the race for 25 minutes. Once they got going again there was a 16-car accident on lap 21, and Patrick somehow avoided any damage despite having to go low and then high on the race track to avoid wrecking cars. Other than a small vibration and needing repairs to the left front of the car, all was good with her machine.

    Patrick got herself in the top-10 at lap 80 and was ready for a midrace pit stop when she slid through her pit box. She had to back up and get in position to get fuel and tires and fell back to 30th, about 15 seconds behind the lead pack.

    “I just missed it,” Patrick said.” I thought the 16 (Greg Biffle) was coming to pit road and he was pitted behind me, but he didn’t, and the (No.) 5 (Kasey Kahne) was in front of me and I just followed the 5 and blew the pit stall. It was my fault. But we got a yellow a few laps later and were able to get back toward the front.”

    As she began to move up with the race nearing lap 100, a massive 26-car accident on the backstretch found Patrick in the upper part of the racetrack with nowhere to go. Amazingly she got through it with only minor damage, a flat left front tire. It was an unbelievable piece of driving that even left Patrick’s crew chief Tony Gibson shaking his head in amazement as she went from 22nd to eighth in one lap.

    From there, only six more laps would be run under green, and Patrick stayed in eighth-place when the mighty rains came once more. The officials called an end to the race after 112 of the scheduled 160 laps.

    “I know she was worried about it being able to perform with damage, but she did a good job staying tucked up in there,” Gibson said. “I didn’t know how good it was going to lead, but I’m pretty happy with eighth. Obviously, I would like to see what would have happened at the end with us and our teammate (Kurt Busch), but I’m happy with that. Not being torn up that bad and top 10 finish? I’m good.”

    Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing third in the Coke Zero 400. He started 40th but led three times for a race-high 36 laps to score his fourth top-five this season and his 11th top-five in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at Daytona. It was also his 104th top-five in 489 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 13th but was caught up in an accident on lap 21 and finished 39th.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 12th and was caught up in the same accident as Harvick and finished 40th.

    Aric Almirola won the Coke Zero 400 to score his first career Sprint Cup victory.

    Brian Vickers finished behind Almirola in the runner-up spot, while Busch, Casey Mears and Austin Dillon rounded out the top-five. Denny Hamlin, Michael McDowell, Patrick, Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 29 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the rained-shortened race.

    With round 18 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 11th with 514 points, 137 behind series leader Jeff Gordon. Stewart is 20th with 465 points, 186 out of first. Busch is 24th with 422 points, 229 out of first. Patrick is 27th with 358 points, 293 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Camping World RV Sales 301 on Sunday, July 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Coke Zero 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 1, 2014) – Danica Patrick’s green car will have a bit of a different look for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    The No. 10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will feature the orange and pink colors of Florida Lottery on the front of the car, joining the GoDaddy green on the back. It is part of a two-race package as Florida Lottery will also join GoDaddy in the season finale in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    This event is a great opportunity for the Florida Lottery to increase awareness about its role in funding education and contributing to Florida’s economy. The Florida Lottery has generated more than $26 billion for education over its 26-year history, enabling more than 650,000 students to attend college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

    The Lottery also proudly supports the Classrooms First and Classrooms for Kids programs, which utilize Lottery revenue to fund school district projects for new construction, renovation, remodeling and major repair and maintenance of educational facilities. The Lottery reinvests nearly 98 percent of its revenue back into Florida's economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Florida retailers and transfers to education.

    The combination of Florida Lottery, GoDaddy and Patrick could prove very successful and she has enjoyed plenty of success at Daytona. Her first-ever stock car start came there in February 2010, when she started 12th and finished and impressive sixth.

    From 2010 through 2014, Patrick started in the top-15 for all seven NASCAR Nationwide Series events, including four top-five starts and a pole in the February 2012 race. She led 34 laps and finished 10th in the July 2011 race.

    In Sprint Cup, she started on the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500, led five laps and finished eighth – the best finish for any woman in the history or the prestigious race.

    She’ll return again this week and hope that Saturday night she can celebrate the ultimate win with Florida Lottery and GoDaddy.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Daytona?

    “I always like going there. It’s where my first stock-car start was in 2010 and I actually have a lot of experience there. I think (crew chief) Tony Gibson and the Florida Lottery/GoDaddy guys build really good cars. They know how to go fast. At the end of the day, you just need to be in the right place at the right time. A lot of it is out of your control. But I think we’ll be good and hopefully have a car that can compete and win.”

    Florida Lottery joins you and the GoDaddy team this week.

    “It’s nice to have Florida Lottery on the car with GoDaddy this week. They’ve done some stuff with me in the past and it’s nice to see them step up here and at Homestead. Hopefully, we can put together a good run with the car and get them and GoDaddy into victory lane. That’s always the goal and one we are shooting for.”

    You are bringing Chassis 10-758 this week.

    “It’s the same chassis we won the pole with at Daytona last year so, hopefully, it has some of that speed. It’s a good car and I like how it runs. We had the speed with it at Talladega but just couldn’t do anything in the final laps. That’s what’s tough about restrictor-plate racing. A lot of the time, it’s out of your control. I remember asking Jimmie Johnson after he won the 2013 Daytona 500 what his plan was and he said there really wasn’t any plan. It just sort of happens if you are in the right place. But hopefully we’ll have a good car and a good plan and make it work.”

    Are you ready for the week?

    “I am ready. It’s a bit odd with practice on Thursday, only qualifying on Friday and then the race on Saturday. I’ve got some appearances with Coke Zero and Florida Lottery this weekend and something for Haas Automation, too. It’ll be busy, but I’m prepared and I know the weekend will be fun.”

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 28, 2014
    Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 17 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 10th/21st (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (322 points, 296 out of first)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

    Danica Patrick started strong but faded to a disappointing 21st-place finish in Saturday night’s Kentucky 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 10th and was in the top-15 for much of the first half of the race. Crew chief Tony Gibson made good adjustments on the car, and Patrick looked to be set up for a top-15 or even a top-10 finish.

    Things began to go away on lap 182 following a caution, when Patrick restarted seventh after not pitting. She fell to 20th by lap 201, and things got worse when, as she pitted on lap 214, the caution came out. Patrick was the “Lucky Dog” and got her lap back, but she had to restart 24th when the race resumed.

    From there, Patrick gained three spots to 21st, but her racecar was just too tight to make up more ground, and she had to settle for the disappointing finish.

    “I’m disappointed,” Patrick said. “I know Gibson is too. I’m not sure why it didn’t handle well in the last run. It was just too tight. It was good in the first half, but in the second half it wasn’t really good. It’s disappointing to say the least, because I think we could have finished better. It’s too bad for the GoDaddy team.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing seventh. He started fifth and scored his eighth top-10 this season and his second top-10 in four career Sprint Cup starts at Kentucky. It was also his 217th top-10 in 483 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Chevrolet SS for SHR, qualified 13th but had to start at the back of the field after the team changed the transmission prior to the race, per the NASCAR rulebook. Stewart rallied to finish an impressive 11th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started ninth and finished 12th.

    Brad Keselowski won the Kentucky 400 to score his 12th career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his second at Kentucky.

    Kyle Busch finished 1.014 seconds behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Jeff Gordon, Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 34 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round 17 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is ninth with 509 points, 109 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 16th with 460 points, 158 out of first. Busch is 26th with 379 points, 239 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 322 points, 296 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday, July 5 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Quaker State 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 25, 2014) – On Thursday, May 8, at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) unloaded Chassis No. 10-837, a new car that had not been used previously.

    On Friday, May 9, Danica Patrick, driver of the GoDaddy Chevrolet, placed 26th in the first practice and 23rd in the final practice for Saturday night’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway oval.

    But the right adjustments from crew chief Tony Gibson and some helpful hints from teammate Kevin Harvick helped her earn the ninth spot on the starting grid in impressive fashion during Friday evening’s qualifying session.

    On Saturday, May 10, Patrick raised a few eyebrows by running in the top-10 for the majority of the event, running as high as third late in the race and finishing a career-best seventh.

    This Saturday night, Chassis No. 10-837 returns once again to take part in another race on a 1.5-mile oval, this time at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. And Patrick is hoping it can produce the same results it did at Kansas, if not better.

    She’s had success at Kentucky before, notably a pole in the 2005 IndyCar race and four top-10 finishes in seven IndyCar starts. Her NASCAR Nationwide Series credentials aren’t been bad, either, with finishes of 12th and 14th in two starts in 2012.

    Patrick is on a better pace this year than last as, through 16 races in 2013, her average Sprint Cup starting position was 32.0 while this year she averages 21.8.

    It’s the same with finishes as this year she’s placed 18th or better five times while last year she ended up 18th or better five times in all 36 races.

    Patrick is hoping all of that can continue in Saturday night’s Kentucky 400 and that she can continue to excel.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Kentucky?

    “It’s one of those tracks where I have experience but, obviously, not in a lot of it in a stock car. I’ve been there a lot, but I’ve only run three stock car races there. I ran a lot of IndyCar races at Kentucky but, obviously, those aren’t really going to benefit me this weekend. The track definitely has character to it with the bumps, and we practice during the day on Friday and then race at night on Saturday, so the track conditions can change during the race. When you add all that up, it’s a challenging place.”

    How challenging are the bumps we hear about?

    “They are challenging for the teams. It’s a hard place to set up for and the bumps do add to that. Tony Gibson and the crew do a good job of setting up the car and I think they’ll be able to do that this week. It’s a tough place and the pavement is old but it creates some good racing. Hopefully, we can have a good night.”

    You are bringing back the chassis from Kansas. Talk about that.

    “It was pretty good at Kansas so, hopefully, it will be good at Kentucky. It is hard to predict as the tracks look the same but are actually quite a bit different. Kansas has been repaved and had good grip and Kentucky is old and worn out. Hopefully, we can find a good balance on the car and get it right. But I’m happy to have it.”

    It’s a bit of a short week coming from Sonoma to Kentucky.

    “It is, but it’s harder for the crew guys. There is a lot that goes into getting back and then getting to Kentucky on Thursday. This is a tough time of year and we need to thank them for all they do, especially the hauler drivers. Those guys are earning their money this week.”

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  • Toyota/Save Mart 350k Post-Report

    Date: June 22, 2014
    Event: Save Mart 350k (Round 16 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (10-turn, 1.99-mile road course)
    Start/Finish: 11th/18th (Running, completed 110 of 110 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (299 points, 281 out of first)
    Winner: Carl Edwards of Roush-Fenway Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick started 11th, fell to 30th one lap down and then recovered for a solid 18th in Sunday’s Save Mart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 11th but began falling early on in the race as her tires began to give away grip.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson made a few adjustments, but Patrick radioed some bad news: “I don’t think we have a good long-distance car. It drives well for a couple laps, but it just doesn’t hold well.”

    In addition, the fenders on her GoDaddy Chevy were damaged from the regular road racing contact, making it difficult for her crew to change tires quickly.

    The issues with the car dropped her to as low as 30th-place, one lap down in the last half of the race.

    But on lap 75, when the caution came out due to Matt Kenseth’s accident, she was the first car one lap down, making her the recipient of the “Lucky Dog” to get her back on the lead lap.

    From there, she pitted twice for new tires and managed to pass enough cars for a respectable 18th-place finish.

    “I think we kind of salvaged something there,” Patrick said. “It would be good for a couple laps and then would just go away. We got lucky getting the Lucky Dog and then just pitted a couple of times for fresh tires and fuel and wound up 18th. It’s not the best day, but I think we keep improving.”

    It was her best road course finish in the Sprint Cup as she bettered a 29th-place finish last year at Sonoma and a 20th-place result at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led SHR by finishing 12th.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 19th.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, led twice for 23 laps before being caught up in an on-track incident at lap 83, which relegated him to a 20th place finish.

    Carl Edwards won the Save Mart 350k to score his 23rd career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his first at Sonoma.

    Jeff Gordon finished .591 of a second behind Edwards in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard rounded out the top-five. Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 19 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 110-lap race.

    With round 16 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is ninth with 472 points, 108 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 17th with 427 points, 153 out of first. Busch is 26th with 347 points, 233 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 299 points, 281 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kentucky 400 on Saturday, June 28 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Toyota/Save Mart 350k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 18, 2014) – Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway is one of the few tracks on the NASCAR schedule where Danica Patrick has a lot of experience.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has made eight starts at Sonoma dating back to 2005.

    Seven of those, however, came in the IndyCar Series and unfortunately won’t offer much assistance to Patrick as she competes in Sunday’s SaveMart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma.

    Her one visit to Sonoma with the Sprint Cup Series last June saw her start 31st and finish 29th. Her only other road-course race in NASCAR’s top series was last August at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, where she started 35th and moved to 20th.

    The IndyCar Series utilized two different Sonoma road-course layouts during the seven years Patrick competed there, and neither is identical to the 1.99-mile, 10-turn configuration she will drive on Sunday.

    Patrick is hoping her Sprint Cup road-course racing this weekend goes better than her three road-course appearances in Nationwide Series competition in 2012. All three were memorable, if not downright strange.

    In the June 2012 Nationwide Series event at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Patrick was fourth on the final lap when she was bumped into a gravel trap by Jacques Villeneueve, which caused her to finish 12th. Two months later, Patrick finished 43rd at Watkins Glen after Ryan Truex spun in front of her on the start, and she could not avoid his spinning car and made heavy contact with his machine.

    But the strangest Nationwide road-course experience of all came one week later when Patrick led 20 laps and was on the point at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal when a fan threw a shoe onto the track on lap 38 of 81. She couldn’t avoid running over it and, shortly thereafter – whether the shoe caused the problem or not – Patrick was forced to pit for mechanical repairs and finished 27th.

    At Sonoma this weekend, Patrick is hoping to run a smooth and clean race, avoid any shoes on course, and build upon a solid 17th-place finish she and the GoDaddy team scored last week at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    How excited are you for some road-course racing?

    “I’m very comfortable on road courses. I have a lot of fun. We tested at Road Atlanta a few weeks ago with Tony (Stewart). I have a lot of fun. Hopefully, it goes better than last year. The road-course races weren’t very much fun and they weren’t fun to drive. In the Nationwide Series, I had a lot of fun and led races and ran well. Our cars are a lot better this year and hopefully that shows this weekend.”

    What is the key to racing at Sonoma?

    “I think, at Sonoma, getting through the high-speed esses comfortably, which leads to a good high-speed balance. Power down is also important there because it is easy for the rear tires to just spin all the time. The fast lap times come from the high-speed balance, so that is the key for me and the GoDaddy team.”

    What is the hardest part about road racing?

    “The hardest part of road racing is just putting a whole lap together. The hardest part of road racing is just nailing every corner and doing it when it counts.”

    You competed at Sonoma in an IndyCar. Will that help you at all in a stock car?

    “Other than being familiar with the garage and pit lane, no (laughs). The cars are obviously so different that nothing will translate. It’s just such a different style of driving. This also is a slightly different course than what we ran in IndyCar, so nothing really translates. I’m excited to go out to Sonoma, though. I’ve always liked it out there and, hopefully, we can have a great weekend.”

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 15, 2014
    Event: Quicken Loans 400 (Round 15 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th/17th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (273 points, 264 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick went a lap down early but gained it back to finish a solid 17th in Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), went down a lap early the race, but thanks to some hard driving and a good car, she put herself in a position to be awarded the “Lucky Dog.”

    That opportunity came when the caution flag flew on lap 147; she got her lap back and restarted 21st. From there she drove to a 17th-place finish.

    “We were pretty good,” Patrick said. “The guys did a good job on the adjustments, and it was fun to drive. The race seemed to go by quick. We needed a little bit of track position, but it was a good day for us. Thanks to GoDaddy and everyone on my team. We continue to get better.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing second. He started first and led a race-high six times for 63 laps en route to his fifth top-five this season and his sixth top-five in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Michigan. It was also his 105th top-five in 481 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 26th, led one lap and finished 11th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started eighth, led once for 16 laps and finished 13th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Quicken Loans 400 to score his 69th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Michigan in his 25th start at the 2-mile oval.

    Harvick finished 1.214 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-five. Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 36 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

    With round 15 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is ninth with 447 points, 90 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 16th with 402 points, 135 out of first. Busch is 26th with 315 points, 222 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 273 points, 264 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 22 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at 2 p.m.

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – It’s race number 15, but to fans it seems like so much more.

    There is a track, 2-miles of asphalt in southern Michigan. It is nestled in the Irish Hills just south of Brooklyn.

    People come from there, but also the automotive cities surrounding it like Fort Wayne, Indiana, Toledo, Ohio, Flint, Michigan and, of course, the biggest of all – Detroit.

    Perhaps they stop at the Beach Bar in Brooklyn or grab a six-pack and a bottle of wine at Woodstock Wine and Cheese before grilling burgers or enjoying some pasta selections.

    Maybe they’ll wait out two days of rain and watch the race on a Tuesday like back in 2007.

    They stay up late and tell old bench racing stories with daylight lasting until after 10 p.m.

    People will come to watch 43 drivers navigate the 2 miles of asphalt and use multiple lanes to figure out the fastest way for their car. They will see Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing, try to make history.

    Race fans will hope they can see her lead five laps and finish seventh, like she did in the 2007 IndyCar race, or go from 39th to 13th like she did in the June 2013 Sprint Cup race.

    Overall, they will hope to see a good, competitive, safe race.

    It’s the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

    Pure racing. Pure Michigan.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Michigan?

    “I think it’s a momentum track and I feel like I come from a background of carrying a lot of momentum and using a lot of throttle and being smooth. Hopefully, those are things that will help me at Michigan. At the end of the day, it has to handle well. It has to feel good. It has to be a fast car. Here at this Cup level, it’s very competitive and being a little off is being a lot off. I think my strength of carrying momentum is something I’m used to doing.”

    Talk about your race at Michigan last June.

    “I think we caught some breaks. Yellows definitely helped us be able to get track position as far as closing up the gaps and being able to pit a few times. We tried to take right-side (tires) and get track position early on. It just didn’t go well, and we just hadn’t gotten ourselves to a good place with the car that I could carry the speed I needed to run with the (pack). It didn’t work out so well. We worked on it and got it better. At the end of the race, the last run was the best run, I felt, as far as the balance of the car, which I was surprised about because we had fallen off a little bit at the end of the run before. We had only taken right-side tires again for a second time. It was nice to just get a decent finish for the team and for GoDaddy.”

    Does it help going back to a track a second and third time?

    “Of course. Just having some experience to draw upon is huge. So many of the drivers you race against have 20 or 30 starts at these tracks, so to have any experience to draw upon is big for me. That’s what you want when you go back to these places a second, third and fourth time. You want to get better and hopefully the results ultimately show that.”

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  • Pocono 400 Post-Report

    Danica Patrick cut a left-front tire on lap 138 and hit the turn-three wall, ending any chance of a good finish in Sunday’s Pocono 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 37th in the race, two laps down after repairs had to be made.

    The green and orange GoDaddy car was running second at the time, but was scheduled to make another pit stop before the end of the race for a splash of fuel. Even though a top-10 was probably out, a top-15 was what the team was aiming for when the accident occurred.

    “I just went into turn three, and the car just shot to the wall,” said Patrick after only her third Sprint Cup start at Pocono. “It looks like the left front lost air for some reason. I believe Harvick had the same thing happen to him. Goodyear said our cars had similar left front tire issues – lost air in tires and sidewalls bowed out. It’s disappointing, because I think we could have had a good finish.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started second and finished third to score his third top-five this season and his 11th top-five in 26 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono. It was also his 103rd top-five in 485 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 12th and finished 13th after leading four times for 24 laps.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, started fourth and finished 14th.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Pocono 400 to score his 21st career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his first at Pocono.

    Brad Keselowski finished .439 of a second behind Earnhardt in the runner-up spot, while Busch, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr. and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 26 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

    With round 14 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th with 403 points, 95 behind new series leader Gordon. Stewart is 18th with 368 points, 130 out of first. Busch is 27th with 283 points, 215 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 246 points, 252 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 15 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Pocono 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Danica Patrick has been racing stock cars since 2010, full-time since 2012 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. She’s been full-time in the Sprint Cup Series since 2013 and has plenty of experience at several of the racetracks.

    Pocono (Pa.) Raceway is not one of them.

    In her seven years of IndyCar experience, the series never competed there, although it does now in July. The Nationwide Series doesn’t run there, either.

    So for Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart Haas Racing (SHR), her only two starts at “The Tricky Triangle” came in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series.

    Not a lot of experience for Patrick at one of the more unique racetracks where the Sprint Cup Series competes.

    Pocono’s triangular layout was designed by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rodger Ward and remains unlike any other track in the world with three different corners each modeled after a different track.

    Turn one, which is banked at 14 degrees, is modeled after the legendary Trenton (N.J.) Speedway. Turn two, banked at eight degrees, is a nod to the turns at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And turn three, banked at six degrees, is modeled after the corners at The Milwaukee Mile.

    Patrick is used to turns two and three, having raced IndyCars at Milwaukee and IndyCars and stock cars at Indianapolis. Turn one is unfamiliar as Trenton closed in 1980, two years before she was born.

    While her experience is minimal at Pocono, she has a strong team behind her, including veteran crew chief Tony Gibson, who won at Pocono in June 1992 with Alan Kulwicki and in July 1998 with Jeff Gordon. He served as car chief during both events.

    Gibson is hoping, with his experience and Patrick’s willingness to learn, that they can master the three-turn layout – and score a good finish at Pocono.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Pocono?

    “It’s a neat place, definitely a unique track. It’s still a place I don’t have a ton of experience at. I know Tony Gibson has won there a couple of times and does a good job setting up the car. It’s just an odd place to set the car up because the corners are so different. If you are really good in turn one, then maybe two and three are a little off. Or if you’re good in three, maybe one and two are different. I will say that the straightaway is enormous. There’s a lot of distance between turns three and one.”

    Describe your races at Pocono last year.

    “Well, on Friday of the first weekend, it rained so I didn’t get to run (laughs). So that put us in a tight box for Saturday, having two practices and then, ‘Let’s go race.’ We were 20th or 21st and the final restart came with three laps to go, and we got shuffled back to 29th. It was pretty disappointing because we should have been much better. It was the same feeling I had in the second race. We were almost to 15th with about 50 to go and got in an accident and ended up 35th. So there was some good to the races but not the finishes we wanted. Hopefully, this week we’ll get the better finish and have a good day.”

    Are you settling in for the summer stretch of races?

    “I am ready for it. Pocono and Michigan are always fun and I actually really like going to New Hampshire. It’s a fun stretch of races and it’s nice that the weather is good. Hopefully we can continue to run well and continue to improve. It is a long season, but the summer stretch is always fun.”

    Does it ever get tiring when fans come and young ones say they admire you and want to be like you, and even ask for advice? How do you handle that?

    “I never, ever get sick of that. That’s sometimes the best part of your day, to hear a little kid say they look up to you. Or, what I get a lot of the time is their parents saying it for them because – they are a lot of times – kids get shy. Most kids get shy. Some of them are very, very open and they feel like they know you and they come and hug you and there’s that kind of perspective. I don’t know what makes them like that, but some kids are really open. But it’s a nice feeling. It makes it all feel kind of worthwhile on days that aren’t good, and to put you in the perspective that it’s just one day and that it will pass and they like you because they’ve seen you do well and that they enjoy you as a competitor. So it can definitely brighten up your day. Advice? I give the same advice to kids or adults. It’s just to find something that you love to do. I think that’s the most important thing. If you didn’t like what you’re doing, you’re not going to be very happy. So, finding something that you love to do is the most important thing. If it works out that you make a decent living at it, too, that’s a bonus.”

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  • FedEx 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 1, 2014
    Event: FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (Round 13 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
    Start/Finish: 28th/23rd (Running, completed 396 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (239 points, 224 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick got a late-race pit road speeding penalty and finished 23rd in Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), pitted on lap 322 of 400, but her entrance onto pit road was deemed too fast by NASCAR officials. She was forced to serve a drive-through penalty under green, costing her any chance of a better finish.

    “It’d be interesting to see where we would have finished had we not had that penalty,” said Patrick after only her fourth Sprint Cup start at Dover. “It didn’t kill us, but it’d be interesting to see. We were pretty rough at the beginning of the race, but we got it better in the later going. Actually we’re running really good laps. We’d just lost a few laps by that point and couldn’t get them back. But we battled through and did OK. It’s our best finish here, and I think we’re getting better.”

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished seventh. It was Stewart’s 17th top-10 in 30 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover. It was also his 295th top-10 in 534 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 20th and finished 17th. He led twice for 24 laps.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 24th and finished 18th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks to score his 68th career Sprint Cup victory. It was his second straight win and his ninth at Dover, the most of any NASCAR driver, past or present.

    Brad Keselowski finished .885 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five. Martin Truex Jr., Stewart, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Paul Menard comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 41 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    With round 13 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th with 373 points, 90 behind new series leader Kenseth. Stewart is 21st with 336 points, 127 out of first. Busch is 27th with 241 points, 222 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 239 points, 224 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Pocono 400 on Sunday, June 8 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • FedEx 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 27, 2014) – With Memorial Day in the books, Danica Patrick and the other 42 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series look forward to the unofficial start of summer – 400 miles at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    The FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race kicks off the month of June and begins the warm weather and northern swing on the schedule.

    For Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), she’s hoping she can continue to improve on what was an impressive month of May. She qualified seventh at Talladega, ninth at Kansas and then a season-best fourth last week at Charlotte.

    She finished a career-best seventh at Kansas, but then blew an engine while competing in NASCAR’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, and finished 39th.

    But the emotions remain high for Patrick and the GoDaddy team as they head into June and, specifically, Dover.

    The concrete mile oval’s 24-degree banking in the turns and 9 degrees on the straightaways, and being surrounded by 42 other Sprint Cup machines each producing nearly 900 horsepower, equate to one challenging race for any driver.

    A good car (and a little luck) can mean good things at Dover and Patrick is prepared to seize on that opportunity should it present itself.

    But after their strong May, Patrick, crew chief Tony Gibson and the rest of the GoDaddy team are ready.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts about Dover?

    “I always like going to Dover. The track is pretty fun. I remember everyone telling me how unique and challenging Dover was prior to my first race. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot to compare that track to. They said it was like a larger version of Bristol, but I hadn’t raced at Bristol yet, either. It’s nice to have more of a handle on what to expect heading in there now. Dover is fun. It’s fast and it can make for a really long day of racing. I think that’s part of the appeal of it – how demanding it can be. We definitely want to stay out of trouble, which is easier said than done at these types of tracks.”

    You’ve qualified really well the last three weeks. Talk about that.

    “All the cars have been good and the team has done well. At Charlotte, the car was really good. I think the big difference that came for me was in the second round. (Tony) Gibson (crew chief) made really good adjustments and anticipated the offset from run one to run two really well, and the balance was really good. I did that 20-whatever-seven, which was quickest in the second group. We have a lot to be proud of. I mean, let’s face it. This is the part of the weekend that I dreaded every time. I had to train myself to not say I hate qualifying. We were third in a round, we were first in a round and we were fourth in a round. A lot to be proud of at Stewart-Haas and for the GoDaddy car.”

    How has knockout qualifying worked for you and the GoDaddy team?

    “It’s definitely better. It’s obviously something that I needed to work on, but you still have to have a good car and the first top-10 was at Martinsville. We saw how I ran that day, and I was absolutely terrible that day. It’s not everything, but it definitely helps. I would venture to say that when knockout qualifying happens and we all get done with our first run, there are a heck of a lot more times that I have been in the top-15. Most of the time, when I finally get things going in knockout qualifying, then it’s like last weekend where everybody goes out again and goes faster. So, no, it’s like I said at the beginning of the year, it all evens out in the end. There are times when you find speed, and you make something happen and you get in. Then there are times that you get in on a good time and you go out and you go from being 11th overall in the first round and then you are 24th – and that sucked. So, if it’s more interesting for the fans, then that is the most important thing for our sport because we are fan-driven so much. We have to keep them entertained, for sure – keep them watching and interested. At the end of the day, it’s just racing, driving as fast as you can, and more of it.”

    You had a disappointing run at Charlotte last week. Talk about that.

    “We had a plan to make a big adjustment (early) that I thought would really help under yellow. We dropped a cylinder or lost power, then we got hit. Unfortunately, we had a lot of bad luck. We weren’t really as fast as we needed to be at the beginning. It’s unfortunate for the whole team. It would have been great to keep the run going that we had. I think we still showed some good things last weekend. We’re not going to forget about where we’ve been lately and about running better. We’ll be back to get them at Dover.”

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  • Coca-Cola 600 Race-Report

    Date: May 25, 2014
    Event: Coca-Cola 600 (Round 12 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 4th/39th (Engine, completed 281 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (218 points, 214 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Engine issues ended Danica Patrick’s solid weekend early in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and relegated the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to a disappointing 39th-place finish.

    “It's really unfortunate for the entire GoDaddy team,” Patrick said. “We started off great and started to get tighter and tighter. We had a plan to make a big adjustment (early) that I thought would really help under yellow. We dropped a cylinder or lost power and lost power, then got rear-ended. That was our day.

    “We’ll just remember the good stuff that happened here at Charlotte (this weekend) and at Kansas last race (seventh-place finish) and build on that for Dover.”

    After qualifying fourth on Thursday night to notch her best Sprint Cup qualifying effort at a non-restrictor-plate race and then practicing in the top-three on Saturday, Patrick and her GoDaddy crew had high hopes for the longest race of the season.

    Early in the running of the Coca-Cola 600, Patrick looked poised for a promising night. She started fourth, and by lap four she had moved into the runner-up position. She was able maintain a top-10 spot for the first 70 laps, but a tight-handling condition began hampering her progress.

    By lap 163, Patrick had been lapped by the leaders and had fallen to 23rd. Although Patrick believed her crew’s adjustments had improved the car’s handling and that they were getting closer to having the right setup for the later runs, she wouldn’t get a chance to show how good her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevy was.

    Shortly after the halfway point, Patrick radioed that something had happened and she was down on power. When the crew brought her in at lap 223 under caution, they were able to confirm that she had gone down a cylinder.

    Unfortunately, Patrick’s night got worse a few laps later when she was hit from behind as she was avoiding a spinning car in front of her. The accident caused heavy damage to the right rear fender of her No. 10 machine. After multiple pit stops to repair the damage, a dejected Patrick – now 28th and four laps down – apologized to her team, saying this wasn’t the night they had wanted. But crew chief Tony Gibson was quick to remind his driver that there would be difficult nights like these and that they would make the best of it.

    Their night ended at lap 285 when Patrick’s engine expired after she had completed 281 laps.

    “Unfortunately, we had a lot of bad luck,” Patrick said. “I think we still showed some good things this weekend. We’re not going to forget about where our GoDaddy team has been lately and running better. We’ll be back to get them at Dover.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Sunday night by finishing second.

    Harvick started 11th and led five times for 100 laps en route to his fourth top-five in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte. It was his fourth top-five this season and his 104th top-five in 478 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 18th and finished 13th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation “America’s Machine Tool” Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 28th and finished 40th. He also experienced engine issues and completed only 271 laps.

    Busch came to Charlotte by way of Indianapolis, where he became just the fourth driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, joining Stewart, John Andretti and Robby Gordon. Busch finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500 and completed a total of 906.5 miles between the two races.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Coca-Cola 600 to score his 67th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his series-leading seventh at Charlotte.

    Harvick finished 1.272 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five. Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 44 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    With round 12 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th with 345 points, 87 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 22nd with 299 points, 133 out of first. Patrick is 27th with 218 points, 214 out of first. Busch is 28th with 215 points, 217 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks on Sunday, June 1 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 21, 2014) – From 2005 to 2011, Danica Patrick looked forward to the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on Memorial Day weekend.

    She led 19 laps and finished fourth in 2005 and scored five other top-10 finishes, including a career-best third in 2009.

    And with the race averaging about three to three-and-a-half hours, she was usually done with everything by 5 p.m. as the race starts at noon.

    Now, 5 p.m. is about when her day really gets started as she prepares for Sunday’s marathon Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    The race begins at 6 p.m. and can last up to four or five hours, depending on the cautions brought out in NASCAR’s longest race.

    But while the race lasts a long time, Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing appear to be ready to go.

    Two weeks ago, Patrick enjoyed a career-best seventh-place finish at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. She drove in the top-10 for the entire race and had arguably the best performance of her Sprint Cup career.

    She’s driven well before, with a 12th-place run last spring at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and an eighth-place run from the pole in the 2013 Daytona 500. But never on an intermediate track has she run so smoothly, and she definitely raised the eyebrows of more than a few observers.

    Patrick drove a brand new car at Kansas and will drive another brand new one this week. And she’s hoping that car will bring even more success to the GoDaddy team.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    How do you prepare for the longest race of the year?

    “Oh, what’s another 100 miles on top of 500? It really doesn’t seem that long. I did it the last two years, right? Last year seemed pretty quick. Mind you, I did get crashed. A lot of it has to do with how you’re doing and how the car is, what’s happening on track, are you actually racing people throughout the race? I always felt like Darlington was the longest race in the whole world. It felt like 800 miles to me. But, for some reason, this year it went quickly. So, actually, I just think it has to do with how your race is going. Another 100 miles, if you’re running well, is going to help. If not, then it’s not. Other than that, it’s just another long race and we have a lot of them.”

    How does your performance at Kansas give you confidence for other races?

    “We’re just doing our best as a team to take the positive from Kansas. Sure, emotionally, but really setup-wise and things like that, we think will translate and carry those on. I think the good part about doing well is it gives some confidence, but it also helps show what stuff works out there. Your car has to be right. You have to qualify well. You have to run strong. You have to make good calls. It all has to get put together. The car is just one part of it.”

    Does it give you confidence?

    “Honestly, I really believe I can do that. I don’t think I would be where I am today without the confidence that I have. At this point in time, after where I’ve been and where I’ve run, it was a little bit of a surprise. But I guess if things had been going well, progressively, from the beginning, these are the kind of races that I would have hoped to have every now and again starting now. But, obviously it hasn’t been nearly that good, yet. But that’s really an example of putting a whole weekend together, everything from getting help from my teammates to qualifying well, making good race calls, making good decisions on the car before the race, using our teammates and all the information we have to do that, and building a really great new car. You have to have everything together to be able to run up front in the Cup Series. It’s just so hard. So, I’m very proud of everyone for putting it all together and doing a great job.”

    What worked at Kansas? The track? The car?

    “It’s something that happens two-fold. I think when the car is good, you can be more daring because it’s not going to step out on you and you trust it and you know what it’s going to do. When things aren’t as good on track and the car doesn’t feel as good, then it’s a lot harder to be more brave because there is a higher likelihood that it’s not going to end well. So, for me, the big difference was that it was really good on restarts. It was really stuck in traffic. And it was really good in the long run. I never noticed a lack of grip at any point. For me, that was what I noticed that weekend above any other weekend – the consistency of it. That’s what allowed me to be able to have great restarts, or definitely not really lose a lot, which has been qualifying, I would say. And restarts are a place where it comes up that I need to work on it and it’s true. Yes, that is the case but I think, Kansas weekend, you see what can happen when the car is right and that gives me the confidence to do more. And I think that, as time goes on and you get more seasoned as a driver, you can overcome some of that, for sure. But it’s still got to be good.”

    So will that translate into more confidence at the 1.5-mile ovals?

    “Weekends like that are just good signs. They show hard work by everybody and they make you excited to do it more. So I think the optimism level goes up because you are riding high and you want to keep doing that. I think we have to keep our expectation levels in check a little bit and make sure we don’t just expect to go out there and run in the top-five or top-10 every time, now. We have to remember that there is a process to it and we skipped over top-15s and went straight to top-10s. Shoot, we pretty much skipped over top-20s and didn’t have many of those, either. We have to keep improving and have to keep getting in the thick of the good drivers and move up like that. It definitely gives confidence, it’s definitely a good sign, and definitely good to have those races. We just hope to have them more often.”

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  • Sprint Showdown Race-Report

    Date: May 16, 2014
    Event: Sprint Showdown (non-points event)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 7h/10th (Running, completed 40 of 40 laps)
    Winner: Clint Bowyer of Michael Waltrip Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick finished 10th in Friday night’s non-points-paying Sprint Showdown NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) qualified seventh and had hoped to build on the momentum from last weekend’s career-best seventh-place finish at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. However, Patrick fought a tight-handling racecar from the drop of the green flag in the 40-lap exhibition race, which was divided into two 20-lap segments.

    Patrick finished the first 20-lap segment in ninth-place. Following the end of the first segment, crew chief Tony Gibson brought Patrick down pit road for right side tires and air pressure and wedge adjustments to help the tight-handling racecar.

    Quick pit work led to a fifth-place restart for Patrick for segment two, but the adjustments didn’t go far enough, and Patrick continued to struggle with a tight-handling condition. Patrick slid back to 10th, where she finished the night.

    “Our GoDaddy Cares Chevy just got way too tight in that second segment, and I just couldn’t carry any speed and get the car to turn the way I needed it to. I had to slow down to get it to turn,” said Patrick, who last year won the Sprint Fan Vote to gain entrance into her first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. “We would have liked to have raced our way into the All-Star Race tonight, but it just didn’t happen. The guys gave a good effort, and we’ll learn from this and hopefully, it will help us next week in the Coca-Cola 600.

    “Last year, we were lucky enough to get the Sprint Fan Vote, and that didn’t happen this year. It’s my understanding that I had more votes than I did last year, but you know, it is what it is. I don’t doubt my fans at all. I know they voted, and I’m grateful for

    all they did to try and get me in the race.”

    Clint Bowyer won the Sprint Showdown. A.J. Allmendinger finished 2.547 seconds behind Bowyer in the runner-up spot. Bowyer, Allmendinger and Sprint Fan Vote winner Josh Wise will all advance to Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race.

    Casey Mears, Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five. Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Patrick comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    Patrick was the only SHR driver in Friday night’s Sprint Showdown. Teammates Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart will all compete in Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race. Coverage of the non-points-paying event begins at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

    Patrick returns to points-paying racing action with the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday, May 25 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The longest race on the Sprint Cup schedule gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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  • Sprint Showdown Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 14, 2014) – Perhaps no driver is looking forward to this week’s exhibition Sprint Showdown at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway more than Danica Patrick.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is coming off a career-best seventh-place finish in last week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. She drove in the top-10 for the entire race and had arguably the best performance of her Sprint Cup career.

    She’s driven well before – with a 12th-place run last spring at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and an eighth-place run from the pole in the 2013 Daytona 500. But never on an intermediate track has she run so smoothly, and she definitely raised the eyebrows of a few observers.

    Now she looks to continue the upward trend Friday night in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte and get herself into Saturday’s Sprint All-Star Race. She can finish in the top two positions and qualify for the All-Star Race or become the top vote-getter online.

    Patrick won the online vote last year and is hoping to do so again.

    If she gets into Saturday’s race, her No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet will be decked out with an all-star lineup of logos from nonprofit organizations, all in support of education. Three organizations are represented: the Boys and Girls Club of America, which helps promote youth development; the SCORE Foundation, which provides free small-business advice for entrepreneurs; and DonorsChoose, a group that promotes K-12 education.

    GoDaddy is donating $10,000 to each non-profit organization and encouraging customers to chip in as part of the GoDaddy Round-Up program, which gives customer a choice to ‘round up’ to the nearest dollar on the purchase for a non-profit organization.

    GoDaddy has a long history of philanthropic work in support of a variety of nonprofit organizations. To find out more, visit www.GoDaddyCares.com.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Describe your Kansas race and your seventh-place result.

    “Honestly, the most rewarding part of my night was probably when I drove around the outside of the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) on a restart. That was probably my most rewarding thing all night. I say that with all the respect in the world. It’s a big deal because he is Jimmie Johnson. Aside from that, I was really just overall proud that we stayed up front all night. That was the biggest thing. When the race started, it was about finishing the weekend off right and just staying up there. You know you’re going to go up, you’re going to go down a little bit, and we sure enough did that. But we more than held our own through the whole race. I’m extremely proud of this crew for building a new car that was just awesome. It was so good on restarts and long runs and tires getting old. Hard work pays off and they definitely put the hard work into it. Obviously, I’m really happy for days like that to give back to GoDaddy, who has always been behind me, and get them on TV a little bit.

    “(Tony) Gibson (crew chief) did a good job in making changes for the race and it was good from the get-go. And I think what says even more are two things: It was really good on restarts and it was really good when it wasn’t quite right, and it was really good on long runs. I think that just goes to show that this is a new car and they built a great one. And we’ve got more of these coming. That’s the even better news. But, overall, I’m just proud for the team. Kevin (Harvick) has been a great teammate in helping me out and obviously he was very fast at Kansas. I am surprised he didn’t win, but congrats to Jeff (Gordon). And I’m happy for GoDaddy who has always been a big supporter of mine, no matter what. And it’s races like Saturday night that hopefully makes them smile and makes it all pay off a little.”

    What does this do for your confidence moving forward?

    “I’ve always believed in myself. I’ve always believed that, in the right situation, I can do it. And it’s with all respect that these little moments, like when you drive by Jimmie Johnson on the outside, stuff like that, that makes me really proud of myself and those little moments that give me a little bit more confidence.”

    What was the racetrack like? Some drivers said it was tricky.

    “Oh, it was tricky and you really had to be careful how hard you went into the corner. It was easy to get it to step out on entry. So you had to be a little bit careful. But that’s all part of the game. Turns one and two were pretty good. For me, I could run any lane and that really helped me out.”

    You said Kevin Harvick was a good teammate. How much credit do you give to the conversation you had with him this weekend to your performance at Kansas?

    “It definitely paid off in qualifying, for sure. And it did pay off in the race, too. But the little things that he gave me advice on for qualifying really worked. That’s the kind of stuff that I was really excited about when Kevin and Kurt (Busch) came on to the team, and having Tony (Stewart) back full-time, was being able to get those little tidbits from those guys and fast-forward my learning curve instead of having to learn it all myself. So, it’s really cool when you have teammates who are unconditional like that, that want to help you. And when everyone is better and we all get better, it pumps the team up and everybody wants it even more. I guarantee you, we’re going work even harder now. It’s not just sitting back. We’re going to work harder because we love where we’re at and this is what we work for. When you taste it, you don’t want to let it go.”

    When you got up to third, what were you thinking?

    “I was like, no yellow! When I was fifth, I was thinking, ‘This is good, you know? I feel faster than them.’ They got caught up in traffic in (turns) three and four and got checked-up and I got underneath them. But, when I’m running third, I’m honestly trying not to think about the fact that I’m running third, and the fact that I’ve been looking at that car in front of me the whole race and I need to go pass that car. So, it’s probably best really to think about it more like pass the next car for me than being in a place that I’m not normally in. When you just think about it car by car, I think it’s a little bit more calming. The last thing you want to do is get excited out there and start overdriving it and making mistakes.”

    You’ve got a chance to get into the Sprint All-Star Race. How do you feel about that?

    “It was very flattering. I’m very fortunate for the fans that I have. I have to say that from a driver’s perspective. I would rather race my way in but, if I have to get in by fan vote, what other way is better than that? I mean, to have the fans put you in the race was something special. I have been so lucky in my career to have such great fans everywhere I go, so I have to say thank you for that.”

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  • A Vote for Danica is a Vote for 'Good Works'

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (May 12, 2014) -- GoDaddy, the world's largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, is looking to spotlight three important non-profit organizations in NASCAR's Sprint Cup All Star race Saturday. Fans can help make it happen by going online and voting for Danica, between now and Friday.

    If voted into Saturday's race, Danica's No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet will be decked out with an all-star non-profit logo lineup, all in support of education. The three organizations are the Boys and Girls Club of America, which helps promote youth development, the SCORE Foundation, which provides free small business advice for entrepreneurs and DonorsChoose, a group that promotes education for K-12.

    "I think it's pretty cool for GoDaddy to devote so much time and money to not only support these outstanding organizations, but to donate the No. 10 GoDaddy car to the cause in such a high-profile race," Danica said.

    The race draws an intense following with nearly 4 million viewers set to watch Saturday's race. The official vote tally isn't being made public, but Danica is considered a top contender. She competed in her first All Star race last year by way of the fan vote where she completed more than 100 laps and finished 20th. Danica is also in an elite class of 14 drivers to have ever led laps at both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. She's also the first woman in history to lead laps at Talladega.

    "To see Boys and Girls Club logo on Danica's car in this race would raise awareness for our organization as we enter into a critical out-of-school time period," said Boys and Girls Club of America National Vice President, Corporate Partnerships, Chad Royal-Pascoe.

    SCORE Foundation executive director, David Bobbit said, "We love that GoDaddy goes beyond just writing a check and is injecting such creativity into the process ... I hope everyone goes online and votes because being involved in NASCAR like this really will make a difference. We think it helps attract a whole new audience to our cause."

    "This unconventional partnership with GoDaddy and Danica through NASCAR's All-Star race reflects the same creativity and fun we help teachers bring into the educational process," said DonorsChoose.org founder Charles Best.

    GoDaddy is donating $10,000 to each non-profit organization and encouraging customers to chip in as part of the GoDaddy Round-Up program, which gives customer a choice to 'round up' to the nearest dollar on the purchase for a non-profit organization.

    You can vote here NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote every day, up until Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

    GoDaddy has a long history of philanthropic work in support of a variety of non-profit organizations. To find out more, visit www.GoDaddyCares.com.

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  • 5-Hour Energy Race-Report

    Date: May 10, 2014
    Event: 5-hour Energy 400 (Round 11 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 9th/7th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (213 points)
    Winner: Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick finished seventh in Saturday night’s 5-hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, earning her career-best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish in 57 starts.

    For Patrick, the finish was the perfect ending to an impressive weekend at the 1.5-mile oval. The second-year Sprint Cup driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) started ninth on Saturday, her best qualifying effort at a non-restrictor-plate track.

    Patrick’s goal was to maintain her spot in the lead pack of cars, and she did just that as a fixture in the top-10. She rarely fell out of the top-15 and she ran has high as third, making some impressive moves along the way.

    “Honestly, the most rewarding part of my night was probably when I drove around the outside of the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) on a restart,” Patrick said. “That was probably my most rewarding thing of the night. I say that with all the respect in the world. It’s a big deal because he is Jimmie Johnson. Aside from that I was really just overall proud that we stayed up front all day. That was the biggest thing.

    “When the race started it was about finishing the weekend off right and just staying up there. You know you are going to go up, you are going to go down a little bit and we sure enough did that, but we more than held our own through the whole race. I’m extremely proud of this crew for building a new car that was just awesome. It was so good on restarts and long runs and tires getting old. Hard work pays off, and they definitely put the hard work into it. Obviously, I’m really happy for days like today to give back to GoDaddy, who has always been behind me.”

    The seventh-place finish came in Patrick’s fourth career Sprint Cup start at Kansas. It was also her first top-10 of the 2014 season and the second top-10 of her career, as she finished eighth in the 2013 Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    “(Crew chief Tony) Gibson did a good job in making changes for the race, and it was good from the get-go,” Patrick said. “And I think what says even more are two things: It was really good on restarts, and it was really good when it wasn’t quite right and really good on long runs. And I think that just goes to show that this is a new car and they built a great one. And we’ve got more of these coming. That’s the even better news.

    “But overall, I’m just proud for the team. Kevin (Harvick) has been a great teammate in helping me out, and obviously he was very fast tonight. And I’m happy for GoDaddy, who has always been a big supporter of mine, no matter what. And it’s days like today that hopefully it makes them smile and makes it all pay off a little.”

    Gibson could not have been more proud of Patrick and his team’s performance.

    “That was one heck of a run by her,” Gibson said. “She drove a really smart, solid race. I know that we got pretty excited with some of the moves she was making when she was passing guys on the outside. It was just fun to watch. It was just a really good weekend for us. We had a good car right off the truck, a good qualifying effort, and we backed that up with a good race. I’m really proud of what Danica did. I’m really proud of the cars that the guys at SHR are building. This is probably one of our best-ever weekends, and hopefully, this will be something that we can build on. We have two big weeks coming up at Charlotte with the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, and I think she showed what she’s capable of tonight. Just really, really proud for everyone on this team.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent, finishing second. Harvick started from the pole and led four times for a race-high 119 laps en route to his third top-five in 17 career Sprint Cup starts at Kansas. It was his third top-five this season and his 103rd top-five in 477 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started eighth and finished 20th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started sixth and finished 29th after spinning twice.

    Jeff Gordon won the 5-hour Energy 400 to score his 89th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Kansas. He is third behind Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105) on the Sprint Cup all-time win list.

    Harvick finished .112 of a second behind Gordon in the runner-up spot, while Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Carl Edwards, Patrick, Aric Almirola, Johnson and Matt Kenseth comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 47 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round 11 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is 15th with 302 points, 92 behind series leader Gordon. Stewart is 22nd with 268 points, 126 out of first. Patrick is 27th with 213 points, 181 out of first. Busch is 28th with 211 points, 183 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 17 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Coverage of the non-points-paying event begins at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

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  • 5-Hour Energy Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 7, 2014) – Kansas Speedway in Kansas City has been a roller coaster of emotion for Danica Patrick in her career.

    In 2005, she won her first of three pole positions in the IndyCar Series and finished 11th or better in all but one start. She qualified third in 2008 and 2009 and finished fifth the latter year.

    Her move to the NASCAR Nationwide Series produced solid results as she qualified 15th and finished 15th in 2011 and then started 13th and finished 10th one year later.

    But Patrick’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career has been a bit of a struggle at the 1.5-mile oval, including last fall’s race when she got loose and crashed in turn one – on the first lap.

    Her best finished was 25th last spring, so she’s hoping she can improve on that in Saturday night’s 5-hour Energy 400 Sprint Cup race at Kansas. One thing that will be different is the race will take place at night for the first time.

    Patrick is hoping to carry momentum to Kansas from Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where Sunday she led six laps in the Aaron’s 499, becoming the first woman to lead at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

    She finished 22nd at Talladega after overheating issues caused her to fall back a bit, but the car remained in one piece and will most likely be used again soon.

    But now, the attention is to Kansas and she is hoping that her good run at Talladega will lead to a good finish Saturday night.

    Patrick is hoping to become the first woman to lead at Kansas – and bring home a good result.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Kansas?

    “I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, we can get a good finish there. Our results in Sprint Cup haven’t been great, so hopefully we can turn it around and get some good finishes. Our Nationwide and IndyCar results we’re pretty good, so we need to get the Cup program up there. It’s a night race, so hopefully it’s pretty interesting and good for the fans.”

    You led laps at Talladega last weekend. Talk about that.

    “It was good out front. I wish I could have stayed there. We had heating issues. I (the car) was getting hot a lot. I think you saw that from a lot of cars. It was a hot day there in Talladega. When you get back a little bit in the field, it gets even worse. I think I was the second back in the second lane really early on and it just felt like it kind of died a little bit. Then I started getting passed. So I dropped back to get some clean air. Got some track position a couple of times and got up there a little bit, but heating was definitely an issue. It really limited me to the bottom lane because, as soon as it jumped up, it went there. It was a good car in the lead, which is something that as a team we struggled with. I felt good about that. It was good to get the GoDaddy car to lead some laps because it had been a while and we missed a lot of accidents. The good news is this car is going to get to go to Daytona. That is a positive. The result was not necessarily too much of a positive, but it got rolled up onto the truck, so that is more than a lot of people can say coming from a speedway.”

    This is your third Sprint Cup start at Kansas. What are your thoughts on this weekend’s race?

    “I’ve always liked going to Kansas. It’s a nice facility and I’ve got a lot of experience there compared to some places, even if a lot of it is in IndyCar. I think our 1.5-mile program is better than it was last year, so I feel good going into this week. It’s a two-day show, but I feel like I’ve got a lot of experience there to get going.”

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  • Aaron's 499 Race-Report

    Date: May 4, 2014
    Event: Aaron’s 499 (Round 10 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 7th/22nd (Running, completed 188 of 188 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (176 points, 171 out of first)
    Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick led six laps early in the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway before finishing 22nd in the second of four restrictor-plate races of the 2014 season.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), led laps 6-7 and laps 9-12 before overheating issues forced the second-year Sprint Cup driver to drop out of the lead draft.

    “It was good out front,” said Patrick after only her third Sprint Cup start at Talladega. “I wish I could’ve stayed there. It was getting hot a lot. I think you saw that from a lot of cars. It was a hot day here in Talladega, and when you get back a little bit in the field it gets even worse.

    “I was in the second lane, the second car back, real early on, and it just felt like that line kind of died a little bit. Then I started getting passed. So I dropped back to get some clean air. Got some track position a couple of times and got up there a little bit, but heating was definitely an issue. It really limited me to the bottom lane, because as soon as I jumped up, so did my water pressure. Our GoDaddy Chevy was good out front, and I felt good about that.

    “It was good to lead some laps, because it had been awhile and we missed a lot of accidents. The good news is this car is going to Daytona. That’s a positive. The result was not necessarily too much of a positive, but it’s going to get rolled up on the truck, and that is more than a lot of people can say coming from a speedway like this.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent in the Aaron’s 499 by finishing seventh. Harvick started eighth and led three times for 15 laps en route to his 11th top-10 in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Talladega. It was his fourth top-10 this season and his 213th top-10 in 476 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started ninth and finished 33rd after having his day cut short due to a late-race accident.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 12th and finished 43rd after getting caught up in an accident that unfolded after lap 136 and collected a total of 14 cars. His car was damaged beyond repair, forcing Stewart to retire from the race.

    Denny Hamlin won the Aaron’s 499 to score his 24th career Sprint Cup victory in his milestone 300th start. It was his first win of the season and his first at Talladega.

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  • Aaron's 499 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 30, 2014) – This is a race Danica Patrick has circled on her calendar.

    While many drivers are not fond of the extremely tight packs of cars that dominate the racing action at restrictor-plate tracks like Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Patrick freely admits she enjoys this style of racing.

    And why shouldn’t she? It’s the kind of racing where she has enjoyed her most success in her brief NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.

    In her first-ever Daytona 500 start in February 2013, she won the pole position to become the first woman ever to claim the top spot for a Sprint Cup race. She stayed out of trouble for the remainder of Speedweeks and ran in the top-three for much of the Daytona 500 before dropping from third to eighth on the final lap.

    She rewrote some of the NASCAR record book en route to her eighth-place finish that day, which is the highest finishing position ever by a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    In addition to her history-making pole run and finish in the Daytona 500, Patrick also led five laps – 90 to 91 and 127 to 129 – to become the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead Sprint Cup laps under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 14 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish the feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, A.J. Allmendinger and Tony Stewart. Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 16 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Andretti, Unser, Allmendinger, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    This weekend, Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will once again be Chassis No. 10-758, the same car she used for her history-making run in last year’s Daytona 500. It’s also the same car she used in both Talladega races last season and in this year’s Sprint Unlimited non-points race at Daytona, where she finished 16th after getting caught up in a multicar accident.

    She hasn’t had the same results in her two Sprint Cup starts at Talladega – finishing 33rd in both thanks to a multicar crash in the spring race and an untimely pit miscue in the fall race after running in the top-10 all day. But it still should come as no surprise that Patrick is looking forward to Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega, the second points-paying restrictor-plate race of the season.

    Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet is sporting a different look for Talladega this year. You’ll see the GoDaddy “Peeker” logo, which is usually on the side of the bright green car, adorning the hood this weekend.

    With a proven car beneath her and a style of racing that she loves, Patrick and the No. 10 team will have all eyes on the prize at Talladega this weekend as they hope to rewrite the history books once again.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve run well at the superspeedways. Even if you have been caught up in incidents, you have been consistently in the top-10 throughout each race. Is your confidence level higher at these types of racetracks?

    “I don’t know if the confidence level shifts a tremendous amount as much as the comfort level does. Just being comfortable on these big speedways and comfortable with this pack-style racing that I was so used to in IndyCar on the ovals. Just having a feel for it. It is something that I probably caught on to quicker than anything in stock car racing. I guess I show up there and it’s just a little bit more comfortable.”

    You finished eighth at Daytona last year and you had solid runs at Talladega last year although the finishes may not necessarily reflect the overall performance. Do you feel you can win Talladega this weekend?

    “I feel like I’ve learned some lessons about the draft and how that unfolds at the end if you are in the right place at the right time. I think that, when we talk superspeedway racing, there’s a lot of luck involved. Like I said, right place at the right time – there are a lot of people who have a good chance of winning Talladega, I think. Hopefully, we are one of them at the end of the race. But, we won’t know that until the end of the race.”

    You’ve always liked going to Talladega. Why is that?

    “The fans really make that place. The campgrounds – all that stuff makes it one, big party. You see how much fun the fans are having and that makes it fun for us as drivers. It’s just a unique place. The sheer size of the facility is amazing. I liked it from the first time I went there and, hopefully, we can have a good run and a good finish. The cool thing about superspeedways is that anybody can win. It’s a toss-up, what’s going to happen. So, that’s why it’s fun for me because somebody like me has a chance. On top of that, SHR’s superspeedway cars are really good.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    This will be the first restrictor-plate knockout qualifying round. What do you expect to see Saturday in qualifying and how do you prepare for that?

    “I don’t know if you can prepare for that. We’ve kind of experienced a little bit of it when you are in practice before qualifying, when you are trying to run a fast lap in case it rains. We did it at Talladega last time and it was pretty crazy and scary. It’s not a good situation to be in for any of the drivers, and that’s just my opinion. I don’t know that we’re going to approach it as jumping in a big pack of cars to try to get to the back and get timing right because everybody else is going to be doing the same thing. We’re leaning more toward getting a group of us together and getting in a straight line and running as fast as we can and then park it. I hate to look at it that way, but I don’t want to tear my racecar up, either, because you can put yourself behind pretty quick. I’m not a big fan of the knockout qualifying at restrictor-plate races. I think it’s dangerous. Danica does have experience with it. She did it for the Nationwide race at Daytona and it worked out well for them. They got four cars together and it worked out, but there’s just as good of a chance of it not working out for you. I’m interested in seeing what all these other organizations do, whether they run in a pack or get their group of guys together and run and take what they can get. There are always going to be some of these guys who don’t have teammates to lean on. They’re going to try to be the ones who get in the back of these packs and suck up and draft up quick to get a lap. I think your polesitter could be a surprise. It’s going to be hectic and crazy and we’re just going to do our best to stay clean and stay out of trouble.”

    Danica has been comfortable with restrictor-plate racing from the start. What are your overall thoughts going to Talladega?

    “I think our best shot of winning a race is going to be a restrictor-plate race. She runs well there and, obviously, now we have more teammates at Stewart-Haas who are really good restrictor-plate racers who could help in a situation and be a good drafting partner. Our odds are up, now, because we have more teammates to draft with. If we get separated, there are three other teammates and we could pick up one or two of those and get back to the front. It helps all of us. I feel if we can get at least two or three of our Stewart-Haas cars in the top-10 coming to the final couple of laps, we’ve got a shot of winning the race because we have teammates. I feel like our odds are pretty good going into Talladega.”

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  • Richmond 400 Race-Report

    Date: April 26, 2014
    Event: Richmond 400 (Round 9 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 35th/34th (Running, completed 395 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (153 points, 188 out of first)
    Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

    Incurable tight handling and long green-flag runs worked to the disadvantage of Danica Patrick in the Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Saturday night. The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) finished 34th in what was her 55th career Sprint Cup start.

    “That definitely isn’t the night we were looking for with our GoDaddy Chevrolet,” said Patrick, who now has three career Sprint Cup starts at Richmond. “It was really weird how the car would change during the course of run. It would be a three tight a few laps and then go to being a four and then back to a three. I felt good about some of the changes we made to fix drive-off and a few other handling issues we had, but it seems like no matter what we did it stayed tight through the turns.”

    The word “tight” was a constant refrain on the No. 10 radio from the drop of the green flag at Richmond, where Patrick started 35th. Compounding the issue early was the fact that the car was loose at the exit of the turns, making it difficult to be aggressive on the throttle. Early pit work on the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevy worked to assuage a few of the issues for Patrick, as she reported being able to get back to the gas quicker after the first round of adjustments.

    As the race continued, however, so too did the handling issue, with Patrick reporting its severity being a “three out of five tight” during the first 200 laps. Crew chief Tony Gibson called for a variety of adjustments, but it seemed that none of the wedge, track bar or air pressure adjustments would improve the tight issue, which was at its worst in the center of the turns. Adding insult to injury was a slew of long green-flag runs and a torrid race pace that resulted in Patrick going down laps to the race leaders.

    Despite the handling issues Patrick soldiered her way through the event, completing the race without incident and avoiding the glut of tire issues that plagued a number of competitors at the .75-mile track on Saturday night.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Outback Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing 11th. He started fifth and led twice for 23 laps.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, came back from being two laps down to finish 23rd.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 20th and finished 25th.

    Joey Logano won the Richmond 400 to score his fifth career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his first at Richmond.

    Jeff Gordon finished .946 of a second behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. A.J. Allmendinger, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 66 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    With round nine of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 15th with 243 points, 98 behind first-place Gordon. Harvick is 20th with 220 points, 121 out of first. Kurt Busch is 25th with 185 points, 156 out of first. Patrick is 29th with 153 points, 188 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Aaron’s 499 on Sunday, May 4 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Richmond 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 22, 2014) – Patience. It’s a word Danica Patrick will hear again and again as she and her No. 10 GoDaddy Racing Team tackle Richmond (Va.) International Raceway this weekend for the Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

    Perhaps the idea of patience dominating the night’s conversation could be a bit odd at the .75-mile Virginia layout known as “The Action Track,” where attempts to pass cars often lead to frustration, which then turns into beating and banging, and even wrecking. But for Patrick, who will be making just her 55th career Sprint Cup start and her third at Richmond, practicing patience will be the name of the game.

    Patrick will lean on the advice doled out from her Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) crew chief Tony Gibson – “Be patient. Focus on you. Race the racetrack. Take what the car and the track will give you all night. If you can do that all night, you’ll end up with a solid finish.”

    That’s the same guidance Gibson gave his driver prior to the Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. As Patrick continues to learn the racetracks on the Sprint Cup circuit, Gibson says patience and focus are key to improving each time the No. 10 GoDaddy team returns to a racetrack.

    Patrick repeated Gibson’s advice over the car radio during the Darlington race. She focused, raced the racetrack and took what the car and track would give her. And when the checkered flag waved, Patrick brought home her green No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS in 22nd place and on the lead lap – her best finish in four starts at the uber-challenging 1.336-mile oval.

    This weekend, Patrick & Co. hope that same advice pays off once more.

    While Patrick is no stranger to racing at Richmond, her best finishes at the track have come from her efforts in the Verizon IndyCar Series. In five IndyCar starts at the three-quarter-mile oval, Patrick scored four top-10 finishes, including sixth-place results in 2007 and 2008 and a fifth-place finish in 2009. She’s also raced there in three NASCAR Nationwide Series and two previous Sprint Cup events.

    Despite her past challenges at Richmond, Patrick is looking forward to Saturday night’s short-track race. She has produced a series of solid performances at the short tracks on the circuit. Last spring, she recorded an impressive 12th-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and followed that up with a 17th-place effort in the fall.

    This season, Patrick earned a top-20 finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. And while she didn’t get the finish she had hoped for at Martinsville, the No. 10 team did earn its best qualifying effort of the year at the .526-mile oval – a 10th-place starting position.

    Patrick will lean on those short-track successes, as well as her performance at Darlington, as she returns to Richmond this weekend. And hopefully, with a little patience, Patrick will continue to improve on the past and score another solid finish come Saturday night.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about heading to Richmond this weekend.

    “If anybody has the key to Richmond, please pass it along because I have not figured it out, yet. I haven’t run well at Richmond, yet. I loved going there in IndyCar, and I had good success there, I feel like. I had lots of top-fives there in IndyCar, or at least running consistently in the top-five. It just hasn’t been that way in stock cars. I have a really hard time getting into turn one. I feel like the car is going to spin out the whole time, so I don’t know. Hopefully, this time will be different. I have said in the past when people ask me what my favorite track is, I say ‘Whatever I’ve done well at,’ and I’ve gone from hating to loving a track in one day. So, hopefully, that will be the case at Richmond.”

    You had success at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway last season, posting a top-12 finish and a top-20 finish. This year, you had a top-10 qualifying effort at Martinsville. How does Richmond compare to the other short tracks we go to in the Cup Series.

    “Both ends are different at Richmond. I feel like you drive kind of downhill into turn one, and you kind of drive up and into turn three. It’s getting old so it’s losing grip, and power down and rear traction off the corner is at a premium, so that’s always what we try and figure out how to get.”

    Last weekend was the first one of two off weekends the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes, so at the first break in the season, rate your year, so far.

    “I really feel like it has been a lot better than last year as far as the race goes, and qualifying, even. It’s been, I feel like, a lot better. It’s still not great but it’s definitely getting better. We started off the year really well in practice and running like top-15 in practice, and Las Vegas was great. We were one of the fastest cars for most of the time we were on track in practice. But that didn’t lead to good results in the race. With getting crashed and not having great races, that kind of puts a damper on the whole weekend. I’ve had other weekends where I’m not running well at all in practice, but then I go out in the race and the car seems to be OK. So, I guess I would rather struggle through the weekend and then have a good race than the other way around. At some point in time, you’ve got to put it all together and you’ve got to run fast, qualify well and run great in the race.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    The last race was Darlington and the No. 10 team had a solid finish. How does what the team accomplished at Darlington help heading into Richmond?

    “That was awesome. I think we learned a lot from the last time we were at Darlington with Danica, as far as being patient and just what she needed with the car. I think that helped us be more patient. Like I told her, that’s a place where, if you can just be patient and race the racetrack, you’ll end up with a good finish. We fought all night and, as a team, we worked well together – pit stops and everything – so I feel like it was a win for our team. Each week, we build on what we know from last year, and we learn more, and I think we’re able to definitely take positives from each race we’ve run and build on that. I’m really proud of what we accomplished at Darlington, and I think we’re going to have to have that same kind of focus heading into Richmond. It’s another track where I want her to be patient and focus on racing the racetrack and not get caught up in what the other guys are doing because that’s where you’re going to run into problems. She’s run a lot of races at Richmond, but most of those were in IndyCar, and that’s a lot different from how she drives the track in a stock car. A lot of this weekend will be about her leaning on her teammates and talking to them about how they get around the track. I think that’s going to help her a lot more than I might be able to. From our end, we just have to stay focused. It’s not about going out there on the track and beating Jimmie Johnson or beating Tony Stewart. Our focus is to get her on the track and have her be the best Danica Patrick that she can be. And that’s the key for us each week. Danica is still learning, and part of the learning process is learning to be patient and learning how to race the racetrack, and that’s what we’ll be focusing on this weekend at Richmond.”

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  • Southern 500 Race-Report

    Date: April 12, 2014
    Event: Southern 500 (Round 8 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 33rd/22nd (Running, completed 374 of 374 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (143 points)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing in a green-white-checkered finish (Cheverolet)

    Danica Patrick’s goals in Saturday night’s Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway were simple: Race the racetrack and take what the car and the track would give. Patrick’s crew chief, Tony Gibson, told his driver that if she focused on those things throughout the night at one of the toughest racetracks on the Sprint Cup circuit, she would have a good night and a solid finish.

    When the checkered flag waved, it was mission accomplished for Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) as she ended up with a solid 22nd-place finish.

    “Tonight was such a big improvement for us from where we have been in the past at this track,” said Patrick, who made her 54th career Sprint Cup start and her third at Darlington. “The guys gave me a really drivable GoDaddy Chevy, and we kept making improvements to it all night. I just needed it to turn a little better. I’m just really proud of Tony Gibson and all the guys tonight. The guys on pit road did a great job all night long, and really, it was just a good night for me and the entire team. We’ll take this and look forward to the next race after a well-deserved break.”

    Patrick battled a tight-handling racecar from the drop of the green flag, but she was able to give feedback to Gibson and her crew that helped them make improvements to her GoDaddy Chevy at each stop. Despite going a lap down early in the race, Patrick and the crew did not give up.

    Instead, they continued work to improve the car in the pits, and Patrick worked to put herself in position on the racetrack to get back onto the lead lap.

    Throughout the night, the crew made a series of trackbar, wedge and tire-pressure adjustments throughout the race, while also making a shock adjustment to help improve the handling of the racecar. The crew also took advantage of both the wave-around rule and the “Lucky Dog,” which allowed Patrick to get back on the lead lap.

    The changes made the car better throughout the night, and by the end of the race, Patrick was solidly in the top 25, finishing in 22nd-place.

    Gibson agreed that the night was a success for Patrick and the entire team.

    “We talked about it starting on Monday at the shop,” Gibson said. “I told Danica to focus on racing the racetrack, and if you focus on that, you’re always going to get a good finish. And that’s just what she did tonight. She gave good feedback on the car all night, which helped us to keep working on it and making it better for her. A 22nd-place, lead-lap finish at Darlington is a big improvement for us from last year. I’m really happy with what Danica and this whole GoDaddy team did tonight.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Saturday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway by winning the Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. It was the 22nd points-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009.

    Harvick started first and led seven times for a race-high 238 laps en route to scoring his first win in 18 career Sprint Cup starts at Darlington. It was also his 25th career victory in 474 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished ninth. It was his 12th top-10 in 22 career Sprint Cup starts at Darlington. It was also his 294th top-10 in 529 career Sprint Cup starts.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, was fighting for a spot in the top-10 when he was hit from behind ending his night. He finished 31st.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished .558 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-five. Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Larson, Stewart and Ryan Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 11 caution periods for 50 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 374-lap race, which was extended seven laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round eight of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th with 224 points, 73 behind first-place Jeff Gordon. Harvick is 22nd with 186 points, 111 out of first. Kurt Busch is 26th with 164 points, 133 out of first. Patrick is 29th with 143 points, 154 out of first.

    The Sprint Cup Series takes a rare weekend off for Easter before returning to action April 26 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway for the Richmond 400. The race starts at 7 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Southern 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 9, 2014) – Its reputation as the toughest and most challenging racetrack on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit is widely known.

    Successfully maneuvering around Darlington (S.C.) Raceway – aptly nicknamed “The Track Too Tough To Tame” – is like a carefully choreographed dance thanks to its distinctive layout. The 1.366-mile oval is uniquely configured thanks to a pond that the owner refused to relocate when constructing the racetrack in the late 1940s. The track’s architect made one end of the track tight, narrow and high-banked while the other he made wide, sweeping and flat.

    Racing at Darlington produces a host of challenges. Drivers and their teams are constantly adjusting to the tires, the bumps and the overall character of the racetrack. And the racing occurs predominantly just inches from the outside SAFER Barrier.

    The odd shape also means that, to find the fast way around the track, drivers race against the outside wall in each turn, sometimes brushing up against the wall and thus earning what has affectionately become known as a “Darlington Stripe” on the right side of the car. And the black marks left on the walls by the tires rubbing up against them all race weekend have led to the track’s other nickname – “The Lady in Black.”

    This weekend, “The Lady in Green” – Danica Patrick, driver of the green-colored No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing – will make her third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and her fourth overall NASCAR start at “The Lady in Black” for Saturday night’s Southern 500.

    Two years ago, Patrick made her first-ever start at Darlington in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. She started 15th and finished and impressive 12th. One night later, she made just her second Sprint Cup start ever, finishing 31st.

    Her weekend impressed several NASCAR observers as Darlington is known as a track that is tough on first-timers. But “The Lady in Green” completed 513 of 519 laps in her first weekend at “The Lady in Black,” and did so without being in an accident – also a tough feat for a rookie, much less a seasoned veteran.

    Last year, Patrick’s outing at Darlington – in her first full season on the Sprint Cup circuit – perhaps was a bit more challenging. She was forced to use her backup car after an accident in Friday practice caused heavy damage to her primary machine. Despite starting 40th in the backup car, Patrick still finished 28th.

    This weekend, “The Lady in Green” returns with the same car she has raced in each of her previous starts at “The Lady in Black.” With two Sprint Cup races there already under her belt, Patrick hopes she has mastered some of the right steps in the intricate dance that is racing at Darlington.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve had a total of three NASCAR starts at Darlington – two in the Sprint Cup Series and one on the Nationwide side. Talk about your experiences and what you have learned going into this weekend.

    “Having those starts is definitely a help not just to me but also to the entire team. I think it makes me more comfortable behind the wheel, and it also gives the guys information about what I like or need in the car, which is huge. I know that last year we were far better off unloading and hitting the track because we had a baseline to go off of from my previous start. Unfortunately, I crashed in practice and that kind of put us behind. But, what we learned last year just gives us more to build on as we go there this weekend. Darlington is definitely a challenging track. And I think I’ve learned a lot in the few starts I’ve had. Each time we go back there, I’m more comfortable. The first time I raced there, I had never seen Darlington until that actual race weekend. So that’s always a bit interesting when you go somewhere you’ve never been. But I accomplished all the things I wanted to accomplish over the weekend. Things went well on the Nationwide side. On the Cup side, my goals were to be respectable out there. I think I held my own. And the other goal was to finish, and both of those things happened. So, overall, it was a good night. Hopefully, my experience from that first weekend and last year will pay off for us this weekend.”

    So many drivers get that Darlington Stripe. Is it just the nature of the beast or are drivers just that little bit over the edge?

    “The reason for so many stripes – Darlington Stripes – on cars there is you are really just driving against the wall. You are carrying a lot of speed through (turn) one and you use the wall all the way out. You are riding it while you’re in and out of throttle up there. It’s not like it’s a straightaway. It’s a corner, so you are still turning. The same thing goes through (turns) three and four. You are also searching for grip so, sometimes, that line is a little bit higher getting in. Sometimes, it’s a little bit lower. You are using the grip all the way up to the wall, which means you are flirting with that wall.”

    TONY GIBSON, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Danica has two starts at Darlington. Does that help you at all going into “The Track Too Tough To Tame?” And what are your overall thoughts going into this weekend?

    “It’s hard because it’s only one race a year at Darlington. We’ve really struggled there. Last year, we wrecked our primary car in practice. I wasn’t with her the first race she ran there – (Greg) Zipadelli was – so last year was my first year with her. We were better in the race, but we just really struggled to get going. It’s such a difficult racetrack. The corners are so different. You have to run right up against the wall, and she kind of struggled with that, which is normal for a lot of the drivers their first time at Darlington. Obviously, it helps that we have two races already going there but, when you only go there once a year, it’s not in your mind as much as these other racetracks. It does help having been there before because we have data and notes to go off of to help her and us. That part of it helps a lot. That place is just a place where it’s tough. Veterans with lots of experience around there, they know how to do it. They know how to make it work, but they also have trouble there, too. I feel like it is probably going to be a struggle again. There’s just no way to sugarcoat that. I think the key for her and for us is to just be open-minded and for her to be patient with herself. If you try to get aggressive and try to outsmart the racetrack, that’s when you get in trouble. It’s in our best interest to just go there and be calm and just make laps, get laps under her belt and re-familiarize herself with the racetrack. We don’t want to get caught up in speed and caught up in what others are doing because it will get you in trouble.”

    This track isn’t just challenging for the driver, it can also be quite the challenge for the team to find the right setup. How difficult is the role of the crew chief at Darlington?

    “It’s difficult. I love the place. I’ve had a lot of success there with drivers and have had really good runs there. For us, and with what we are hoping to accomplish, we really just have to go into Darlington with a positive attitude and remember that you are there to learn. We’re on a different program than everybody else. Stick within our little walls and don’t let the track freak you out because it can do it in a hurry and it can frustrate you. Darlington is mentally challenging. We have been there with so many different tires in the last two or three years with the repave, and now it is starting to get old again. It’s a chasing game, too. The track sits there. We only race on it once a year. The winters come along and the weather plays a big role in the asphalt aging. So, we’ve had the different tires and now our car is different. The cars are even different from what it was when we were there last year, so a lot has changed. You’ve got to go through that learning curve, too. So far this year, our qualifying has gotten better. I think our cars are better, and I think the new ride heights have helped that. So, I’m hoping that will be another step in the right direction for us to help us with the learning curve at Darlington.”

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  • Duck Commander 500 Post-Report

    Date: April 7, 2014
    Event: Duck Commander 500 (Round 7 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 24th/27th (Running, completed 338 of 340 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (121 points)
    Winner: Joey Logano of Penske Racing in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)

    Danica Patrick struggled with an ill-handling car and finished a disappointing 27th in the rain-postponed Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Monday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 24th and early on dealt with a car that was tough to handle. Throughout the race, crew chief Tony Gibson made a series of changes – adjusting track bar, wedge, tire pressure and shocks and removing a spring rubber in the left-rear spring –to help improve the handling of the racecar.

    The changes made the car better throughout the afternoon, but Patrick fell two laps behind the leaders and had to settle for a finish outside the top-25.

    “We definitely made the GoDaddy/Get Found Chevy better throughout the race for sure, but the track changed a lot today with the weather, and I think that really hurt us,” said Patrick, who made her 53rd career Sprint Cup start and her fourth at Texas.“It was disappointing, because we had a fast racecar today; but we did make the right adjustments, and the pit crew did a nice job in the pits all day.”

    Gibson said he was pleased with the effort of his GoDaddy/Get Found crew.

    “We made a lot of changes today to help get the car into the racetrack better and to free the car up,” Gibson said. “The good thing is that we definitely were making the car better with those adjustments each stop. I’m proud of what the guys did on pit road, and I’m proud of the effort. I think we learned a lot today that hopefully will help us as we get into the schedule and go to more of these 1.5-mile tracks.”

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing SHR contingent Monday by finishing 10th. Stewart started from the pole and led three times for 74 laps en route to his third top-10 of 2014 and his 13th top-10 in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Texas. Stewart is now the all-time Sprint Cup lap leader at Texas with 801 total laps led, 26 more than next-best Matt Kenseth.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 11th and finished 39th as two flat tires conspired against him.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, started third and finished 42nd after suffering an engine problem only 28 laps into the race.

    Joey Logano won the Duck Commander 500 to score his fourth career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Texas. He is the seventh different winner in the seven races held this season.

    Jeff Gordon finished .476 of a second behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five. Greg Biffle, Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard and Stewart comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 49 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 340-lap race, which was extended six laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round seven of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 14th with 189 points, 70 behind new series leader Gordon. Kurt Busch is 25th with 151 points, 108 out of first. Harvick is 26th with 138 points, 121 out of first. Patrick is 29th with 121 points, 138 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Southern 500 on Saturday, April 12 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The race starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 6 p.m.

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  • Duck Commander 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 2, 2014) – There’s no doubt that the eyes of the sports world will be firmly focused on Texas this weekend.

    Not only does the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series head to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for round seven of its 36-race season, but this weekend the city of Dallas plays host to the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.

    So, for this weekend at least, everything is bigger in Texas, particularly when it comes to live sporting events.

    And while Danica Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Racing team will be focused on “finding” what it takes to have a strong performance at the 1.5-mile oval, the No. 10 team also hopes to take a cue from the college basketball players across town competing for the NCAA championship by rebounding from a disappointing 32nd-place finish at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway last weekend.

    For Patrick, Texas could be just the place to regain some momentum as it is the racetrack where she has gained the most experience in her career.

    Of all the tracks where Patrick will compete in 2014, she has the most starts at Texas, having driven in 15 major-league races – three Sprint Cup, four NASCAR Nationwide Series, and eight in the Verizon IndyCar Series. And it’s a track she’s taken a liking to in all three divisions.

    In her first Sprint Cup outing at Texas in November 2012, Patrick finished a respectable 24th. The race was also her first with crew chief Tony Gibson. In her four Nationwide Series races, Patrick has three top-15 finishes, including an eighth-place effort in April 2012. In Patrick’s eight IndyCar Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval, she has five top-10 finishes, including a third-place result in June 2007 and a second-place finish in June 2010.

    Already this season, Patrick has posted solid performances at two other intermediate tracks on the circuit. At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, she and the No. 10 team were fast most of the weekend. She posted the fifth-fastest lap during Thursday afternoon’s four-hour test session and then was 13th-fastest in Friday practice.

    During knockout-style qualifying at Las Vegas, Patrick posted the 10th-fastest lap during round one and advanced to round two, where she placed herself 22nd on the starting grid. From there, she continued to turn heads by clocking the sixth-fastest lap in Saturday morning’s practice session and the fastest 10-lap average.

    Patrick rolled off 22nd in the race, fell to 30th in the early going and went a lap down, but she fought her way to a respectable 21st-place result.

    Then, two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Patrick started 27th. She overcame a flat left-front tire late in the race and survived a treacherous green-white-checkered restart to score a 14th-place finish – her first top-15 of the 2014 season.

    With the combination of Patrick’s experience at the Texas track and the team’s fast racecars and impressive runs on intermediate tracks earlier this season, the No. 10 team hopes that Texas benefits from the state’s “everything is bigger” reputation and that this is the weekend a top-10 finish can “Get Found.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Last weekend at Martinsville didn’t go exactly how you had hoped, but now you’re headed to Texas and you have had strong cars and finishes on similar tracks at Las Vegas and California. Talk about that.

    “Yeah, Martinsville was disappointing. We ran so well there last year and we had high hopes for another good finish, especially since we had some momentum going our way. Unfortunately, we struggled all race long. (Tony) Gibson kept making adjustments and we hit on something about halfway through the race, but by that point we were already a couple of laps down. It was just disappointing. But, that being said, we had a good qualifying effort Friday and started the race 10th, so that was a big deal for us. Qualifying is something I know I’ve got to get better at. I’ve got to get better at getting all of it out of the car every time, so what we accomplished Friday at Martinsville was a bit of a positive reinforcement for me. Hopefully, we can continue that at Texas. Overall, we’ve had really good cars every week and have been fast. We had such strong cars at Las Vegas and at California that I’m really looking forward to getting on track with the GoDaddy Chevy at Texas.”

    You have a lot of experience at Texas and you seem to really enjoy racing there. Why is that?

    “I think, more than anything with Texas, it’s the fact it’s a really high-banked, fast track and those are the kinds of tracks I’ve liked the most. I feel that load in the corner and you’re able to carry so much speed through there because of that banking. I feel like it translates more to a feeling I was familiar with from Indy cars. So, I like going to Texas.”

    What is your favorite memory of racing at Texas?

    “The Dan Weldon/Danica Patrick boxing duo promotion coming off of (the) Milwaukee (IndyCar race in 2007). That was probably my favorite. I also just about won in 2009. It was (Ryan) Briscoe and I on the last stop. I came out in front of him but I just didn’t have the speed and he went around me. But I almost won that race. That was a good night.”

    TONY GIBSON, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    The GoDaddy/Get Found team had a fast car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which is another 1.5-mile track, and finished 21st. Then the team scored a top-15 at Fontana. Is there anything from those two tracks and races that will transfer over to Texas this weekend?

    “As far as chassis setup-wise, those tracks are really similar to what we will have this weekend in Texas. The loads are a little different but our chassis setup will be really close. It’s a different car. It’s a new car. Aero-wise, there’s no difference. I feel like the biggest thing that will be different is we have a different right-side tire than what we’ve had at Texas before, so it’s kind of an unknown as far as the tires. The one thing I worry about is the left-side tire because we had problems in California, and we’re going to be running extremely fast on another bumpy racetrack at Texas – probably faster than we were at California. The loads are going to be higher, so I worry more about the tires than I do anything else. But chassis-wise and body-wise, the setups are really, really close. I feel like having two good races under our belt, hopefully we can go there and be just another step better or at least just try to be consistent. It does help to run well on two intermediate tracks already this season because we struggled last year on those. Hopefully, this year, we can capitalize on a couple of good runs and be better going into Texas and Charlotte and places like that. Hopefully, we will have it a little more fine-tuned by then.”

    You had the two solid performances at Las Vegas and California. Then last weekend, the team had a great run in qualifying and started 10th in Martinsville. Do those things help build the team’s and Danica’s confidence heading into this weekend at Texas?

    “We just try to take any positive from a weekend each weekend and build on that. So, anything that you can do that shows improvement, I think, helps. Last weekend, we really thought we would race better than what we did. The track conditions were really, really off and it burnt the tires right off the car. It came down to tire management and she doesn’t have a whole lot of experience in managing tires when they burn off like that. It was a tough weekend, but it was a great weekend because we qualified really well. I hate that we didn’t get any more practice on Saturday because I think that hurt us more than others. We needed some more track time to get the balance of the car a little bit closer. But we build off of the positives during the weekend and qualifying that well was definitely a positive. Bristol was a positive – we wrecked our primary car and then came back and finished 18th. I thought that was really, really good. Fontana was a good weekend for us. Performance-wise, I think we are building confidence. She’s getting some confidence in her and hopefully we can keep doing that and each race have something good come out of the weekend that we can build on.”

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  • STP 500 Post-Report

    Date: March 30, 2014
    Event: STP 500 (Round 6 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 10th/32nd (Running, completed 494 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (104 points, 123 out of first)
    Winner: Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS, finished 32nd in the STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    Patrick started 10th, her best Sprint Cup starting position at a non-restrictor plate racetrack, but had to deal with an ill-handling car early in the 500-lap race. The No. 10 Chevrolet was tight in the middle of the corners and loose off, causing Patrick to lose track position early at the .526-mile oval.

    “It was a disappointing day,” Patrick said. “We ran so well at Martinsville last year, but we struggled all race long today. It’s disappointing for everyone on the GoDaddy team. We had high hopes coming into this race based off what we accomplished last year, but we missed the setup. Tony (Gibson, crew chief) made changes every time we came to pit road and really hit on something around halfway. But by that point, we were already a couple of laps down.”

    The GoDaddy/Get Found team gambled by staying out on two late-race cautions – on lap 341 and again on lap 412 – to try and regain laps, but the strategy didn’t pay off as Patrick had to pit under green-flag conditions late in the race, causing the team to lose additional laps.

    “We tried staying out on a couple of the cautions to take the wave-around and get a couple of laps back,” Patrick said. “It wound up biting us toward the end when we had to make a green-flag pit stop because the tires were killed. Needless to say, it wasn’t the finish we were looking for today.”

    Enjoying a much better day was Patrick’s Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Kurt Busch. The driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS won the STP 500 by .263 of a second over six-time Sprint Cup champion and eight-time Martinsville race winner Jimmie Johnson.

    Busch started 22nd and led three times for 23 laps en route to his 25th career Sprint Cup victory and first since Oct. 2, 2011 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, a span of 83 starts. It was also his second Sprint Cup win at Martinsville, with his previous triumph coming in October 2002. Most importantly, the win punched Busch’s ticket for the 16-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

    Busch is the sixth different winner in the first six Sprint Cup races of the season, the most in the Chase era and the longest streak to start a season since 2003.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished seventh. It was his 12th top-10 in 26 career Sprint Cup starts at Martinsville.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 17th.

    Finishing third in the STP 500 behind Busch and Johnson was Dale Earnhardt Jr., while Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five. Kenseth, Harvick, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 14 caution periods for 92 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    There was also a track-record 33 lead changes. The previous record was 31, set on April 3, 2011.

    With round six of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 15th with 154 points, 73 behind first-place Earnhardt. Busch is 20th with 146 points, 81 out of first. Harvick is 25th with 135 points, 92 out of first. Patrick is 29th with 104 points, 123 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Duck Commander 500 on Sunday, April 6 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 2:30 p.m.

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  • STP 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 26, 2014) – It appears as though Danica Patrick and GoDaddy/Get Found team have “found” their groove.

    After a rough first two races of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Patrick and her team have quietly but steadily found better finishes and, as a result, more confidence and a better points position.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was involved in accidents not of her making at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and at Phoenix International Raceway and finished 40th and 36th, respectively.

    But since leaving Phoenix, Patrick finished 21st at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 18th at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and 14th last week at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. It’s been a quiet, steady climb that moved Patrick from 39th in the championship standings with just 13 points after Phoenix to 27th in the order with 92 points – a gain of 12 spots and 79 points.

    Patrick and the GoDaddy/Get Found team next hope to continue their climb at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, site of Sunday’s STP 500 Sprint Cup race. The .526-mile oval in Southern Virginia was one of the best tracks for the team last year as Patrick finished 12th in the spring and 17th in the fall.

    Her performance in the spring was impressive, given that she’d never seen Martinsville until the first practice session and then had to start at the rear of the field due to an engine change prior to the race. The setback didn’t hamper her, however, and she marched her way through the field and scored an impressive top-15 finish.

    The noteworthy rookie outing bested those of some other name drivers in their Martinsville debuts, most notably her team owner Tony Stewart, who finished 20th in his first Martinsville start in 1999. Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut in 2002. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th in 1984. Dale Jarrett finished 14th in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished 26th in 2000. Kyle Busch finished 39th in 2005. Matt Kenseth finished 21st in 2000. Kurt Busch finished 37th in 2000. And Fred Lorenzen finished 24th in 1956.

    With their season heading in the right direction and their confidence on the rise after solid finishes last year at Martinsville, Patrick and her team are hoping Sunday a top-10 finish may “Get Found.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Martinsville?

    “Our finishes have steadily improved the last three weeks, which has given the team a good boost. We had two good runs at Martinsville last year, so I feel good heading into this week. Tony Gibson (crew chief) has had a lot of success there and knows how to set up a car for Martinsville. It’s a tough place, very tight with a lot of beating and banging, but hopefully we can stay out of trouble and have a good run. We’re looking forward to it.”

    You surprised a lot of people with your first race at Martinsville last year. Talk about that.

    “Having never been at Martinsville before, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that it was going to be a little bit crazy. I think you take what the car gives you. Tony Gibson (crew chief) has a really good track record there. He’s a great crew chief. And my car was pretty good all day. People talk about the race result but a lot of the time forget that we spun early and were two laps down at one point in time. So, I feel like that’s almost one of the things I’m most proud of – coming back from two laps down to being on the lead lap and then grabbing a 12th place at the end.”

    After a rough start to the season, do you feel like you and the team are back on track?

    “We’ve had really good cars every week and have been fast. We just didn’t have any luck in the first two weeks. We’ve rebounded nicely and have been able to get everything pointing in the right direction. I’m proud of the team for the hard work and effort to help dig us out of the hole we were in. We’ve improved each week and hopefully we can keep doing that.

    TONY GIBSON, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    The GoDaddy/Get Found team had a good run at Fontana. Talk about the race.

    “It was a crazy, crazy race. For the last three weeks for the GoDaddy Chevy, it’s been good. We were 21st at Vegas, we knew we should have been better than that but our goal this year was to be more consistently in the top-20. We felt for our improvement this year that was a solid goal – to be a top-20 car and work our way forward from there. Last weekend (at Fontana) was another good weekend for us. We were consistent in practice. I thought we’d be better in qualifying. We were 15th during practice and I thought we’d qualify better, but we failed to do that, so it kind of put us in the back a bit. But Danica did a really nice job and all the guys on the crew did an awesome job. By the midway point in the race, we were a solid 16th - to 18th-place car and at the end we were able to put four tires on it. We wanted to be in offense mode, not defense mode, so we chose four over two. She did a great job on the restart and passed four cars and ended up 14th. It was a great weekend and we’re looking forward to this weekend at Martinsville.”

    Overall thoughts heading into Martinsville?

    “We’ve always run well there and I’ve had some success there with other drivers, as well. It’s one of my favorite racetracks. We were fortunate enough to win there with Ryan (Newman) in 2012. We’ve had some success as a company there, so we took the same mindset with Danica going in there (the first time). We went and did some testing at Little Rock (Rockingham, N.C.) and that really paid off. It really helped us get her in that rhythm. We knew when we left there that it might not be a bad deal for us. She was pretty sporty at Little Rock. We were able to go up to Martinsville and get a good 12th-place finish and I think we were all kind of looking at each other going, ‘What just happened here?’ We went back in the fall and had another good run – we didn’t finish as well, but were still strong. Our car was really good again and she did a really good job. We’re pumped to go there, but Martinsville is a place where you can go and think you’re going to run really well and it will dish out a case of ‘humble’ to you. It’s a tough place and you’re fighting the beating at the banging all day. But we’re positive and excited to get there.”

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  • Auto Club 400 Post-Report

    Date: March 23, 2014
    Event: Auto Club 400 (Round 5 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th /14th (Running, completed 206 of 206 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (92 points)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing in a green-white-checkered finish (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), earned a hard-fought 14th-place finish – her best finish of the season – in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

    Patrick overcame a flat left front tire late in the race and survived a treacherous green-white-checkered restart to score her first top-15 of the 2014 season.

    “It seems like some of our most trying weekends end up with our better results, so we’ll take it and we’ll know that there is so much more potential for those weekends where we feel like we are running a lot better,” Patrick said. “It was a steady race. My hope was that our GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet was close on the first run, so I knew we could make it better. It is always so difficult when you start off in the beginning, and it really wasn’t too bad to start off with today. I think that’s usually the common denominator in us having a good race is just that first run – the car being there.

    “It was, so we just made little adjustments here and there, and I don’t think we were extremely fast, but we were fast enough to pick them off and move up and have a steady day. That is what we did. It’s nice when you get fortunate and lucky and your best running position on track happens to be the last lap, so I will take it.”

    Patrick, who started 27th, battled a tight-handling racecar early in the race, but by halfway she had settled into a spot in the top-20. However, trouble struck for Patrick at lap 139 when she was forced to pit for a flat left front tire, which she believes may have been caused when her car ran over debris.

    The setback forced her to give up her spot in the top-20 and bring the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet to pit road for four fresh tires. The unscheduled stop put her one lap down to the leaders, but when the caution flag waved two laps later at lap 141, Patrick took the wave-around and got back on the lead lap in 32nd-place.

    From there she and the GoDaddy/Get Found team began picking off cars, and she found herself back inside the top-20 when the final caution of the day came out on lap 198.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson brought Patrick down pit road for four fresh tires and an air pressure adjustment on lap 199, and Patrick restarted 18th for the two-lap green-white-checkered finish. She got a solid jump on the restart and was able to pick up four more spots before the checkered flag waved to come home a respectable 14th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing third to score his first top-five of the 2014 season. The strong showing came at the home track for Haas Automation, as the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world is located just 100 miles west of Auto Club Speedway in Oxnard, Calif.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 10th and finished fifth to give the three-time Sprint Cup champion back-to-back top-five results, as Stewart finished fourth last week at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, started fourth and finished two laps down in 36th after two flat tires forced him to make unscheduled pit stops.

    Kyle Busch won the Auto Club 400 for the second straight time to score his 29th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Fontana.

    Kyle Larson finished .214 of a second behind Kyle Busch in the runner-up spot, while Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Stewart rounded out the top-five. Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers, A.J. Allmendinger, Paul Menard and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 42 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 206-lap race, which was extended six laps by the green-white-checkered finish.

    With round five of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 17th with 127 points, 59 behind new series leader Carl Edwards. Kurt Busch is 24th with 99 points, 87 out of first. Harvick is 25th with 97 points, 89 out of first. Patrick is 27th with 92 points, 94 out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the STP 500 on Sunday, March 30 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Auto Club 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 19, 2014) – Earlier this week, the leprechaun was looking for his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

    On Sunday, Danica Patrick, who like the leprechaun wears quite a bit of green, will bypass the pot of gold and look to find continued improvement. She’ll do so not at the end of the rainbow, but at the western edge of the Continental United States as she takes part in the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

    Patrick, driver of the green No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has found her groove in the last two weeks after a rough start the season.

    In the first two races, she was involved in accidents not of her making at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and at Phoenix International Raceway and finished 40th and 36th, respectively.

    Two weeks ago at Las Vegas, she and the No. 10 team rebounded and were fast most of the weekend. She posted the fifth-fastest lap during Thursday afternoon’s four-hour test session and then was 13th-fastest in Friday practice.

    During knockout-style qualifying, Patrick posted the 10th-fastest lap during round one and advanced to round two, where she placed herself 22nd on the starting grid. From there, she continued to raise some eyebrows by turning the sixth-fastest lap in Saturday morning’s practice session and the fastest 10-lap average.

    Patrick rolled off 22nd in the race, fell to 30th in the early going and went a lap down, but she fought her way to a respectable 21st-place result.

    Last week at Bristol, Patrick overcame a three-hour rain delay, an early race accident not of her making and late-race transmission problems to finish a solid 18th. She did so in a backup car after an accident in her primary car during Friday’s first practice session.

    After exiting Phoenix 39th in the championship standings with just 13 points, Patrick has gained 11 spots and finds herself 28th, with 62 points.

    On Sunday, Patrick will drive Chassis No. 10-828, the same car she drove at Las Vegas.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson, Patrick and the rest of the GoDaddy/Get Found crew are hoping that car will be even faster than at Las Vegas and help them continue to find better finishes.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Fontana?

    “Fontana’s pavement has not aged gracefully (laughs), so it makes for a challenging race. It’s a challenge to set up the car – the seams move the car around a lot. It’s very fast, yet you still have to get the car to rotate and it seems really tight off of (turn) two. It’s one of the tougher places to get the balance right. But if you do strike a good balance in practice, you have a chance to have a really good day on Sunday. We’re bringing the same car from Vegas, so hopefully we can find the speed we had there and continue to get back on track after a rough start to the year. We’ve had two decent weeks, but we’d like to finish better and hopefully we can do that this week.”

    After a rough start to the season, the results have been better the last two weeks. Talk about that.

    “We’ve gotten better, but it hasn’t been easy. The GoDaddy/Get Found guys have worked really hard. We had a great car at Vegas and were running good lap times. We just couldn’t get our lap back. At Bristol, we had to go to a backup car and we didn’t qualify well, but the crew did a great job and (Tony) Gibson made some great decisions and we had a fast car for the race. We had the early accident and then, later in the race, we lost all but fourth gear, but it hung on and we got a decent finish out of it. I think we could have had better finishes both times, but we’ll take them. Hopefully we can get even better at Fontana.”

    Two races thus far have been affected by rain. How challenging is that for you as a driver?

    “It’s tough because you get geared up for a race and then it’s delayed. So you do your best to kill time, but also keep yourself focused. It’s the same thing when rain comes in the middle of the race. The hardest thing is you just don’t know when the race will resume – nobody does, so you have to keep focused and also be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Fortunately, as drivers we have motorhomes to go to – it’s a lot tougher on the crews and it’s really tough on the fans. I’m always impressed by the fans and how they stick it out. It’s not easy when it’s raining and cold, but they stick around. We appreciate it.”

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  • Food City 500 Post-Report

    Date: March 16, 2014
    Event: Food City 500 (Round 4 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 36th/18th (Running, completed 502 of 503 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (62 points)
    Winner: Carl Edwards of Roush-Fenway Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick overcame a rain delay, an accident not of her making and transmission problems to finish a respectable 18th in Sunday’s Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), scored her best finish of the year while driving a backup car after she crashed her primary car for the weekend during Friday’s first practice session.

    The backup car proved tough as Patrick survived an eventful night, starting with a more than three hour rain delay that began after completion of lap 125. Once the race resumed, things got interesting for Patrick. Running 23rd on lap 157, she was on the outside of Cole Whitt exiting turn four, and the right side of Whitt’s car slammed into the left side of Patrick’s machine, forcing her into the outside retaining wall.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy/Get Found crew were able to make quick repairs without losing too much time or track position, and Patrick returned to the action, but more obstacles were to come.

    Just past halfway, transmission issues caused Patrick to lose first, second and third gear, leaving her only with fourth gear working. This created problems exiting her pit box, and on her last stop of the day, she made contact with Clint Bowyer’s car pitted a few stalls ahead. Despite all these obstacles, Patrick was still able to bring the car home and score a solid result.

    “The GoDaddy/Get Found guys worked hard all weekend,” Patrick said. “We had to go to a backup car just four laps into practice, so I appreciate the effort of Tony Gibson and the guys. It was a tough weekend, so to come out of here with 18th, I’ll take it. It was an eventful night. The 26 (Cole Whitt) wasn’t clear and got into us and so we had some damage. Then I lost first and second gear and then finally third gear, so the last 100 or 200 laps I only had fourth gear. That’s why I hit Clint (Bowyer) in the pits. It wouldn’t go so I dipped the clutch and got sideways, and when it was about to spin around, I lifted, it caught and then it went straight and it wouldn’t stop. So I hit him. I apologized to his crew after the race. And then it was like yellow after yellow, and if there was any day I didn’t want yellows, it’s today because I didn’t have any gears. We survived and got a decent finish out of it. Gibson made good calls all night, and hopefully we can build on this going to Fontana.”

    Gibson was pleased with the effort of his crew through a challenging weekend.

    “It was a lot to overcome,” Gibson said. “No one quit or gave up. It shows that if you stay strong and keep your head up, you can turn it around, and that’s what we did today. We had a fast race car, we just didn’t have track position all day. To be only one lap down and finish 18th, I’ll take that. From where we started, wrecking a car, to qualifying in the back, to having damage early, to losing a transmission, we just had so many things to overcome. It seems like every time the yellow would come out we’d have to overcome something. I’m just proud of everybody. I’m proud of her, I’m proud of the guys. It was a good effort.”

    Perhaps most challenging of all was overcoming the transmission issues late.

    “It was hung in fourth (gear),” Gibson said. “All we had was fourth gear. So when she left the pits (the last time), she gassed on it, and when she did the car just kind of slid sideways, and then when she got to the next pit stall the rear tires grabbed, and when it did, it pulled the car around and she ended up hitting the 15 (Bowyer). It can happen, you see it happen – not quite like that, but you see guys run into each other on pit road. I don’t think there was anything she could have done any different. If she would have had regular first gear, that wouldn’t happen.”

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished fourth.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 35th after spending the majority of the race among the top-15. Busch led three times for 28 laps, but was involved in an accident on lap 394. He was able to complete the race, but finished 30 laps down after making repairs.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 39th after a broken oil line knocked him from the lead and into the turn-one wall with 50 laps remaining. Harvick was in command of the race, having led 28 consecutive laps before misfortune struck.

    Carl Edwards won the Food City 500 to score his 22nd career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Bristol.

    Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished behind Edwards in the runner-up spot, while Aric Almirola, Stewart and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five. Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers and Kyle Larson comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 12 caution periods for 95 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 503-lap race, which featured a three-hour, 19-minute stoppage for rain and eventually ended under caution when more rain swept over the track.

    With round four of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 21st, 74 points behind new series leader Brad Keselowski. Stewart is 23rd, 75 points out of first. Patrick is 28th, 101 points out of first. Busch is 31st, 106 points out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 23 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 2:30 p.m.

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  • Food City 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 12, 2014) – With the madness of Daytona Speedweeks and the two-week West Coast swing now complete, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves into a bit of a normal stretch.

    Teams and drivers spent 12 days in Daytona Beach, Fla., preparing for the 56th Daytona 500, and then the majority of them spent an additional 12 days out West in Phoenix and Las Vegas for races two and three on the Sprint Cup Series schedule.

    This week’s Food City 500 Sprint Cup race represents the “second” start of the season and everyone begins to get into a groove and a routine after a hectic first month.

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is hoping to build on what was a solid run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend after two rough weeks to start the season.

    She was involved in accidents not of her making at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and at Phoenix International Raceway and finished 40th and 36th, respectively.

    At Las Vegas, she and the No. 10 team rebounded and were fast most of the weekend. She posted the fifth-fastest lap during Thursday afternoon’s four-hour test session and then was 13th-fastest in Friday’s practice session.

    During knockout-style qualifying, Patrick posted the 10th-fastest lap during round one and advanced to round two, where she placed herself 22nd on the starting grid. From there, she continued to raise some eyebrows by turning the sixth-fastest lap in Saturday morning’s practice session and the fastest 10-lap average.

    Patrick rolled off 22nd in the race, fell to 30th in the early going and went a lap down, but she fought her way to a respectable 21st-place result. Her lap times through the second half of the race were among those of the leaders, so there were positive takeaways from the weekend – especially after the previous two weeks.

    While Patrick and the GoDaddy team have “found” speed, they’ll also be helping GoDaddy customers “get found” online through the next four races. A special GoDaddy/Get Found logo will appear on the green Chevrolet at upcoming races at Bristol, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    GoDaddy, the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, expanded its product portfolio in late January with the introduction of Get Found, which helps small businesses attract new customers via popular destinations including Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Yelp.

    Using GoDaddy Get Found, businesses can publish critical information like location, phone number, hours of operation, as well as service lists, menus and photos on search engines, social media, top local sites and mobile apps. Additionally, having updated and accurate information across various popular websites increases a customer’s visibility in search engine results.

    When consumers search for businesses and see inaccurate or conflicting information, they often go elsewhere. When a business signs up for Get Found and provides its business location, services, contact information, etc., the correct information is automatically pushed everywhere. Business owners are then also able to track where their business is showing up online and verify the correct material is displayed.

    Customers using Get Found at launch will be showcased on the Web, mobile sites and apps including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Foursquare, YP (Yellowpages), Citysearch, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, Local.com, Judy’s Book, MerchantCircle and MojoPages.

    Get Found is an evolution of the Locu product, which GoDaddy acquired in August 2013.

    While helping small business “Get Found,” Patrick, crew chief Tony Gibson and the rest of the GoDaddy/Get Found team will look to “find” more success and build on the momentum they have coming out of Las Vegas.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts heading into Bristol?

    “I’ve liked Bristol since I went there the first time. I remember when I set foot onto that track, it was the day before, it was load-in day and I looked out there and you’re standing on the straightaway, but it sure seems like a corner. It’s a very cool track and a spectacle for the fans. I feel like that is always the one that everyone says, ‘I want to come see a Bristol race.’ It’s always entertaining there for the fans and, hopefully, we can put on another good show for them this week.”

    Thoughts coming out of Vegas?

    “For us on the 10 car, we were really good all weekend. The guys gave me a great car. The weakest session we had all weekend was the last practice. I’m really happy with the cars this year. I was running with the leaders the last half of the race, but I was a lap down. Unfortunately, one car always stayed out (rather than pitting), so we couldn’t get our lap back (via the wave-around). And we just missed the Lucky Dog spot.”

    How crucial was it for you and the team to have a good weekend after bad luck the first two races?

    “It was huge. When things go bad, it can snowball quickly, but everyone kept his head up and kept working hard. And that can be hard to do when things get tough. The biggest thing I kept reminding myself was that we had really good cars. We just got taken out in accidents that we didn’t start. Our cars have been awesome all year and that’s a product of a lot of hard work by Tony Gibson and all the guys. I’m proud of their effort and I think we’ve got a lot of good days ahead. I’m excited for the next few races.”

    Your GoDaddy Chevrolet has the logo of “Get Found” on it for the next four races. Talk about that.

    “GoDaddy is all about helping small business succeed and this is another part of that. Being online is essential, but being able to be found online is even more important, and GoDaddy’s ‘Get Found’ product helps small business get found when people search for them on the Web and through Apps. On top of that, it makes sure that the information about the business is accurate, from location to hours of operation and phone numbers. It’s something you don’t really think about but is extremely important. It seems like, every month, GoDaddy comes out with something new and helpful for small business and this is a prime example of that. It’s a very cool feature.”

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  • Kobalt Tools 400 Post-Report

    Date: March 9, 2014
    Event: Kobalt 400 (Round 3 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 22nd/21st (Running, completed 266 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 33rd (36 points)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 21st in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, who started 22nd, fell to 30th in the early portion of the race and went a lap down, but she fought her way to a respectable 21st-place result.

    “For us on the 10 car, we were really good all weekend,” Patrick said. “The guys on the Aspen Dental Chevy gave me a great car. The weakest session we had all weekend was the last practice. I’m really happy with the cars this year. I was running with the leaders the last half of the race, but I was a lap down. Unfortunately, one car always stayed out (rather than pitting), so we couldn’t get our lap back (via the wave around). And we just missed the lucky dog spot.”

    For Patrick, it was a solid run, given her luck of the last two weeks. She was involved in accidents not of her making at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and at Phoenix International Raceway and finished 40th and 36th, respectively.

    “Obviously you always want more, but I’m happy with it, especially after what we’ve gone through the last two weeks,” Patrick said. “It’s a good day and gives us something to build on going to Bristol.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 26th, while Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, finished 33rd.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 41st. Harvick led twice for 23 laps, but an issue with a wheel hub forced him to the garage for repairs, and he finished the race 30 laps down.

    Brad Keselowski won the Kobalt 400 to score his 11th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Las Vegas.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished 1.530 seconds behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Paul Menard, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 18 laps, with only one driver failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round three of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 14th, 50 points behind first-place Earnhardt. Stewart is 27th, 85 points out of first. Busch is 28th, 86 points out of first, and Patrick is 33rd, 97 points behind Earnhardt.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Food City 500 on Sunday, March 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Kobalt Tools 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 5, 2014) – The city of Las Vegas has given plenty of people reason to smile through the years.

    Danica Patrick hopes to hit it big in Vegas this weekend and leave with a smile, but it won’t be on red or black on the Roulette table, nor will it be in her familiar green Chevrolet.

    For this weekend’s Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Patrick’s car will sport the blue and white colors of Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of dental care providers in the U.S. with more than 430 locations in communities across 27 states, providing millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable dental care.

    Every Aspen Dental practice offers a full range of dental services — including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, dentures, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work.

    Patrick is driving the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS at both Las Vegas this weekend and on Labor Day weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It’s part of Patrick shining a spotlight on an often overlooked healthcare issue – oral health. She’s teamed up with Aspen Dental to support the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community-giving initiative designed to deliver free dental care to thousands of people in need in communities across the U.S., and oral health education to millions more.

    Through the Healthy Mouth Movement, dentists and team members from Aspen Dental practices in 27 states will volunteer a day to provide much-needed dental care to those who need it most, free of charge, no questions asked. And to reach communities where care isn’t available, the newly constructed Aspen Dental MouthMobile – a fully-equipped dental office on wheels – will go directly into communities to not only provide free service, but to raise awareness.

    The Healthy Mouth Movement has already impacted communities across Florida and Georgia where, in just a single week in February, Aspen Dental teams delivered more than $136,000 in donated dentistry to nearly 400 patients.

    And if Patrick has a successful run Sunday, it won’t be the first time she’s left Vegas with a smile. In March 2011, she finished fourth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the best finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by Sarah Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts heading into Las Vegas?

    “Hopefully our luck turns around after Daytona and Phoenix. We just seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s disappointing because the crew has given me two great cars and we have nothing to show for it. We had a good run in the Nationwide Series race at Vegas a few years ago and we’d love to have another one. It seems like SHR is really headed in the right direction, especially with Kevin (Harvick’s) win last week. Congrats to him and the team. I think our cars are really strong and the hard word of the entire team is starting to show.”

    There are new colors on the car for you this week with the blue and white of Aspen Dental. Talk about that.

    “We do have different look this week. I’m excited about it. We’re lucky to have Aspen Dental on the car this week at Vegas and then in September at Atlanta. I spent some time at Aspen Dental’s headquarters in Syracuse (N.Y.) last year and have done a lot of work with them in the offseason and what they’re doing is amazing. I didn’t realize until I starting working with them that lack of dental care is a serious issue. Last year, 100 million Americans didn’t visit a dentist, and millions more live in communities with little or no access to dental care. It’s an issue that affects a lot of hard-working people, including NASCAR fans, who are often living in pain. Aspen Dental decided to do something about it, and that’s why I’m proud to partner with them.”

    How beneficial is the extra test day for the Aspen Dental team Thursday at Las Vegas?

    “I’m never going to complain about more track time. It’s helpful for me, it’s helpful for Tony Gibson (crew chief), it’s helpful for the engineers and the entire team. Hopefully we can learn a few things and have a good car for qualifying and the race. We still need to improve on qualifying and that’s going to be a big focus for us. Things are just so much easier when you qualify well and it’s frustrating when you don’t.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    The Aspen Dental team had a strong car last week at Phoenix before an accident took the team out of contention. Talk about that.

    “The car was really good at the start of the race. We moved up to 23rd by the first caution. Things were going well, the car was handling well and Danica was doing a phenomenal job. It’s one of those deals where, on the restarts, if you’re further back than 10th, you’re probably in jeopardy. And we got hooked up with the wrong guys back there and got knocked around and knocked the fenders in against the tires. We got it beat back out and didn’t lose a lap, so we’re we still looking pretty good. And then, on low air pressure, we had a fender brace get against the tire and cut it, so that’s when we spun and lost a few laps trying to get that fixed. It was a tough day for us but, on the good side of it, we had a fast car – probably the fastest car we’ve had in a long time. We were fast in happy hour. All of our Stewart-Haas cars were fast and Danica was really pumped coming into the race. We started the race passing cars and going forward but it just wasn’t meant to be. We’ll keep our head down and keep digging. Really proud of the guys on the 4 car (Kevin Harvick). They worked really hard to build a team from nothing and the whole company has pitched in and done a great job. It’s great for our company for Kevin to come out and dominate like that.”

    What do you tell Danica to pump her back up after a tough start to the season?

    “Well, it’s tough. Once we knew our day was pretty much done, we talked about it on the radio. She said herself, ‘We have to be proud of the car we brought today.’ The cars are better than they were last year, they’re faster. She’s more competitive. You’ve got to look at the bright side and pick out the positive parts of the day. When you have bad days, you’ve got to try to find a little glimmer of hope and that’s what we’re hoping to build on. We’re making progress and the good days will come.”

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  • The Profit on CNBC 500k Post-Report

    Date: March 2, 2014
    Event: The Profit on CNBC 500k (Round 2 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 33rd/36th (Running, completed 306 of 312 laps)
    Point Standing: 39th (13 points)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was caught up in a midrace accident not of her making midway through The Profit on CNBC 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and finished a disappointing 36th.

    Patrick, who had a strong car but lacked track position, was 24th and one lap down on lap 172 when she was involved in an accident in turn one with Justin Allgaier and Travis Kvapil. Her car suffered damage to the left front and left rear, but the GoDaddy crew was able to do a “quick fix” in order to get her out on track without losing a lap and dropping only to 27th.

    Unfortunately, just 13 laps later, the damaged left rear fender ended up rubbing against Patrick’s left rear tire, causing it to lose air. With a flat left rear tire, she spun in turn three, bringing out another caution. This time the GoDaddy crew was forced to do extensive repairs, and Patrick went four laps down and restarted in 39th.

    “It’s tough,” Patrick said. “That’s two weeks in a row we’ve had good cars and nothing to show for it. The car was good all day, we just needed track position. I’m starting to think if we didn’t have bad luck, we’d have no luck at all. The GoDaddy guys built me a great car for the second week in a row. I hate it for them, and I hate it for GoDaddy. This is obviously an important race for them. Hopefully things turn around in Las Vegas.”

    Last week, Patrick was involved in another accident not of her making at the 56th Daytona 500 and finished 40th.

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, started 13th and led four times for a race-high 224 laps en route to his fifth Sprint Cup win at Phoenix, where he is now the all-time leader in Sprint Cup victories. It was also Harvick’s 24th Sprint Cup victory in 468 career starts.

    It was the 20th point-paying Sprint Cup victory for SHR since the team’s inception in 2009.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished .489 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 16th. The fourth member of SHR, Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished 39th after suffering engine failure on lap 292.

    There were eight caution periods for 38 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 312-lap race.

    With round two of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is fourth, 11 points behind series leader Earnhardt. Stewart is 20th, 53 points out of first. Kurt Busch is 30th, 61 points out of first. Patrick is 39th, 77 points out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 2 p.m.

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  • The Profit on CNBC 500k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Feb. 25, 2014) – With the long days and nights of Daytona Speedweeks now gone, Danica Patrick and the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers begin the remainder of the marathon 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule with Sunday’s The Profit on CNBC 500k at Phoenix International Raceway.

    For many, Phoenix is just simply “Race No. 2.”

    But for Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), Phoenix means much more than just 312 laps around the mile oval.

    Patrick owns a home in Scottsdale, Ariz., but more importantly, the region is home to Patrick’s longtime sponsor, GoDaddy, the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses.

    GoDaddy and Patrick have been together since 2007 and navigated Patrick’s transition from IndyCar to NASCAR. In addition, Patrick has appeared in a record 13 Super Bowl commercials for GoDaddy, with the most recent airing earlier this month during Super Bowl XLVIII.

    With that as a backdrop, Patrick hopes to put on a good show for the many GoDaddy executives, employees and customers who will be in attendance at Sunday’s 500-kilometer Sprint Cup race.

    And while she wants to run well for GoDaddy, she also wants to rebound from a disappointing 37th-place finish in the 56th Daytona 500. She was caught up in an accident not of her making and her day was done after 145 of 200 laps.

    The season kicks into high gear this weekend and Patrick and the GoDaddy team know “It’s Go Time.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts heading into Phoenix?

    “We ran well there in the November 2012, my first race with (Tony) Gibson (as crew chief). Unfortunately, we haven’t left there without a torn-up racecar. We got caught up in accidents in November 2012 and then again in November 2013. We cut a tire and crashed last spring, so it’d be nice to have a good clean run with the GoDaddy car. I like Phoenix and Gibson has won there a few times. Hopefully, our luck will turn around and we can have a good smooth run and get back on track.”

    Thoughts on Daytona Speedweeks?

    “Obviously, it wasn’t what we were hoping it would be. We tore up two really good cars in accidents that we didn’t start. But that’s the nature of plate racing. A lot of times you’re caught up in things that you had nothing to do with. It was a tough couple of weeks and we didn’t get the results we wanted. The GoDaddy guys worked really hard, though, and I really appreciate that. They had a lot thrown at them and they worked hard and stayed positive. I know the rain delay was tough on every team, not just ours, especially turning around and going to Phoenix this week. People don’t see how hard the crews work. I’ve got a great team that works hard and believes in me and I’m really fortunate to have them behind me.”

    Phoenix is a big weekend for the GoDaddy team, given that the company is based in nearby Scottsdale. Talk about that.

    “It’s always fun to go to Phoenix because of GoDaddy. We’ll go out on Thursday and see a lot of the executives and employees. It’s really fun to talk to everyone because I always want to know what the latest and greatest is with GoDaddy and new things they are doing, and they want to ask me about racing and what we’re doing. I’m fortunate that we get to race in GoDaddy’s hometown twice a year so we get to visit them and have them at the track. I think it’s really important and it’s nice knowing I’ve got a lot of fans pulling for me at the racetrack.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on how the new qualifying format will work at Phoenix?

    “Phoenix is a weird place because, the later you go, the better the track is because it’s cooler. So everyone will be hanging out waiting to go at the very end. For us, we have to weigh out whether we want to – do we want to risk going late and getting caught in traffic, or do we want to go a little earlier and get clean laps? That’s something we’re going to have to pick through as we go. For me, I’m leaning toward going a little bit earlier than most of the other guys go, just so I know I can get a clean lap. It’s going to be hectic, it’s going to be crowded, it’s going to be crazy. You’re going to have people blending onto the racetrack and off the racetrack while people are running, so it’s going to be interesting. It could be a disaster or it could be really cool. We’ll see how it goes.”

    You said that qualifying is one area where the GoDaddy team needs to improve in 2014. How challenging is it to try to adapt to a new formula while also trying to improve from 2013?

    “It’s difficult because now we’re trying to figure what the best scenario is for us and for her to do this. So, you throw that on top of her just trying to get better at qualifying. Now, we can’t take what we did last year and just tune on that. We’ve got a whole different thing to worry about. It may help us. Who knows? The car is only going to be at its best when it has max downforce, least amount of drag and the tires are at their maximum. That’s usually at one or two laps.”

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  • Daytona 500 Post-Report

    Date: Feb. 23, 2014
    Event: 56th Daytona 500 (Round 1 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 27th/40th (Running, completed 145 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 37th (5 points)
    Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 40th in the season-opening Daytona 500 after a hard crash ended her night 145 laps into the 200-lap race.

    Patrick, who led once for two laps, was running midpack on lap 145 when the cars of Kevin Harvick, Brian Scott and Aric Almirola got together exiting turn four and Almirola’s machine was sent into the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall. Almirola’s No. 43 Ford then shot across the track and hit Patrick’s GoDaddy Chevy in the rear, causing her machine to veer to the right and make hard contact with the concrete retaining wall on the outside of the frontstretch.

    Her car came to rest in the infield grass, too heavily damaged for her to continue. She was checked and released from the infield care center.

    “I think more than anything I am just upset because the GoDaddy car felt really good and it was the best car that I had all Speedweeks,” Patrick said. “It seemed like we could catch whoever and it seemed like we could move around, make lanes and just move around and move forward at the end of the day. I felt like everything was going pretty well, so it’s just upsetting. It’s a bummer, but you know that is the excitement of speedway racing that anything can happen, and it was unfortunate that I was on the short end of the accident. But that is the kind of thing that happens, and I appreciate everyone sticking around and watching, and we will go get them at Phoenix.”

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR at Daytona by finishing 13th.

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 21st after leading once for 15 laps.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 35th after encountering fuel pressure issues midway through the race and completing only 174 of 200 laps. It was Stewart’s 16th start in the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and his first since Aug. 4, 2013, at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, as Stewart missed the last 15 races of the 2013 season while he recovered from a broken right leg sustained in a sprint car crash on Aug. 5.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr., won the Daytona 500 to score his 20th career Sprint Cup victory and second Daytona 500 win. He also won in 2004.

    Denny Hamlin finished behind Earnhardt in the runner-up spot as the race ended under caution, while Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Greg Biffle, Austin Dillon and Casey Mears comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 39 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race, which was stopped for 6 hours, 22 minutes after just 38 laps due to rain.

    With round one of 36 complete, Kevin Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 12th, 17 points behind first-place Earnhardt. Busch is 20th, 24 points out of first. Stewart is 32nd, 39 points out of first. Patrick is 37th, 43 points out of first.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is The Profit on CNBC 500k on Sunday, March 2 at Phoenix International Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 2 p.m.

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  • Drive4COPD 300 Post-Report

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fl(February 23, 2014) - Danica Patrick had a strong start to the beginning of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season, taking the green flag from the third position after an impressive 1-2-3 qualifying effort by Turner Scott Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway. However, a loss of track position and difficulty to make passes under green kept the No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet outside the top 10 for a majority of the day, ultimately resulting in a 19th-place finish in the Drive4COPD 300.

    Turner Scott Motorsports kicked off the 2014 season in an exceptional manner, laying down the first, second and third-fastest lap times in NASCAR's new qualifying format. Setting the third-quickest time with a 46.867-second lap, Patrick and the No. 30 team were poised for a strong day in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. After the wave of the green flag, Patrick's line quickly lost momentum, and by the time the first caution flag of the day waved on lap nine, Patrick was mired back in the 19th position. Patrick reported to crew chief Mike Greci that everything about her Chevrolet Camaro's balance felt fine, but that it was difficult to make passes running in two side-by-side lines and that track position really depended on being in the right place at the right time. Greci called his driver into the pits for fuel and a chassis adjustment, sending her back out onto the track in the 16th spot.

    A long green-flag run ensued after the lap-15 restart, forcing the field to begin green-flag pit stops on lap 50. Bringing her Florida Lottery machine to the attention of her crew on lap 52, Patrick, who was scored 21st, received two right-side tires and fuel before returning to the track in the 15th position. Greci reported to Patrick, who had commented before the stop that her Camaro was beginning to get a little bit tight, that her right-rear tire was going flat, and was likely the cause of her tight condition.

    The 57-lap green-flag run came to an end on lap 72 for a debris caution, and Patrick was scored 14th now that pit stops had cycled completely through. Patrick commented that she was having a very difficult time getting by anyone with the two-lane racing and inability to push other cars, but remarked that she believed that the inside line was the best way to go. Patrick was once again called to pit road for two right-side tires and fuel, and she returned to the track in 13th, with several competitors opting to go with fuel-only stops.

    With 45 laps remaining, the action on the racetrack grew dicier, with more competitors risking going three-wide in order to gain track position. Patrick remained in the 13th position when the yellow flag waved on lap 94, and she was summoned to pit road for a quick splash of fuel to ensure that she could make it to the end in the event of a green/white/checkered finish. The strategy came in handy when the final caution flag of the day waved on lap 117 with Patrick scored in 17th, setting the field up for the first attempt at a green/white/checkered finish. With the field once again running side-by-side lines, Patrick was unable to make a move to fight her way to the front, ultimately crossing the finish line in 19th and narrowly avoiding a melee after the wave of the checkered flag.

    "This really wasn't quite as much fun as I'd hoped it would be," said Patrick after the race. "It was great to be able to bring my Florida Lottery Chevrolet home in one piece at a superspeedway race, but I felt a little helpless out there without being able to draft the way we're all used to. It was really tough to make any moves or gain positions, and everything really depended on what line you wound up in. I really have to thank Turner Scott Motorsports for building me such a fast car and Florida Lottery for the chance to run this race; I always enjoy competing in the Nationwide Series. I think I definitely learned a lot about this new style of superspeedway racing, which I think will help me out a lot in the future."

    The NNS next heads to Phoenix International Raceway for the Blue Jeans Go Green 200 presented by Cotton, The Fabric of Our Lives on Saturday, March 1 at 3:45 p.m. EST.

    First Practice

    Position: 12th

    Laps: 12

    Fastest Lap: 48.243

    Final Practice

    Position: -

    Laps: -

    Fastest Lap: -

    Qualifying

    Position: 3rd

    Fastest Lap: 46.867

    Race

    Position: 19th

    Laps Led: 0

    Laps Completed/Total Laps: 121/121

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  • Budweiser Duel Post-Report

    Date: Feb. 20, 2014
    Event: Budweiser Duel at Daytona (non-point qualifying races for the 56th Daytona 500)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 13th/13th (Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Budweiser Duel No. 1)
    Winners: Budweiser Duel No. 1 – Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
    Budweiser Duel No. 2 – Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 13th in the first Budweiser Duel qualifying race Thursday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    The Budweiser Duel consists of twin qualifying races that set the 43-car field for the season-opening Daytona 500, and Patrick earned the 27th starting position for Sunday’s race. However, because the GoDaddy team changed an engine earlier in the week, per NASCAR rules, Patrick will drop to the rear of the field before the green flag drops on the “Great American Race.”

    Despite having to drop to the rear of the field, Patrick and the GoDaddy team escaped any significant damage in the Budweiser Duel, a concern for drivers and teams every year.

    “I think every time there is a chance that something could happen, then you worry that it could happen,” Patrick said. “From a couple of days ago, it was really more the mentality ‘Let’s just go out and race,’ and ‘Let’s just see if we can make something happen.’ ‘Let’s see what happens when we try various different things.’ That is kind of what I did out there. I kind of keep getting the same results when I try things as in like when I try this, this happens. When I try that, that happens. That’s all good information for Sunday, to be honest.”

    Patrick knows she will have to come from the rear of the field but is confident in her ability to do it.

    “It could be challenging, but I think if you get a few people behind you, I think it will be fine,” Patrick said. “I know my GoDaddy pit crew is really good, so I know when it comes to pit stops, they’ll help get cars behind me. They are awesome. I know that (crew chief Tony) Gibson will try strategy to get me track position. With those two things, we’ll get in the thick of it. From there it will be a matter of using those things that I have learned over the last week and put them to good use.”

    Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR by finishing third in the second Budweiser Duel race He will start eighth for the Daytona 500.

    Patrick’s other SHR teammates – Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS and Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS – competed with her in the first Duel. Stewart finished 10th and Harvick was credited with a 24th-place finish.

    Harvick actually finished second in his Duel but was dropped to last place after his car failed post-race inspection. NASCAR officials determined his car “exceeded the maximum split on the track bar.” As a result, Harvick will start 38th in the Daytona 500 via a provisional.

    Stewart earned the 21st starting spot for the Daytona 500, but like Patrick, he will drop to the rear of the field due to an engine change.

    Matt Kenseth won the first Budweiser Duel by .022 of a second over Harvick. With Harvick’s second-place run being stricken from the record, everyone behind Harvick moved up a position. Kasey Kahne finished second, while Marcos Ambrose, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Josh Wise took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Aric Almirola, A.J. Allmendinger, David Gilliland, Ryan Newman and Stewart.

    Denny Hamlin won the second Budweiser Duel, which ended under caution due to a multicar accident on the last lap just before the checkered flag. Jeff Gordon finished second, while Busch, Paul Menard and Brian Scott comprised the remainder of the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 were Trevor Bayne, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Landon Cassill and Clint Bowyer.

    With the Budweiser Duel now complete, the field for the Daytona 500 is set. On the pole is Austin Dillon, and alongside him is Truex. By notching the two quickest times during Sunday’s time trials, both drivers were able to lock themselves into the front row for the Daytona 500. Truex, however, will have to move to the back of the Daytona 500, for he was involved in the last-lap wreck in the second Duel which forced him to a backup racecar.

    Failing to qualify for the Daytona 500 were Ryan Truex, Michael McDowell, Joe Nemechek, Morgan Shepherd, Eric McClure and Dave Blaney.

    The Daytona 500 gets underway at 1 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 23, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Drive4COPD 300 Pre-Report

    Danica Patrick
    No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Camaro
    Daytona International Speedway
    DRIVE4COPD 300
    February 22, 2014

    Ready, Set, Go...The 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season opens at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) this Saturday, February 22. Danica Patrick, who embarks on her second full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season this year, will be behind the wheel of the No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Camaro for Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) in the NNS season opener. The race will mark Patrick's third event for TSM, and will be her 61st-career start in the NNS. Veteran crew chief Mike Greci will be calling the shots from atop the pit box.

    DIS Stats...Patrick, who made her NASCAR debut at DIS in 2010, has six previous NNS starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Patrick has one top-10 finish, which she earned in July of 2011, and one pole, which she earned in February of 2012. In her six events at the Daytona Beach, Fla. track, Patrick has started in the top five three times and has never taken the green from outside the top 15, tallying an average start of 7.0. Patrick made her TSM debut in last year's season opener and surged to an early lead before an electrical failure forced her to retire early and resulted in a 36th-place finish.

    This Week's Camaro...Patrick and the No. 30 team will unload chassis TSM-334 for this weekend's race at DIS. TSM-334 utilized three times in 2013 (Daytona I, Talladega Superspeedway, Daytona II) by Justin Allgaier. Allgaier's best finish was achieved at Talladega where he scored a fifth-place finish.

    Watch and Listen...The DRIVE4COPD 300 can be seen live on Saturday, February 22 on ESPN. Race coverage will begin at 1:15 p.m. EST, and the event can also be heard live on MRN Radio, as well as SiriusXM Radio, channel 90.

    Danica Patrick on driving at Daytona International Speedway

    "I've run some really strong races at Daytona in the past, but with the racing at superspeedways being what it is, I haven't always had the finishes to reflect how well we ran. Every time I come to one of these superspeedway tracks, I learn a little more; it really comes down to patience and being in the right place at the right time. Turner Scott Motorsports has built me two really great cars in the past, and I have no doubt the same will be true this weekend. [Teammate] Dylan [Kwasniewski] was very fast when the team came down and tested last month, and I've got two strong teammates to work with. I appreciate Florida Lottery coming on board and allowing me to run this race, so hopefully we'll be able to get them into victory lane."

    NNS results at Daytona International Speedway:
    Starts: 6
    Wins: 0
    Poles: 1
    Top 5: 0
    Top 10: 0
    Laps Led: 5
    Average Start: 8.0
    Average Finish: 37.5

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  • Sprint Unlimited Post-Report

    Date: Feb. 15, 2014
    Event: Sprint Unlimited (non-points race)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 12th/16th (Accident, completed 35 of 75 laps)
    Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was caught in a multicar accident and finished a disappointing 16th in the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    Patrick, who ran as high as fourth in the early part of the event, was involved in a lap 35 accident along with Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and her SHR teammates Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch. The accident began with the cars ahead of Patrick, and she went low on the track and into the infield grass to try to avoid the crash. By doing so, she lost control of the car and spun before being hit by Stenhouse’s car.

    “I didn’t know how far they (the cars in front) were going to come down or go up,” Patrick said. “You just don’t know how the accident is going to keep unfolding, so I just went as low as I could. I thought I would end up just going straight through the grass, but I don’t know if it is just a little bit of a dropoff or if it’s wet, but it just hooked on it and spun around. I was sitting there and pretty much just about stopped, and then I got hit and that was it.

    “Ricky (Stenhouse) said his hood was up so he couldn't see anything, which is a bummer because I was pretty much just going to need four tires. It was a real bummer, because I was having fun and I felt like I was really learning a lot. It was good to run with those guys. It would have been nice to get it to the end for the experience and for GoDaddy.”

    The Sprint Unlimited is a non-points exhibition race featuring drivers who won a pole during the 2013 season, as well as past winners of the Sprint Unlimited. Patrick earned her way in by winning the pole for last year’s Daytona 500.

    Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR by finishing fifth. It was Harvick’s sixth top-five finish in 10 career Sprint Unlimited starts. He won the event in 2009, 2010 and 2013 and was the only SHR driver to finish the 75-lap race.

    Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, was credited with an 11th-place finish. He earned his way into the race by being a three-time winner of the Sprint Unlimited (2001, 2002 and 2007).

    Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished 14th. He won the Sprint Unlimited in 2011.

    Denny Hamlin won the Sprint Unlimited. It was his second win in the non-points race, with his first victory coming in 2006.

    Brad Keselowski finished .197 of a second behind Hamlin in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Harvick rounded out the top-five. Jamie McMurray, Marcos Ambrose, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 13 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish.

    Next up for SHR is qualifying for the 56th Daytona 500, where Stewart, Patrick, Harvick and Busch will be among 49 drivers going for the pole. Qualifying is set to get under way at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 16, with live coverage provided by FOX. The Budweiser Duel – twin 150-mile races that will set the rest of the Daytona 500 field – takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1. Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona then culminates with the Daytona 500 at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at noon.

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  • Danica to Run Daytona NW Race with TMS

    MOORESVILLE, N.C. (February 12, 2014) – It was announced today that Danica Patrick will pilot Turner Scott Motorsports’ third entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Daytona International Speedway. Patrick, who will compete in her second full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) in 2014, will be behind the wheel of the No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Camaro in the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300. Veteran crew chief Mike Greci will once again be calling the shots from atop the pit box.

    Patrick made her TSM debut in last year’s season opener and surged to an early lead before an electrical failure forced her to retire early and resulted in a 36th-place finish. The former IndyCar driver made her Nationwide Series debut at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in 2010 and has six previous NNS starts in Daytona, with a best finish of 10th (July, 2011). Patrick has three top-five NNS starts at the Daytona Beach, Fla. track, including one pole award, which she earned in the first race of the 2012 season. Patrick earned the pole in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the February event at the track in 2013, ending the race with a solid eighth-place finish.

    Patrick, who is the first woman in history to win an IndyCar race, has raced in a total of 60 NNS events, completing one full-time season in 2012. The Roscoe, Ill. native also earned the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver award following her first full-time NNS campaign. In her first full-time season of NSCS competition, Patrick finished the season with one top 10, one pole and was running at the finish of 31 events.

    Patrick will be sponsored by the Florida Lottery for the event, which has partnered with TSM in the past with drivers Ben Kennedy, James Buescher and Nelson Piquet Jr. The Florida Lottery’s sole mission is to generate as much revenue as possible, through ticket sales and promotions, for the benefit of education in the state of Florida. The Lottery reinvests nearly 98-percent of its revenue back into Florida's economy through transfers to education, prize payouts, commissions to Florida retailers and payments to vendors. Since the Lottery opened its doors in 1988, more than $26 billion has been transferred to the state’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.

    "I'm really looking forward to competing in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona once again and driving the No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Camaro,” said Patrick. “Turner Scott Motorsports is a great organization and I worked really well with Mike Greci and the whole team in both of the races I did with them last year. I know that I’m definitely capable of a win this year working with that group, it just comes down to making it until the end. I have to thank Florida Lottery for coming on board; they’re giving me the opportunity to run this race and to support education in the state of Florida.”

    Turner Scott Motorsports heads to Daytona International Speedway as a previous winner of the February race; 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher claimed his first NNS win at the season opener in 2012. Patrick will partner with TSM teammates Kyle Larson and Dylan Kwasniewski for the 300-mile event.

    “We are so happy to announce that Danica will be returning to TSM in Daytona,” said team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. “We think a lot of Danica and she was a very strong competitor in both of the races that she ran for us last year. Restrictor-plate racing is tough, but she’s shown a lot of skill at Daytona in the past. I have no doubt that she has everything it takes to bring our car to victory lane.

    The NASCAR Nationwide Series season kicks off on Saturday, February 22 with the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. The race will air live on ESPN and MRN beginning at 1:15 p.m. ET.

    About Turner Scott Motorsports: Turner Scott Motorsports was established in 1999 by Texas businessman Steve Turner, who was joined by partner Harry Scott Jr. as co-owner in 2013. This season will mark the fourth season of full-time NASCAR competition for the organization, which expanded in 2011 from a two-truck operation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) to become the largest stand-alone multi-series team in NASCAR’s top-tier touring series. The team earned its first championship when James Buescher captured the NCWTS title in 2012. Turner Scott Motorsports operates out of an 110,000 square-foot state-of-the art facility in Mooresville, N.C. The Chevrolet-backed team has created alliances with General Motors’ powerhouse team Hendrick Motorsports, which provides engine support for both its NNS and NCWTS programs, and Earnhardt Technology Group for drive train and suspension technology assistance. For more information on Turner Scott Motorsports, visit www.TurnerScottMotorsports.com.

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  • Speedweeks Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Feb. 11, 2014) – Danica Patrick’s 2014 Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway will be different than the 2013 version. But the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) wants to at least experience some similarities.

    Two changes stand out: Patrick’s participation in the non-points Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 15, and the move of the Budweiser Duel 150-mile qualifying races from its traditional Thursday afternoon slot to Thursday night under the lights (Feb. 20).

    Patrick’s participation in the Sprint Unlimited comes via her historic pole position in last year’s Daytona 500, when she became the first woman to ever qualify in the top spot for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. All 17 drivers that won a Sprint Cup pole in 2013 are eligible, as are Terry Labonte, Ken Schrader and SHR co-owner Tony Stewart, all of whom are past winners of the event.

    The exhibition race will give Patrick valuable track time in race conditions, which will help her prepare for the Budweiser Duel and the 56th Daytona 500. Her car for the Sprint Unlimited will be familiar, Chassis No. 10-758, which Patrick drove when she started on the pole and finished a career-best eighth in last year’s Daytona 500.

    In addition to her history-making pole run and Daytona 500 finish, Patrick also led twice for five laps to become the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead a Sprint Cup race under green. Janet Guthrie previously led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    Her car for qualifying, the Budweiser Duel and the Daytona 500 will be Chassis No. 10-835, a brand new GoDaddy Chevrolet built by Daytona Beach native Tony Gibson and his veteran crew. It has performed well in wind-tunnel tests and will make its on-track debut during the first Daytona 500 practice on Saturday, Feb. 15.

    With an extra race and the format of Budweiser Speedweeks changing, Patrick, Gibson and the GoDaddy crew are prepared for a different experience at Daytona than the one they cultivated 12 months ago. But the same successful mindset they employed last year at Daytona is in place again this year, bolstering their chances for another strong showing on NASCAR’s biggest stage.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on beginning your sophomore season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series?

    “Our goal is ultimately, of course, to progress from where we were last year, but we really didn’t finish in the top-15 very much, and I think that’s something we thought we were going to be able to do based on just the 10 races I had done in 2012. Top-20 wasn’t really a problem, and having a great run at Phoenix for a 12th or 13th or whatever it was going to be with about a lap left and getting punted. It’s the goal again this year. You have to set one goal and then, once you achieve it, move on to the next one. It’s true, there is so much enthusiasm with the team and everybody around the shop and all the drivers and everybody. I really feel like this is a year where we might not make a small step in the right direction, but I feel like we’ll hopefully make a big jump in the right direction. Kevin (Harvick) is super excited, and Kurt (Busch) is, and I know Tony (Stewart) is itching to get back in the car. For me, I love being able to have those guys around to ask questions to, and they want to help me, and that feels good.”

    You have two new teammates at SHR with Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch joining you and Tony. Do you get along with all of them?

    “I get along with all of them very well. I mean, Tony and I go so far back. Gosh, I remember watching Kurt test in IndyCar at Sebring back when I was not even a Formula Atlantic driver, And, I suppose outside of the car, Kevin and I have actually spent a fair amount of time hanging out. We went and played golf last year, had dinner with him. So I feel like I know all of them pretty well. I mean, Kevin was definitely very helpful at the test, you know, just giving me little pointers as to what to do and things to think about out there, and he said that’s the case with every track. There are a couple of things with every track that he’ll be able to point out, and that’s a very valuable thing for me. That’s not something everyone has the opportunity to have. I don’t intend on wasting it, and if I haven’t seen him early on in a weekend, I will seek him out and get those little tidbits he said were going to be the case for every track. But I have a feeling everyone is going to be helpful. And I know it’s definitely not up to them to come to me. It’s about me going to them.”

    Are you excited to participate in the Sprint Unlimited?

    “Being able to do the Sprint Unlimited race is a great bonus for me. Helps us get warmed up for the year, helps us most importantly get warmed up for the Daytona 500, and just get more laps. There’s nothing like racing there. Even practice you don’t – there’s so much on the line that you have to be – you’ve got to be a little bit careful along the way. But when you’re in a race condition, you’re completely 100 percent. So it’ll be good to do that. I’m lucky and fortunate that I’m in it, and it was all because we qualified on the pole for the Daytona 500.”

    What is your comfort level like compared to a year ago?

    “I just feel like I know the car much better than I did at this point last year, have been to all the tracks now, have a general idea of a better way to go about the race weekend. That leads to better results, whether it be qualifying, practice or race, and just what it takes to get there. I think those are the things I learned from last year that make me feel more comfortable going into this year.”

    What did you learn in your first full season of Sprint Cup racing?

    “I would say I really just learned how much commitment it takes and how much attention to detail you need to be competitive. At the Cup level, it is ultra-competitive and people are pushing extremely hard, and you can feel like there’s nothing more you can do, but you have to keep digging deeper and you have to keep that pace up. It seems like we made some progress through the summer last year when we were pushing very hard after we had a struggling start, all of us as a team, and you see progress and then you kind of sit on that, and all of a sudden you get that progress seems to become invisible again. You have to have such an intense commitment to getting better every single day.”

    How was your offseason?

    “It was nice. The season ended and, the next day, Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) and his family and myself and my family, we all went on vacation together. That was probably one of the highlights of it. That was a lot of fun. We went down to the Caribbean for five days and got sunburned and had a good time. That was probably one of the most fun things we did. But I love the offseason for the holidays and I love spending time with family, and we did lots of that.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Last year, short of winning, the GoDaddy team had about as perfect Budweiser Speedweeks as possible. How hard will it be to repeat that?

    “The top priority is to have a smooth Budweiser Speedweeks. I’ve been there multiple times and it’d be a disaster. I’d rather it be a smooth, consistent Speedweeks – be competitive and be fast. If we’re able to get down there and have a shot to repeat and get the pole again, that’s great. Obviously there are no guarantees. We’re going down there with the attitude that we can do it. The mindset is to go down there and try to sit on the pole again. If we can’t sit on the pole, then we’ll do the best we can. We’re in the Sprint Unlimited, too, and that’s a wide-open race for everyone, so there’s no reason to hold back. You need to be aggressive and get what you can.”

    What is your strategy for the Sprint Unlimited?

    “The fans are going to dictate your strategy because they’re going to vote on how long each segment is going to be and when and how we pit, so it’s hard to go in there with any strategy. The fans are going to dictate what you do, so we’re going to have to play that by ear. We have all four Stewart-Haas cars in the Sprint Unlimited and three from Hendrick Motorsports, so we have a decent amount of support this year. It should be pretty exciting.”

    With the Budweiser Duels now at night, does that change your strategy?

    “The only thing that may change is a little bit of aerodynamic changes. The track will probably be a little bit more free at night. So maybe just a little bit of a handling deal that we may have to go through that we normally wouldn’t go through during the day. It’s not going to change too much, though.”

    You and your team have so much experience with the two weeks at Daytona. How important is experience given how grueling the days can be?

    “It’s a stressful time. Especially when you have a two activities in the same three or four days. With qualifying going on and Sprint Unlimited practice and the race, there’s a lot of stuff going on. That first week is really tough to keep everyone focused and not make mistakes and keep everybody calm and make it a smooth weekend. I think where the experience comes in is when you do have problems and you do have setbacks during that first few days. Having a crew that’s experienced and been through that, they know how to rebound from it and they know how to react to adversity. The experience my guys have – they’ve been through about everything you can go through.”

    What are the goals for the GoDaddy team in 2014?

    “I think the biggest thing I want to accomplish is to be a more competitive top-20 racecar. Be able to run in the top-20 more frequently and get better in our qualifying. I know qualifying is going to be a different procedure this year, so I don’t know that you’ll be able to compare last year to this year – we’ll have to wait and see. Our goal is to try and qualify further up in the field, which helps our race program. Qualify better and race in the top-20, that’s our goal.”

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  • Ford EcoBoost 400 Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 17, 2013
    Event: Ford EcoBoost 400 (Round 36 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)}
    Start/Finish: 24th/20th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (646 points)
    Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Champion: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 20th in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    Patrick, who started 24th, twice went a lap down to the leaders. But she rallied both times to return to the lead lap via the “Lucky Dog” rule, which states the first car one lap down when the caution comes out gets its lap back.

    “I’m proud of the GoDaddy guys,” said Patrick, who made her 46th Sprint Cup start and her first at Homestead. “They gave me a good, consistent car that drove well. Tony Gibson (crew chief) made great calls all night, and the pit crew was outstanding, as they always are. The handling and the balance were good all night, and we did a good job of keeping up with the track and changes that needed to be made. It was a solid run for us – a good way to end the year and go into the offseason.”

    Patrick, who was competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished two spots in the race ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 22nd. Patrick finished the season 27th in the point standings with 646 points. She finished runner-up to Stenhouse for 2013 Rookie of the Year title.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 17th. The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 19th.

    Denny Hamlin won the Ford EcoBoost 400 to score his 23rd career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his second at Homestead.

    Matt Kenseth finished .799 of a second behind Hamlin in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 37 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    Newman represented SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and came into the final race of the 10-race Chase in 11th place among the 13 Chase drivers. He ended the season 11th in the standings with 2,286 points.

    This was the sixth Sprint Cup title for Johnson, one shy of the record of seven Sprint Cup championships earned by NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.

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  • Ford EcoBoost 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Nov. 12, 2013) – On Friday, Danica Patrick will attend her 46th and final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie meeting. And for the 46th and final time, the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will sport yellow stripes on the rear bumper.

    Come Monday, Nov. 18, Danica Patrick will no longer be a rookie in NASCAR’s top division.

    While the 2013 season was “officially” designated as Patrick’s rookie season, she also drove 10 Sprint Cup races last year for SHR, which meant 46 rookie meetings and 46 races with a yellow rookie stripe.

    Like any rookie season, it’s been a year of highs and lows for Patrick and the GoDaddy team. And the year started off on a high note that prompted several rewrites in the history books.

    Short of winning the 55th Daytona 500, Patrick’s participation in February’s Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway was nearly flawless.

    She was the fastest during the first practice of the year Feb. 16, then backed that up by winning the pole for the Daytona 500 one day later to become the first woman ever to claim the top spot for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. She stayed out of trouble for the remainder of Speedweeks and ran in the top-three for much of the Daytona 500 before dropping from third to eighth on the final lap.

    She set one NASCAR record with her eighth-place finish, which was the highest finishing position ever earned by a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    In addition to her history-making pole run and finish in the Daytona 500, Patrick also led five laps – 90 to 91 and 127 to 129 – becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead Sprint Cup Series laps under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 13 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish this feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Stewart. Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 15 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    Two months later at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Patrick shocked some NASCAR observers with an impressive 12th-place finish at the .526-mile paper-clip oval, known for being especially hard on rookies. It was made more impressive by the fact she started 43rd after an engine change before the race. She looked like a veteran on the shortest track on the circuit which, viewed from the air, looks like a paperclip as its long straightaways lead into tight, flat turns. The racing there can be described as “give-and-take,” with drivers giving some bumps and taking some bumps as 43 cars fight for space on its tight confines.

    None of that seemed to be an issue for Patrick, whose impressive rookie performance bested those of some other name drivers in their Martinsville debuts, most notably her team owner Tony Stewart, who finished 20th in his first Martinsville start in 1999. Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut in 2002. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th in 1984. Dale Jarrett finished 14th in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 26th in 2000. Kyle Busch finished 39th in 2005. Matt Kenseth finished 21st in 2000. Kurt Busch finished 37th in 2000. And Fred Lorenzen finished 24th in 1956.

    Patrick hopes to score another solid finish in Sunday’s 400-mile season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. And then like most of the NASCAR community – take some time off.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve just about completed your first full season in Sprint Cup. What was the biggest transition from IndyCar to the Nationwide Series, and then Nationwide to Sprint Cup?

    “That’s a good question. It was definitely a bigger transition to go from Indy cars to stock cars. It’s just that I was doing it on a smaller platform with the Nationwide Series. I’m really glad that GoDaddy was supportive of the recommended process of getting to Sprint Cup. If I had gone from IndyCar straight to Sprint Cup, it would have been an incredible challenge. I’m appreciative of my partners standing behind the recommended way to do things and to have that patience and belief. Stock cars are definitely a lot different than an IndyCar. Understanding the flow of the races and what the cars do, it was important to have the base of the Nationwide Series experience before going to Cup. It’s still very hard, but it was definitely bigger going in from open wheel.”

    Can you look back on your progress and how it’s been and perhaps where you would like it to be?

    “I feel like the rookie year I’ve had has been actually similar to Nationwide, to be honest. I wasn’t super-fast figuring out how to go fast. When I figured out how to go faster, it was riddled with bad luck, things happening and silly mistakes. Then, come the end of the year, I started to get it together, it did happen. A lot of that happened this year. I’d like to be running better at this point. A couple of weeks ago at Martinsville was definitely a better weekend for us. We’ve been qualifying better at some of the tracks. At Charlotte, by the end of the race, I said I didn’t know what else you could do to make it better other than throwing a couple hundred pounds more downforce on this thing so I could go faster, or 50 pounds or 20 pounds or anything.

    “We have been making improvements but, at the same time, come the end of the year, because we’ve been looking ahead to next year, we’ve also been taking bigger chances. We’re trying different things with the car that we haven’t tested because we need to get ahead for next year. While we’re not throwing away this year, we are using it as a way to get ready for 2014. Those are some things that hadn’t happened at the end of my Nationwide year. It’s been similar but on a slightly diluted level because everyone is so good in Sprint Cup. If we can find our way to the next little level, it’s going to be really competitive and a much more satisfying spot to be in. I can’t tell you where I expected to be. I don’t know. I’ve always said to you guys the last couple of years that everyone learns at a different pace and a different rate. There are going to be times when I do better than you expect, and there are going to be times where I do worse that you expect. That path is going to happen for a couple of years until you can get into a rhythm and know what you’re doing.”

    What have you learned about yourself this year?

    “I always thought I was a patient driver and methodical, and there is a lot of that. But I really realized this year how getting a little overly excited or anxious or frustrated can bite you so hard. We’re that close to the edge all the time. You push that limit and bad things can happen. I’ve found that I’ve had to be more patient than I am normally. That’s one thing that, as far as a personality in the car, that has surprised me a little bit.”

    Are you ready for the season to be over?

    “I’ve always said, I’ll never turn down a little time off. It will be good to get some rest. It’s the longest season I’ve ever done. It’s 40 weeks, with two off weekends. One of those is Easter and one of those I was in a wedding, so I haven’t really had the chance to ‘choose’ what I wanted to do for quite some time (laughs). I’ve said for the last couple of weeks, I’m not tired from the season, I’m tired of the season. It will be nice to get away some and recharge for 2014.”

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  • AdvoCare 500k Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 10, 2013
    Event: AdvoCare 500k (Round 35 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 32nd/33rd (Running, completed 302 of 312 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (622 points)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 33rd after being involved in an accident on lap 146 of the AdvoCare 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

    Patrick, who started 32nd, battled a loose-handling racecar early in the event and then was caught in an accident not of her making at the midway point of the race.

    “It was a tough day all around,” said Patrick, who made her 45th Sprint Cup start and her third at Phoenix. “We started out pretty loose and got down a lap early. Then obviously we got caught up in the accident. Someone spun in front of me, and there was so much smoke I started to check up, and all of a sudden my car got hit from behind. It tore the back of the car up pretty good. It’s disappointing, but the GoDaddy guys did a good job of fixing it as best they could so we could finish. It’s tough to have a day like this, especially with a lot of people from GoDaddy here watching. Obviously, we wanted to put a better performance on for them. We’ll go to Homestead and see if we can have a good run to end the season.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 21 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 12th. Patrick fell two spots to 27th in the point standings and has 622 points.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 10th. The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 15th.

    Kevin Harvick won the AdvoCare 500k to score his 23rd career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his fourth at Phoenix.

    Kasey Kahne finished 1.796 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five. Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 49 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 312-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup and entered the ninth race of the 10-race Chase 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 118 points behind Chase leader Johnson. Newman leaves Phoenix in 11th, 125 points behind Johnson, who is 28 points ahead of second-place Kenseth.

    Just one race remains before a champion is crowned following the Ford EcoBoost 400 Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Heading into the season finale, the top-13 Chase drivers rank as follows, with only Johnson, Kenseth and Harvick eligible for the title.

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  • AdvoCare 500k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Nov. 5, 2013) – Danica Patrick knows she’s made a name for herself at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. It is those two tracks were she’s enjoyed her biggest career moments.

    The story is well told – 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. At Daytona, Patrick won the pole for the February 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and then, one year later, became the first woman ever to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole by taking the top spot for the 55th Daytona 500. She went on to finish eighth in the Daytona 500, the best result ever for a woman in the history of the race.

    Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., is another track close to Patrick’s heart as she grew up in Roscoe, Ill., about 116 miles north and west of the 1.5-mile oval.

    If there’s a fourth track that important to Patrick, it’s Phoenix International Raceway, the mile oval that will celebrate its 50th year of competition in 2014. Patrick owns a home in Scottsdale, Ariz., but more importantly, the region is home to Patrick’s longtime sponsor, GoDaddy, the Web’s largest platform for small businesses.

    GoDaddy and Patrick have been together since 2007 and navigated Patrick’s transition from IndyCar to NASCAR. In addition, Patrick has appeared in a record 12 Super Bowl commercials for GoDaddy, and it was recently announced that Patrick will participate in a 13th spot in February’s broadcast of the game on FOX. GoDaddy will air two spots during the game with Patrick appearing in one of them.

    With that as a backdrop, Patrick hopes to put on a good show for the many GoDaddy executives, employees and customers who will be in attendance at Sunday’s AdvoCare 500k Sprint Cup race at Phoenix.

    And while she wants to run well for GoDaddy, she also wants to build momentum heading into the offseason, which is rapidly approaching. After Phoenix, only the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway remains.

    But before the season finale, “It’s Go Time,” for Patrick and GoDaddy at Phoenix.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts heading into Phoenix?

    “We had a good run there last fall and got wrecked on the last lap. We were OK in the spring and cut a tire midway through and wrecked. I think it’d be nice to get out of Phoenix without destroying a racecar (laughs). Both accidents did a lot of damage to the cars so, to go the distance and finish clean would be a good thing (laughs). I feel good about it. I’ve always liked Phoenix. Tony (Gibson, crew chief) has won some races there and knows how to set up a car for that place. So I feel confident going in. I’m looking forward to it.”

    You have a house in the Phoenix area and GoDaddy is based out there, as well. How big of a weekend is this for you?

    “It’s a real big weekend. I’ve got a lot of friends out there and my family is coming out, as well. And I’ll be doing a lot at GoDaddy headquarters on Wednesday and Thursday. It will be nice to see everyone and chat with them and see the latest and greatest of what they’re doing. Blake (Irving, CEO) has done some amazing things since taking over and I really like where they’re headed. They’ve been so supportive of me for so many years – I’m really lucky to have them in my corner. It’s fun to meet with the executives and the employees and hear what’s going on. I go in and want to see what they’re doing and they want to ask me what’s going on with racing, so it’s a fun weekend for me and for them. I know we’ll have a lot of support on Sunday and that means quite a bit.”

    It was announced you’ll be in another Super Bowl commercial for GoDaddy. Talk about that.

    “Their creative is very important, as is their marketing campaign and, in particular, their Super Bowl commercial. I was really happy last year when they had me and I’m very happy to be in it again. I don’t necessarily see these Super Bowl commercials as a specific change in philosophy. That has kind of been happening for a little while as we saw the rollout of the Jean-Claude Van Damme series of commercials and social media pictures of him doing splits and things. The problem is that not a lot of people knew what GoDaddy did outside of just domain names. It was smart to expand on that and, in particular, help the small businesses of America grow and have that platform to, in GoDaddy’s words, ‘kick ass.’”

    You ran well at Martinsville in the spring and again two weeks ago. It’s a track that is usually really challenging for rookies. Any idea why that tough track seems to fit your style of driving?

    “There are two things. I think that Tony Gibson (crew chief) has traditionally had good cars there. We had a really good test at Little Rock at the beginning of the year before we went to Martinsville. That really gave us a good base setup that I felt comfortable with because every driver is a little bit different. Beyond that, I think it’s a track where it’s a lot about rhythm, patience and discipline. It’s very easy there, after 20 laps, to blow the entry and have mistakes. It was catastrophic to get into the marbles 1.5 lanes up. Limiting those mistakes was how I moved up so much. I think, between those two things, that’s what has been working at Martinsville. Then, I don’t know, maybe I’m just OK there.”

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  • AAA Texas 500 Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 3, 2013
    Event: AAA Texas 500 (Round 34 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 30th/25th (Running, completed 331 of 334 laps)
    Point Standing: 25th (611 points)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 25th in the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    Patrick, who started 30th, battled a loose-handling racecar early in the event. But as the ambient temperature dropped, her car began to experience a tight-handling condition later in the event.

    “From where we unloaded on Friday, we actually made a lot of gains throughout the weekend,” said Patrick, who made her 44th Sprint Cup start and her third at Texas. “Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy guys really worked hard this weekend and made some huge gains on the setup. We never quite got it, but we certainly made progress. We were loose early on, but then as it got cooler, it definitely tightened up. I’m proud of how hard everyone worked all weekend and throughout the race. Everyone kept their head up and worked hard to get it better. The pit crew, as usual, was outstanding. I think they did an 11.7 (second) stop at one point. I’m excited to get to Phoenix next week. GoDaddy is based out there, so it’s a big race for us.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished nine spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 16th. Patrick climbed three spots to 25th in the standings with 611 points.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Outback Chevrolet SS, finished ninth. The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 11th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the AAA Texas 500 to score his 66th career Sprint Cup victory, his sixth of the season and his third at Texas. Johnson led 255 laps, the second-highest amount in Texas history behind Stewart, who led 278 circuits en route to victory Nov. 5, 2006.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 4.390 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Newman and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 26 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 334-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup and entered the eighth race of the 10-race Chase 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 106 points behind Chase leaders Kenseth and Johnson, who were tied for the point lead. Newman leaves Texas still in 12th, 118 points behind Johnson, who is seven points ahead of second-place Kenseth.

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  • 'It's Go Time' For GoDaddy Super Bowl

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 31, 2013) -- For a 10th year-in-a-row, GoDaddy is in the Super Bowl commercial line-up. The Web's largest platform for small businesses has purchased two thirty-second spots, one in each half of the game to be broadcast on FOX February 2. At least one of the two spots will feature Danica Patrick, who has already been in more Super Bowl commercials than any other celebrity.

    Creative details and storylines are not yet being revealed, however, GoDaddy is confirming what won't be in the new commercials -- risqué innuendo. GoDaddy's marketing has evolved with the company's overall transformation under new CEO Blake Irving, who is committed to maintaining GoDaddy's edge, but in a way that speaks inclusively to the customer base and demonstrates the value the company provides to small businesses and entrepreneurs. "The Super Bowl ad strategy allows us to have fun and be edgy, and demonstrate how we help the little guy kick ass," Irving said. "2014 marks a new era for GoDaddy Super Bowl commercials."

    The new Super Bowl spots are being produced by Deutsch New York, the same agency that helped GoDaddy re-launch its brand last September with the "It's Go Time" campaign featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme as the "kick ass" inspiration inside every small business owner.

    The new approach comes after months of extensive research, customer segmentation analysis, customer surveys and employee input from every corner of the company. GoDaddy's dramatic shift is about much more than advertising. Since taking over as CEO in January, Irving has reshaped GoDaddy through strategic technology hires, acquisitions and product improvements all aimed at helping small business owners and entrepreneurs leverage the power of the Internet.

    One Spot to Feature Danica Patrick

    As a woman thriving in a male-dominated sport, Danica Patrick is an inspiration for many women and very much a part of the evolving GoDaddy brand. She's been a GoDaddy spokesperson for nearly seven years, well before making history as a race car driver in both IndyCar and NASCAR. "I love what's going on at GoDaddy. Since our last Super Bowl, I've been to the new Silicon Valley office and talked with customers who are genuinely grateful for how GoDaddy helps them grow their businesses online. GoDaddy is for the go getter, the 'little guy' looking to compete with the 'big guys' and I love that," Danica said.

    GoDaddy employs more than 4,000 people and opened new offices this year in technology hubs like the Bay Area and the Seattle area. The company serves 12 million paying customers from all over the world, most of whom are very small business owners. People running their own business have a special appreciation for GoDaddy's brand of personalized telephone support, which routinely earns Net Promoter Scores on par, or better, than Nordstrom, Zappos, Apple and Amazon.

    "Hitting the decade mark with our Super Bowl advertising is a milestone worth celebrating, it's a new beginning and we're celebrating the go getter," said GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman. "We're back where we started, on Fox, where our first commercial aired in '05. It was actually our first TV ad of any kind. It spoofed the infamous wardrobe malfunction and drove a whole lot of media attention, which was great for a young company starting out. Now, we've matured. We've evolved. Our new brand of Super Bowl commercials will make it crystal clear what we do and who we stand for. We may be changing our approach, but as we've always said, we don't care what the critics think. We are all about our customers."

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  • AAA Texas 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (October 30, 2013) – Of all the tracks Danica Patrick has competed at, she is most associated with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    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. At Daytona, Patrick won the pole for the February 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and then, one year later, became the first woman ever to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole by taking the top spot for the 55th Daytona 500. She went on to finish eighth in the Daytona 500, the best result ever for a woman in the history of the race.

    But while Indianapolis and Daytona have provided plenty of good memories for Patrick, it’s Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, site of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race, that has provided the most experience.

    Of all the tracks where Patrick will compete in 2013, she has the most starts at Texas, having driven in 14 major-league races – two Sprint Cup, four Nationwide Series, and eight in the IZOD IndyCar Series. And it’s a track she’s taken a liking to in all three divisions.

    In last November’s Sprint Cup race at Texas, Patrick started 32nd and finished 24th. It was, at the time, her best career Sprint Cup finish and it came in her first race with Tony Gibson as her crew chief. In her four Nationwide Series races, Patrick has three top-15 finishes, including an eighth-place result in April 2012. In Patrick’s eight IndyCar Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval, she has five top-10 finishes, including a third-place result in June 2007 and second-place finish in June 2010.

    Patrick enters Texas after a solid race last week at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, where she started 41st and finished 17th. The result came after an accident during practice Friday that forced her to a backup car – a machine that had last been used June 14, 2011, when Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton drove it at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International as part of Mobil 1’s “Seat Swap.” Hamilton drove Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet for four laps and Stewart drove the McLaren MP4-23 Hamilton used to win the 2008 Formula 1 title.

    The GoDaddy team is hoping its strong recovery at Martinsville will propel Patrick to strong runs in the final three races of the season at Texas, Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You have a lot of experience at Texas and you seem to really enjoy racing there. Why is that?

    “I think, more than anything with Texas, it’s the fact it’s a really high-banked, fast track and those are the kinds of tracks I’ve liked the most. I feel that load in the corner and you’re able to carry so much speed through there because of that banking. I feel like it translates more to a feeling I was familiar with from Indy cars. So, I like going to Texas.”

    Talk about last weekend at Martinsville.

    “For pulling out the backup car on Friday and having to start so far back in the field, it was a really good run. We started in the back and made our way through, and we didn’t have quite the car that we had there in the spring, but we got a similar result and that’s something I’m proud of. The guys did a great job in the pits. They were on their game each stop. Our adjustments were good all day. It was just a really solid day for our team, and that’s what we want to do these next few races and end our season on a strong note. I’m just really thankful to have a road crew and a pit crew that works so hard, as well as everyone back at SHR. People have no idea how much effort went into last weekend after the crash to get a backup car prepared and then a third car prepared back at SHR just in case. The guys worked so hard and I really appreciate that.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (continued):

    What is your favorite memory of racing at Texas?

    “The Dan Weldon/Danica Patrick boxing duo promotion coming off of (the) Milwaukee (IndyCar race in 2007). That was probably my favorite. I also just about won in 2009. It was (Ryan) Briscoe and I on the last stop. I came out in front of him, but I just didn’t have the speed and he went around me. But I almost won that race. That was a good night.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about the effort the GoDaddy team put into last weekend’s race at Martinsville.

    “I’m really proud of all the hard work from everyone on the GoDaddy team all weekend. We got behind the 8-ball from Friday, but nobody gave up. I have to thank the road crew and everyone at Stewart-Haas because, after the wreck on Friday, they all went to work. The guys at the shop put together a third car for us just in case, and I really appreciate their dedication. It was just a real team effort. I’m proud of what Danica did on the track. She drove a smart race. And I’m proud of what our pit crew did in the pits.”

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  • Goody's 500 Race-Report

    Date: Oct. 27, 2013
    Event: Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 (Round 33 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 41st /17th (Running, completed 499 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (592 points)
    Winner: Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick delivered a solid performance in the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, patiently marching her way from a 41st starting position to a 17th-place finish.

    Patrick’s run was even more impressive because she did it behind the wheel of a backup No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) that had not seen action since 2011.

    “I’m really proud of what our GoDaddy team accomplished today,” said Patrick, who finished 12th in the spring at Martinsville, her only other start at the .526-mile, paperclip-shaped oval. “For pulling out the backup car on Friday and having to start so far back in the field, it was a really good run. We started in the back and made our way through, and we didn’t have quite the car that we had here in the spring, but we got a similar result and that’s something I’m proud of.

    “The guys did a great job in the pits. They were on their game each stop. Our adjustments were good all day. It was just a really solid day for our team, and that’s what we want to do these next few races and end our season on a strong note. Today was the last race for our pink car. I’m really proud that we were able to give GoDaddy and .ORG a good run because I’m very proud of what they do to help promote breast cancer awareness, and I’ve been honored to help them with that through the month of October.”

    Patrick’s weekend at the Virginia short track didn’t get off to a good start. Just minutes into opening practice Friday, Patrick wheel-hopped her pink No. 10 Chevy, causing it to spin, hit the wall and heavily damage the rear of the car. The team was forced to pull out the backup car – a machine that had last been used June 14, 2011 when Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton drove it at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International as part of Mobil 1’s “Seat Swap” where Hamilton drove Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet for four laps and Stewart drove the McLaren MP4-23 Hamilton used to win the 2008 Formula One title.

    With just a handful of laps in Friday’s practice on her backup car, Patrick qualified 41st. Despite starting in the back of the field at a track where it is difficult to pass, Patrick and her GoDaddy team were confident they could produce a similar outcome as they did in the spring when Patrick drove from 43rd to 12th place.

    Patrick fell one lap down to the leaders by lap 50, but thanks to her team’s efforts in the pits and her work on the track, she put herself in position to earn the Lucky Dog free pass and get her lap back when the caution flag waved at lap 217.

    From there, Patrick drove an impressive race, moving as high as 10th at one point in the 500-lap event. She finished 17th, her eighth top-20 result of the season.

    “I’m really proud of all the hard work from everyone on the GoDaddy team all weekend,” crew chief Tony Gibson said. “We got behind the 8-ball from Friday, but nobody gave up. I have to thank the road crew and everyone at Stewart-Haas because after the wreck on Friday, they all went to work. The guys at the shop put together a third car for us just in case, and I really appreciate their dedication. It was just a real team effort. I’m proud of what Danica did on the track today. She drove a smart race. And I’m proud of what our pit crew did in the pits.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 14 spots ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 31st. Patrick remains 28th in the point standings and has 592 points.

    Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Stewart, finished 36th. Martin was running 14th when he was collected by a spinning Kurt Busch on lap 204 that inflicted heavy damage to the right-front corner of Martin’s Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy. The crew made repairs and sent Martin back onto the racetrack, albeit 45 laps down.

    Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 State Water Heaters Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 38th. Newman ran as high as third before being tagged by Kevin Harvick on lap 319. The contact sent Newman backward into the turn one wall, causing extensive damage that sent Newman to the garage for lengthy repairs. He eventually returned to the track, 68 laps down.

    Jeff Gordon won the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 to score his 88th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his eighth at Martinsville. His victory clinched the 2013 manufacturer’s title for Chevrolet, the brand’s 37th in the Sprint Cup Series and 11th in a row.

    Matt Kenseth finished .605 of a second behind Gordon in the runner-up spot, while Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 17 caution periods for 111 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the eighth race of the 10-race Chase – is the AAA 500 Nov. 3 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race begins at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 2 p.m.

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  • Sequential Brands Group Announces Danica Patrick as Brand Ambassador for REVO Eyewear

    NASCAR Racing Star to Ring The NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell With Sequential Brands Group Today

    NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sequential Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:SQBG) ("Sequential" or the "Company"), announced today that NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick will partner with Sequential to promote its performance brand REVO.

    Patrick is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world and drives the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet in the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series — the premier form of motorsports in North America. Danica will be wearing REVO both on and off the track and will be featured in upcoming brand campaigns. She will be involved in the product development process and is lending her extensive experience with eyewear to add her unique design aesthetic for the 2014 collection. In addition, she will be featured in the Spring 2014 advertising and marketing campaign, and featured throughout REVO's social media platforms.

    "REVO is an incredible brand known for its innovative technology and crystal clear lenses," stated Danica Patrick. "I am honored to be an ambassador for such a renowned brand, and I'm eager to celebrate this new partnership with Sequential by ringing the opening bell of NASDAQ together with them today."

    Sequential Brands Group began trading on the NASDAQ Capital Market on September 24, 2013, and in celebration of its new listing, was invited to participate in the opening ceremony bell ringing scheduled for this morning at 9:30 ET.

    Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of Sequential, stated, "We are thrilled to celebrate our recent listing on NASDAQ by ringing the opening bell with our friend and partner Danica Patrick. Today marks a major milestone in Sequential's evolution into a leading global Brand Management organization."

    Founded in 1985, REVO quickly became a global performance eyewear brand known as the leader in polarized lens technology. REVO sunglasses were first created by utilizing lens technology developed by NASA as solar protection for satellites. Nearly three decades later, REVO continues to build on its rich tradition of technology and innovation by offering the clearest and most advanced high-contrast polarized sunglasses available. Designed for the active consumer, the REVO eyewear collection is available at Sunglass Hut stores and other premium retail locations worldwide.

    REVO was acquired by Sequential in July 2013 and is the fourth brand to be added to the company's portfolio within the past year and the seventh overall.

    ABOUT SEQUENTIAL BRANDS GROUP, INC.

    Sequential Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:SQBG) owns, promotes, markets, and licenses a portfolio of consumer brands that presently include William Rast®, People's Liberation®, DVS®, Heelys®, Caribbean Joe®, Ellen Tracy® and Revo®. Sequential seeks to ensure that its brands continue to thrive and grow by employing strong brand management, design and marketing teams. Sequential has licensed and intends to license its brands in a variety of consumer categories to retailers, wholesalers and distributors in the United States and in certain international territories. For more information, please visit Sequential's corporate website at: www.sequentialbrandsgroup.com.

     

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  • Goody's 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 23, 2013) – When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series headed to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April, history was going to be made no matter how Danica Patrick finished.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), etched her name in the record books by being the first female driver to compete in a Sprint Cup race at the .526-mile oval. And what a history Martinsville has considering it opened for business in 1947, two years before NASCAR was formed. Every NASCAR champion has raced there and the Sprint Cup Series has conducted events at Martinsville twice a year since 1950.

    But Patrick did more than drive in the April race. She surprised many NASCAR observers with a solid 12th -place result – made more impressive by the fact she started 43rd after an engine change before the race. She looked like a veteran on the shortest track on the circuit which, viewed from the air, looks like a paperclip as its long straightaways lead into tight, flat turns. The racing there can be described as “give-and-take,” with drivers giving some bumps and taking some bumps as 43 cars fight for space on its tight confines.

    None of that seemed to be an issue for Patrick, whose impressive rookie performance bested those of some other name drivers in their Martinsville debuts, most notably her team owner Tony Stewart, who finished 20th in his first Martinsville start in 1999. Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut in 2002. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th in 1984. Dale Jarrett finished 14th in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 26th in 2000. Kyle Busch finished 39th in 2005. Matt Kenseth finished 21st in 2000. Kurt Busch finished 37th in 2000. And Fred Lorenzen finished 24th in 1956.

    Nearly six months after Patrick’s Martinsville debut, she hopes to enjoy the same – if not more – success in her second trip to the historic track for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500. She and crew chief Tony Gibson will utilize the same chassis, No. 10-535, in their efforts to earn another solid result.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about going from the biggest track on the circuit, Talladega, to Martinsville, the smallest track on the circuit.

    “Two extremes going from Talladega to the short track. I had a great car in the spring at Martinsville, so the challenge for me this time around will be to not downshift from fourth to third when I come out of the pits and over-rev the engine (in practice) and have to start from the back and, in general, just have a better qualifying run so I can start further up and work from there. It’s a short track and those leaders are on you very quickly if you don’t have a good qualifying run. Qualify better and let it play out from there.”

    You had a great run in the spring at Martinsville. Talk about that.

    “Having never been at Martinsville before, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that it was going to be a little bit crazy. I think you take what the car gives you. Tony Gibson (crew chief) has a really good track record there. He’s a great crew chief. And my car was pretty good all day. We kind of bounced around from being a little loose to a little tight, but we got the GoDaddy Chevy back up there. People talk about the race result but a lot of the time forget that we spun early and were two laps down at one point in time. So, I feel like that’s almost one of the things I’m most proud of is coming back from two laps down to being on the lead lap and then grabbing a 12th place at the end.”

    This is the first year for the Gen-6 Chevrolet SS. Talk about the new style of car for NASCAR and how you feel it has performed this year.

    “I think it’s been a successful year for the car. I feel like there have been very few issues. It’s just a different balance of a car. I think it suited some driving styles better than others, probably, but I think it really comes down to, as we felt and saw as a team to start the year off, that you’ve got to bring the best cars possible. I feel like we started a little bit behind but have rapidly throughout the year been learning and understanding the car better and better. What is hard is everyone else does that, too, to some degree, but I think it’s going to give us a lot of knowledge going into the offseason for what we need to work on to arrive with better cars next year.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve been racing in the Sprint Cup Series for a long time. Talk about the historic significance of Martinsville.

    “It’s one of those places where there’s a lot of history. It’s like Darlington, where it’s been around forever. It makes or breaks a lot of racecar drivers. When you go into a place like that, you don’t want it to be a bad experience. You want to have a positive experience and be part of the history, not part of the negative history. I enjoy going there and racing where some of the greats have raced.”

    Talk about Danica’s race in the spring at Martinsville.

    “I never dreamed it would go that well. I knew after Saturday and Friday that we had a good GoDaddy Chevrolet. I knew she was capable of doing it speed-wise and as far as driving. To be able to go through all that beating and banging and survive and finish 12th was unbelievable. I knew that with 30 laps to go the restarts were going to get more and more aggressive, and that’s why I told her it’s not going to get any easier. I was really, really happy to see how aggressive she got. You know, being able to be on the defensive. They would bump her and she wouldn’t get flustered. I was really, really impressed with that. That was the biggest thing I was nervous about – how she would do in a situation like that. It helped her gain some confidence.”

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  • Camping World RV Sales 500 Post-Report

    Date: Oct. 20, 2013
    Event: Camping World RV Sales 500 (Round 32 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 23rd/33rd (Running, completed 187 of 188 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (565 points)
    Winner: Jamie McMurray of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished a disappointing 33rd in the Camping World RV Sales 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala) Superspeedway.

    Patrick was in the top-10 for much of the race, but a mistake on her final pit stop ended any chance of a good finish for the GoDaddy team.

    Due to the nature of restrictor-plate racing at Talladega and its sister track, Daytona (Fla) International Speedway, green flag pit stops are challenging for drivers, crew chiefs and spotters. The majority of the 43-car field is in a tight pack, using the “draft” of other cars to maintain the maximum speed possible. If a car is removed from the draft, it quickly loses pace with the lead cars and cannot make up the difference alone.

    Because of this, teams work with other teams to pit on the same lap so the cars always have drafting partners to work with once they resume racing. Often when the lead car in the draft heads to pit road, the cars behind will attempt to follow to ensure they stay in a group.

    Patrick was in the middle of the draft on the high side of the racetrack on lap 161 when several of the lead cars began to slow and head to pit road exiting turn four. From the high side of the racetrack, Patrick attempted to get down to the bottom lane and slow to the 55-mph pit road speed mandated by NASCAR.

    Unfortunately, Patrick overshot pit road, slid through the grass and missed her pit stall. The error forced her to make another lap before pitting, and then Patrick had to serve a drive-through penalty as her initial entry onto pit road was faster than 55 mph.

    “We just didn’t communicate well on that final pit stop,” Patrick said. “We were on the high side and couldn’t get down to where we needed to be to pit. We were trying to pit with the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and the 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.). I know it’s a challenge for the spotters – you’re trying to work with other spotters on when to pit and obviously keep track of the on-track stuff. It’s a lot, and it’s happening fast. You have a split-second to make a decision, and we should have made another lap. We weren’t where we needed to be. You need to be on the bottom when you’re pitting, and we didn’t do that. We’ll discuss it and learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s disappointing, and none of us feel good about it. You win as a team and lose as a team. It’s tough for everybody. The GoDaddy guys gave me a great car.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 30 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed third. Patrick remains 28th in the point standings and has 565 points.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 WIX Filters Chevrolet SS, started 17th and finished ninth. The third member of SHR, Austin Dillon, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, started 16th and finished 26th.

    Jamie McMurray won the Camping World RV Sales 500 to score his seventh career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his second at Talladega.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second behind McMurray under caution, while Stenhouse, Paul Menard and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. David Ragan, David Gilliland, Martin Truex Jr., Newman and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were three caution periods for 10 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 188-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the sixth race of the 10-race Chase 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 78 points behind Chase leader Matt Kenseth. Newman leaves Talladega in 11th, 72 points behind new Chase leader Jimmie Johnson. Johnson holds a four-point lead over Kenseth with just four races remaining.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the seventh race of the 10-race Chase – is the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Oct. 27 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.

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  • Danica Patrick All Smiles About New Look, Partnership with Aspen Dental

    TALLADEGA, Ala. – Danica Patrick is giving NASCAR fans another reason to smile with the addition of Aspen Dental as primary sponsor of the No. 10 team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) for two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races beginning in 2014. Patrick will take to the track in the fresh, new blue-and-white No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS March 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Aug. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    Based in Syracuse, N.Y., Aspen Dental is one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the United States.

    “The addition of a new partner to the No. 10 Chevrolet is a big milestone for me, and I feel fortunate to have Aspen Dental join GoDaddy beginning in 2014,” Patrick said. “I was in Syracuse a few weeks ago to meet the Aspen team and was impressed by their commitment to making sure people have access to quality oral health care. I’m proud to team up with Aspen Dental and shine a spotlight on a part of health care that doesn’t get a lot of attention.”

    “We’ve been proud to be a part of the Stewart-Haas Racing family for the past two years and are thrilled to team up with Danica,” said Bob Fontana, president and CEO of Aspen Dental Management, Inc. “As part of our mission to give America a healthy mouth, we’re dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of oral health care, and Danica’s connection with racing fans will help us turn up the volume on that conversation.”

    “Danica is incredibly focused and driven to succeed, and that includes delivering for her partners,” said Tony Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “She’ll be a great ambassador for Aspen Dental, and Stewart-Haas Racing will continue to help Aspen Dental remain one of the most successful and progressive organizations in dentistry.”

    Aspen Dental has more than 400 locations in 27 states, with nearly 5,000 dentists and team members focused on helping patients get the care they need by offering a full range of quality dental and denture services, from preventive care to general dentistry to restoration.

    GoDaddy will continue to serve as the primary sponsor for Patrick and the No. 10 team at all other Sprint Cup races. When not serving as primary sponsor, Aspen Dental will be an associate sponsor with placement on the B-post and lower-rear quarter panel of the No. 10 Chevrolet, with additional placement on the upper chest of Patrick’s uniform.

    Patrick is currently a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series, but she’s been a motorsports mainstay since May 2005 when she led 19 laps and finished fourth in her first Indianapolis 500 – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five in the historic race. In April 2008, Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series with her victory in the IndyCar Series event at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan. In February 2013, Patrick won the pole for the Daytona 500 and began her rookie season in the elite Sprint Cup Series by leading twice for five laps before finishing eighth. It was a record-breaking performance as Patrick became the first woman to win a pole, and her eighth-place finish is the highest finishing position for a woman in the “Great American Race”. By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined a select group of only 13 drivers who have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500.

    About Aspen Dental:

    Aspen Dental is one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the U.S. with more than 400 practices in communities across 27 states, providing millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable dental care. Every Aspen Dental practice offers a full range of dental and denture services – including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work.

    In 2012, Aspen Dental-branded practices recorded nearly 2.6 million patient visits and welcomed more than 550,000 new patients. The dentists and staff at Aspen Dental practices have a deep commitment to patient satisfaction, and every Aspen Dental office is accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

    Aspen Dental practices are supported by Aspen Dental Management, Inc., a dental services organization that provides non-clinical business services to licensed, independent dentists.

    To learn more about Aspen Dental practices and services preview the Aspen Dental patient experience, get answers to general treatment questions, find a location, and schedule appointments, visit www.AspenDental.com. To learn more about careers at Aspen Dental, visit www.AspenDentalJobs.com.

    About Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The team fields three entries in the elite Sprint Cup Series – the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart, the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for 2008 Daytona 500 and 2013 Brickyard 400 winner Ryan Newman, and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Danica Patrick. Based in Kannapolis, N.C., Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 140,000-square-foot facility with more than 200 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing and follow on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng.

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  • Camping World RV Sales 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 16, 2013) – Danica Patrick freely admits she enjoys the style of racing that takes place at restrictor-plate tracks like Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

    So it’s no surprise that Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is looking forward to the fourth and final restrictor-plate race of the season – Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega.

    Patrick is hoping to replicate her success from the season-opening Daytona 500.

    She was the fastest during the first practice of the year Feb. 16, then backed that up by winning the pole for the Daytona 500 one day later to become the first woman ever to claim the top spot for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. She stayed out of trouble for the remainder of Speedweeks and ran in the top-three for much of the Daytona 500 before dropping from third to eighth on the final lap.

    She rewrote some of the NASCAR record book en route to her eighth-place finish, which is the highest finishing position ever by a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    In addition to her history-making pole run and finish in the Daytona 500, Patrick also led five laps – 90 to 91 and 127 to 129 – to become the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead Sprint Cup Series laps under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 13 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish the feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Stewart. Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 15 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    One thing that should make Patrick quite happy this weekend is that she’ll be driving Chassis 10-758, the same car she used for the Daytona 500. She also used the car in the May race at Talladega but finished just 28th after being involved in a multi-car accident late in the race. Since then, the car has been repaired and tested in the wind tunnel.

    And Patrick is hoping that car will help her make history on Sunday.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    A lot of drivers don’t look forward to Talladega. Are you looking forward to racing there?

    “The reason they don’t look forward to it is exactly why I do, because someone like me has more of a shot there, just like everybody else. So, they’re in the Chase and have run really well and been fast all year. So, when we get on more traditional tracks, that’s where they’re going to fall into place more often than not. But with superspeedways, it’s a toss-up what’s going to happen. So, that’s why it’s fun for me because somebody like me has a chance. On top of that, Stewart-Haas superspeedway cars are really good. Hopefully it will be one of the good days at the end of the year.”

    Are you more ready to win a race on a superspeedway than you were at the beginning of the year?

    “I feel more comfortable. I felt really comfortable at Daytona, in general, but I think I’m realizing how important it is throughout the race to try things and practice taking runs and things like that and being a little bit more brave without worrying about what happens as a result, And knowing that, as long as you don’t lose the draft, you can be set up for the end of the race. I’ve lost the draft and that’s not good, either. But I was ready at the beginning of the year. I think, as a racecar driver, when you get to this level, you’re ready for anything that comes at you. But as I said at the beginning of the season coming from Daytona, you have to at least know what your car can do to get a run and get by somebody. I’m more apt to practice that now in practice and in the race.”

    You’ve always liked going to Talladega. Why is that?

    “The fans really make that place. The campgrounds – all that stuff makes it one big party. You see how much fun the fans are having and that makes it fun for us as drivers. It’s just a unique place. The sheer size of the facility is amazing. I liked it from the first time I first went there and, hopefully, we can have a good run and a good finish.”

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  • Bank of America 500 Post-Report

    Date: Oct. 12, 2013
    Event: Bank of America 500 (Round 31 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 35th/20th (Running, completed 332 of 334 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (554 points)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Penske Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 20th in the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, who started 35th, overcame an incident on pit road early in the race which caused minimal damage to her racecar and dropped her to as low as 38th in the running order. Patrick was entering her pit stall under caution at lap 26 when she was tagged in the left-rear fender by Paul Menard, who was exiting his stall. The contact turned Patrick, facing the wrong way on pit road. So her crew improvised and changed her right-side tires while she was backward in her pit box. Patrick then turned around on pit road and returned to the racetrack. She came to pit road a second time for left-side tires and to repair the minimal damage to the car’s left-rear fender before restarting the race at lap 30.

    Despite that rocky start, Patrick and her GoDaddy team didn’t give up. Patrick battled through a tight-handling condition early in the running of the race, but her feedback and her team’s adjustments at each stop helped improve the handling of the GoDaddy Chevrolet throughout the course of the race. Despite having a good handling and quick racecar as the night wore on, Patrick couldn’t make up the track position and finished 20th.

    “We didn’t have a great starting spot with our GoDaddy Chevy, and as always at these mile-and-a-halfs, track position is really important just because how tough it is to run in traffic and as a result pass,” said Patrick, who made her 41st Sprint Cup start and her third at Charlotte. “It really was just a little tight the first couple of runs and then man, I don’t know what else we could have done to fix the balance. All we needed really was track position and more yellows so we could get back on the lead lap. The team did a really great job of working through practices, and my pit crew did an awesome job of getting me out in record time. I’m just really proud of this team because we made improvements all night, and I’m glad that we were able to have a solid run with this pink car and help GoDaddy and .ORG promote breast cancer awareness this month. I think in the end, we just needed track position.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished seven spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 13th. Patrick remains 28th in the point standings and has 554 points.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished eighth. The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 42nd.

    Brad Keselowski won the Bank of America 500 to score his 10th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Charlotte.

    Kasey Kahne finished 1.022 seconds behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Newman, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 20 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the fifth race of the 10-race Chase 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 73 points behind Chase leader Kenseth. Newman leaves Charlotte still in 12th, 78 points behind Kenseth.

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  • Bank of America 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 9, 2013) – Danica Patrick splits her time between Scottsdale, Ariz., Chicago and Charlotte, N.C., when not residing in her motorhome during one of the 38 race weekends that comprises the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

    Even though she’s spent plenty of time in Charlotte this season, this week’s Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway isn’t exactly a “home” race for her like events at Phoenix International Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., or even Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    For her GoDaddy crew however, Charlotte is a home game and a valuable one at that. For, given that the race is scheduled for Saturday night, it will offer the rare chance for crewmembers to enjoy a short drive home and an entire Sunday away from the racing world.

    While nearly all of Patrick’s crew resides in or around Charlotte, many of them also grew up there. All told, eight GoDaddy crewmembers were raised in North or South Carolina, so this week’s race is understandably more meaningful than others.

    As was the case last weekend at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will be predominantly pink in support of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    Following up on its $50,000 donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation along with the Public Interest Registry, GoDaddy’s “Round-Up for Charity” lets customers round up their purchase to the nearest dollar with proceeds going to the foundation. GoDaddy is also donating a portion of proceeds from sales at Patrick’s merchandise trailer throughout the month of October.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    This is your third Sprint Cup start at Charlotte. What are your thoughts on this weekend’s race?

    “I like Charlotte. It’s really nice for the crews because it’s a home race for them. They get to sleep in their own bed and a lot of their family and friends are there. So you want to give them a good performance. It’s fun for me at Charlotte because a lot of the crews have young kids, so it’s fun to meet them and see them around the hauler during the race weekend. It’s just a bit of a different experience than a lot of the tracks we go to.”

    The season is coming to a close. What are your thoughts as you enter the final six races?

    “What enters my mind when I think about this season and it coming to an end is not that I want it to just get over with. I want it to end well, that’s all. Even if you can just have one or two good races at the end of a season where it’s been up and down and a lot of down, and especially being a rookie season, that’s a good way to end. I feel like we’ve made improvements through the year and I definitely learned a lot. But we started off a little behind and made improvements during the summer. And I feel like we’ve fallen a little bit behind again. It’s hard. The Sprint Cup Series is hard. Everybody is pushing and everybody works so much and so hard that it’s just difficult. That’s what makes it so gratifying when you do well.”

    Your car is pink once again this weekend. Talk about GoDaddy’s efforts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    “GoDaddy has replaced the normal ‘GoDaddy Green’ color on my car with the color pink for the entire month of October, which is really cool. GoDaddy and the Public Interest Registry made a $50,000 donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and their ‘Round-Up for Charity’ promotion lets customers round up their purchase to the nearest dollar with proceeds going to National Breast Cancer Foundation. Plus, a portion of proceeds from sales at my merchandise trailer at the racetrack throughout the month of October will be donated. I’ve met survivors and their passion, strength and the fight they have is really inspirational. And getting the message out there is important. I have a friend from high school who took the breast cancer gene test six or seven years ago and it was positive, so she decided to have a double mastectomy. We’ve all been affected by it in some way or through someone we know, so it’s important to raise awareness and that’s why I’m proud to be a part of what GoDaddy is doing.”

    The movie Rush has been very popular since its recent release. Have you had a chance to see it?

    “I did see the movie, Rush. I didn’t know the story. I had heard of both of the drivers (James Hunt and Niki Lauda) before, for sure, but I didn’t know the story at all. It was a fascinating story come the end of the movie. I thought it was a really good racing movie. I think it’s always hard to portray exactly what’s happening when you’re, like, taking cockpit shots and things like that, but I thought it was pretty good. I thought it was done really well. It was a very interesting story and kind of a sad story in the end, I guess. But it was really cool. It’s always fun as someone who is in racing to see a movie about racing be done so well and be done with such great actors and by such a great director. So, it’s cool.”

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  • Hollywood Casino 400 Post-Report

    Date: Oct. 6, 2013
    Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 30 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 29th/43rd (Accident, completed 0 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (530 points, 21 behind 27th)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was involved in a first-lap accident and finished a disappointing 43rd in the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

    Patrick, who started 29th, spun in turn one and her car made hard contact with the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall between turns one and two. She was checked and released without injury from the infield medical center, but her car was too damaged to continue.

    “I knew that, going into the race based on practice and everything we’ve seen from practice in Cup to the Nationwide race, losing grip was going to be not that hard to do,” Patrick said. “And so – I said that before the race even – I said make sure that we’re on top of who is on my door and who is behind me. And I knew all that was going to be happening on the start. And I had enough momentum to go to the middle because I got a run on the car in front of me but I had to wait past the start-finish line. I lifted going into turn one and all I can say is that, you know, I didn’t try and do anything. I just found myself sideways in the middle of the corner and that was it.

    “It’s just a shame because it always seems to be the case (on) those weekends when things start to be going better and I’ve had lots of people say, ‘You looked good in practice yesterday,’ and felt a lot better and (crew chief, Tony) Gibson did a great job and the crew did a good job. And I have an awesome pit road crew. I knew we were going to have a good day there. Things just go wrong. And days when you’re not fast, it seems like those aren’t the days that you get the bad luck. I don’t know. If I did something wrong, I apologize to everybody on my team and GoDaddy. It’s a shame.”

    While Patrick was the first, she certainly wasn’t the only driver who was involved in an accident as there was a track-record 15 cautions for 71 laps. Most of the cautions were for accidents similar to Patrick’s.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 13 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 30th. She remained 28th in the point standings and has 530 points, 21 behind 27th-place David Ragan.

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Mark Martin, interim driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 22nd.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Code 3 Associates Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 35th after being involved in an accident on lap 137. His car was able to be repaired but he completed only 188 of 267 laps.

    Kevin Harvick won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his 22nd career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Kansas.

    Kurt Busch finished 1.14 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot while Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    In addition to the track-record 15 caution periods for 71 laps, nine drivers failed to finish the 267-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the fourth race of the 10-race Chase seventh among the 13 Chase drivers, 48 points behind Chase leader Matt Kenseth. Newman leaves Kansas in 12th, 73 points behind Kenseth.

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  • Hollywood Casino 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 2, 2013) – In the spirit of breast cancer awareness, Danica Patrick is trading green for pink for the month of October.

    Her iconic green No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will be pink for upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    The car was unveiled in New York City alongside the pink Chevrolet Camaro SS that served as the pace car for last month’s Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and will also pace the field at Talladega and Martinsville.

    Following up on a $50,000 donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation along with the Public Interest Registry, GoDaddy’s “Round-up for Charity” lets customers round their purchase up to the nearest dollar with proceeds going to the foundation. In addition, GoDaddy is also donating a portion of proceeds from sales at Patrick’s merchandise trailer throughout the month of October.

    Chevrolet will donate $200 for every lap the pink Chevrolet Camaro SS leads the field under caution for the Atlanta, Talladega and Martinsville races. Since 2011, more than $2.2 million has been raised for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative. In addition to the pink pace car program, the activities have included dealership walks, national test drive promotions and national service rebate promotions.

    The pink No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS takes to the track for the first time for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 Sprint Cup race at Kansas.

    Patrick scored her first career IndyCar Series pole at the 1.5-mile oval in July 2005 and has three top-10 results in IndyCar Series competition at Kansas. In addition, she finished in the top-15 in each of her two Nationwide Series starts at the track in 2011 and 2012.

    Perhaps a little pink will provide good results for Patrick – while raising awareness for a very important cause.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about your trip to New York City Tuesday with GoDaddy and Chevrolet to raise awareness for breast cancer.

    “It was a fun and productive day. Both GoDaddy and Chevy have come up with really cool ways to raise money and awareness. GoDaddy has replaced the normal ‘GoDaddy Green’ color on my car with the color pink for the entire month of October. So I’ll be driving a pink car for the next several races. GoDaddy and the Public Interest Registry made a $50,000 donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and their Round-up for Charity promotion lets customers round up their purchase to the nearest dollar with proceeds going to National Breast Cancer Foundation. Plus, a portion of proceeds from sales at my merchandise trailer at the racetrack throughout the month of October will be donated. Chevrolet is using the pink Chevy Camaro SS as the pace car at three NASCAR races and, for every lap the car leads the field under caution, Chevy will donate $200 to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative. I did an event with Chevrolet last month in Atlanta where I had the privilege to meet survivors and sign autographs for them and give them rides around the racetrack in the Pink Chevy Camaro SS, so that was pretty amazing. The passion, the strength and the fight the survivors have really is inspirational. And getting the message out there is important. I have a friend from high school who took the breast cancer gene test six or seven years ago and it was positive, so she decided to have a double mastectomy. We’ve all been affected by it in some way or through someone we know, so it’s important to raise awareness and that’s why I’m proud to be a part of what GoDaddy and Chevy are doing. It was a great event on Tuesday.”

    This is your third Sprint Cup Series start at Kansas. What are your thoughts on this weekend’s race?

    “I’ve always liked going to Kansas. It’s a nice facility and I’ve got a lot of experience there compared to some places. Even if a lot of it is in IndyCar. I think our 1.5-mile program is better than it was in the spring, so I feel good going into this week. I think the test on Thursday will be an advantage and help us, especially in qualifying.”

    You mentioned the four-hour test Thursday. How valuable is that track time?

    “Anytime you can get track time, it’s a good thing, especially if you’re a rookie. I certainly don’t mind going in a day early to get four extra hours on track. Every bit helps and I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, we’re able to learn a lot and have a good weekend.”

    A few weeks ago, it was announced that you’ll be co-hosting the American Country Awards with Trace Adkins in December. How did that all come about?

    “It’s the first time someone’s asked me to host and it’s a great opportunity for me. I’ve really gotten into country music in the last year or so. I’m excited. Country music fans and the people and the artists are so nice. I got the first introduction with Miranda Lambert when I was asked to be in her video for ‘Fastest Girl in Town.’ And she was awesome. Then, Colt Ford asked Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) and I to be in his newest video and we shot that last month. It just all fits and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m a little nervous, though. I’m told it’s going to be really easy, with no issues and no problems, but I just keep thinking, ‘That can’t be true’ (laughs). But these guys are the professionals and we’ll be ready. I co-hosted ‘The View’ a few years ago and, lately, I’ve presented awards at the ESPY’s every year. I’ve been asked to present awards at a lot of awards shows and I’d like to do more, but scheduling is tough because of how much we race. I’m excited, though – this is a big next step.”

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  • Danica Patrick & GoDaddy "Go Pink" For All of October

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 1, 2013) – Don’t expect to see Danica Patrick behind the wheel of her iconic “GoDaddy green” Chevrolet on the NASCAR track this month – Danica’s GoDaddy No. 10 is sporting a bright pink paint scheme for each of the four October races as a way to raise breast cancer awareness.

    “GoDaddy has been such a strong partner in the fight against breast cancer … the fact GoDaddy wanted to ‘go pink’ for the whole month of October really says a lot about our commitment to this cause,” Danica said.

    Wearing her pink GoDaddy sneakers in New York City this morning, Danica unveiled GoDaddy’s 2013 No. 10 Chevrolet on network television. Danica’s first ‘pink’ race is set for the Hollywood Casino 400 Sunday in Kansas City.

    In addition to the eye-catching pink color scheme, GoDaddy is teaming up with the Public Interest Registry to donate $50,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. GoDaddy is also engaging customers with its ‘Round-up’ for charity program, which encourages customers to round their purchase up to the nearest dollar with proceeds going to support breast cancer research. Fans at the track who buy merchandise from Danica’s NASCAR trailer will be contributing because GoDaddy is also donating a portion of the October proceeds to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

    According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Of those, nearly 400,000 succumb to the disease.

    GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving is one of the many people whose family has been impacted by breast cancer. His mom has the distinction as the longest-surviving breast cancer patient in New Mexico. “My mom is an amazing woman, who not only is surviving breast cancer, but is thriving … living an active lifestyle and giving a lot of inspiration to the people she meets,” Irving said. “Our commitment to the cause right now at GoDaddy is to stand up and do our part financially, but also to inspire more people to join the fight against breast cancer.”

    GoDaddy driver James Hinchcliffe is looking to add a little inspiration on the IndyCar side. ‘Hinch’ is driving a pink version of his No. 27 Chevrolet in this weekend’s Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston races, both Saturday and Sunday.

    “I’ve been told real men wear pink, so I am all for it,” said Hinchcliffe, who like Danica is wearing pink GoDaddy sneakers today as a visible sign of solidarity. “But seriously, it's a great opportunity to support a fantastic cause and I'm really happy GoDaddy invited us to be a part of their campaign. They have been tremendous supporters of breast cancer research in the past. It's great to see GoDaddy keep this effort going and for us to help out in our little way.”

    To learn more about GoDaddy’s charitable causes, visit: www.GoDaddyCares.com.

    Connect with GoDaddy on Facebook & Twitter.
     

    Read why our customers recommend GoDaddy.
     

    About GoDaddy
    GoDaddy is the world's largest domain name provider, Web hosting provider and new SSL certificate provider, focused on helping small businesses grow larger. GoDaddy provides dozens of cloud-based services and is the largest worldwide mass-market hosting provider by annual revenue according to 451 Research (Mass-Market Hosting Report-Fall 2012) and is the #1 provider of net-new SSL certificates for 2012, according to the Netcraft, LTD Secure Server Survey. To learn more about the company, visit GoDaddy.com/PR.

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  • AAA 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 29, 2013
    Event: AAA 400 (Round 29 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile concrete oval)
    Start/Finish: 31st/29th (Running, completed 394 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (529 points, 1 behind 27th)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 29th in the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Patrick, who started 31st, battled through a tight-handling condition early in the race. That problem caused her to drop as low as 38th in the running order. Her feedback and her team’s adjustments at each pit stop helped improve the handling of the GoDaddy Chevrolet somewhat, but it was still a disappointing day for Patrick and the team.

    “It was just a frustrating day,” said Patrick, who made her 39th Sprint Cup start and her third at Dover. “We just couldn’t get a handle on the GoDaddy Chevy today. It was too tight from the start, and that put us behind early. It wasn’t for a lack of effort by Tony Gibson and the guys because they adjusted on the car all day. It would get better there in the middle of the race, but when it was in traffic, it would be just as tight as it was at the start of the race. It’s disappointing, but we’ll move on.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 12 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 17th. Patrick dropped to 28th in the point standings and has 529 points, one point behind 27th-place Mark Martin, her SHR teammate.

    Patrick’s other teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 State Water Heaters Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and earned his 14th top-10 finish of the season and his 12th top-10 finish in 24 career starts at the 1-mile concrete oval.

    Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 19th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 400 to score his 65th career Sprint Cup victory, his fifth of the season and his eighth at Dover.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished .446 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Newman, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 21 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the third race of the 10-race Chase ninth among the 13 Chase drivers, 47 points behind Chase leader Kenseth. Newman gained two positions at Dover and sits seventh in the standings, 48 points behind Kenseth.

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  • AAA 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 26, 2013) – Danica Patrick has raced on concrete surfaces many times during her career, having done so in IZOD IndyCar Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

    And, for the fourth and final time in 2013, Patrick and the rest of the Sprint Cup Series drivers will take to the concrete for Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Dover’s 24-degree banking in the turns and 9 degrees on the straightaways, and being surrounded by 42 other Sprint Cup machines each producing nearly 900 horsepower, equate to one challenging race for any driver.

    Fortunately for Patrick, who drives the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), concrete has been good to her, at times.

    In four IndyCar Series starts from 2005 to 2008 at the 1.33-mile concrete oval at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn., Patrick never started or finished outside the top-10, and she scored three top-five results and two starts on the outside of the front row.

    She led her first-ever laps in a stock car on the concrete surface at Dover in September 2010, holding the top spot for three circuits en route to a sixth-place finish in the Sunoco 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.

    And last season, in her first Sprint Cup Series race at the .533-mile concrete oval at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Patrick was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining in the Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series event before her car was hit by another car and she contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.

    That said, Patrick knows the Sprint Cup races at Dover are unlike any other, and she’ll need mental and physical toughness to finish strong on the concrete.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts about Dover?

    “I always like going to Dover. The track is pretty fun. I remember everyone telling me how unique and challenging Dover was prior to my first race. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot to compare that track to. They said it was like a larger version of Bristol, but I hadn’t raced at Bristol yet, either. It’s nice to have more of a handle on what to expect heading in there now. Dover is fun. It’s fast and it can make for a really long day of racing. I think that’s part of the appeal of it – how demanding it can be. We definitely want to stay out of trouble, which is easier said than done at these types of tracks.”

    This is your third Sprint Cup Series start at Dover. Do you review previous races before going to an event?

    “I look through notes at what the feel was from the time before. If I’ve got some in-car (video), I’ll look at that, too. That’s really all there is to do. Every weekend is its own weekend and sometimes I feel like it’s nice almost to come in a little bit fresh, too, and not have any preconceived ideas. I like to make notes from the races because there are so many that are similar, you almost can’t remember what you’re supposed to do. There are tiny, little things about a track that are helpful to remember – just where the grip is and bumps and certain things. There’s general feel, like do you drive flat into the corner or do you lift early – just little things that help you get your rhythm quicker. That’s about all I do.”

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  • Sylvania 300 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 22, 2013
    Event: Sylvania 300 (Round 28 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 21st/27th (Running, completed 300 of 300 laps)
    Point Standing: 26th (514 points, 9 back of 25th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 27th in the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    Patrick, who started 21st, was in 17th place for the race’s final restart on lap 256 but fell to 27th.

    “I’m not sure if I got hit or just got really loose on the last restart,” said Patrick, who made her 38th Sprint Cup start and her second at New Hampshire. “The car just went sideways, and I lost a ton of spots. It’s disappointing. It’s something to learn from and put in the notebook for next time. The car just never felt ‘in’ the track today. It wasn’t for a lack of effort by the Tony Gibson and the guys, but it just wasn’t quite were we needed it to be. We took two tires on the last stop, but that last restart hurt us and we lost a lot of spots. It’s disappointing, but we’ll move on.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 24th. She remained 26th in the point standings and has 514 points, nine behind 25th-place David Ragan.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 16th.

    The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 23rd.

    Matt Kenseth won the Sylvania 300 to score his 31st career Sprint Cup victory, his series-best seventh of the season and his first at New Hampshire.

    Kyle Busch finished .533 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 37 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 300-lap race.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup and entered the second race of the 10-race Chase eighth among the 13 Chase drivers, 28 points behind Chase leader Kenseth. Newman leaves New Hampshire ninth in the standings, 47 points behind Kenseth.

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  • Sylvania 300 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 18, 2013) – While it’s hard to believe, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has hit the three-quarter mark of the season – 27 races down, nine to go.

    There is no season quite like the Sprint Cup Series as it stretches from February to November with just two weekends off during the season.

    Despite racing since she was 10 years old, Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing has never experienced a season quite like her rookie year in the Sprint Cup Series. The IZOD IndyCar Series averaged 16 to17 events per season when she competed in that discipline and, while her first NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule was 33 races, most of those were one- or two-day commitments at the racetrack.

    But the Sprint Cup Series schedule is comprised of 38 weekends, the vast majority of which require a three-day effort at the racetrack, making it by far the busiest racing schedule Patrick has ever endured.

    Patrick and the other 42 Sprint Cup competitors will open the fourth and final quarter of the season by competing in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The first Sprint Cup Series start for Patrick came in July but was ended prematurely by an accident on lap 237. She finished 14th in the July 2012 Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire and sixth in the 2011 IndyCar Series event at the 1.058-mile oval.

    While Patrick’s mind is on the final quarter of the season, she’s also looking ahead to the offseason – specifically, co-hosting the American Country Awards with Trace Adkins on Dec. 10, live on FOX. The event will take place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on New Hampshire?

    “I like going to New Hampshire. It’s a neat racetrack and I’ve always liked going there. It’s challenging, but I think we’ve got a lot of notes to work off of. We tested there earlier in the year and then have the notes to go off of from July, so I feel good going in there. We’ve qualified and raced better in recent weeks, so we need to build on that and keep getting better.”

    The final quarter of the season is upon us. Talk about participating in the longest season you’ve ever done.

    “It’s the longest season I’ve ever done, for sure. Even Nationwide, it was one- or two-day shows. Now, it’s usually three days at the track, so it’s been a bit of an adjustment. There’s been a lot of testing and other team obligations. But it’s been a good year – a learning year. I feel like we’re moving in a good direction. Qualifying better, racing better. We want to continue that in the last quarter of the season and show even more improvement. The GoDaddy guys have been working really hard at building new cars and striving to get better and I’ve worked hard to give good feedback and continue to get better each week.”

    It was announced this week that you’ll be co-hosting the American Country Awards with Trace Adkins on Dec. 10. Talk about that.

    “I’m excited about it. It should be fun. I’ve been to the ESPY’s and the Kids Choice Awards, but never hosted or co-hosted, so it will be a new experience. Trace has hosted the last few years, so I’m sure he’ll give me some tips and guidance so it all goes smoothly. I’m really pumped, though. It should be a great time. I’ve become a huge fan of country music, recently.”

    How did you become a fan of country music?

    “It really started when I got to NASCAR. I started picking up on it. I got asked to be in Miranda Lambert’s video, Fastest Girl in Town, and I bought her album and the Pistol Annie album and started listening. Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) has certainly helped my country music education, as well. I like the music and have had the opportunity to meet a lot of country artists, so it’s been fun. Ricky and I actually shot a video with Colt Ford a couple of weeks ago. I still like Pearl Jam and Alanis (Morissette), but I’m a huge country fan, now.”

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  • Danica and Trace Adkins to Co-host the 4th Annual American Country Awards

    Multi-platinum recording artist Trace Adkins and NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick will co-host the fourth annual AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS, airing live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas Tuesday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. This is Adkins’ fourth time serving as a host of the annual awards show, which gives fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite artists in categories such as artists, albums, singles, videos and touring, encompassing the entire spectrum of country music and bestowing honors that no other awards show has. Nominees, performers and presenters to be announced.

    “I can’t wait to see if I have what it takes to keep up with this racing superstar,” said Adkins.

    “I’m so excited to host the AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS with Trace Adkins,” Patrick said. “I have no doubt he’ll be able to keep up with me. I’ve become a huge fan of country music since I came to NASCAR and have been fortunate to be in videos with Miranda Lambert and Colt Ford. This is going to be a really cool experience and I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s going to be a great show!”

    In addition to his hosting duties, Adkins will be joined by legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff and other guests for a special performance of “Carol of the Drum” (otherwise known as “Little Drummer Boy”). The song is featured on Adkins’ recently announced Celtic-infused Christmas album, “The King’s Gift.”

    The third annual AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS, co-hosted by Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth, featured performances by Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kip Moore, Jake Owen and Rascal Flatts, as well as by Adkins and Chenoweth. The special also featured appearances by Lauren Alaina, Natasha Bedingfield, champion cowboy Trevor Brazile, Lee Brice, Lindsey Buckingham, Carmen Electra, Eli Young Band, Florida Georgia Line, Gloriana, Casey James, Jana Kramer, Miranda Lambert, Love and Theft, Dustin Lynch, Scotty McCreery, Penn & Teller, LeAnn Rimes, the San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt and Barry Zito, Ron White and Chris Young.

    With his trademark baritone and wry sense of humor, Trace Adkins is one of country music’s most accomplished entertainers. With total sales surpassing 10 million albums, a long list of hit singles and platinum albums, he is also a television personality, actor and author. A Grammy Award nominee and member of the Grand Ole Opry, Adkins will release his Christmas album of Celtic-infused carols, “The King’s Gift,” on October 29, 2013, then embark on The Christmas Show Tour, a theatrical musical production for the whole family, in theaters this holiday season. This will be Adkins’ fourth time hosting the AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS.

    Danica Patrick burst onto the scene in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first Indianapolis 500 – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a Top-Five finish in the historic race. Three years later, in April 2008, Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league, open-wheel race in a North American series with her victory in the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.

    In February 2013, Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing, once again made headlines around the world with her record-setting performance in the 55th Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway. She became the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500 and then finished in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS is executive-produced by Bob Bain (TEEN CHOICE 2013, “Kids’ Choice Awards”). Paul Flattery, Tisha Fein and Fletcher Foster serve as producers; and Greg Sills is supervising producer. Michael Dempsey will direct the special.

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  • Geico 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 15, 2013
    Event: Geico 400 (Round 27 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 23rd/20th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 26th (497 points, 11 behind 25th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 20th in the Geico 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.

    Patrick, who started 23rd, drove a smooth, clean race. She ran as high as 16th at one point in the event.

    “I thought it was all right,” said Patrick, who made her 37th Sprint Cup start and her second at Chicago. “We weren’t the fastest car out there, but we were decent and relatively consistent. At the beginning of the year, top-20s were the goal based on last year and we had to readjust that a bit, but now that’s kind of where we’re falling in with things. The cars are getting better, and I’m learning things. It’s going in the right direction. I’d like it to go further, but I’ll take any progress. Overall, it was a good night for the GoDaddy team. The pit crew was great once again, and it was a positive night for us.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 12 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed eighth for his second consecutive top-10 finish. She moved up one spot in the standings and has 497 points, 11 behind 25th-place David Ragan.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 10th. Newman led one lap en route to scoring his eighth top-10 in 12 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval. It was also his 13th top-10 this season.

    Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 17th.

    Matt Kenseth won the Geico 400 to score his 30th career Sprint Cup victory, his series-best sixth of the season and his first at Chicagoland.

    Kyle Busch finished .749 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Stenhouse, Clint Bowyer and Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 46 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race. The event was delayed twice due to rain for a total of six hours, 30 minutes. Mist forced nearly a 90-minute delay of the start, while heavier rain forced the race to be halted for more than five hours after 108 laps were complete.

    Newman is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup and entered the first race of the 10-race Chase seeded 12th among the 13 Chase drivers, 15 points behind No. 1 seed Kenseth. Newman leaves Chicagoland in eighth, 28 points behind Chase leader Kenseth.

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  • Geico 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 11, 2013) – For the 12 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, it’s “Go Time” as the 10-race Chase kicks off with Sunday’s Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The 12 drivers best be “Go Getters” from the drop of the green flag if they’d like to be crowned champion 10 weeks from now at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

    For the 31 Sprint Cup drivers not in the Chase, it’s also “Go Time,” as each wants to finish out the year as strong as possible to gain momentum and experience heading into 2014.

    For Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the final 10 races are about finishing up her rookie year in strong fashion and continuing to gain valuable experience each time she hits the track.

    Patrick has competed in a Sprint Cup race at every track that comprises the 10-race Chase, save for Homestead. She’ll make her second career starts at Chicagoland, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and her third starts at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Phoenix International Raceway.

    Patrick is hoping to improve on her results at tracks she will visit a second and third time. Of the tracks where she has competed twice – Dover, Kansas, Charlotte, Texas and Phoenix, she improved her finishing result in race two at the first three. Patrick also bettered her qualifying effort at Kansas and Charlotte.

    She and the GoDaddy team are banking on that trend and hope to continue starting and finishing higher than in the previous race. Should that be accomplished, it will provide the team plenty of energy heading into 2014.

    This week’s race at Chicagoland is important on the track for Patrick, but also off the track as Chicagoland Speedway is about 116 miles south and east of her hometown of Roscoe, Ill. It’s a home race for Patrick, who will have plenty of friends and family in attendance at the 1.5-mile oval.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Chicago?

    “I’ve always loved going to Chicago. I love the city – it’s just a great place. There’s so much to do and the restaurants, the shopping – it’s just a world-class city. I think the race will be good. It’s a busy week for us testing out in Phoenix for Goodyear on Tuesday and Wednesday and then heading to Chicagoland. I’ve always liked the track and we’ve been getting better at the intermediate tracks in recent weeks, especially in qualifying. So, I’m looking forward to it.”

    You grew up in Roscoe, Ill., about 116 miles northwest of Chicagoland Speedway. Will you have a lot of family and friends at the race this weekend?

    “There are going to be a few people out there. I normally don’t have a lot because I don’t exactly volunteer tickets because it’s a lot of work and there’s a lot going on during the weekend. For people who come out to the track, you want them to have a good time and, if you don’t feel like you can help them have a good time, then there’s not much point. But it will be nice to have family and friends out. It’s a little different because I rarely have people at the races with me. It’s nice to see everyone and have their support and hopefully we put on a good show for them.”

    You participated in the first day of a Goodyear tire test Tuesday at Phoenix. How did that go?

    “It was good. Anytime you can get on track, it’s good thing, whether it’s a team test or a Goodyear test. You just try to give good, consistent feedback and help them pick a good compound for the race. I’m not sure they get the proper credit for how hard they work and the effort they put in each week. They really get after it and we as drivers and teams appreciate that.”

    GoDaddy launched a new advertising and marketing campaign last week and has changed its mission a bit. Talk about that.

    “It’s a simple concept, really – they want to help small businesses succeed and leverage the power of the Internet. And the campaign really is common with what we do in racing. To be successful in racing, you have to be a “Go Getter” and know when it’s “Go Time.” It’s the same for small businesses. In order to be successful in any business, but especially a small business, you have to be a “Go Getter.” GoDaddy offers some amazing products and services to make sure small businesses succeed. The new commercial is really cool with Jean-Claude Van Damme appearing in it. I’m excited about the direction of GoDaddy. Blake (Irving, GoDaddy CEO) has done a lot of great things since he came on board and I think great things are ahead.”

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  • Federated Auto Parts 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 7, 2013
    Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 (Round 26 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 36th/30th (Running, completed 396 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (473 points, 1,542 out of first, OUT OF THE CHASE)
    Winner: Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 30th in the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

    Patrick, who started 36th, never could get the car to her liking during the race.

    “It just wasn’t our night,” said Patrick, who made her 36th Sprint Cup start and her second at Richmond. “We just didn’t get it right. Tony Gibson (crew chief) and the GoDaddy guys never gave up and worked hard all weekend. There are nights that you just know it’s not going to go your way, and this was one of those nights. We’ve been making gains in recent weeks, but tonight was tough. The important thing is for me and the guys to forget about it and move onto Chicago and look to get better.”

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 20 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 10th for his first career top-10. She remained 27th in the standings with 473 points.

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished third in the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Newman led four laps before scoring his sixth top-five of 2013 and his sixth top-five in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Richmond.

    The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, finished ninth as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart as the interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS. It was Martin’s 31st top-10 in 56 career Sprint Cup starts at the .75-mile oval.

    Carl Edwards won the Federated Auto Parts 400 to score his 21st career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his first at Richmond.

    Kurt Busch finished .668 of a second behind Edwards in the runner-up spot, while Newman, Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, Martin and Stenhouse comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 29 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    Richmond marked the last race of the regular season, as the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins.

    The top-10 drivers in points are eligible to compete in the Chase, along with two wild-card drivers – Kasey Kahne and Truex – who were admitted to the Chase field by having the most wins among the drivers who were between 11th and 20th in the standings. NASCAR recalibrated the points for the 12 drivers as soon as the Richmond race was over, with each driver getting 2,000 points. With the exception of wild-card entrants Kahne and Truex, drivers also received three bonus points for each of their respective wins during the 26-race regular season. For drivers starting the Chase with identical point totals, their seed was determined by the traditional tiebreaker of best finishes beyond race victories.

    Newman just missed the Chase, as his third-place finish in the Federated Auto Parts 400 put him in a tie with Truex for the second and final wild-card spot. But Truex won the tiebreaker as he had more second-place finishes than Newman.

    Ranked in order of where their bonus points seeded them, the drivers competing for this year’s championship are:

    1. Matt Kenseth (2,015 points)
    2. Jimmie Johnson (2,012 points, -3)
    3. Kyle Busch (2,012 points, -3)
    4. Kevin Harvick (2,006 points -9)
    5. Carl Edwards (2,006 points, -9)
    6. Joey Logano (2,003 points, -12)
    7. Greg Biffle (2,003 points, -12)
    8. Clint Bowyer (2,000 points, -15)
    9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2,000 points, -15)
    10. Kurt Busch (2,000 points, -15)
    11. Kasey Kahne (2,000 points, -15)
    12. Martin Truex Jr. (2,000 points, -15)

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the first race of the Chase – is the Geico 400 on Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.

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  • Federated Auto Parts 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 3, 2013) – When it comes to the history of Richmond International (Va.) Raceway, drivers at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) have played a role at one time or another.

    SHR co-owner Tony Stewart, who is sidelined with a leg injury, scored his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at the .75-mile oval in September 1999.

    Mark Martin, who is subbing for Stewart, started on the pole and finished seventh – his first career top-10 – in September 1981 at Richmond. That was back when Richmond was a half-mile oval, before the current configuration was completed in 1988.

    Ryan Newman scored a victory at Richmond in September 2003 and also won the pole for the September 2004 event.

    While Stewart, Martin and Newman made their mark in the Sprint Cup Series, Danica Patrick’s familiarity to Richmond fans might be more so in open-wheel competition.

    The IZOD IndyCar Series competed at Richmond from 2001 to 2009 and Patrick competed in five of those events. She finished sixth in 2007 and 2008 and then scored a fifth-place result in 2009.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, will make her second trip to Richmond in the Sprint Cup Series for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400. In her first Sprint Cup race at the .75-mile oval in April, she started 30th and finished 29th.

    While she knows her IndyCar experience at Richmond won’t assist her this weekend, she’s hoping a productive Sprint Cup test two weeks ago will. She and Martin split time in the GoDaddy Chevrolet and hope their combined efforts lead to a good finish Saturday night.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Richmond?

    “I’ve always enjoyed coming to Richmond. I had fun racing Indy cars here. I liked driving the Nationwide car here. We didn’t have the greatest result but it was still fun. Having done the Cup race in the spring and then a test last week, I feel more confident going in. As I’ve said, it’s nice to go to these tracks a second or third time. The comfort level is obviously much higher.”

    You tested at Richmond two weeks ago and Mark Martin also drove the GoDaddy Chevrolet at Richmond. Talk about another driver testing your car.

    “The test went really well. And I’ve always been happy to have other drivers in my car at a test, especially someone like Mark with all his experience. For me, as a rookie, I think it’s important to get a different perspective and get someone else’s thoughts. Mark has so much experience and he’s been so helpful to me, even before we were teammates, so I was happy to have him in the car. Anything that will make me better and SHR better as a whole, I’m all for.”

    Are you happy the team line-up is complete for 2014 with Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and you?

    “It is nice. I think it helps from a team perspective to get things in order and in line for the year because there is going to be a lot that we are going to need to get organized – everything from space at the shop to airplane space. There is a lot for the team to get in order and this gives us the appropriate amount of time to do it.”

    Do you see benefits to expanding the organization to four cars?

    “I think the best part about having more drivers is one we are going to start hiring people. We are going to get some fresh ideas and perspectives. We are just going to have more brain power. There are going to be more crew chiefs, more engineers, more of everything and then, when you have a line-up like we do, there is a lot of experience there, especially those other three guys. I feel like it’s going to help our team from top to bottom.”

    The NFL opens its season this week. How big of a Chicago Bears fan are you?

    “I go to games every year. I’m a big Bears fan, for sure. I always watch their games. I even get nervous for their games. That means I’m a fan, right? I’m sure I’m not the biggest fan, but I’m a big fan, for sure.”

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  • AdvoCare 500 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 1, 2013
    Event: AdvoCare 500 (Round 25 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 21st/21st (Running, completed 323 of 325 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (459 points, 378 out of first; 260 behind 10th)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 21st in the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, who started 21st, drove a smooth, clean race and finished eight spots higher than she did a year ago at Atlanta.

    “I’m proud of the GoDaddy guys,” said Patrick, who made her 35th Sprint Cup start and her second at Atlanta. “We weren’t good in the first practice (on Friday). Tony Gibson and the guys worked really hard, and we qualified well and then continued to get better throughout the weekend.

    “It was a good race for us. It was a little tight at the end, but overall, we improved, and I think we’ve gotten better the last few races. The pit crew was really good, and they were quick on each stop. I’m happy with how we ran. Obviously, you always want to do better than you finish, but it’s like we’ve said all year, it’s about making little gains and getting better as we go along.”

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS, finished fifth.

    The third member of SHR, Mark Martin, interim driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 25th.

    Kyle Busch won the AdvoCare 500 to score his 28th career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his second at Atlanta.

    Joey Logano finished .740 of a second behind Busch in the runner-up spot, while Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch and Newman rounded out the top-five. Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 47 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 325-lap race around the 1.54-mile oval.

    With round 25 of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up one spot to 14th with 699 points, 138 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 20 behind 10th-place Kurt Busch. Patrick remained 27th with 459 points, 378 behind Johnson and 260 away from Kurt Busch.

    Stewart, out of the Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for the remainder of the season, dropped to 23rd in the standings. He has 594 points, 243 out of first and 125 behind 10th-place Busch.

    Just one race remains before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Kasey Kahne, who is 12th in points, has the first wild card via his two wins. Truex holds the second wild card as he is 13th in points with one victory. Newman is the only other driver between 11th and 20th with a victory.

    The No. 14 car is 15th in the Sprint Cup owner standings with 696 points, 141 behind the series-leading No. 48 team of Hendrick Motorsports and 23 points behind the No. 78 team of Furniture Row Racing, which is 10th.

    The No. 5 team of Hendrick Motorsports has the first wild-card spot via its two wins, while the No. 56 team of Michael Waltrip Racing has the second wild card as it is the highest team between 11th and 20th with one victory. The No. 39 team of SHR (14th), the No. 14 team of SHR (15th) and the No. 55 team of Michael Waltrip Racing (18th) each have one victory and are still in contention for a wild-card spot in the chase for the owner championship.

    Following next week’s race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, the owner standings will be reset, with each team getting 2,000 points. With the exception of wild-card entrants (11th- and 12th-place teams), teams also receive three bonus points for each of their respective wins during the 26-race regular season. For teams starting the Chase with identical point totals, their seed is determined by the traditional tiebreaker of best finishes beyond race victories.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished five spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 16th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Richmond. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ABC beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.

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  • AdvoCare 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 28, 2013) – While many Americans will fire up the barbeque one final time and watch the opening weekend of college football this Labor Day weekend, Danica Patrick and her fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitors will be “laboring,” for lack of a better term.

    Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup race is certainly no holiday for drivers as the marathon, 325-lap event around the fast, old and slick 1.5 miles of Atlanta Motor Speedway asphalt is one of the biggest challenges of the season.

    The Atlanta quad-oval is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit, but its old pavement means that cars slip and slide around, putting a driver’s ability to the test. Factor in that the race starts in the hot early evening sun and ends under the stars, and the race is one that can cause headaches for both drivers and crew chiefs as they attempt to figure out how to maximize the handling of their cars from beginning to end.

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), and her crew chief Tony Gibson will attempt to find a handling package that is comfortable to drive but without compromising speed.

    Easier said than done.

    But if Patrick needs any advice about Atlanta, she can certainly lean on her teammates, both current and future.

    Mark Martin, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for SHR as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, has 52 Sprint Cup starts at Atlanta, with his first coming on March 21, 1982 – four days before Patrick was born.

    Of those 52 starts, 23 came on the “old” version of Atlanta, as did Martin’s two wins in November 1991 and 1994. He has seven top-three finishes on the “new” configuration, as well as one pole in March 2009, so Patrick has plenty of knowledge to tap into.

    If Patrick needs qualifying advice, she can turn to the third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS. Newman has seven poles at Atlanta, tied for the most all-time with Buddy Baker.

    Patrick’s teammates for 2014, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick, can also offer perspective as Busch has three Atlanta wins and Harvick one at the 1.5-mile oval.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Atlanta?

    “The first time I raced there was last year and I did both Nationwide and (Sprint) Cup. That seems like a long time ago and that was only my fifth Cup start, so I feel a little more confident and knowledgeable than I did a year ago. It’s a fast place. The tires definitely go off with the surface and the line moves around a lot. It’s a big weekend with a lot going on for GoDaddy, Coke Zero and Chevrolet, so there’s a lot off the track, as well. But I’m looking forward to it.”

    You tested at Richmond this past week and Mark Martin also drove the GoDaddy Chevrolet at Richmond. Talk about another driver testing your car.

    “The test went really well. And I’ve always been happy to have other drivers in my car at a test, especially someone like Mark with all his experience. For me, as a rookie, I think it’s important to get a different perspective and get someone else’s thoughts. Mark has so much experience and he’s been so helpful to me, even before we were teammates, so I was happy to have him in the car. Anything that will make me better and SHR better as a whole, I’m all for.”

    Thoughts on Kurt Busch coming to Stewart-Haas Racing?

    “I’m excited. I have known Kurt for a long time. It goes all the way back to when he drove an IndyCar (in 2003) at Sebring (Fla.), I believe. He drove a Rahal Letterman car and I was there watching that day. I’ve always really liked him and got along really well with him. We’ve never had any problems on the track at all, so we have a good working relationship, for sure. I always like having more people to look at as far as their styles. With a four-car team, there are more engineers, there are more crew chiefs, and more people around to develop things. For me I think it’s a great thing.”

    Have you seen Tony Stewart recently?

    “I went and saw him last week and he is progressively getting better. We were joking about how he has to go to the hospital to get a check-up and how the ambulance comes, and they bring him out on a stretcher. Poor guy. But he was in good spirits and he was definitely of the mindset that he needs to do it right, and do rehab right. You know, they hope that he can be back in January. And if he does, he is like, ‘I don’t need to be back any sooner, so let’s just do this right.’ I think that is the right attitude. I think he is in a really good place – as good of a place as you can be with many incisions in your leg.”

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  • Stewart-Haas Racing Expands to Four Teams Beginning in 2014

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 27, 2013) – Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world – will expand to four cars in 2014.

    Kurt Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion and owner of 24 Sprint Cup victories, will drive the Haas Automation Chevrolet SS fulltime alongside Stewart in the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, Danica Patrick in the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet and Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet beginning in 2014. It’s a lineup that features four Sprint Cup championships, 36 poles and 93 wins.

    “Stewart-Haas Racing has proven itself to be a very competitive race team. Every team wants to win, but the preparation and resources Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and everyone at SHR put into their racecars each and every week is incredible,” Busch said. “This is the kind of situation every driver wants to be in, and I’m grateful to Gene Haas and Haas Automation for providing me this opportunity. I didn’t think anyone wanted to win as much as me until I met Gene Haas.”

    “Kurt Busch is a premier talent, one who gives you the opportunity to win races every week and contend for a championship every year,” Haas said. “When he became available, we seized the opportunity to make him a part of Stewart-Haas Racing. This is an organization built on winning, and Haas Automation is a company built on performance. Kurt embodies each of those qualities, and it’s why we’re investing in his abilities.”

    Busch’s Sprint Cup title came in the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Busch is also the 2003 champion of the International Race of Champions (IROC), a series which pitted the best drivers from NASCAR, the IZOD IndyCar Series and the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.

    “I’ve had a tremendous amount of respect for Kurt’s talent and determination for as long as he’s been racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Kurt is extremely knowledgeable, and his input will make all of Stewart-Haas Racing better,” said Stewart, still recovering from a broken right tibia and fibula suffered in a sprint car crash Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

    “When Gene Haas laid out his plans for what he wanted to do in regard to this race team’s future, which included bringing Kurt on board in a fourth car, it was impressive. You can’t stand still in this business. You have to constantly improve. Gene’s investment in this race team ensures the success of Stewart-Haas Racing for many years to come.”

    Work has already begun on the physical expansion of SHR. Land adjacent to the team’s existing 140,000-square foot facility is being cleared for construction of a building that will house research and development, a state-of-the-art pit fitness and training center, and multipurpose space for SHR partners.

    About Haas Automation:

    Haas Automation, Inc., is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. Founded by Gene Haas in 1983, Haas Automation manufactures a complete line of CNC lathes and rotary equipment. All Haas products are built in the company’s 1 million square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, Calif., and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets that provides the industry’s best sales, service and support while offering unparalleled cost-to-performance value. For more information, please visit www.haascnc.com.

    About Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The team fields three entries in the elite Sprint Cup Series – the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart, the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for 2008 Daytona 500 and 2013 Brickyard 400 winner Ryan Newman, and the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Danica Patrick. Based in Kannapolis, N.C., Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 140,000-square-foot facility with more than 200 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing and follow on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng.

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  • Irwin Tools Night Race Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 24, 2013
    Event: Irwin Tools Night Race (Round 24 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 22nd/26th (Running, completed 493 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (436 points, 385 out of first; 249 behind 10th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 26th in the Irwin Tools Night Race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, who had been battling through a loose-handling condition, was running a solid race and holding her ground early in the race. But shortly after lap 100, her car slid up the track in turn three and slapped the outside retaining wall. The contact caused damage to the right side of the car and also bent the splitter bar down.

    With the caution out, Patrick brought the GoDaddy Chevy to the attention of her pit crew. They changed four tires, made a track bar adjustment and pulled out the fenders in an effort to fix the damage.

    Crew chief Tony Gibson elected to bring Patrick back down pit road a second time as a precautionary measure. The crew did more work to the right side of the car to ensure the damaged sheet metal did not cause a flat tire once the race returned to green. But the field took the green flag at lap 112 right as Patrick was coming off pit road, which meant she was quickly overtaken by the leaders and went a lap down.

    Despite issues with handling and the splitter, Patrick continued to fight through the 500-lap race and finished in 26th.

    “Overall, I would honestly say we are still on a good streak of running strong,” said Patrick, who made her 34th Sprint Cup start and her third at Bristol. “There is nothing you can do about getting into the wall and having damage. We came back as best as we could and made the car as good as it was at the end. That is a positive. My goal, honestly, in my mind is like, ‘Man, if we can come away with a top-30 with having these problems, then that is all right,’ and we finished 26th through attrition and staying out of trouble. We will take it and move on.”

    Gibson also took positives away from the night.

    “I think we were a solid top-20 car before the accident happened,” Gibson said. “Danica was doing the right thing on the track, and as far as I’m concerned, we had a good weekend here. We have to focus on the positives on a night like this. I appreciate her and the team not giving up and hanging in there together tonight.”

    Patrick’s teammate Mark Martin, interim driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 20th.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 21st.

    Matt Kenseth won the Irwin Tools Night Race, scoring his 29th career Sprint Cup victory, his fifth of the season and his third at Bristol.

    Kasey Kahne finished .188 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Juan Montoya, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Paul Menard, Jeff Gordon, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 11 caution periods for 74 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    With round 24 of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He maintained his 15th-place standing and has 659 points, 162 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 26 behind 10th-place Logano. Patrick maintained her 27th-place standing and has 436 points, 385 behind Johnson and 249 away from Logano.

    The No. 14 car is 13th with 677 points, 144 behind the series-leading No. 48 team of Hendrick Motorsports but only eight points behind the 10th-place No. 22 team of Penske Racing. Stewart, out of the car indefinitely, dropped to 19th in points. He has 594 points, 227 out of first and 91 behind 10th-place Logano.

    Just two races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Martin Truex Jr., who is 14th in points, has the first wild card via his win earlier in the season at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. Newman holds the second wild card as he is 15th in points with one victory. Stewart is next in line for the wild card by virtue of his one victory and 19th-place standing in points.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished eight spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 18th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.

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  • Irwin Tools Night Race Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 21, 2013) – Certain races are circled on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule each year including Daytona, Indianapolis and Darlington, among others.

    Say the words “Bristol Night Race,” and drivers, crew members and fans immediately think of one of the great spectacles on the Sprint Cup circuit. The .533-mile Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is a sight to behold with 160,000 seats wrapped around the track in what may well be the modern day Roman Colosseum.

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), experienced her first Bristol night race last year as she made just her fourth career Sprint Cup start. It was a respectable outing for Patrick as she was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another car and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.

    One night earlier, in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Patrick started 34th and finished a solid ninth.

    The familiar green GoDaddy Chevrolet returns to Bristol this weekend, but with a bit of a different look. Outright.com, which provides bookkeeping for small businesses, will be featured alongside the GoDaddy logo on the hood and bumper of the car.

    GoDaddy, which is expanding its focus beyond domains, websites and hosting to help small-business owners with challenges like bookkeeping and taxes, acquired Outright in July 2012 to better serve small-business owners.

    Outright makes bookkeeping easy by automating time-consuming tasks like keeping track of sales and expenses and showing small-business owners their profit and loss. In addition, Outright eliminates the tax-time nightmare for small-business owners by organizing all the sales and expenses into IRS-approved categories and provides the tax worksheet they need to file.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Bristol?

    “I’ve liked Bristol since I went there the first time. I remember when I set foot onto that track, it was the day before, it was load-in day and I looked out there and you’re standing on the straightaway, but it sure seems like a corner. It’s a very cool track and a spectacle for the fans. I feel like that is always the one that everyone says, ‘I want to come see the Bristol night race.’ I feel like the attendance lately has been great, the coverage has been great for NASCAR, and I think we’ll get a lot of people out there.”

    What do you think about having Mark Martin as a teammate for many of the final few races?

    “I think he’s a great choice as a replacement for Tony. His knowledge and experience is probably second to none in the garage. It gives the team some stability throughout the final few months knowing Mark’s in the car for all the races, except for Talladega. And obviously we’ve got Austin (Dillon) in there for that race. I think it just allows us to get back to a little sense of normalcy and, hopefully, get into a routine as an organization. It’s still tough not to see Tony at the racetrack, but we know we’ve got a good plan for the rest of the year. Selfishly, it will be a huge benefit to work with Mark and learn from him. He’s so respected in the garage. I’m excited to get the chance to work with him.”

    Thoughts on Austin Dillon, both working with him last week and working with him at Talladega?

    “It’s nice to have a teammate that you know. Obviously, running with Austin in the Nationwide Series, I know him. I love getting other drivers’ perspectives on the cars and just kind of hearing the way they describe things. I think it will be good for the team. He’s young, he’s got fire and he wants to do it. I think he will be a good addition for Talladega.”

    Now that you have some experience with the transition, what would you tell young drivers coming to Sprint Cup from the Nationwide Series?

    “I think that it’s always difficult as a driver to say the words, like my goal is top-20. It’s not what it needs to be at some point. While your ultimate goal is to win – and, if the opportunity presents itself, you’ll be ready – you still have to set realistic goals along the way to keep yourself upbeat and to keep everybody else upbeat. That’s been something I’ve dealt with this year. I think, coming off of last year, I expected to do a little bit better and I let things get me frustrated and I let my spot on the track kind of take me out of my game a little bit. I pushed the limits a little bit too much and we took that week off and I just kind of looked at the season so far and said, ‘Man, every time I try so hard, something bad happens and, every time I just take whatever the car will give me and whatever the race will give me, they are much better days.’ It’s just figuring out – you, yourself – what makes you work and what makes you get the best results possible. For some, it might be to get fired up and for others it might be to just relax and let the race come to you. It’s just figuring that out. Everybody’s different.”

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  • Pure Michigan 400 Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 18, 2013
    Event: Pure Michigan 400 (Round 23 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 28th/23rd (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (418 points, 395 out of first; 245 behind 10th)
    Winner: Joey Logano of Penske Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick finished 23rd in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was making her 33rd career Sprint Cup Series start and her second at Michigan.

    After struggling with the handling of her car early and going one lap down, Patrick’s car came to life in the second half of the race thanks to a series of wedge, tire-pressure and track-bar adjustments called for by her crew chief Tony Gibson. With the car handling well, Patrick was able to secure the “lucky dog” free pass back to the lead lap on lap 136 as she was the first car one lap down when the caution came out.

    She was able to work her way into the top-20 but, after a two-tire pit stop on lap 158, a tight-handling condition on the GoDaddy Chevrolet hindered Patrick from making any more progress and she took the checkered flag in 23rd place.

    “Late in the race, the car just got tight,” Patrick said. “It was really good from the halfway point until we made that last pit stop. Then it just went tight. Overall, though, the car was pretty good all weekend. We had good practices and it felt comfortable throughout the weekend. I’m proud of Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy crew. We’re making progress and getting better each weekend.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans/PTA Chevrolet SS, finished 13th.

    The third member of SHR, Austin Dillon, interim driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 14th.

    Joey Logano won the Pure Michigan 400 to score his third career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Michigan.

    Kevin Harvick finished 1.018 seconds behind Logano in the runner-up spot while Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five. Marcos Ambrose, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 34 laps with six drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

    With round 23 of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He dropped one spot to 15th place and has 636 points, 177 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 27 behind 10th-place Biffle. Stewart, who was forced to miss the race due to injury, dropped one spot to 18th, 594 out of first and 219 points behind Biffle. Patrick remained in 27th place and has 418 points, 395 behind Johnson and 245 away from 10th.

    The No. 14 team is 13th in the owner standings with 653 points, 160 points behind the series-leading No. 48 team of Hendrick Motorsports.

    Three races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Kasey Kahne, who is 11th in points, is the first wild card via his two wins. Martin Truex Jr. holds the second wild-card spot as he is 12th in points with one victory. Logano, Newman, and Stewart each have one victory and are 13th, 15th, and 18th in points, respectively.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished four spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 19th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Irwin Tools Night Race Saturday, Aug. 24, at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ABC beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.

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  • Pure Michigan 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 14, 2013) – There is no replacement for experience.

    Given that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are limited to just four two-day tests per year at tracks where the Series competes, the more practice, qualifying and race experience drivers can get, the more knowledgeable they become.

    Especially the rookies.

    With the second half of the Sprint Cup Series season in full swing, rookies like Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), are seeing tracks for the second time this season. And knowledge gained from the first race of 2013 can pay off in the second race.

    It was evident for Patrick two weeks ago at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway when she made her second start at the 2.5-mile triangle. She was more aggressive on restarts, knew the track better and had at least a small notebook of knowledge to draw upon. While the day was cut short by an accident just past the halfway point, her second race was much better, overall, than the first.

    Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson hope the same holds true for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The GoDaddy team posted a respectable 13th-place result in the first race at Michigan and hope to build upon that for an even better finish in round two at the 2-mile D-shaped oval.

    Prior to their trip to Michigan, Patrick, Gibson and the rest of the No. 10 team will participate in a two-day test at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn., as the quest for speed and better results continues.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Thoughts on Michigan?

    “I think it’s a momentum track and I feel like I come from a background of carrying a lot of momentum and using a lot of throttle. Being smooth and hopefully that is something that can help me at Michigan. At the end of the day it has to handle well. It has to feel good. It has to be a fast car. Here at this Cup level, it’s very competitive and being a little off is being a lot off. I think my strength of carrying momentum is something I’m used to doing.”

    Talk about your race at Michigan in June.

    “I think we caught some breaks. Yellows definitely helped us be able to get track position as far as closing up the gaps and being able to pit a few times. We tried to take right-side (tires) and get track position early on. It just didn’t go well, and we just hadn’t gotten ourselves to a good place with the car that I could carry the speed I needed to run with the (pack). It didn’t work out so well. We worked on it and got it better. At the end of the race, the last run was the best run, I felt, as far as the balance of the car, which I was surprised about because we had fallen off a little bit at the end of the run before. We had only taken right-side tires again for a second time. It was nice to just get a decent finish for the team and for GoDaddy.”

    Does it help going back to a track a second and third time?

    “Of course. Just having some experience to draw upon, especially with the Gen-6 car, is huge. So many of the drivers you race against have 20 or 30 starts at these tracks, so to have any experience to draw upon is big for me or for any rookie. I think at Pocono, while the result doesn’t show it because of the accident, we were better there than we were in the spring. And that’s what you want when you go back to these places a second, third and fourth time. You want to get better and hopefully the results ultimately show that.”

    You’ve been asked this several times, but do you feel a responsibility to little girls who watch you race?

    “I think it starts off as you just race. I think I’m kind of getting a little bit older now and recognizing how honored I am to be in a position to be looked up to and to have them want to grow up to be like me, or to just purely cheer for me. There are a lot of choices out there. There are a lot of different sports to look at. I do what I can to kind of nurture that or take care of it and spend time with kids. If I’m ever running about and don’t have a lot of time, but I have a little bit I always try and make sure I pick out the kids and take time for them. I do feel some sort of responsibility to be someone they want to look up to and a good role model for them. Mostly just not break their heart. I feel like one of the hardest things when you are young is you have this idea of your idols or your role models and it’s so high. It’s hard to not disappoint because they have built you up so much. I do my best to just not let them down and, if I have a second, I at least say hello or wave.

    “There was a little girl at the PGA Championship last Thursday. She wasn’t little, she was maybe 10 (years old) and her dad was telling her who I was as I was walking by. I could hear it all happening – you know, it’s right behind me. He had said, ‘Hello,’ and so as I kind of turned off to walk another way, I looked over just to wave at her. It would be easy enough for me to just keep walking and they didn’t say anything to me. They didn’t try and say hello again or take a picture or anything, but I could tell she figured out who I was and she thought that was cool. So I just turned around to wave at her. She will have that story, now, as opposed to me walking away. Just little stuff like that.”

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  • 355k at The Glen Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 11, 2013
    Event: 355k at The Glen (Round 22 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International (2.45-mile, 11-turn road course)
    Start/Finish: 35th/20th (Running, completed 90 of 90 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (397 points, 411 out of first; 228 behind 10th)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick weaved her way through two late-race accidents and finished a respectable 20th in the 355k at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was making her 32nd career Sprint Cup Series start and her first at Watkins Glen.

    “I think at the end of the day, there was a lot going on, especially at the end,” Patrick said. “Really just trying to finish and really just trying to not get frustrated, no matter what is going on out there, and just taking what the car will give you. So I just tried to stay calm and stay focused on not making any mistakes. It was really easy to make mistakes out there, and we worked on the car, and I feel like we have a direction for next time. We didn’t nail it today, that is for sure, but I think we made gains, for sure, from the beginning of practice until the end of the race. It’s just a matter of using that for next time and getting better.”

    Twice in the closing laps, Patrick managed to avoid multi-car accidents in front of her which could have resulted in a damaged racecar and a poor finish for her and the GoDaddy team.

    “The spotters did a great job today,” Patrick said. “It’s so tough sometimes to see what’s going on ahead of you on a road course, but they kept me aware and kept me out of trouble, especially at the end. I’m proud of the entire GoDaddy team.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation 30th Anniversary Chevrolet SS, finished 14th to score his seventh top-15 finish in 12 career starts at Watkins Glen.

    Max Papis, interim driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he substitutes for the injured Tony Stewart, finished 15th. It was his second top-15 finish in four career Sprint Cup starts at Watkins Glen.

    Kyle Busch won the 355k at The Glen to score his 27th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his second career win at Watkins Glen.

    Brad Keselowski finished .486 of a second behind Busch in the runner-up spot, while Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and AJ Allmendinger comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 21 laps, with nine drivers failing to finish the 90-lap race.

    With round 22 of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up one spot to 14th place and has 605 points, 203 back of series leader Johnson and 20 behind 10th-place Truex. Stewart, who was forced to miss the race due to injury, dropped six spots to 17th with 594 points, 214 out of first and 31 points behind Truex. Patrick maintained her 27th-place standing and has 397 points, 411 behind Johnson and 228 away from 10th.

    The No. 14 team is 11th in the owner standings with 623 points, 185 points behind the series-leading No. 48 team of Hendrick Motorsports.

    Four races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Kasey Kahne, who is 12th in points, is the first wild card via his two wins, while Newman is the second wild card because he is the highest-standing driver between 11th and 20th with one victory.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished two spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 18th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, Aug. 18 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • 355k at The Glen Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 7, 2013) – The road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International is one of the few tracks on the NASCAR schedule where Danica Patrick has a lot of experience.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has made seven starts at Watkins Glen dating back to 2005.

    Six of those starts came in the IZOD IndyCar Series and unfortunately won’t offer much assistance to Patrick as she competes in Sunday’s 355k at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. As if the incredible difference between a stock car and an Indy car weren’t enough, the IndyCar Series used the longer version of the Watkins Glen road circuit, which includes the famous “boot” portion of the track.

    Patrick did compete in last year’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen, but she finished 43rd after Ryan Truex spun in front of her on the start. She could not avoid his spinning car and made heavy contact with his machine. It was part of a memorable, if not downright strange, three-race Nationwide Series road course experience for Patrick last season.

    In June 2012 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., Patrick was fourth on the final lap when she was bumped into the gravel trap by Jacques Villeneueve, which dropped her to a 12th-place finish.

    One week later, Patrick led 20 laps and was on the point at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal when a fan threw a shoe onto the track and she ran over it on lap 38 of 81. Shortly thereafter, whether the shoe caused the problem or not, Patrick was forced to pit for mechanical repairs and finished 27th.

    Patrick’s only Sprint Cup Series start on a road course came two months ago when she started 31st and finished 29th at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. She and the GoDaddy team are hoping that a productive test July 30 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., will help them to a solid finish at one of the most famous racetracks in the world.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    First things first, what are your thoughts on your teammate and boss, Tony Stewart?

    “I’m obviously thinking about him and hope he gets better very soon. It’s hard to hear that news no matter who it is, but when it’s your teammate and friend, it’s obviously tougher. He’s been a huge help throughout my rookie year in Sprint Cup and it’s going to be strange not seeing him drive at Watkins Glen. We’re all just wishing a speedy recovery for him and we know, when he comes back, he’ll be as good as ever.”

    What are your thoughts about working with Stewart’s substitute driver Max Papis this weekend?

    “Max is a great guy and a great road racer. It’ll be fun to have him as a teammate this weekend. I wish it were under different circumstances, but it will be nice to work with him. We tested together last week at Road Atlanta and he was really good to work with. I’ve known him for a few years and I’m sure he’s excited for this opportunity.”

    Talk about the test at Road Atlanta last week.

    “The GoDaddy car felt really good when we went and tested. It is about as good as it’s unloaded off the truck at any point this year, anywhere we’ve gone. So, I hope that translates to good things. It’s not a bad thing, anyway.”

    Do you feel good, in general, about a road-course race?

    “If you had asked me when I was at Sonoma or anywhere around then, I would have said I don’t feel very good. But our test at Road Atlanta was very good and, in general, I feel very comfortable on road courses. So, it will be nice because the road courses are a real opportunity for me to get the GoDaddy car further up where some of these tracks are a little bit more challenging for me. So, it’s definitely not Nationwide when you’re racing Cup on the road courses, but I still feel like there’s an opportunity to have a decent weekend if we can nail the balance of the car and qualify well.”

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  • GoBowling.com 400 Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 4, 2013
    Event: GoBowling.com 400 (Round 21 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
    Start/Finish: 34th/35th (Accident, completed 110 of 160 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (373 points, 399 out of first; 226 behind 10th)
    Winner: Kasey Kahne of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick had a strong racecar and appeared to be in contention for a solid top-20 finish in the GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

    But Patrick’s efforts were foiled just 50 laps shy of the race’s completion when she was caught in a wreck at lap 110 in the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

    Patrick was 18th and moving forward when she was involved in the multi-car accident. Travis Kvapil was on the outside of Patrick as they drove into Pocono’s turn two. While the two cars didn’t touch, it appeared the close racing between the two cars resulted in the air being taken off of the No. 10 Chevy, causing it to spin up the racetrack before being hit by two other racecars.

    Patrick’s GoDaddy Chevy sustained heavy front-end damage. She was able to drive her No. 10 Chevy to the garage but was unable to continue in the race due to the damage.

    “There was a car outside of me, and when there is a car outside of you going through fast corners, it takes the side force off of it, and the car gets looser when someone is there,” Patrick said. “It hadn’t been a problem all day. I didn’t do anything different that time. I even kind of told myself going into the corner, ‘It’s fine, just run through the corner.’ I don’t know if he was closer than other cars had been to my outside or not.

    “We had freed the GoDaddy car up just a little bit, but not drastically, just a little bit because we were tight. I don’t know if that was enough to just tip it over the edge from where it was. It’s never as much rear grip when someone is outside of you. I feel bad for the team because we were having a good day, and I know it’s nice to finish those days off and it would have been nice to finish in the top 20. That is just my goal.

    “It’s simple, it’s nothing crazy, but it’s been a challenge this year. It would have been nice to do that, and we were just having a steady race and a good race, and it’s over. We were way better than we were last time. We were competitive, and we were making good calls in the pits. Everything was going; it just happens.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fourth to score his fourth top-five of the season and his ninth top-five in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2.5-mile triangle.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished ninth. It was his 22nd top-10 in 30 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono and his eighth top-10 of the season.

    Kasey Kahne won the GoBowling.com 400 to score his 16th career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his second at Pocono.

    Jeff Gordon finished 1.392 seconds behind Kahne in the runner-up spot, while Kurt Busch, Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Stewart and Greg Biffle comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 35 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

    With round 21 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He remained 11th and has 594 points, 178 back of series leader Johnson and five points behind 10th-place Biffle. Newman gained one spot to his 15th-place standing and has 575 points, 197 out of first and 24 behind Biffle. Patrick lost one spot and is 27th in the standings with 373 points, 399 behind Johnson and 226 away from Biffle.

    Five races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Stewart, Martin Truex Jr. and Newman are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory. Since Stewart and Truex sit 11th and 12th, respectively, in the standings, they hold the first and second wild-card spots.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished one spot behind Stenhouse, who placed 34th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the 355k at The Glen Sunday, Aug. 11 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

     

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  • GoBowling.com 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 30, 2013) – Walking through the garage this weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Danica Patrick will spot another driver in a GoDaddy firesuit.

    And it won’t be because GoDaddy IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe took a wrong turn on his way to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington.

    It’s because Patrick’s boss and Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Tony Stewart has joined the GoDaddy team for Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono and will drive the No. 14 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS.

    While Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, will be behind the wheel of her iconic green car at Pocono, Stewart’s will be painted primarily black.

    And both will attempt to figure out how to go fast around the one-of-a-kind 2.5-mile triangular racetrack at Pocono.

    Designed by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rodger Ward, Pocono has three different corners each modeled after a different track. Turn one, which is banked at 14 degrees, is modeled after the now-closed Trenton (N.J.) Speedway. Turn two, banked at 8 degrees, is a nod to the turns at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And turn three, banked a 6 degrees, is modeled after the corners at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis.

    Patrick made her first start of any kind at Pocono in the June Sprint Cup Series race, when she started 30th and finished 29th.

    She’s hoping to improve in her second race at the “Tricky Triangle” as the long summer stretch marches on.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Pocono?

    “It’s a neat place, definitely a unique track. It was helpful to test there before the last race, especially since Friday practice was rained out during the race weekend. It’s good to go to these places a second and third time. It’s just part of the learning process. I feel more comfortable going there this time than last time and I’m sure I’ll feel even more comfortable next year. Going to these tracks a second and third time helps.”

    Tony Stewart will be driving a black GoDaddy Chevrolet SS this weekend. Talk about that.

    “I think it’s neat, especially with a little different paint scheme. I think the black car looks good. Any extra exposure is great for GoDaddy and their employees and customers. It’s a pretty unique situation having two GoDaddy cars out there. I’m excited about it.”

    How are you gauging your rookie year thus far?

    “I think it is important to look at how it is going overall with the team. I think we’ve had some struggles this year and we are trying to come to grips with the new car. I wish I was better off than I am right now, but we are getting better. It’s just that everyone gets better throughout the weekend. I asked Tony (Gibson, crew chief) after Loudon how I was doing, and what does he really expect out of me. To some degree, that’s the real question – what are the expectations of me? Do you think I am supposed to be top-20 and top-15 all the time? Or am I not? He said, ‘If I saw there being an issue, or something that stood out as a problem, or an area you needed to work on, I would have come to you already, but I don’t see it. And every time I am behind you, you are doing the right thing’. He said we have to work on the cars and make them better, and he thinks I am doing a good job.”

    Talk about your teammate Ryan Newman’s win last week at the Brickyard 400.

    “I was really happy for him and the team. Ryan’s a laid-back guy but, when I went to victory lane after the race, you could tell he was pretty excited and happy. I’m really happy for him and (crew chief) Matt Borland. They’ve both been a huge help to me and it was great to see them get such a big win.”

    Is it daunting to know that getting a win or top-10 finishes is very difficult for rookies in the Sprint Cup Series?

    “You are competing against a lot of experience and good relationships team-wise, driver- and crew chief-wise, and familiarity. It’s just tough. I think hoping for top-10s and wins all the time is fairly unrealistic. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Daytona was a top-10 to start the year off, but I think it’s far more realistic to hope for top-15s and top-20s, right now. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s about baby steps and it’s about making realistic goals you can achieve. Otherwise, it’s just constantly frustrating because, if you had set a goal of top-20 and you finish there, then you have something to be happy about where, if you don’t set that goal at all and you’re 20th, then you are like, ‘I suck, I’m 20th.’ You have to set goals along the way and it’s a process. That is why experience pays off. For the most part in your whole career, you don’t stop learning and you continue to get better. It’s just a little bit more so at the beginning.”

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  • Brickyard 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 28, 2013
    Event: 20th Annual Brickyard 400 (Round 20 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 33rd / 30th (Running, completed 237 of 302 laps)
    Point Standing: 26th (364 points, 376 out of first; 195 behind 10th)
    Winner: Ryan Newman of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick finished 30th in Sunday’s 20th Annual Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was making her first Sprint Cup Series start at the 2.5-mile oval. She competed at Indianapolis seven times in the IZOD IndyCar Series in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and finished in the top-10 six times.

    “I just kind of kept with it and hoped to catch a break somewhere, or that the car would get a lot better, and it just kind of stayed real steady,” Patrick said. “We took two tires on one of the stops and we got track position out of it but, unfortunately, it just didn’t run very well. So, we tried something, it just didn’t work, and that’s that. It just was what it was. When we came into this weekend, I said ‘OK, I’m not going to try to take anything from the car that it doesn’t really have’ and, unfortunately, that’s what we had today. Or, that’s what I had today.

    “I said it all week, that this is a special place and always will be. It would have been nice to have a better day than this and be able to march forward. We just didn’t. And that’s just all there is to it. Sometimes, these are just the days you have. So, that’s all right. We’ll roll on to Pocono and hope for better.”

    Patrick’s teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans/Smurfs 2 Chevrolet SS, won the Brickyard 400. It was the 19th point-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and its second this season. Tony Stewart won June 2 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Newman started from the pole after a track-record qualifying lap Saturday and led four times for 48 laps en route to his first win of the season and his first at Indianapolis. He is the third driver to win the Brickyard 400 from the pole, joining Kevin Harvick (2003) and Jimmie Johnson (2008). This was Newman’s 17th career Sprint Cup victory and his first since April 1, 2012 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    “I’m happy for Ryan, he is an Indiana boy,” Patrick said. “He got the pole, so I’m really happy for him. I’m happy for Stewart-Haas. We’ve had a trying year, for sure. And so, the high point of Tony winning at Dover and Ryan winning here is pretty cool. This is a special place and I’m sure he’s very happy in victory lane.”

    Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for SHR, finished fourth. It was Stewart’s seventh top-five and 11th top-10 in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis. It was also his fifth top-five and seventh top-10 this season.

    Johnson finished 2.657 seconds behind Newman in the runner-up spot, while Kasey Kahne, Stewart and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were three caution periods for a total of 14 laps with all 43 cars running at the finish of the 160-lap race.

    With round 20 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up two spots to 11th and has 558 points, 182 back of series leader Johnson and just one point behind 10th-place Gordon. By virtue of his victory, Newman gained three spots and sits 16th with 534 points, 206 out of first and 25 behind Gordon. Patrick gained one spot and sits 26th in the standings with 364 points, 376 behind Johnson and 195 away from 10th.

    Six races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., and Newman are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory. Since Stewart and Truex sit 11th and 12th in the standings, respectively, they hold the first and second wild-card spots.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished five spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 25th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the GoBowling.com 400 Sunday, Aug. 4 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Brickyard 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 23, 2013) – While Jim Nabors won’t be part of the pre-race ceremonies for Sunday’s 20th Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there’s a chance Danica Patrick might be humming the tune (Back Home Again in) Indiana, as she makes her way around racing’s most hallowed grounds.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), made quite a name for herself in an Indy car from 2005 to 2011 competing in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

    She burst onto the scene at Indy in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading three times for 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first “500” – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race.

    She set numerous records during her Indianapolis 500 debut and set the tone early when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times during the month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carburetion Day.

    Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month and the fastest turned by any woman in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning her rave reviews for her car control by longtime Speedway observers. She ended up qualifying fourth, the best-ever starting position for a woman in the race.

    On race day, with 11 laps remaining in the 200-lap event, Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to slow down in order to conserve fuel to make it to the finish. Her efforts earned her Rookie of the Year honors.

    Patrick scored six top-10 finishes in seven starts at Indianapolis and qualified 10th or better five times. Her third-place result in 2009 is the best finish ever for a woman in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

    She returns to Indianapolis this week and is hoping her success in the “500” can carry over to the Brickyard 400.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Indianapolis has always been a special place for you. Talk about competing in your first Brickyard 400 this week.

    “I don’t care what I drive around Indy, I love being there. I just like everything about it. I like the facility, obviously. And, to me, the special thing about Indy is, obviously, I’ve had great experiences, but it’s about the track. It doesn’t matter what kind of car I drive there, I’ve had great experiences, memories. So that’s what I like so much about it. And I love the tradition. The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what’s important and what matters and what means the most to you.”

    Compare driving a stock car at Indianapolis to driving an Indy car.

    “It’s just about finding a balance with the car out there, which is no different than in an Indy car. You’re just trying to find a balance. All you’re doing in an Indy car is trimming it out and, if I could have more downforce in these cars, I’d probably take it because, in an Indy car, we learned very quickly that it’s about how much throttle you could carry around. The stock cars get very low in the corners, and that can be a little bit of a danger in an Indy car, especially if you get just a little bit too low and get a little loose. So that’s a little bit different, I suppose, but nothing that was terribly unexpected. It did feel a little funny driving through Gasoline Alley last year, though. We used to walk it. And I’m used to seeing the ‘Alley Cats’ (legion of local fans who have been a fixture at the entrance to Gasoline Alley during the Indy 500 month of practice, qualifying and the race for more than four decades) and I didn’t see them there. I just saw a bunch of “’Yellow Shirts’ (security guards), and that was nice. But I didn’t see any ‘Alley Cats.’”

    What did you do during the off week?

    “I wouldn’t say there was much downtime, to be honest (laughs). I was on The Tonight Show last Tuesday and then presented an award at the ESPYs the next night, so it was a bit busy. Over the weekend I was in a wedding, which was fun. But, it wasn’t like we had a ton of downtime. Still, it was good to get away from the racetrack for a week and try to get ready for the final 17 races.”

    When you were in Indy cars, which turn gave you the most trouble at Indy?

    “Turn one. I always feel like turn one is just – it has the most amount of issues, for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s partly because you get there a little quicker because (turns) two, three and four are a little bit more smooth and the arc is nice and smooth through the corner. I don’t feel like there’s as much adjusting. I don’t know what it is, but turn one has always been the issue no matter what car I’ve been in. So that was my answer for Indy cars, and it’s my answer for stock cars. It always gives you that little bit of a loose feeling getting in at times. And with these cars, especially, I feel you have to set them up for the long haul. You have to set them up for the whole run as opposed to, where in IndyCar, they have so much downforce and grip that you could set it up and it’d stay like that through the whole race or the whole run. So there’s a little bit of sacrificing and compromising on the car as far as what you have at the beginning so you have a good car at the end.”

    Talk about what it’s like when you drive through the tunnel at Indianapolis and get ready for a race weekend?

    “I think the best thing about coming back is that it feels familiar and it feels comfortable. I like seeing it. It feels very comfortable, very familiar. I just feel like I’ve had a lot of different experiences here that can help me and, again, it’s just a special place where I feel like from the beginning I’ve always really believed that you have to show this track respect, and it will hopefully show you the respect back. I’ve always thought that and, especially in IndyCar, this place can bite you pretty big. I don’t think it’s too much different in a stock car, to be honest. It’s just a very familiar place. We spent so much time there during the month of May that it becomes like a second home, almost. It’s not like the Indy 500 was a three-day show. You spent just about the entire month there. My parents live outside of Indy, now, as does my sister and her husband, so it’s nice to come back.”

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  • Camping World RV Sales 301 Post-Report

    Date: July 14, 2013
    Event: Camping World RV Sales 301 (Round 19 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 32nd / 37th (Running, completed 237 of 302 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (350 points, 346 out of first; 173 behind 10th)
    Winner: Brian Vickers of Michael Waltrip Racing in a green-white-checkered finish (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick was involved in a late-race accident and finished a disappointing 37th in Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was on the lead lap and in 25th position when she made contact with the cars of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Travis Kvapil going into turn one on lap 238. All three cars slid up and made contact with the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall.

    Patrick’s car suffered damage that couldn’t be repaired in a timely fashion, so her day was over after completing 237 laps.

    “What it felt like was either I misjudged the braking or everyone jammed up a little bit,” Patrick said. “I got sideways trying to slow down so that I didn’t drive up into the back of anyone. I just got sideways and there is nothing you can do. The worst part is that you know, obviously, I didn’t want to take anybody with me. I feel bad. What can I say? We were having a reasonable race and just didn’t mean to do it.”

    It was a tough ending for Patrick, who rallied from a lap down and a spin earlier in the race to put herself in position for a respectable finish in just her 29th Sprint Cup Series start and her first at New Hampshire.

    Patrick’s teammate, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished 26th after leading once for 84 laps. Unfortunately, Stewart ran out of fuel on a lap-301 restart while running in second place. Stewart was passed for the lead by eventual winner Brian Vickers with 16 laps remaining.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 WIX Filters Chevrolet for SHR, finished 39th after being involved in an accident on lap 226 with Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne. Like Patrick’s machine, Newman’s car was too damaged to continue.

    Vickers won the Camping World RV Sales 301 to score his third career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at New Hampshire.

    Kyle Busch finished .582 of a second behind Vickers in the runner-up spot while Jeff Burton, Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kenseth and Jeff Gordon comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 12 caution periods for 58 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 302-lap race, which was extended one lap by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round 19 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He dropped three spots to 13th and has 518 points, 178 back of series leader Johnson and five points behind 10th-place Kahne. Newman also dropped three spots and is 19th in the standings. He has 487 points, 209 out of first and 36 behind 10th-place Kahne. Patrick dropped two spots to 27th and has 350 points, 346 behind Johnson and 173 away from Kahne.

    Seven races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Truex (11th) and Stewart (13th) are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory, so they hold the first and second wild-card spots, respectively.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Stenhouse, finished three spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 34th.

    Sprint Cup teams will enjoy their second and final off weekend of the 2013 season before embarking on a slate of 17 consecutive races, beginning with the July 28 Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 20th running of the event begins at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Camping World RV Sales 301 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 10, 2013) – This week’s Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon marks the 15th consecutive week that Danica Patrick and the other NASCAR drivers have competed in a race.

    That streak started in early April at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway just as the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament was wrapping up and just as Major League Baseball’s regular season – which reaches its All-Star break marking the ceremonial midpoint of its 162-game regular season – was just getting underway.

    Fifteen consecutive weekends is quite a number for Patrick, for whom 17 races encompassed an entire season when she drove in the IZOD IndyCar Series before heading south to NASCAR. Now, 15 races is just a stretch in the season as, following Sprint Cup’s traditional mid-July off weekend, the series competes in another 17 consecutive races before crowning a champion in November.

    It’s all part of the adjustment Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has made moving from IndyCar to NASCAR.

    The 15th and final consecutive weekend of this season’s current run takes place at New Hampshire, the 1.058 mile track in Loudon that Patrick has competed at twice in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and once in the IndyCar Series. She finished 14th in last year’s Nationwide Series event and sixth in the 2010 IndyCar race.

    While New Hampshire is still relatively new to Patrick, for her crew chief Tony Gibson, it’s a place he’s been to many times. In fact, he’s been there every time. He’s worked as a crew member in all 36 Sprint Cup races conducted at the track. He was there for the first one on July 11, 1993, working as a crew member of Jimmy Hensley’s car, which started 13th and finished 11th. The team was still technically owned by the late Alan Kulwicki but was in the process of being purchased by Geoffrey Bodine.

    Gibson has been part of two victories at New Hampshire, the first coming as car chief for Jeff Gordon in August 1998, when Gordon started on the pole and led 68 laps en route to the checkered flag. Ryan Newman delivered Gibson a victory at Loudon as a crew chief in July 2011, when he, too, started on the pole and led 119 laps along the way.

    While Gibson knows his driver doesn’t have the Sprint Cup experience of Gordon or Newman, he’s hoping a solid run will give the team momentum heading into the rare off week.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts heading to New Hampshire?

    “We had a good test at New Hampshire last month. It’s obviously helpful to get track time, especially at a place I’ve never been in a Cup car. It’s a challenging place, for sure, but I’m happy we got some extra track time there and hopefully we can have a good run with the GoDaddy Chevy.”

    Restarts have been a topic of conversation recently. Can you talk about how you’ve improved on restarts and how they might compare with IndyCar?

    “As far as me and the restarts go, I feel like they are getting better and better. A lot of it has to do with the car, sometimes. If it’s really tight or really loose on a restart, there is just nothing you can do about it. You’re just hanging on. So, you tend to not have as good a restart in those situations. But there are other ones where, man, I’ve passed five cars and I’m having awesome restarts. So I feel like I’m actually having those days now. That’s very important, especially this year with how important track position has been. That’s where you can make up the most amount of ground. It’s challenging to pass. It’s really tough to pass. So, that’s good. Now, the difference between IndyCar and NASCAR starts are totally different. I think it’s hard for people to understand just how quickly Indy cars accelerate. In NASCAR, it’s really just about turn one. In IndyCar, it’s just about who gets flat (out) first. That’s the whole restart. It’s who can get flat first and anticipate that, even jumping the start on some. There’s a lot of jumping the start that goes on in IndyCar, I feel like. In NASCAR, there is a penalty for it. But it’s been this way for a long time, so it’s a much more organized start and I feel like it leads to a little bit more of kind of putting yourself in the right place at the right time and understanding how each lane works and where you might need to go. Sometimes at a track, the outside lane is really where you want to be and, sometimes, it’s the inside. So, I’m always hoping to get in the right line. In IndyCar, it gets a lot more spread out a lot quicker and it all happens right on the initial start, when the green comes out or, as I said, maybe just before.”

    You’ve finished on the lead lap in five consecutive races and scored two top-15 finishes in the last four races. The GoDaddy team talked about small steps at the beginning of the year. Do you feel like you’re making progress?

    “Yeah, I mean, it is getting better. Do I wish it would get better faster? For sure. I mean, everybody who is not running in the top-10 every weekend wishes it would get better faster. It’s small steps, and part of it is being a rookie and learning. Part of it is just making changes and making the car better or making things better internally so that you can go faster. Faster cars, all that kind of stuff, so there is a lot more that plays into it than just getting experience. Through getting experience on the track I’m also getting experience and understanding how a team works and giving my input on how I think it could get better.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing; Daytona Beach native:

    The GoDaddy team tested at New Hampshire June 25 and 26. How will that help the team as you return for the race weekend?

    “The test went really good. The first day was her kind of learning the track and learning the Cup car. We struggled a little bit for speed on the first day. The second day, she got up to speed pretty good and was only a tenth or a couple tenths off the fast guys, so we felt better about it and she felt much more comfortable. It ended up pretty good. We’ll go back in qualifying trim since we did test there. Hopefully, we’ll be able to just work on qualifying and get a good starting spot.”

    The team finished 12th in April at Martinsville, another flat track, but one that is only a half-mile. Are there any similarities that will carry over to the 1.058-mile track at Loudon?

    “It’s the same type of rhythm. There’s a lot of straight-line braking and trying to roll the center. The forward drive is not as critical as at Martinsville as the rolling speed is a lot faster. But, a lot of characteristics of the track are the same, just a little bit bigger, obviously. It’s the same style of driving to get around there.”

    You were working at the first Sprint Cup Series race at Loudon in July 1993 and have been to every race conducted there. Talk about your first race there and what you remember.

    “I was there with Jimmy Hensley as the driver and Geoff Bodine was in the process of buying the team since Alan (Kulwicki) had been killed earlier in the year. It was a nice little racetrack. I’ve always loved Martinsville and it was real similar to that. I thought it was a really cool, really neat racetrack. I’ve been fortunate to run really well there and been with some great drivers. It’s probably one of my better tracks because it kind of fits my style of set-up stuff. It’s a really cool track and I loved it the first time I saw it. I’m looking forward to going back there and I’m glad we race there twice.”

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  • Coke Zero 400 Post-Report

    Date: July 6, 2013
    Event: Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola (Round 18 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 11th / 14th (Running, completed 161 of 161 laps)
    Point Standing: 25th (343 points, 315 out of first, 156 behind 10th)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet) in a green-white-checkered finish

    Danica Patrick finished 14th in Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway despite being caught up in a multi-car accident on the final lap of the 161-lap event, which ended under a green-white-checkered finish.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was in the top-10 for much of the Coke Zero 400, including on the final restart on lap 159. She fell to 13th on lap 160 when the white flag flew for the final lap and, as the pack entered turn four for the last time, chaos ensued.

    Patrick’s car came together with the car of David Gilliland, triggering a multi-car accident as the pack came to the start-finish line with nearly 10 cars being collected in total. Patrick was uninjured and able to drive her damaged GoDaddy Chevrolet back to the garage.

    “Well, a green-white-checkered finish is always exciting,” Patrick said. “(Dale Earnhardt) Junior and I had a good run through the middle and then up high around (turn) four. And I just watched the replay. It felt like I ran just along the wall but it could have been me that came down in front of the No. 38 (Gilliland). It definitely wasn’t what I was trying to do at all. I was just following the No. 88 (Earnhardt Jr.). So, if that’s what happened, then I definitely apologize. I lost spots doing it.

    “All in all, it was a solid day. I felt like we were a little slow to get going but I felt like we made the car better and I felt like I figured out some things in the car that helped. We got the GoDaddy car in a decent position. We ran strong and that’s what we want to do. I thought the Chevys looked really good in the race.”

    Patrick’s teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet SS, finished second to score his ninth top-five and 14th top-10 in 30 career point-paying Sprint Cup starts at the 2.5-mile oval. It was also his fourth top-five and sixth top-10 this season.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet for SHR, finished 10th. It was his sixth top-10 in 24 career point-paying Sprint Cup starts at Daytona and his eighth top-10 of the season.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola to score his 64th career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his third at Daytona. Johnson, who also won the season-opening Daytona 500, became the first driver since NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 in the same year.

    Stewart finished .107 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip rounded out the top-five. Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Earnhardt, Casey Mears and Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 27 laps, with nine drivers failing to finish the 161-lap race.

    With round 18 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up six spots to 10th and has 499 points, 159 back of series leader Johnson and six points ahead of 11th-place Martin Truex Jr. Newman moved up two spots to 16th and has 482 points, 176 out of first and 17 behind 10th-place Stewart. Patrick picked up two spots to 25th and has 343 points, 315 behind Johnson and 156 away from Stewart.

    Eight races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Truex (11th) and Kasey Kahne (12th) are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory, so they hold the first and second wild-card spots, respectively.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 11th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Camping World RV Sales 301 on Sunday, July 14 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Coke Zero 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 2, 2013) – Short of winning the 55th Daytona 500, Danica Patrick’s participation in February’s Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway was nearly flawless.

    She was the fastest during the first practice of the year Feb. 16, then backed that up by winning the pole for the Daytona 500 one day later to become the first woman ever to claim the top spot for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. She stayed out of trouble for the remainder of Speedweeks and ran in the top-three for much of the Daytona 500 before dropping from third to eighth on the final lap.

    She rewrote some of the NASCAR record books with her eighth-place finish, earning the highest finishing position ever earned by a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    In addition to her history-making pole run and finish in the Daytona 500, Patrick also led five laps – 90 to 91 and 127 to 129 – becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead Sprint Cup Series laps under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 13 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish this feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Stewart. Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 15 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    She returned to the 2.5-mile oval in April to take part in a Goodyear tire test and now returns for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola. She’ll do so with a bit of a different look on the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) as the car will be its traditional green, but with touches of red, white and blue, along with the logo of “Start with .US” on the hood and rear decklid.

    The country code domain for the United States of America is .US and, since 2001, Neustar has been providing domain name registry services, critical infrastructure services and policy expertise for .US on behalf of the United States Department of Commerce. GoDaddy has partnered with Neustar for several years on offering domain names that end in .US.

    Guided by her crew chief, Tony Gibson, a Daytona Beach native, Patrick is hoping she can continue to make history, this time by going all the way to victory lane.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts heading back to Daytona?

    “I’ve always liked the superspeedways like Daytona and Talladega. It’s a high-speed chess match. Obviously, it’s a big weekend with it being the Coke Zero 400 and me having a good partnership with Coke Zero. Hopefully, we can build on what we had at Daytona in February and have a good run with the GoDaddy Chevrolet SS.”

    Looking back on the Daytona 500, do you wish you had a better plan at the end of the event to try and make a move for the win?

    “I was disappointed at the end of the race that I just didn’t have a better grasp as to what I needed to do to shoot for a better finish than where I was. Although, if they had just thrown that yellow, you know? Third. But you have to finish the race, I understand. That’s good for the sport when we finish under green. It makes it exciting. It really helped teach me, I feel, what happens at the end of the race and how to set them up. (Dale Earnhardt) Junior is really good at those big speedway races and knowing how to set things up. But, I just felt like I was just frustrated that I didn’t have a better plan. Tony (Stewart) said to me, ‘I really feel like you had more to lose in your position than you had to gain by trying something, so I think that you did the right thing.’ That made me feel better – a little bit. Was I still mad that I went from third to eighth on the lap? No, I was still disappointed in it. But to have somebody like Tony Stewart say something to me like that was very kind, and it put it in perspective. Jimmie (Johnson) did a nice job. We had a little conversation, and he told me I did a nice job, too. And I said I had wished I had a better plan but, ‘Thank you and I have a lot to learn.’ He said that in the two wins he had, he didn’t have a plan, and sometimes you just have to take it on the fly and work with what happens in the moment. He very kindly, later that day, said he’d seen the end of the race and said, in his opinion, the only thing I could have done was back up to Junior when he backed up, but as far as what happened on the back straight when Junior went low, in his opinion, he thought I did the right thing. So, to have somebody like Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson tell me that on some level I made good decisions out there at the very end, that was a really nice thing for them to say. It makes me feel a little bit better. I still feel like I want to have a better plan in the future but, in that moment, I had made some good decisions. So, it was appreciated.”

    You’re bringing a different car to Daytona than what you raced in February. Talk about that.

    “Well, we lost that poor car at Talladega, so we are going back with our backup, which is a really good car, anyway. We tested with it at the beginning of the year and I expect it to go in a similar fashion. I think we will still be pretty fast. Will we qualify on the pole and run in the top-three or five all day? I don’t know, maybe. The heat always changes things a little bit, but it’s a different car, and it’s going to be a different Hendrick engine. All that stuff just leads to a slightly different weekend. But I expect it to be somewhat similar, at least from a good standpoint in my head.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing; Daytona Beach native:

    You’re from Daytona Beach, originally, and you were part of history in February. Talk about that.

    “Well, it was obviously extremely gratifying to go down there and run well. To go to your hometown, where I grew up, to be in front of all your friends and family, and to go there and to do something that is pretty amazing, to make history, to just be a part of that is incredible. It was something that obviously will never be done again, and I feel real fortunate to be a part of that. I’ve got to thank Go Daddy, Danica and Stewart-Haas Racing and all my guys for sticking through the testing and the building of cars and going and doing all the things it takes to go down there and put those two laps together and make history. It was pretty crazy, too, with all the media and all the hype going into it, and the pressure of actually testing well and going down there and repeating and making it happen, it was a huge relief. But it was also very gratifying and ranks up there as probably one of the greatest things I’ve accomplished in my career. Goals for this July race are the same as they were in February when we went to Daytona. We want to go down there and we want to make a statement. We want to try to sit on the pole again, obviously, and this time finish a few spots further up. We felt like we had a shot to win it, ran in the top-three or four all day and had a fast car, and it came down to the last lap and kind of got snookered a little bit there at the end. But we felt like we were definitely in contention to win it, so we’re going back there with the same mindset, to try to be the fastest car in qualifying and try to close the deal at the end of this thing.”

    Going to Daytona and being from there, do you feel like it’s an advantage, of sorts?

    “Well, I think it does. I think, for me, I have a lot of family down there, a lot of friends, and a lot of history at that place. And I think it’s kind of like going and playing football or baseball or basketball in your hometown. You always feel like you’ve got that little – you’ve got the eighth man there, and it’s a little bit of a pump-up and a boost, and knowing that your friends and family are there and rooting for you. Yeah, I think it’s different, and I think it’s a plus.”

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  • Quaker State 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 30, 2013
    Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 17 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 29th/23rd (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (313 points, 297 out of first, 166 behind 10th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick finished a respectable 23rd in the Kentucky 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), ran a smooth, clean race in weather that was quite different than teams expected.

    The race was scheduled for Saturday night, but persistent rain forced NASCAR officials to postpone the race until Sunday at noon EDT. So instead of the race being conducted at night with cooler temperatures, drivers and teams raced with the sun shining on the track surface and air temperatures approaching 80 degrees.

    With the hot conditions, Patrick fought a car that wasn’t quite to her liking throughout the day.

    “We had a couple of runs where the GoDaddy car was pretty good,” Patrick said. “But every time we tried to make another adjustment and get the car better, it seemed to get worse. So we’d have to go back on the adjustment and try something new. We were really loose in turn three, and then at the end of the race we were just loose all over the place. The guys worked hard, and I hate that everyone had to stay an extra day.”

    Patrick’s teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 14th, while the third member of SHR, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 20th.

    Matt Kenseth won the Kentucky 400 to score his 28th career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Kentucky.

    Jamie McMurray finished .699 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 10 caution periods for 42 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round 17 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He dropped one spot to 16th and has 457 points, 153 back of series leader Johnson and 22 points behind 10th-place Logano. Newman maintained his 18th-place standing and has 448 points, 162 out of first and 31 behind Logano. Patrick maintained her 27th-place standing and has 313 points, 297 behind Johnson and 166 away from 10th.

    Nine races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Kasey Kahne and Stewart are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory, so they hold the first and second wild-card spots, respectively.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished six spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 17th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 6 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Quaker State 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 26, 2013) – It started in the Silicon Valley and will end in Kentucky. In between, Danica Patrick has been “Here, There and Everywhere.”

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), spent last Thursday in GoDaddy’s new Silicon Valley office meeting with employees and checking out the new digs. From there, she headed to Sonoma, Calif., for three days to participate in the Toyota/SaveMart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race before flying to Concord, N.C., following the event Sunday night.

    After participating in the Stewart-Haas Racing team debrief Monday, she headed up to Loudon, N.H., to test at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday. After a brief stop in Concord once again, it will be off to Kentucky Speedway in Sparta for Sunday’s Kentucky 400 Sprint Cup Series race.

    In short, the usual busy summer stretch is in full swing for Patrick and the other Sprint Cup Series drivers.

    The stretch continues in the Bluegrass State and Kentucky Speedway is yet another new venue for Patrick in the Sprint Cup Series. But, like several other tracks on the schedule, she has competed there in an IndyCar or a NASCAR Nationwide Series car.

    She competed in both Nationwide Series races at the 1.5-mile oval in 2012, starting 11th in both races and finishing 12th in June and 14th in September. In seven IZOD IndyCar Series starts at Kentucky, Patrick has one pole (August 2005) and four top-10 finishes.

    After a long week of travel, nothing would conclude the “Here, There and Everywhere” tour like a solid run at Kentucky. And, if she and the GoDaddy team can produce one, she may hear the voice of the late Happy Chandler singing “My Old Kentucky Home.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Kentucky?

    “It’s one of those tracks where I have experience but, obviously, not in a lot of it in a stock car. I’ve been there a lot, but only the Nationwide Series races from last year will offer any type of experience or help. I ran a lot of IndyCar races at Kentucky but, obviously, those aren’t really going to benefit me this weekend. The track definitely has character to it with the bumps, and we practice during the day on Friday and then race at night on Saturday, so the track conditions can change during the race. When you add all that up, it’s a challenging place.”

    You’ve been all over the country the last week or so. How challenging is that?

    “It’s tough because you never seem to catch your breath. It’s really tough on the guys, too. The GoDaddy crew flew back from Sonoma to Charlotte and then right to New Hampshire and then Kentucky. So it’s really challenging for them, too, and I know they’re working really hard. They’ve got families, too, and being on the West Coast for three days and then up in New Hampshire and then Kentucky isn’t easy on them or their families, so I appreciate their hard work and sacrifice. Hopefully, it will pay off with a good run this weekend.”

    You were ranked 91st on the “World's Most Powerful Celebrities” list published by Forbes magazine. Talk about that.

    “It’s pretty flattering. You see the names on that list and it’s pretty incredible to be included. It’s obviously great for GoDaddy and for all of my sponsors, as well. It’s a great honor for me and everyone involved. I’m certainly happy to be included.”

    The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona is next week. Have you thought about that race at all, given your success there in February?

    “I think about Daytona. I never mind going to speedways. I find them fun. Obviously, being the Coke Zero 400 and being a sponsor of mine, it’s an even bigger event. It’s kind of hard to believe we’re already heading back to Daytona. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. We had a good Speedweeks there and hopefully we can keep that momentum going in the Coke Zero 400.”

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  • Toyota/Save Mart 350k Post-Report

    Date: June 23, 2013
    Event: Toyota/SaveMart 350k (Round 16 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (10-turn, 1.99-mile road course)
    Start/Finish: 31st/29th (Running, completed 110 of 110 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (292 points, 281 out of first, 161 behind 10th)
    Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Michael Waltrip Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick struggled at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and finished a disappointing 29th in the Toyota/SaveMart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), went off course twice during the 110-lap race, the second coming on lap 64 when she cut a tire and hit the tire barrier in turn 10, causing moderate damage to her car.

    “It was a long day – a long weekend,” Patrick said. “We just couldn’t get the car to the point where I was comfortable with it. It’s disappointing because I know the GoDaddy guys worked really hard all weekend. We just couldn’t get much to go our way this weekend. Having the cut tire and going into the tire barrier was just sort of salt in the wound. Hopefully we have a better weekend next week at Kentucky.”

    Patrick’s teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation 30th Anniversary Chevrolet SS, finished 15th.

    The third member of SHR, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 28th after late-race contact with Jeff Burton ended a chance at a top-10 finish.

    Martin Truex Jr. won the Toyota/SaveMart 350k to score his second career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Sonoma.

    Jeff Gordon finished 8.133 seconds behind Truex in the runner-up spot, while Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five. Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 19 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 110-lap race.

    With round 16 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He dropped five spots to 15th and has 433 points, 140 back of series leader Johnson and 20 points behind 10th-place Truex. Newman maintained his 18th-place standing and has 418 points, 155 out of first and 35 behind Truex. Patrick maintained her 27th-place standing and has 292 points, 281 behind Johnson and 161 away from Truex.

    Ten races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished two behind Stenhouse, who placed 27th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kentucky 400 on Saturday, June 29 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Toyota/Save Mart 350k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 19, 2013) – Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway is one of the few tracks on the NASCAR schedule where Danica Patrick has a lot of experience.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has made seven starts at Sonoma dating back to 2005.

    Those seven starts came in the IZOD IndyCar Series and unfortunately won’t offer much assistance to Patrick as she competes in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma.

    About the only things familiar to Patrick will be the garage area, pit lane and portions of the track. The reason only portions of the track will be familiar is that the IndyCar Series used two different layouts during the seven years Patrick competed there and neither is identical to the 1.99-mile, 10-turn course she will drive on Sunday.

    It will be Patrick’s first career Sprint Cup Series start on a road course and she is hoping her efforts produce better results than her three NASCAR Nationwide Series road-course finishes last year.

    All three were memorable, if not downright strange.

    In June at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., Patrick was fourth on the final lap when she was bumped into the gravel trap by Jacques Villeneueve, which caused her to finish 12th. Two months later, Patrick finished 43rd at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International after Ryan Truex spun in front of her on the start and she could not avoid his spinning car and made heavy contact with his machine.

    But the strangest experience of all came one week later when Patrick led 20 laps and was on the point at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal when a fan threw a shoe onto the track and she ran over it on lap 38 of 81. Shortly thereafter, whether the shoe caused the problem or not, Patrick was forced to pit for mechanical repairs and finished 27th.

    At Sonoma, Patrick is hoping to run a smooth and clean race, avoid any shoes on course, and build upon a solid 13th-place finish she and the GoDaddy team scored last week at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Last year, you ran well on the road courses in the Nationwide Series. How confident are you going into Sonoma?

    “Every step up, you take it to another level of difficulty and, by all means, in the Cup series there are a lot of good road-course drivers. It’s going to be challenging. I don’t think it’s going to be one of those things where I’m going to go qualify in the first two rows and lead the race the whole time, or at least I shouldn’t expect to be able to just do that right away. It still took a little bit for Tony Eury Jr. (Nationwide Series crew chief) and I to get a setup that worked for me on the road courses. My first trip to Montreal was very different than my second trip. It’s going to take a little bit of time, but it is a little bit of a comfort zone for me. I feel like I know what I’m doing and I feel comfortable. Stock-car drivers just don’t get a lot of time on road courses and I’ve spent my whole career doing it, for the most part. It’s nice to go to a place where I feel comfortable, I suppose.”

    You tested at Virginia International Raceway a couple of weeks ago. Talk about that test.

    “It was a productive day. It wasn’t so much about setting up the car for Sonoma because, obviously, the tracks are completely different. It was more about getting a good brake package and making sure I’m comfortable in the car. It’s my first road-course race with Stewart-Haas and my first time working one with Tony Gibson (crew chief), so it was just about making sure everything is smooth. There is so much that goes into a road-course race – shifting, braking, mirrors, the seat – you just want to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible so you don’t have to work on those things too much once you get to the track.”

    You competed at Sonoma in an IndyCar. Will that help you at all in a stock car?

    “Other than being familiar with the garage and pit lane, no (laughs). The cars are obviously so different that nothing will translate. It’s just such a different style of driving. This also is a slightly different course than what we ran in IndyCar, so nothing really translates. I’m excited to go out to Sonoma, though. I’ve always liked it out there and, hopefully, we can have a great weekend.”

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 16, 2013
    Event: Quicken Loans 400 (Round 15 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 37th/13th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (277 points, 261 out of first, 140 behind 10th)
    Winner: Greg Biffle of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick drove a smooth, clean race and finished a respectable 13th in the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), scored her third top-15 finish of 2013. She finished eighth in February in the season-opening Daytona 500 and 12th in April at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    “I think we caught some breaks out there,” Patrick said. “Yellows definitely helped us be able to get track position as far as closing up the gaps and being able to pit a few times. We tried to take right side (tires) and get track position early on. It just didn’t go well, and we just hadn’t gotten ourselves to a good place with the car that I could carry the speed that I needed to run with the (pack). It didn’t work out so well.

    “We worked on it and got it better. At the end of the race, the last run was the best run I felt as far as the balance of the car, which I was surprised because we had fallen off a little bit at the end of the run before. We had only taken right-side tires again for a second time. It’s nice to just get a decent finish for the team and for GoDaddy. It’s been rough going since Martinsville. This will hopefully get everyone’s head up a little bit, and we will go on. I think we have been strong lately. We just needed to have days like today where we finished it off.”

    Crew chief Tony Gibson was pleased with Patrick’s first Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan.

    “We had a really good car all day,” Gibson said. “She did a really nice job. We were a little loose to start, but once we got that fixed, we were definitely a top-15, top-20 car. We tried to stay on the same track position as all the other leaders and make sure we didn’t get ourselves in a bad position. And then we let her do the rest. It was a good day for us. She drove hard. Johnny (Klausmeier, race engineer) and all the guys did a great job with the fuel. It all worked out. It was good team work today. I’m proud of Danica and everybody on the GoDaddy Chevy. It’s a good weekend to build on to head to Sonoma.”

    Patrick’s teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished fifth to score his 12th top-five in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2-mile oval. It was also his third top-five this season.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for SHR, finished 18th.

    Greg Biffle won the Quicken Loans 400 to score his 19th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his fourth at Michigan.

    Kevin Harvick finished 2.989 seconds behind Biffle in the runner-up spot, while Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Stewart rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Jeff Burton comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 38 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

    With round 15 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up three spots to 10th and has 417 points, 121 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and two points ahead of 11th-place Paul Menard. Newman maintained his 18th-place standing and has 389 points, 149 out of first and 28 behind Stewart. Patrick picked up one spot to 27th-place in the standings and has 277 points, 261 behind Johnson and 140 away from Stewart.

    Eleven races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 16th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Toyota/Save Mart 350k on Sunday, June 23 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage of the road-course event provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at 2 p.m.

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  • Quicken Loans 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 11, 2013) – With the conclusion of last weekend’s Party in the Poconos 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has been to all 23 tracks that host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

    Pocono was the last facility where Patrick had yet to compete in Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide Series or IZOD IndyCar Series competition at some point in her career.

    While she has been to every track at least once, there are seven tracks where she has driven in either Nationwide or IndyCar competition but has yet to race in a Sprint Cup car. That list includes Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

    That list will reduce to six after the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup event this Sunday at Michigan. Patrick has two Nationwide Series starts and three IZOD IndyCar Series starts at the 2-mile oval but will make her first Sprint Cup start at Michigan.

    Last year, Marcos Ambrose won the pole for the June Sprint Cup race with a stock-car track-record lap of 203.241 mph. But high speeds at Michigan are nothing new to Patrick, who qualified for her final IndyCar race at Michigan in 2007 with a lap of 216.967 mph.

    Michigan has always been a favorite track of drivers, as the high banks and wide surface provide opportunities to move the car around quite a bit, depending on the handling of the car. And Patrick is hoping Michigan, which is located in the Irish Hills region of the state, brings her and the GoDaddy team a little luck this weekend.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You’ve competed at Michigan in both IndyCar and NASCAR. Do you think people really understand the challenges associated with moving from IndyCar to NASCAR?

    “I think that people have been really understanding of the fact that this is a learning curve and coming from IndyCar is a totally different place. I feel like that’s been actually very publicized by you guys (the media), that there is going to be time needed to see that through. It doesn’t stop me from getting mad or wanting more. I think that’s just the nature of someone competitive. There are a lot of times that my crew chief (Tony Gibson) wants to remind me that I am doing a good job and that this is the first year, not only in Cup, but my second full time in stock cars. But I have high expectation levels, so I don’t think it’s a bad quality to have. But it keeps me pushing. But, on the other side, I think you guys (the media) have done a good job of educating maybe the more casual fan that it’s a big transition.”

    NFL legend Jim Brown was at the race at Pocono, and his daughter wanted to meet you. You met with her on the grid. Do those requests ever surprise you, and do you ever get overwhelmed or tired of them?

    “I never, ever, get sick of that. That’s sometimes the best part of your day, to hear a little kid say that they look up to you. Or, what I get a lot of the time is, you get their parents saying it for them because there are a lot of times kids get shy. Most kids get shy. Some of them are very, very open, and they feel like they know you and they come and hug you and there’s that kind of perspective. I don’t know what makes them like that, but some kids are really open. But it’s a nice feeling. It makes it all feel kind of worthwhile on days that aren’t good, and to understand that and to put you in the perspective that it’s just one day and that it will pass and they like you because they’ve seen you do well and that they enjoy you as a competitor. So it can definitely brighten up your day.”

    What advice do you give to young kids who look up to you?

    “I give the same advice to kids or adults – it’s just to find something that you love to do. It think that’s the most important. If you didn’t like what you’re doing, you’re not going to be very happy. So finding something that you love to do is the most important thing. So it works out that you make a decent living at it, too, that’s a bonus, sometimes.”

    What are your thoughts on Michigan?

    “Michigan is a wide, fast track. There’s lots of room to move around and try different lines. The intermediate tracks have been a struggle for us this year, but I think we’re improving as a team overall at SHR and I think I’m improving, as well. Our goals are the same as they are every week – to improve on qualifying and to race better. The GoDaddy crew has worked really hard, especially in the last month. We’ve tested a lot, and that means extra days on the road for everyone. I can’t thank the guys enough for their efforts. They’ve really put in a ton of work, and it would be nice to see that work pay off.”

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  • Pocono 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 9, 2013
    Event: Party in the Poconos 400 (Round 14 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
    Start/Finish: 30th/29th (Running, completed 160 of 160 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (246 points, 275 out of first, 149 behind 10th)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick was near the top-20 in the closing laps of the Party in the Poconos 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, but she was shuffled back during two late-race restarts and finished 29th.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was running 21st in her first career start at Pocono when the green flag flew on lap 152 of 160. She fell to 23rd before the final caution of the day flew on lap 155 due to Dave Blaney’s accident in turn three. After two laps of caution, she entered the final restart in 23rd but unfortunately dropped six spots in the final four laps.

    “The guys gave me a good GoDaddy Chevrolet,” Patrick said. “We just got shuffled back at the end on the restarts. It’s disappointing because we could have had a much better finish. It’s just part of the process, learning how to get better on restarts, especially at the end of races. That’s where you can really gain a lot of spots.”

    Patrick’s teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, finished fourth to score his 12th top-five in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono. It also was his second top-five this season.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished fifth after leading three times for 19 laps. It was his eighth top-five in 23 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono and his second top-five of the season.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Party in the Poconos 400 to score his 63rd career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his third at Pocono.

    Greg Biffle finished 1.208 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Stewart and Newman rounded out the top-five. Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 19 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 160-lap race.

    With round 14 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up three spots to 13th and has 378 points, 143 back of series leader Johnson and 17 points behind 10th-place Biffle. Newman gained two spots to his 18th-place standing and has 363 points, 158 out of first and 32 behind Biffle. Patrick picked up one spot to her 28th-place standing and has 246 points, 275 behind Johnson and 149 away from Biffle.

    Twelve races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker. With his victory Sunday, June 2 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Stewart holds the first wild-card spot as he is the only driver between 11th and 20th in points with a victory.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 26th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 16 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Pocono 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 4, 2013) – In the early 1970s, Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway were constructed as auto racing moved from its smaller grassroots past and into a big business. Racing was the “Sport of the ’70s,” as any racing program from the early part of the decade will tell you.

    Ontario, which was demolished in 1980, was a 2.5-mile replica of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway built about 2 miles from where Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., currently sits. It was dubbed the “Indy of the West,” and hosted its first 500-mile IndyCar event in 1970. Jim McElreath took home $150,384 for his big victory in the California 500.

    One year later, the 2.5-mile Pocono facility opened and hosted its first 500-mile IndyCar race. Mark Donohue took home $87,874 for his big victory in the Schafer 500.

    Pocono’s triangular layout was designed by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rodger Ward and remains unlike any other track in the world with three different corners each modeled after a different track. Turn one, which is banked at 14 degrees, is modeled after the now-closed Trenton (N.J.) Speedway. Turn two, banked at eight degrees, is a nod to the turns at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And turn three, banked a six degrees, is modeled after the corners at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis.

    Of course, in the spirit of the ’70s, it was nicknamed the “Indy of the East.”

    While Pocono hasn’t been referenced with that moniker since Richard Nixon was in The White House, Danica Patrick and the GoDaddy team are hoping the 2.5-mile oval is indeed the “Indy of the East.”

    Patrick’s IndyCar record at Indianapolis is well known, having scored six top-10 finishes in seven starts, including a third-place result in 2009, the best finish ever for a woman in the Indianapolis 500.

    But she won’t be driving an IndyCar at Pocono during Sunday’s Party in the Poconos NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. And the 2.5-mile oval is unlike any other in the world, despite its similarities to Indianapolis. With that in mind, Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), spent two days testing there last week along with her SHR teammates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman.

    It was a productive test for the organization but probably most beneficial to Patrick, who had never even been on the grounds of Pocono, let alone driven any type of vehicle there.

    Pocono will be the final track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule that Patrick has not competed at in an IndyCar, Sprint Cup car or NASCAR Nationwide Series car.

    And, why not save the “Indy of the East” for last?

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You tested at Pocono last week and it was your first time there. What are your thoughts on the track?

    “It seems like a neat place, definitely a unique track. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m glad that we tested so I was able to get familiar with the place before coming back this week. These official tests are really, really helpful for people like me who still had yet to be to certain tracks. This is the last track that I hadn’t been to, so it’s good that we tested.”

    You have done a lot of testing recently. As a rookie, how has that helped you, especially since you have tested at tracks where there are Sprint Cup races, something that wasn’t always available to rookies in prior seasons?

    “As far as being a rookie in a series goes, I think this is probably a good year to be one with all the testing. The official tests that we are able to do – going to Dover, going to Pocono – and getting track time on tracks where we’re going to race, it’s a good time to be a rookie. So we’ve been doing a tremendous amount of testing this year, and we still have a lot more lined up. I think it’s a good time to do it. I don’t think it’s ever easy, but I think it’s a good time.”

    When you test at Pocono, a track you’ve never been to previously, how helpful is it to do so with your teammates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman?

    “It is helpful. It’s just little things. I poke my head in the car and ask both of them how it’s going. Questions like, ‘Can you carry the brake in there very deep?’ If they are shifting in all the corners right now – just braking markers and things like that. Having them around is helpful but, to be honest, really having their data to look at and be able to just kind of look at their braking points and their brake pressure, minimum speed through the corner and things like that – that’s the stuff that is the most helpful because you can tell a driver what to do, but we all have our own styles. You can’t exactly replicate it or it doesn’t even feel comfortable, or sometimes it doesn’t even make sense so, really for me, the most help I get is when I’ve been out there a while. Then I can ask more specific questions. That’s where I feel like I get the most benefit. And they’ve been very helpful the whole time.”

    SHR has struggled this season as an organization. What are your thoughts on Tony’s victory Sunday at Dover?

    “I was happy for him and I was happy for the team. It’s been a struggle for everyone this year, but everyone has worked really, really hard. The drivers, the crew chiefs, the engineers, everyone at the shop – everyone on the team is working extra hard to get better. To get a victory is huge for the team. It gets the momentum going in the right direction and I’m sure it will make everyone work even harder. I think it was something that was needed.”

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  • FedEx 400 Post-Report

    Date: June 2, 2013
    Event: FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (Round 13 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (concrete, 1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 39th/24th (Running, completed 396 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (231 points, 242 out of first, 140 behind 10th)
    Winner: Tony Stewart of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

    During the latter half of the FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Danica Patrick heard crew chief Tony Gibson tell her several times over the radio that her lap times in the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) were comparable with drivers running in the top-10.

    That’s music to the ears of any Sprint Cup driver, much less one who was competing on Dover’s legendary “Monster Mile” for just the second time.

    Patrick put forth a gritty performance on a hot, humid afternoon on one of NASCAR’s most difficult racetracks, taking the checkered flag in 24th place after starting 39th and battling back from contact in the early going.

    She moved up to 34th after the green flag dropped, but on lap 37 she made contact with the car of David Stremme from behind and cut a tire. She pitted immediately for a new set of tires and to allow the crew to inspect the car, but no significant damage was found. The green-flag stop dropped Patrick three laps off the pace.

    “It was one of those Martinsville-like deals, where we got all bunched up and I had no option but to keep the steering wheel straight or else we both would’ve gotten taken out,” Patrick said over the radio.

    Despite dropping to 41st after the unscheduled stop, the rest of Patrick’s day was rather strong. She picked up 17 positions and lost just one more lap over the final 360 tours of the often-unforgiving, high-banked concrete oval.

    “I definitely didn’t make our day start off right by getting into the 30 in (turns) three and four and getting a cut tire,” Patrick said. “We were only 30 or so laps into the run, so we really were three laps down from the get-go. It made for a long day, but it didn’t mean that the GoDaddy team gave up. We still salvaged points, of course. That’s what we have to keep doing – learning and finishing all of these races so I can get better.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, took the lead for the first time on lap 398 of the 400-lap race and led the final three laps en route to his 48th career victory and first this season. It was his third victory, 11th top-five finish and 16th top-10 in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover. It was also his third top-10 this season.

    The victory also extended Stewart’s streak of winning at least one race per season since joining the Sprint Cup Series in 1999.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished 36th after starting fifth. It was his 23rd career Sprint Cup start at Dover and was marred by a mid-race accident.

    Juan Pablo Montoya finished .788 of a second behind Stewart in the runner-up spot, while Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 32 laps, with nine drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.

    With round 13 of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up four spots to 16th and has 338 points, 135 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 33 points behind 10th-place Paul Menard. Newman fell four places to 20th in the standings and has 323 points, 150 out of first and 48 behind Menard. Patrick picked up one position to 29th in the standings and has 231 points, 242 behind Johnson and 140 away from Menard.

    Thirteen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 11 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 13th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Party in the Poconos 400 on Sunday, June 9 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • FedEx 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 29, 2013) – With the two weeks of Charlotte complete, the competitors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now begin the summer stretch of races, the majority of which are conducted in the northern part of the country.

    For Danica Patrick, it means a lot of races at tracks she is familiar with, just not in the Sprint Cup Series. Of the next eight races on the schedule, Patrick has raced at seven of them in one series or another, save for Pocono (Pa) Raceway, sight of next week’s Sprint Cup race.

    Following Pocono, the series heads to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Patrick competed at all three tracks in the IZOD IndyCar Series and drove in NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Michigan and Kentucky.

    From Kentucky, the schedule heads back to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where Patrick started on the pole, led five laps and finished eighth in February’s 55th Daytona 500. The eight-race summer stretch concludes with races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – two tracks Patrick has driven in both IndyCar and Nationwide Series competition.

    In seven Indianapolis 500s, Patrick scored six top-10 finishes including a third-place result in 2009 – the best finish ever for a woman in the history of the race.

    The summer stretch kicks off this week with the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 38th and finished 28th in September 2012 in her only Sprint Cup start at the concrete mile oval.

    She’s made three Nationwide Series starts at Dover and finished 16th in September 2012. Patrick started 13th and finished sixth in a September 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Dover. She led three laps in the event to become the first female driver to ever lead laps in the series.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You tested at Dover a couple of weeks ago. How did that test go?

    “The Dover test was pretty good. We had 11 or so cars there (three from SHR and eight from other teams). I know that Stewart-Haas was really good there last year with not a lot of rubber down. And then, coming back for the race and being really bad and not feeling like they had made a lot of progress with the car, and being way out of balance. So, I think that will help pay off. Any kind of testing we can do on tracks we’re going to race on is absolutely going to help for that one, but we’re going to tracks and we’re using the right tires when we’re doing it. So, it was a good test and we made a lot of progress and we learned a lot.”

    What are your thoughts about Dover?

    “I always like going to Dover. The track is pretty fun. I remember everyone telling me how unique and challenging Dover was prior to my first race. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot to compare that track to. They said it was like a larger version of Bristol, but I hadn’t raced at Bristol yet, either. It’s nice to have more of a handle on what to expect heading in there now. Dover is fun. It’s fast and it can make for a really long day of racing. I think that’s part of the appeal of it – how demanding it can be. We definitely want to stay out of trouble, which is easier said than done at these types of tracks.”

    This is your second Sprint Cup Series start at Dover. Do you review previous races before going to an event?

    “I look through notes at what the feel was from the time before. If I’ve got some in-car (video), I’ll look at that, too. That’s really all there is to do. Every weekend is its own weekend and sometimes I feel like it’s nice almost to come in a little bit fresh, too, and not have any preconceived ideas. I like to make notes from the races because there are so many that are similar, you almost can’t remember what you’re supposed to do. There are little tiny things about a track that are helpful to remember – just where the grip is and bumps and certain things. There’s general feel, like do you drive flat into the corner or do you lift early – just little things that help you get your rhythm quicker. That’s about all I do.”

    Now that Charlotte is complete, the summer stretch really begins. What are your feelings about the next two months?

    “Last year I raced at Daytona, Darlington and Charlotte in the Sprint Cup Series and then there was a summer break before I raced at Bristol in August. So other than Dover and Daytona, I haven’t raced in the Sprint Cup Series at a lot of the tracks coming up. I’ve been to Michigan, Sonoma, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indy either in a Nationwide car or an IndyCar, or both. So while I may not have seen them in a Cup car, I’ve been to a lot of the tracks and have an idea about them. Pocono will be the only new one, but we’re testing there this week, so we’ll get some experience before coming back for the race. I think that will be beneficial. I’m looking forward to the summer stretch. We need to get better and have better results and I know Tony Gibson (crew chief) and the GoDaddy team are going to work hard, and so am I.”

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  • Coca-Cola 600 Post-Report

    Date: May 26, 2013
    Event: Coca-Cola 600 (Round 12 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 24th/29th (Running, completed 385 of 400 laps)
    Point Standing: 30th (211 points, 234 out of first, 124 behind 10th)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick just wants a little luck to go her way for a change.

    Despite qualifying 24th, Patrick, the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was forced to start in the rear of the field for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway due to an engine change the team made following first practice on Saturday. Patrick fought her way through the field despite being mired deep in traffic.

    Thanks to a strong racecar, her efforts on the racetrack and a solid performance by her crew on pit road, Patrick appeared to be headed to a solid top-20 finish.

    However, her efforts were foiled just past the three-quarter mark of the 400-lap race when she was caught up in a wreck at lap 319. Patrick was in the middle of a three-wide battle when she made contact with reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, who later took blame for the incident. Keselowski apparently came down on Patrick, which sent her nose first into the turn three outside retaining wall and led to extensive damage to her racecar.

    Patrick’s GoDaddy Chevy sustained heavy right front and right fender damage, but she was able to drive her No. 10 Chevy to pit road for a series of lengthy repairs over the course of multiple pit stops. Patrick was able to continue but finished the race in a disappointing 29th-place, 15 laps down to the leaders.

    “We obviously started from the back, and track position was really important here at Charlotte,” said Patrick, who made her 22nd career Sprint Cup start and her second at Charlotte. “We fought our way back to trying to be in a position to be on the lead lap. I felt like we were making real progress and starting to get the car to a place that was really good and had an accident, which is unfortunate because we were moving up. But there’s nothing we can do about it now. We just need some luck.”

    Crew chief Tony Gibson was pleased with the GoDaddy team’s performance despite the wreck late in the race.

    “We had a really good car,” Gibson said. “Our car was really strong all day – probably one of the best cars we had had since Kansas (Speedway in Kansas City). It’s tough. Keselowski said he didn’t know that they were three-wide. He came down and caught us, and we got tore up. At that point, our goal became to finish the race. Pit stops were good. Danica did an awesome job. All we could do was get the car fixed and try to finish the race and go on. That’s what we did. We will build on the high stuff from tonight. We had a good car. We’re showing some strength. We’re making our stuff better during the race, and that’s what we’ve got to do.

    “I told Danica that one day we’ll be the windshield and not the bug. We’re making progress. We’re making gains. We just have to be ready for when it’s our turn, and we will be.

    Patrick’s SHR teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, led a lap en route to scoring his sixth top-10 finish of the season and his ninth top-10 in 25 career Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for SHR, finished seventh after leading once for six laps. It was his 13th top-10 in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval and his second top-10 this season.

    Kevin Harvick won the Coca-Cola 600 to score his 21st career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his second at Charlotte.

    Kasey Kahne finished 1.49 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Newman, Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Marcos Ambrose comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 11 caution periods for 61 laps, with 12 drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race. The race was delayed three times for separate incidents which forced NASCAR to display the red flag. The first two of the three red-flag periods were for a camera cable that fell on the track and caused damage to a handful of cars. The first red flag was displayed for 10 minutes and 40 seconds with the second following quickly after the first and lasting 16 minutes and 22 seconds. The third red flag was displayed for an accident on lap 327, delaying the racing action for nine minutes and 13 seconds.

    With round 12 of 36 complete, Newman continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He rose one spot to 16th and has 315 points, 130 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 20 points behind 10th-place Brad Keselowski. Stewart also gained one spot to crack the top-20. He is 20th with 291 points, 154 out of first and 44 behind Keselowski. Patrick lost two positions and is now 30th with 211 points, 234 behind Johnson and 124 away from Keselowski.

    Fourteen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 15 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 14th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks on Sunday, June 2 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 21, 2013) – Racing on Memorial Day weekend is nothing new for Danica Patrick as she’s done it at the professional level for nine years. But for 2013, just as it was in 2012, the car, location, track length and distance will be a bit different than what she became accustomed to from 2005 to 2011.

    In those seven years, Patrick competed in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And nowhere did Patrick perform better than in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” She burst onto the scene at Indy in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading three times for 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first “500” – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race.

    She set numerous records during her Indianapolis 500 debut and set the tone early when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times throughout the month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carburetion Day.

    Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month and the fastest turned by any woman in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning her rave reviews for her car control by longtime Speedway observers. She ended up qualifying fourth, the best-ever starting position for a woman in the race.

    On race day, with 11 laps remaining in the 200-lap event, Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to slow down in order to conserve fuel to make it to the finish. Her efforts earned her Rookie of the Year honors.

    Patrick scored six top-10 finishes in seven starts at Indianapolis and qualified 10th or better five times. Her third-place result in 2009 is the best finish ever for a woman in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

    For the second consecutive year, however, Memorial Day weekend will be different for Patrick, as she’ll watch the start of the Indianapolis 500 on television from her motorhome in the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway infield as she prepares to drive in the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.

    The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will compete in a race that is 100 miles longer than the Indianapolis 500, starts six hours later than the “500” and takes place on a 1.5-mile high-banked oval rather than a 2.5-mile nearly flat rectangle.

    She started 40th and finished 30th in the 2012 Coca-Cola 600, but is hoping extended track time at Charlotte in 2013 will bring a better finish. The GoDaddy team tested for two-days at Charlotte in January as part of a NASCAR open test and then completed 130 laps in race conditions last week between the 40-lap Sprint Showdown and 90-lap Sprint All-Star race, two non-points races at the 1.5-mile oval.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Will you be watching the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday before the Coca-Cola 600?

    “I will watch it. I think we are all curious. We’re all in racing and we all watch racing. I think that’s a common thread and it always will be there, especially with the Indy 500 being such a cool and old, historic race. We’ll all be paying attention. Last year, they put on a great show.”

    Stewart-Haas Racing tested at Dover (Del.) International Speedway last week. Talk about that.

    “The Dover test was pretty good. We had 11 or so cars there (three from SHR and eight from other teams). I know that Stewart-Haas was really good there last year with not a lot of rubber down. And then, coming back for the race and being really bad and not feeling like they had made a lot of progress with the car, and being way out of balance. So, I think that will help pay off. Any kind of testing we can do on tracks we’re going to race on is absolutely going to help for that one, but we’re going to tracks and we’re using the right tires when we’re doing it. So, it was a good test and we made a lot of progress and we learned a lot.”

    You have a lot of experience at Charlotte, especially in 2013. Do you feel more comfortable there than perhaps other places?

    “Yeah, and I always go back to it. It’s really dependent on the car. I mean, essentially, I had better results in my Cup races last year than I have had this year other than Martinsville and Daytona. So we have had a couple of really good highs, but the rest of them have been not so good at all. So I don’t think I unlearned things from last year, it’s just a matter of getting the car to a place where it does what we all want it to do as drivers on the team. So I feel comfortable, yes. There is a lot of stuff I don’t worry so much about and I can just get in the car and go. But things I am more familiar with are looking at a tire sheet, or understanding what happens to a car in the corner and being able to translate to Tony Gibson (crew chief). But it really all comes to being comfortable with the car that you have underneath you to be able to go do the job you need to do.”

    Stewart-Haas Racing has struggled thus far this season. How tough is that for the drivers?

    “Well, I feel like we all have the same feeling about the car and we all have a similar opinion of what the car is doing and, more importantly, what it’s not doing. And when that happens, it’s time to go to work to figure out how to get that out of the car. And I feel like once we do, we are going to be better for the struggles we have had. But we do need to figure those out and I think we are all in agreement that we need to make a lot of progress, and I feel like sometimes that is half the battle.”

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  • Fans Vote In Patrick to First All-Star Race

    Date: May 18, 2013
    Event: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race/Sprint Showdown (non-points events)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish All-Star Race Start/Finish: 22nd/20th (Running, completed 90 of 90laps)
    Start/Finish Sprint Showdown Start/Finish: 7th/9th (Running, completed 40 of 40 laps)
    Winners: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race – Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
    Sprint Showdown – Jamie McMurray of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (Chevrolet)

    It was a night of highs and lows for Danica Patrick on Saturday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick won the Sprint Fan Vote to gain entrance into her first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, which was a high for the Rookie of the Year contender. But she fought a tight-handling No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet in the 90-lap non-points event and finished 20th.

    “First and very foremost, thank you to all the fans who voted for me or maybe voted so many times for me,” Patrick said. “I’m very fortunate to have the fan base that I do, and I never forget that. It really just makes me feel bad to win the Sprint Fan Vote and run in the back of the race. We just couldn’t get the GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet right. We were just too tight. The guys did a great job on pit road. That goes without saying. It was just a tough night, but hopefully we are able to figure out what was wrong, and we can come back here next weekend and have a better run.”

    Patrick earned entry into the race by being the recipient of the fan vote on NASCAR.com. Patrick was eligible for the fan vote by competing in the Sprint Showdown, the undercard event to the Sprint All-Star Race. Patrick started seventh in the 40-lap race, which was broken up into two 20-lap segments. She finished ninth in both segments. Jamie McMurray won the Sprint Showdown to advance into the All-Star Race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second to McMurray to also advance into the All-Star Race.

    After winning the fan vote, Patrick started 22nd in the 90-lap All-Star race. While Patrick had a solid racecar in the Sprint Showdown, that wasn’t the case in the All-Star race.

    Just five laps into the event, Patrick radioed to crew chief Tony Gibson that her GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet was too tight, which became the theme of the night.

    Gibson called for a variety of major chassis adjustments during the race to aid Patrick’s tight-handling condition, including track bar, wedge and air pressure adjustments. The crew also made a variety of shock adjustments. But as the laps clicked off, the handling characteristics of the GoDaddy Cares Chevy didn’t improve, and Patrick continued to tell her crew her racecar wouldn’t roll through the center of the corner, preventing her from gaining spots on the racetrack.

    Gibson was frustrated with the car’s performance but pleased Patrick got valuable track time, which could help the rookie in next week’s Coca-Cola 600.

    “The car was pretty good the first race, and the second race I don’t know what happened,” Gibson said. “It was plowing tight from the very first lap on, and we couldn’t get it fixed. We slung everything I know to sling at it. Maybe we had a bump stop or a shock give up on it, but I just don’t know right now. Everybody dug all night long and we stayed in the game, and that’s all you can do. It’s frustrating because you don’t know what happened. We’ll try to figure out what we’ve got.

    “We just want to thank all the fans for getting us into the race because we never would have been in it if it weren’t for them. We appreciated the support from them, and hopefully one day we can give a little bit of something back to them. Overall, we learned a lot and she got some time on the racetrack, so that will pay dividends next week, I think. It’s just frustrating. I thought we would run way better than that based off our first race there. I’m not sure what happened and what went wrong there.”

    Patrick’s teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS, finished 13th. The third member of SHR, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished 14th.

    Jimmie Johnson won the All-Star Race, his record-breaking fourth victory in 12 All-Star starts, breaking a tie with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt for the most All-Star Race wins. Johnson’s past All-Star Race victories came in 2003, 2006 and 2012.

    Joey Logano finished 1.722 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five. Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.

     

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  • Sprint Showdown Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 14, 2013) – Danica Patrick enters this weekend not quite knowing how many laps she will race on Saturday night.

    She might race 40, or she might race 130 depending on what happens with the Sprint Fan Vote and the Sprint Showdown. Both are part of the non-points Sprint All-Star event Saturday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    Twenty-two drivers are already locked in the 90-lap Sprint All-Star race by virtue of either a Sprint Cup race win in 2012 or 2013, an All-Star Race win at some point in the last 10 years, or a Sprint Cup championship in the last decade.

    Patrick, who has only 21 Sprint Cup starts in her career, does not meet those requirements but has two other ways she can lock herself and the GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet team into the Sprint All-Star Race. She can finish first or second in the 40-lap Sprint Showdown, which takes place right before the Sprint All-Star Race, or win the Sprint Fan Vote. Fans can vote for Patrick until 5 p.m. EDT Saturday at NASCAR.com or on the NASCAR Mobile ’13 app, where votes count twice.

    Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will carry the logo of GoDaddy Cares for this weekend’s Sprint All-Star festivities. GoDaddy Cares is GoDaddy’s charitable branch whose unique “Round Up for Charity” program in which customers who purchase a domain name or a product at GoDaddy have an option of rounding up their purchase to the nearest dollar. Customers then select a charity of their choice from an extensive list offered by GoDaddy.

    Three of the charities on that list are featured on Patrick’s GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS this weekend:

    n Hope for Haiti: Hope for Haiti is a Naples, Fla.-based charitable organization operating in Port-au-Prince and out of Les Cayes in the south of Haiti. Serving in the most remote areas, Hope for Haiti’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children, through education, nutrition, and health care. For more than 20 years, the organization has been working in partnership with the Haitian people to connect, heal, and empower communities on the path toward sustainability.

    n National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF): The National Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by breast cancer survivor Janelle Hail. NBCF continues to grow every year to help more and more women around the world by educating them about breast cancer and providing free mammograms to women in need.

    n VEX Robotics / REC Foundation: The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC) seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the United States and internationally.


    For more information on GoDaddy Cares, visit: www.GoDaddyCares.com

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What do you think your chances are of getting the fan vote into the Sprint All-Star Race?

    “I don’t know. I think about it from a fan’s perspective and I think you want the driver you cheer for to be out there, of course, but you want a good race. Hopefully, they think of me when they think of those two. We always have the opportunity to race in, as well. We’ve been working really hard over the last month on our mile-and-a-half car and we need to. Let’s hope it all comes together by the All-Star Race.”

    You made a funny video about the All-Star voting process with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Talk about that.

    “We thought that was fun. Ricky (Stenhouse) and I shot that little video. I would love to be in the race and I think, more than anything, you want to entertain your fans, of course. I hope I can be in the race to do that. Also, I want to perform well in the Coke 600 and racing in the All-Star Race would definitely help that. It was between GoDaddy and Sprint and them all making that happen. GoDaddy came up with the script and thought it was a clever little script, so we shot it in a matter of about 20 minutes and it aired. Obviously, we both want to be in the race and to try to create a little bit of buzz to get people to go vote and have some fun with it.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    How important would it be for Danica to either race her way in or get voted into the All-Star Race?

    “It’s pretty big for anybody just for track time and being able to work on the car. It’d be nice to get extra seat time for her. So, hopefully, the fans will vote us in if we can’t race our way in and we can get in the thing. Once you’re in it, you never know what can happen. Obviously, we’ve seen in the past someone you think is going to win doesn’t.”

    How big of a thrash is it for the team if you transfer from the Showdown to the All-Star Race?

    “It’s actually not too bad. It’s no different than a pit stop, really. You can do the same things, change tires, change spring rubbers, chassis adjustments – things like that. So it’s not that big of a deal. They don’t take the car to victory lane, anymore, just the driver. So we can get ready and turn it around and go. It’s not that big of a deal, anymore, because there’s a limit on what we can change for the All-Star Race. If we race our way in or get voted in, we’ll be happy to deal with that when the time comes.”

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  • Southern 500 Post-Report

    Date: May 11, 2013
    Event: 64th Southern 500 (Round 11 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 40th/28th (Running, completed 362 of 367 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (196 points, 227 out of first, 119 behind 10th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick steadily got faster throughout the Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, but unusually long green flag runs put her three laps down early, and she finished 28th.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), made her second start at the 1.336-mile egg-shaped oval and was forced to use her backup car after a crash in Friday practice caused heavy damage to her primary machine.

    After starting 40th, Patrick reported early that her car was experiencing a tight-handling condition as the leaders set an incredibly fast pace, while the race had only one caution in the first 303 laps.

    “Those long green flag runs just killed us,” Patrick said. “It’s tough because you get behind, and it’s hard to get caught back up when the pace is that fast and there are so little yellows at the beginning. We had a setback in practice, and that cut into our practice time and because of that we didn’t get to make any qualifying runs, which led us to going out cold in qualifying, which is not a strength of mine anyway. So it was just a tough weekend. Nothing is wasted. No run or no lap is wasted, but sometimes the fruits of your labor aren’t realized until later on.”

    Patrick’s crew chief, Tony Gibson, was pleased with her effort despite the finish lower than what the Go Daddy team had hoped.

    “Obviously we had some issues on Friday, wrecking our primary car,” Gibson said. “So to go to qualifying with no mock (qualifying) runs and go out there raw, she did a good job. It’s tough here when you start that far back. She did a really nice job. Probably about halfway through the race, it kind of clicked, and she started running some really good lap times. She picked up on a few things following other guys, so our progress I thought went really good. The goal coming in here was to run all the laps, and if we can’t run them all, run as many as we can. Learn, then go home and digest all that and put it in our notebook and build off that, and that’s exactly what we did. It’s still a learning process for us, obviously. So to come out of here with a backup car and looking at her lap times and how she gained throughout the race – that’s good. She gave great feedback, and we made the adjustments, and it showed in the lap times. The pit stops were really, really good, and Danica did a good job. We learned a lot, and we’ll build on it for the next one.”

    Patrick’s teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished 10th to score his fifth top-10 finish of the season and his 10th top-10 in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Darlington.

    The third member of SHR, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished 15th.

    Matt Kenseth won the Southern 500 to score his 27th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Darlington.

    Denny Hamlin finished 3.155 seconds behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five. Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 25 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 367-lap race.

    With round 11 of 36 complete, Newman continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He maintained his 17th position in the standings and has 276 points, 147 back of series leader Johnson and 39 points behind 10th-place Harvick. Stewart moved up one spot to 21st in the standings and has 253 points, 170 out of first and 62 behind Harvick. Patrick dropped one spot to 28th in the standings and has 196 points, 227 behind Johnson and 119 away from Harvick.

    Fifteen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 10 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 18th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 18 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The non-point-paying event begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by SPEED beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m. SPEED’s “RaceDay” begins at 4 p.m.

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  • Southern 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 7, 2013) – It’s been called the toughest of all tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. So much so that Darlington (S.C.) Raceway years ago was nicknamed “The Track Too Tough To Tame.”

    Darlington is an egg-shaped oval 1.366 miles in length – the odd shape because the western portion of the oval needed a tighter radius on the turns as founder Harold Brasington promised Sherman Ramsey, who owned a farm next to the property, that he wouldn’t disturb his minnow pond when he built the track in 1949.

    The odd shape also means that, to find the fast way around the track, drivers run against the outside walls in each turn, sometimes brushing up against the wall and thus earning what has affectionately become known as a “Darlington Stripe” on the right side of the car. And the black marks left on the walls by the tires rubbing up against them all race weekend have led to the track’s other nickname – “The Lady in Black.”

    For the third time in her NASCAR career and second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, “The Lady in Green,” Danica Patrick, driver of the green No.10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will meet “The Lady in Black,” when she competes in Saturday night’s Southern 500 Sprint Cup race at Darlington.

    Patrick made her NASCAR debut at Darlington last year in the Nationwide Series by starting 15th and finishing and impressive 12th. One night later, she made just her second Sprint Cup start ever and finished 31st.

    Her weekend impressed several NASCAR observers as Darlington is known as a track that is tough on first-timers. But “The Lady in Green” completed 513 of 519 laps in her first weekend at “The Lady in Black,” and did so without being in an accident – also a tough feat for a rookie, much less a seasoned veteran.

    Patrick returns this weekend hoping to improve on her Darlington resume and perhaps tame the track that is “Too Tough To Tame.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Are you more comfortable this year heading into Darlington than last year?

    “Last year, I ran there in the (Sprint) Cup race and it was basically my first Cup race, really. I ran Daytona, but Darlington was like getting thrown into the deep end. That was the purpose of it, to get seat time so I’m not thinking or dreading going there this weekend worrying about what that’s going to look like for me and how it’s going to feel. I have an idea now of how it’s going to feel and what needs to be done.”

    Talk about your experience at Darlington last year.

    “I had never seen Darlington until that race weekend. So that’s always a bit interesting when you go somewhere you’ve never been. But I accomplished all the things I wanted to accomplish. Things went good on the Nationwide side. On the Cup side, my goals were to be respectable out there. I think I held my own. And the other one was to finish, and both of those things happened. So, overall, it was a good night. I definitely got a feel for all the elements. Starts, restarts and pitting, and all that stuff. Just how to get runs on cars. What to do when the car feels a certain way. Which lines to take, and to accommodate for the car and how it feels.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Darlington?

    “Hopefully, she remembers what she learned last year. It’s hard because we only race at Darlington once a year, so it’s hard to remember that far back, sometimes. The biggest thing with Darlington is to race the racetrack, not anybody else. That’s what we did last time. She stayed out of trouble because she raced the racetrack, so that’s what she’s got to do again. I think that’s what impressed me there last time is she didn’t get caught up in trying to race everyone. She raced the racetrack and took what the car gave her. Our goal is to go there and have a clean race and finish. Typically, if you can do that, you can finish 25th or better and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

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  • Aaron's 499 Post-Report

    Date: May 5, 2013
    Event: Aaron’s 499 (Round 10 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 23rd/33rd (Accident, completed 182 of 192 laps)
    Point Standing: 27th (180 points, 203 out of first, 100 behind 10th)
    Winner: David Ragan of Front Row Motorsports in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)

    Danica Patrick missed a big accident early and outlasted a three-hour rain delay but couldn’t avoid a late-race multi-car crash, finishing a disappointing 33rd in the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was in the middle of the pack of drafting cars on the backstretch on lap 182 when several cars began crashing in front of her. Despite her best efforts, she was caught up in the accident, and her GoDaddy.com Chevrolet suffered too much damage to continue.

    “I’m probably sure the most common answer is, ‘I have no idea,’” Patrick said. “It happens out here; it is frustrating. Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) was trying to make it four-wide, and the No. 36 (JJ Yeley) came up to block him, and it turned him. Then the No. 78 (Kurt Busch) was spinning; I went high, and somebody came up and clipped me and put me in the wall. I’m not sure which car it was. The No. 32 (Terry Labonte), it looked like. Honestly, it is just the way it goes. People forcing the issue. It is late in the race; I get it. But that’s what causes these accidents that makes speedway racing speedway racing. It’s just unfortunate for everyone on the Go Daddy team.”

    On lap 44, Patrick did a spectacular job avoiding a multi-car accident that unfolded in front of her in turns one and two. She went low on the track and missed several cars crashing in front of her before coming to a complete stop as her path was blocked with wrecked race cars. She then drove around the roadblock and continued, much to the amazement of her crew chief, Tony Gibson.

    “We were watching, and we were like, ‘Holy cow,’” Gibson said. “The next thing you know is she came on the radio, and she just aimed for the empty hole. I don’t know how she missed the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) there at the end. The No. 18 came back down across, and she said she got loose when she got on the first apron. Then when she got on the flat, she got real loose. How she survived, I have no idea. The GoDaddy.com Chevy did good, and our spotter (Brandon Benesch) did an awesome job. It’s unfortunate how it ended up with the late-race crash. But that’s part of restrictor-plate racing.”

    Patrick’s teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished 32nd. Newman, who led once for two laps, had his day cut short after being involved the same accident as Patrick.

    The third member of SHR, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS, finished 27th after being one of 16 drivers involved in the multi-car accident on lap 44 that Patrick avoided. He was able to return to the race but finished five laps down in 27th place.

    David Ragan won the Aaron’s 499 to break a 64-race winless streak. The win is his second career Sprint Cup victory and his first at Talladega.

    Ragan’s Front Row Motorsports teammate David Gilliland finished .212 of a second behind Ragan in the runner-up spot while Carl Edwards, Michael Waltrip and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five. Regan Smith, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Scott Speed and Aric Almirola comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 31 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 192-lap race, which was extended four laps by a green-white-checkered finish. Heavy rains also delayed the race for three hours, 36 minutes after the red flag was unfurled on lap 124.

    With round 10 of 36 complete, Newman continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He fell one spot to 17th and has 242 points, 141 back of series leader Johnson and 38 points behind 10th-place Greg Biffle. Stewart maintained his 22nd-place standing and has 224 points, 159 out of first and 56 behind Biffle. Patrick dropped one spot to 27th place in the standings and has 180 points, 203 behind Johnson and 100 away from Biffle.

    Sixteen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 20 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 13th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Southern 500 Saturday, May 11 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The race starts at 6:45 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 6 p.m.

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  • Aaron's 312 Post-Report

    TALLADEGA, Ala. (May 4, 2013) - A potentially-strong run for Danica Patrick ended early when an issue with the tandem draft occurred. Patrick started the race on the outside of the second row in the fourth position and had high hopes for a strong finish for the AccuDoc Solutions/Go Daddy team. Just 14 laps into the Aaron's 312, Patrick was logging laps when she and her drafting partner lost contact, sending Patrick spinning in turn three. The damage to the No. 34 was to severe to repair, relegating the team to a 39th-place finish.

    Patrick came into the weekend looking to make her second start of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season with Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM). During Thursday's two practice sessions at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway, Patrick worked on the tandem draft and made a mock-qualifying run. The team was confident going into Friday's qualifying session and Patrick backed it up with a stellar lap, placing the No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions/Go Daddy Chevrolet in the fourth position for Saturday's Aaron's 312.

    After a long rain delay on Saturday, NNS eventually took the green flag hours after the scheduled start time. Patrick wasted no time in picking a partner and rode inside the top five for the first five laps. On lap eight, Patrick found a drafting partner, and the duo worked to make a move to stay towards the front of the lead pack and get to the NASCAR-mandated caution on lap 20. Unfortunately, it was on lap 14 when Patrick got disconnected from her drafting companion and sent the No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions/Go Daddy Chevy spinning. After making a couple trips down pit road, the Turner Scott Motorsports team decided that the damage was too severe to repair and retired from the Aaron's 312 in the 39th place.

    "I hate it for everyone at Turner Scott Motorsports, this is the second time they gave me great car this season," said Patrick. "We were just riding and trying to make our way back up to the front. I'm just disappointed that I wasn't able to bring the AccuDoc Solutions/Go Daddy Chevy home with a finish that I felt like we could have gotten."

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  • Aaron's 499 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 1, 2013) – The stars may be aligning for Danica Patrick as she enters the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday (May 5) at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), always seems run well in the month of May, and she loves restrictor-plate racing, the kind of which takes place at Talladega.

    Her memorable “May Days” have mostly been in the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Indianapolis 500. She burst onto the scene in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first Indianapolis 500 – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race.

    Patrick set numerous records during her Indianapolis 500 debut and set the tone early when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times that month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carb Day.

    Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month and the fastest turned by any woman in the history of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning rave reviews for her car control by longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway observers. She ended up qualifying fourth, the best starting position ever by a woman in the legendary event.

    On race day, 11 laps before the end of the 200-lap race, Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to back off the pace to conserve enough fuel to make it to the finish. Patrick ended up fourth – the best finish ever for a woman at Indianapolis at that time – and earned Rookie of the Year honors for her efforts, which included leading the race three times for 19 laps.

    In seven Indianapolis 500 starts (all in the month of May, of course) Patrick qualified in the top-10 five times and finished in the top-10 six times – including a third-place result in 2009. It remains the best finish by a woman in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

    When she turned her attention to NASCAR full-time, Patrick continued to find promising May results in 2012. She finished 13th or better in three of the four NASCAR Nationwide Series races (Talladega, Darlington, Charlotte) conducted during the month.

    And while the month of May has always been good to Patrick, so have restrictor-plate tracks, and that was again true in February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Like she did at Indianapolis, she made headlines around the world with her record-setting performance in the 55th Daytona 500. She became the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500, and then finished in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    She led laps 90 to 91 under caution, becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race, and then held the top spot under green from laps 127 to 129 to become the first woman to lead a NASCAR race under green. The only other woman to lead laps in a Sprint Cup race is Janet Guthrie, who led five laps under yellow in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 13 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish the feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart.

    Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

    Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 15 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

    She won’t be in Indianapolis this May, but she’ll look to make even more history in the Sprint Cup ranks during a month that has been very good to her throughout her career. And a victory at Talladega this weekend would certainly add another chapter to her already impressive story.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts on Talladega?
    “Talladega is one of those tracks where anything can happen. Our superspeedway races are really exciting. There are a lot of leaders, a lot of lead changes and just a lot of action. If you’re a fan, this is a race you need to tune into because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

    Given your eighth-place result at Daytona, do you feel you can win Talladega this weekend?
    “I feel like I’ve learned some lessons from Daytona about the draft and how that unfolds at the end if you are in the right place at the right time. I think that, when we talk superspeedway racing, there’s a lot of luck involved. Like I said, right place at the right time … there are a lot of people who have a good chance of winning Talladega, I think. Hopefully, we are one of them at the end of the race. But, we won’t know that until end of the race.”

    There have been some big penalties this year. You’re still new to NASCAR, but what are your thoughts on those penalties?
    “It’s tough for me to know what the things that teams, cars, drivers, owners have been penalized for and to know how bad that is. I think penalties happen more in (Sprint) Cup than anywhere, it seems like, and I haven’t been around that long, and I don’t know how much of these things are performance gains or oversights, or blatant, or something they just got caught for. I just don’t know. I don’t know if it has to do with the new car. I really don’t. So, I would say NASCAR is definitely sending a message that if something is found that they don’t like, there will be penalties for it. That’s pretty clear.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Overall thoughts on Talladega?
    “She’s pumped up and excited. She’s really excited to run the Nationwide Series race, also. It helps because you can learn a lot about drafting and things like that. Air is air and, the way it moves around, is the same for a Cup car or a Nationwide Series car. Learning to position yourself in certain situations so you have an advantage from Saturday and Sunday is a plus. So, she’s pretty excited to do both races. Obviously she’s a really good restrictor-plate racer. After running Daytona and starting on the pole and running in the top-three all day and finishing eighth, we’re excited. We kind of got snookered there at the end a little bit, but I think she logged that in the memory bank and learned some moves that she needs to keep in mind coming down to the last lap if we’re in a position to win at Talladega.”

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  • Aaron's 312 Pre-Report

    Turner Scott Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series News & Notes:
    Talladega Superspeedway

    Danica Patrick
    No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions/Go Daddy Chevrolet Camaro
    Talladega Superspeedway | Aaron's 312
    May 4, 2013

    Season Recap...
    Danica Patrick will make her second start of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Patrick's first start of 2013 also came at a superspeedway, at Daytona International Speedway in the NNS season opener. Starting in the 12th spot, Patrick quickly moved through the 40-car pack and found herself racing for the lead. Patrick went on to lead five laps before she experienced an electrical failure on lap 31, forcing an early retirement from the DRIVE4COPD 300 and relegating her to a 36th-place finish.

    Return to Talladega...
    Patrick will make her second start at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. Patrick made her first start at the superspeedway last season, starting in 17th and working her way up through the field to lead a lap before eventually coming home with a top-15 finish, in 13th place.

    Welcome Aboard...
    The No. 34 Chevrolet is sporting the colors of AccuDoc Solutions this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway with Go Daddy will also onboard, serving as Patrick's associate sponsor. AccuDoc Solutions is based in Morrisville, N.C. and provides billing-statement printing and processing to hospitals and hospital-based physicians. In addition to paper-based billing statements, ADS enables patients to choose electronic statement delivery and make payments through secure online payment portals. Notable North Carolina based clients include Carolina's Healthcare System, the UNC Healthcare System, Sentara Healthcare, Baptist Health Care Pensacola, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Memorial Healthcare System and WakeMed. To learn more, visit www.AccuDocSolutions.com. Go Daddy is the Web's top platform for small businesses. Visit http://www.godaddy.com/business/small-business.aspx

    This Week's Camaro...
    Turner Scott Motorsports will debut a brand new chassis, TSM-337, for this weekend's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway.

    Follow Along...
    Be sure to follow Turner Scott Motorsports on all social media platforms. You can find TSM on facebook at facebook.com/TurnerScottMotorsports, on twitter at @TSMotorsports and on Instagram at TSMotorsports.

    Watch and Listen...
    The Aaron's 312 can be seen live on Saturday, May 4 on ESPN. Race coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as SiriusXM Radio, channel 90.

    Crew Chief Mike Greci on Talladega Superspeedway:
    "I'm looking forward to working with Danica again this weekend. I felt like we had a lot of chemistry the last time we worked together in Daytona. We were able to run up front and be in contention for a solid finish before we experienced an electrical failure. We have a great crew put together for this weekend, and I feel like we should be able to take the new chassis and compete for a solid finish."

    Danica Patrick on Talladega Superspeedway:
    "I really enjoy racing at the superspeedways, and Turner Scott Motorsports has a great superspeedway package. We had a great run going in Daytona, and I'm hoping we can pick up where we left off. I have a great crew, and I feel like we have an opportunity to bring home a solid finish for AccuDoc Solutions, Go Daddy and TSM."

    NNS results at Talladega Superspeedway:
    Starts: 1
    Wins: 0
    Poles: 0
    Top 5: 0
    Top 10: 0
    Laps Led: 1
    Average Start: 17.0
    Average Finish: 13.0

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  • Danica to Race for TSM in Talladega Nationwide Race

    MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 29, 2013) - Turner Scott Motorsports announced today that Danica Patrick will return to pilot their fourth entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Talladega Superspeedway. Patrick, who is competing full-time as a Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year candidate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) in 2013, will return behind the wheel for her second start of the season in the No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Camaro. Patrick will once again have the veteran crew chief Mike Greci atop the pit box to call the shot in this weekend's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Greci previously served as crew chief for Patrick at the season opener NNS race in Daytona.

    The former IndyCar driver has only one previous start at Talladega, leading one lap and finishing 13th in last year's NNS race. Patrick finished 36th at Daytona International Speedway, after experiencing an engine issue in her only previous start for Turner Scott Motorsports. Despite her bad luck in the NNS race, Patrick had success at Daytona, earning the pole and finishing eighth in the NSCS Daytona 500.

    Patrick, the first woman in history to win an IndyCar race, has raced in a total of 59 NNS events, tallying one top-five and seven top-10 finishes. Patrick completed one full-time NNS season, finishing 10th in the 2012 driver point standings. The Roscoe, Ill. native also earned the NNS Most Popular Driver award following her full-time NNS campaign.

    Long time Turner Scott Motorsports partner AccuDoc Solutions will serve as Patrick's primary sponsor and will also be joined by Patrick's long time sponsor Go Daddy as associate sponsor on the No. 34 Nationwide entry. AccuDoc Solutions, based in Morrisville, N.C., provides billing statement printing and processing to hospitals and hospital-based physicians, while Go Daddy is the Web's top platform for small businesses.

    "I'm thrilled that I get another chance to drive the No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Camaro for Turner Scott Motorsports," said Patrick. "We had a great run going in Daytona, and I'm hoping we can pick up where we left off. I want to thank everyone at TSM, AccuDoc Solutions and GoDaddy for making this great opportunity come together."

    Patrick will have three teammates on Saturday, with full-time TSM drivers Justin Allgaier, Kyle Larson and Nelson Piquet Jr. competing in the 117-lap restrictor plate race.

    "We are very happy to welcome back Danica Patrick to the Turner Scott Motorsports Nationwide lineup this weekend in Talladega," said team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. "We were extremely pleased with Danica's efforts in Daytona and felt like we had all of the pieces in place to be successful. TSM has assembled a great crew for her this weekend and I feel like we have a great deal of potential; there's a very good chance of Danica bringing home Turner Scott Motorsports' first Nationwide win of the season."

    The Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway will air live on ABC at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 4. The race can also be heard on MRN and Sirius XM Radio, channel 90.

    About Turner Scott Motorsports: Turner Scott Motorsports was established in 1999 by Texas businessman Steve Turner, who was joined by partner Harry Scott Jr. as co-owner in 2013. This season will mark the fourth season of full-time NASCAR competition for the organization, which expanded in 2011 from a two-truck operation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) to become the largest stand-alone multi-series team in NASCAR's top-tier touring series. The team earned its first championship when James Buescher captured the NCWTS title in 2012. Turner Scott Motorsports operates out of an 110,000 square-foot state-of-the art facility in Mooresville, N.C. The Chevrolet-backed team has created alliances with General Motors' powerhouse team Hendrick Motorsports, which provides engine support for both its NNS and NCWTS programs, and Earnhardt Technology Group for drive train and suspension technology assistance. For more information on Turner Scott Motorsports, visit

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  • Toyota Owners 400 Post-Report

    Date: April 27, 2013
    Event: Toyota Owners 400 (Round 9 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 30th/29th (Running, completed 402 of 406 laps)
    Point Standing: 26th (169 points, 174 out of first, 102 behind 10th)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing in a green-white-checkered finish (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick finished 29th in the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), dealt with a car that was loose on entry, tight in the center and loose on exit in the corners of the .75-mile oval.

    While crew chief Tony Gibson tried a series of chassis and tire pressure adjustments, nothing brought the GoDaddy.com machine to life. Patrick finished four laps down in her first Sprint Cup Series start at Richmond.

    “We were just so tight in the center of the corner,” Patrick said. “We just couldn’t loosen the car up enough to make the center work the way we needed to. Tony Gibson and the Go Daddy guys threw a lot at it, but we just couldn’t get the center quite right. We were loose in, tight center, loose off, but as much as we tried to loosen up the center, we never really affected the entry either.”

    Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 15th, while Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished 18th.

    Kevin Harvick won the Toyota Owners 400 to score his 20th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Richmond.

    Clint Bowyer finished .343 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Burton rounded out the top-five. Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 11 caution periods for 75 laps, with six drivers failing to finish the 406-lap race, which was extended six laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round nine of 36 complete, Newman continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up one spot to 16th and has 229 points, 114 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and 42 points behind 10th-place Paul Menard. Stewart fell one spot to 22nd place in the standings and has 207 points, 136 out of first and 64 behind Menard. Patrick dropped one spot to 26th place in the standings and has 169 points, 174 behind Johnson and 102 away from Menard.

    Seventeen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 13 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 16th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Aaron’s 499 Sunday, May 5 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Battle for the Coke Zero Tailgate Championship

    The Party Is On! Danica Patrick to Tour Talladega Boulevard, Award Prizes to Best Decorated Campsite

    Battle for the Coke Zero™ Tailgate Championship is set for Hallowed Ground – Talladega Boulevard

    TALLADEGA, AL – The world famous Talladega Boulevard, a strip of land in Talladega’s infield known as NASCAR’s “Party Capital” for providing fans with the most fun in all of motorsports, just got even better! When the Aaron’s Dream Weekend (May 3-5) rolls into Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick will walk the Boulevard, mingle with fans, and award a one-of-a-kind “Coke Zero Tailgate Champion” trophy to the best decorated campsite.

    After spending time on Talladega Boulevard last year during her first trip to the 2.66-mile unpredictable track, Patrick saw it to be “party central” for fans that featured fun, music, dancing, food, beverages and the most unique display of colorful creativity when it came to the décor of each campsite.

    “I had heard about the Talladega Boulevard from my team prior to us coming to Talladega last year,” said Patrick, who will be a frontrunner for both the pole and race win for the Aaron’s 499. “So, we decided to walk from one end of the boulevard to the next, and I was amazed at how much fun these fans have at ‘Dega. It was unbelievable. After last year, I walked away saying how much I loved Talladega Superspeedway, as well as their super passionate fans.”

    “I can’t wait to get back to Talladega and see the fans again on the track’s ‘Main Street’ in the infield. With the help of the track, as well as Coke Zero, there are some neat things planned for Talladega Boulevard. Race fans out there, make sure to bring anything and everything you can to decorate your campsite, and be ready to have some fun with it! We can’t wait to see you!”

    Plans are for Danica to award the “Coke Zero Tailgate Champion” trophy Saturday afternoon, at some point following the conclusion of the Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

    The most notorious strip of real estate in NASCAR, Talladega Boulevard, is an innovative corridor like no other and has been a mainstay in NASCAR circles since the track was built in 1969. The Mardi Gras-type atmosphere of The Boulevard, complete with strings of beads and shenanigans, is a NASCAR tradition that separates Talladega from other venues. It truly is a sight to behold how tents, RVs, trucks and trailers, with an abundance of ingenuity and creativity, can liven up a large crowd of people.

    “Danica’s passion for Talladega Boulevard shows fans what an incredible place it has been in the past and what it will be in the future,” said Talladega Chairman Grant Lynch. “Our fans will get an opportunity to see Danica up close Friday, so we encourage them to really dress up their area and get ready for a party. We hope the “Coke Zero Tailgate Champion” trophy presentation and competition will become a new tradition here at Talladega.

    “We are thrilled that Coke Zero has come onboard to support Danica’s effort as well. We are also excited to have the Miller Lite Infield Track Bar as a part of Talladega Boulevard, a perfect setting for our Saturday night concert with country music star Chris Young.”

    The most competitive racing in NASCAR combined with a mix of southern hospitality returns to Talladega Superspeedway May 3-5 for the Aaron’s Dream Weekend. Experience the excitement as the superstars of NASCAR attempt to tackle the high-banks of ‘DEGA at 200 mph. Secure your tickets at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or by calling 877-Go2-DEGA. This is more than a race…This is Talladega!

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  • Toyota Owners 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 23, 2013) – It was just three weeks ago that Danica Patrick surprised many NASCAR observers with her impressive 12th-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the .526-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will look to improve even further on her short-track results in Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup race at the .75-mile Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

    Like Martinsville, Richmond has been part of NASCAR since the early days of the sport. Lee Petty, father of seven-time Sprint Cup champion Richard Petty, won the first Sprint Cup race at Richmond on April 19, 1953 – little more than 60 years ago. Martinsville conducted its first race in 1949.

    Patrick is no stranger to racing at Richmond, having competed in three NASCAR Nationwide Series races and five IZOD IndyCar Series races at the three-quarter-mile oval. She scored four top-10 IndyCar finishes, including sixth-place results in 2007 and 2008 and a fifth-place effort in 2009.

    She has taken a liking to short-track racing and improved steadily through the last few months. In the August 2012 Sprint Cup race at the .533-mile Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway oval, Patrick was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another car and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.

    In the November Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, Patrick finished what was then a career-best 17th on the mile oval after running as high as 14th with less than five laps to go. She improved even more with the 12th-place finish April 7 at Martinsville.

    One focus for Patrick and the Go Daddy team will be to improve their qualifying efforts. In addition to the obvious better starting spot, the better qualifying effort results in a better pit stall and better track position to start the race – both extremely critical at a short track like Richmond.

    Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Patrick qualified 25th, her best effort since her pole at this year’s season-opening Daytona 500.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    The Go Daddy team has really tried to focus on qualifying better each week. How is that progressing?

    “I was over talking to Tony (Stewart) after practice (last week at Kansas) and said, ‘Look, I’ve got to figure out how to qualify better.’ And you know, a lot of the runs there have been obvious issues, whether it be really loose or really tight or having a moment at the end of the first lap, which leads into the next lap, so it kills both of them. You know, there have been reasons. But all in all, it’s not necessarily my strong area and I know that. I was saying that in the Nationwide Series – it was kind of the same thing. And once I really got comfortable in the car and understood it and what it did when you pushed it, and obviously developed a setup that I am comfortable with, things really changed. And, all of a sudden, it was like a light switch and I was like, all right, I’m actually not so bad at qualifying these things anymore. But it took time. And so, I’m sure that it does happen like that with me. All of a sudden, something happens and I’ll feel more comfortable and there’s more speed there. But it doesn’t stop me from pushing and trying to figure out how to get better at it. I think the best thing we can do at this point in time is to try and get a car underneath me that I feel comfortable with and try to develop a good platform that we can go with each and every weekend to these 1.5-mile tracks, and to the short tracks, too, and just know what I have, as well. There’s something to be said for coming to the green and, yeah, you’ve got to be fast through (turns) three and four coming to the green. So, just knowing what you’ve got underneath you so you know what it’s going to do when you push it.”

    A lot of young girls look up to you. Do you feel you’ve inspired some of them to get into auto racing?

    “Maybe just from the perspective that they would think about racing. It’s not a normal sport for a kid to try because it’s not something you go play in school, right? In school, you play basketball, volleyball, all those kinds of sports, like baseball. Racing is not one of those. So, your family has to have the means to be able to do it and then you have to have even the scope of knowledge to be able to run a car. I think it might just make people a little bit more interested and maybe they want to become racecar drivers. But what I always tell little girls or little boys is that anybody who wants to become a racecar driver has to work really hard and it has to be your passion. And if you find that it is, so be it. But if not, then follow that because I think you can make a career out of anything.”

    Television ratings for NASCAR have been up for the most part this year. How much of an impact do you think you have had on those ratings?

    “I always say it takes all of us out there to make an entertaining race. If it was just me out there it would be really, really boring. I understand your question. I think that, when I’m running, let’s say at Daytona, and qualifying on the pole, there are a lot of stories written and so it drums up a lot of attention and interest and pure curiosity, like, ‘How’s this going to work out? Is she going to be good? Is she going to hang on? Is she doing to drop back?’ So, that curiosity might lead to viewership. I’m flattered by that. But again, I think we’ve seen throughout the races this year that there has been a record number – or at least a new record number – of lead changes at racetracks and that’s the kind of stuff that keeps fans coming back.”

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  • STP 400 Post-Report

    Date: April 21, 2013
    Event: STP 400 (Round 8 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 25th/25th (Running, completed 265 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 25th (154 points, 157 out of first, 86 behind 10th)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick saw a potential top-15 finish go away due to a poorly placed piece of trash and finished 25th in the STP 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was in the top-25 on lap 164 when she radioed to crew chief Tony Gibson that her engine was running hot. A quick check of the grille on Patrick’s Chevrolet reveled that much of it was covered by a piece of trash picked up somewhere along the 1.5-mile oval on a windy day.

    A quick attempt to suck up behind the car of Jeff Gordon to remove the debris was unsuccessful. So Gibson ordered Patrick to pit road before the engine overheated and expired.

    It took mere seconds to pull the trash off the grille. But the damage was done as Patrick returned to the track in 31st place, two laps behind the leaders.

    “We started out pretty good, but we just got tight in the second half of the race,” Patrick said. “We had a tire rub at one point and issues with the splitter from some contact we made. The trash on the grille was what really hurt us today. The temps went way high, and we had to pit to pull it off. That put us two laps down. It’s disappointing because I think we could have had a much better finish with the Go Daddy Chevy, but it’s one of those things that’s out of our control. The pit crew was awesome, I think they did a 12.1 (second stop), which I didn’t even think was possible. They did great today.”

    Gibson was disappointed with the finish but managed to look at the positives.

    “She did a great job, and it was definitely a top-15 car,” Gibson said. “We made improvement and the pit stops were good, but you can’t do anything about the trash on the grille. It’s just one of those things we just can’t control. That’s just part of it. But the bright side is that we finished again and got a lot of laps in, and we made some improvements and made a lot of gains. I felt like today was a positive day.”

    Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Code 3 Associates Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 14th, while Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 21st.

    Matt Kenseth won the STP 400 to score his 26th career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his second at Kansas.

    Kasey Kahne finished .150 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Aric Almirola, Mark Martin and Paul Menard comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 40 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round eight of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings but dropped one spot to 17th. He has 200 points, 111 back of series leader Johnson and 40 behind 10th-place Paul Menard. Stewart moved up one spot to 21st in the standings and has 181 points, 130 out of first and 59 behind Menard. Patrick also moved up one spot and is 25th with 154 points, 157 behind Johnson and 86 away from Menard.

    Eighteen races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 drivers in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 14 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 11th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Toyota Owners 400 Saturday, April 27 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.

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  • STP 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 17, 2013) – Since leaving Texas Motor Speedway after Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.5-mile oval, Danica Patrick has been a bit of a jet-setter.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing, spent Monday of this week in Los Angeles shooting a Go Daddy commercial with IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe.

    After the shoot with Hinchcliffe, who is also sponsored by Go Daddy, Patrick boarded a plane and headed to Daytona Beach, Fla., to participate in a two-day Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway. The test was conducted Tuesday afternoon and evening, as well as all day Wednesday, in preparation for the July 6 Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola Sprint Cup race at the 2.5-mile oval.

    From Daytona, Patrick will fly back westward to Kansas City, Kan., for Sunday’s STP 400 Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway.

    While Patrick hit three times zones in four days, each stop on her tour of the United States brought her to a special spot in her racing career.

    The Los Angeles area is home to the Long Beach Grand Prix, where 11 years ago Patrick started on the pole and won the professional portion of the Toyota Pro-Celebrity race.

    Patrick’s trek to Daytona was her first since her historic Speedweeks in February when she started on the pole and finished eighth in the 55th Daytona 500. She set numerous records, including the distinction of becoming the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole, and her eighth-place result was the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    She led laps 90 to 91 under caution to become the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race. She also led laps 127 to 129 under green to become the first woman to lead a NASCAR race under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under yellow in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    As for Kansas, Patrick scored her first career IndyCar Series pole at the 1.5-mile oval in July 2005. She has three top-10 results in IndyCar Series competition at Kansas and finished in the top-15 in each of her two Nationwide Series starts at the track in 2011 and 2012.

    It’s been a busy week for Patrick, but also a trip that’s taken her a bit down memory lane. And she’s hoping to create even more memories and history Sunday.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    How much more educated are you about driving stock cars than when you first started?

    “A lot. I remember driving the car for the first time and I knew I liked it. The first time I pulled out of the pits, I knew I was having fun. I knew I wasn’t comfortable enough to even look at my gauges or my rear-view mirror. We were at Orlando (Walt Disney World Speedway) and I was white-knuckling it and I didn’t feel like I had time to look in my rear-view mirror to see what was going on. Now, going to a little place like Martinsville, you’re looking around and relaxing your leg and that’s much smaller than a place like Daytona. The comfort level has come along and I’m definitely getting educated on the car and the things that happen. I think I’m starting to speak the language better so that Tony (Gibson, crew chief) can understand much better what the car is doing. Also, just feeling the car and identifying the issues much better. I’m going to use an expression – I’m 10 times smarter than when I started, but I still have so much further to go.”

    What is the difference between running 10 Sprint Cup races last year and running in a full Sprint Cup schedule this year?

    “I mean, it just ends up feeling more comfortable. More comfortable with the car, more comfortable with everything that has to do with the Cup Series. I am adjusting to more work, though. There is a lot more going on. You basically have over a month’s worth of extra work just because you are at the track one day. Then there is lots of testing but, for me as a rookie drive in the Cup Series, that is a great thing. Definitely keeping me a lot more busy, but I have a really good relationship with the Go Daddy crew. We have a lot of fun and I’m really happy to be working with this group.”

    Talk about the Goodyear tire test you participated in at Daytona?

    “We’re tried out some of the green compounds for them and some combinations to see what works best and if there are any differences between the normal control tire and some of the others. We did single-car runs Tuesday night to get a speed reference for them and a balance, and then took them into Wednesday to do race runs to see if there’s any fall-off or any different feeling on the track that doesn’t happen until you get in a pack.”

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  • NRA 500 Post-Report

    Date: April 13, 2013
    Event: NRA 500 (Round 7 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 42nd/28th (Running, completed 331 of 334 laps)
    Point Standing: 26th (135 points, 134 out of first)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick struggled with an ill-handling car and finished a disappointing 28th in the NRA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 42nd and early on dealt with a car that was tough to handle. Crew chief Tony Gibson made a series of track-bar, wedge and tire pressure adjustments throughout the race, while also making a shock adjustment and inserting a spring rubber in the right-rear spring.

    The changes made the car better throughout the night. But with only seven cautions for 36 laps, Patrick fell three laps behind the leaders and had to settle for a finish outside the top-25.

    “It was a tough night,” Patrick said. “The car was just kind of all over the place at the beginning. Tony Gibson (crew chief) and the GoDaddy guys kept working on it all night, and we made some improvements on it. The pit crew did a good job on the stops. We just need to get better on the 1.5-mile tracks. I know the team will keep working at it. We’ll see what we can do in Kansas.”

    Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for SHR, led once for three laps en route to finishing 10th. It was Newman’s fourth top-10 finish of the season and his fourth top-10 in 20 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, finished 21st.

    Kyle Busch won the NRA 500 to score his 26th career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his first at Texas. Busch is tied for 23rd on the all-time Sprint Cup Series wins list with 1965 Daytona 500 winner Fred Lorenzen.

    Martin Truex Jr. finished .508 of a second behind Busch in the runner-up spot, while Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Aric Almirola, Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski and Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were seven caution periods for 36 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 334-lap race.

    With round seven of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up six spots to 17th and is 100 points behind series leader Johnson. Stewart maintained his 22nd-place spot in the standings and is 111 points out of first. Patrick also maintained her 26th-place spot in the standings and is 134 points behind Johnson.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 12 spots ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 40th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the STP 400 Sunday, April 21 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • NRA 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 9, 2013) – Of all the tracks Danica Patrick has competed at, she is most associated with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    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. At Daytona, Patrick won the pole for the February 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and then, one year later, became the first woman ever to win a Sprint Cup pole by taking the top spot for the 55th Daytona 500. She went on to finish eighth in the Daytona 500, the best result ever for a woman in the history of the race.

    But while Indianapolis and Daytona have provided plenty of good memories for Patrick, it’s Texas Motor Speedway that has provided the most experience.

    Of all the tracks where Patrick will compete in 2013, she has the most starts at Texas, having driven in 13 major-league races – one Sprint Cup, four Nationwide Series, and eight in the IZOD IndyCar Series. And it’s a track she’s taken a liking to in all three divisions.

    In last November’s Sprint Cup race at Texas, Patrick started 32nd and finished 24th. It was, at the time, her best career Sprint Cup finish, and it came in her first race with Tony Gibson as her crew chief. In her four Nationwide Series races, Patrick has three top-15 finishes, including an eighth place result in April 2012. In Patrick’s eight IndyCar Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval, she has five top-10 finishes, including a third-place result in June 2007 and second-place finish in June 2010.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), enters Texas with a good deal of confidence after a solid run in her first race of any kind Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. After starting last due to an engine change, then spinning early and going two laps down, Patrick rallied for an incredible 12th-place finish at the .526-mile oval.

    Patrick’s top-12 at Martinsville was impressive when considering where other drivers finished in their first races at the .526-mile paperclip – most notably her team owner Tony Stewart, who finished 20th in his first Martinsville start in 1999. Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut in 2002. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th and Dale Jarrett finished 14th, both in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 26th in 2000. Kyle Busch finished 39th in 2005. Matt Kenseth finished 21st and Kurt Busch finished 37th, also in 2000. Fred Lorenzen finished 24th 1956.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    You have a lot of experience at Texas and you seem to really enjoy racing there. Why is that?

    “I think, more than anything with Texas, it’s the fact it’s a really high-banked, fast track and those are the kind of tracks I’ve liked the most. I feel that load in the corner and you’re able to carry so much speed through there because of that banking. I feel like it translates more to a feeling I was familiar with from Indy cars. So I like going to Texas.”

    What is your favorite memory of racing at Texas?

    “The Dan Weldon/Danica Patrick boxing duo promotion coming off of (the) Milwaukee (IndyCar race in 2007). That was probably my favorite. I also just about won in 2009. It was (Ryan) Briscoe and I on the last stop. I came out in front of him, but I just didn’t have the speed and he went around me. But I almost won that race. That was a good night.”

    You had a tremendous drive at Martinsville. Talk about that.

    “Well, never being at Martinsville before, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that it was going to be a little bit crazy. The bumping and banging sure gets going. I tried to guard the inside right there at the end and then (Brian) Vickers gave me a bump and I get it. I was trying to defend and hold my position. We still came away with a 12th-place finish. It was good to do that for GoDaddy, and obviously the Hendrick Engine was very strong. I felt like I made a lot of passes. I feel like I just passed all day. But I’m sure a lot of people do that on a short track. It was a nice day for us. It was nice to have a good weekend. We’ve had quite a few bad ones since Daytona. So, we’ll take this and get rolling into the summer because we don’t have a break until July.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Did you ever in your wildest dreams think Danica could finish 12th in her first trip to Martinsville?

    “Nah, I’ve never thought that. I figured if we could finish top-25 and be a couple of laps down, it would be a miracle. I never dreamed this. I knew after Saturday and Friday that we had a good car. I knew she was capable of doing it, as far as speed and driving. To be able to go through all that beating and banging and survive and finish 12th, she did a great job.”

    How important was the test prior to Martinsville at “Little Rock” in Rockingham, N.C.?

    “Going to Little Rock was obviously huge. Going there and just kind of getting in that mode of braking and working on a couple of things setup-wise to help her. Martinsville is one of those places where, if you can road race, you’re going to get around there pretty good. Obviously, she’s a pretty good road racer, so having that straight-line braking mentality and finesse of not just overdriving the car, that helped her the most going into there. She definitely did a really, really nice job all day. She got aggressive when she needed to at the end.”

    How pleased were you to see her get aggressive at the end?

    “It was great to see that. I was worried about that. I knew that, with 30 to go, the restarts were going to get more and more aggressive, and that’s why I told her it’s not going to get any easier. I was really, really happy to see how aggressive she got. You know, being able to be on the defense. They would bump her and she wouldn’t get flustered and shaken up. I was really, really impressed with that. That was the biggest thing I was nervous about – how she would do in a situation like that. It will help her gain some confidence. Obviously, that was the worst-case scenario of where we go for a restart. To come out of there proving she can do it – being more aggressive on the restarts and doing what these guys are doing – will hopefully build some confidence that will help her down the road.”

    How much confidence does it give the GoDaddy team heading into Texas?

    “It’s big. We ran really good there with her last year toward the end, and that was our first race with her. We had some confidence out of there and into Phoenix. So it’s awesome to come out of Martinsville with some confidence and a little momentum going into Texas. And we’re coming up on some tracks where I think we can run really good at. It’s huge right now for us.”

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  • STP Gas Booster 500 Post- Report

    Date: April 7, 2013
    Event: STP Gas Booster 500 (Round 6 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 32nd/12th (Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 26th (119 points, 112 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick delivered one of the most impressive drives by a rookie in the 64-year history of Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, finishing 12th in the STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday.

    It was the second-best finish of her brief 16-race Sprint Cup Series career, topped only by her eighth-place result in the season-opening Daytona 500.

    “Having never been at Martinsville before, I didn’t know what to expect,” Patrick said. “All I knew was that it was going to be a little bit crazy. It was good day for GoDaddy and obviously the Hendrick engines were very strong today. I felt like I made a lot of passes. I feel like I just passed all day. But I’m sure a lot of people do that on a short track. It was a nice day for us. It was nice to have a good weekend. We’ve had quite a few bad ones since Daytona. So we’ll take this and get rolling into the summer because we don’t have a break until July.”

    Patrick’s impressive rookie performance bested those of some other name drivers in their Martinsville debuts, most notably, her team owner, as Tony Stewart finished 20th in his first Martinsville start (1999). Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished 35th in his Martinsville debut (2002). NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace finished 15th (1984). Dale Jarrett finished 14th (1984). Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 26th (2000). Kyle Busch finished 39th (2005). Matt Kenseth finished 21st (2000). Kurt Busch finished 37th (2000). Fred Lorenzen finished 24th (1956).

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), qualified 32nd and became the first woman to start a Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville. But it was a rocky start as she had to drop to the rear of the field due to an engine change the team opted to make after the final practice Saturday. And just 17 laps into the race, she spun in turns three and four, which brought out a caution and put her one lap down to the leaders. Patrick then went two laps down, but she and the Go Daddy team stayed calm and rallied.

    They got lap one back when a caution on lap 242 allowed Patrick to stay on track and get the wave-around, putting her in 27th for the restart, one lap down. By lap 288, Patrick had worked her way up to 22nd and once again used the wave-around. She was back on the lead lap.

    From there, Patrick drove an aggressive race and moved to 12th place by the time the checkered flag flew. She didn’t back down from the bumping and banging that Martinsville is known for and earned rave reviews from fellow drivers and teams.

    “The bumping and banging sure gets going,” Patrick said. “I tried to guard the inside right there at the end and then (Brian) Vickers gave me a bump, and I get it. I was trying to defend and hold my position. We still came away with a 12th-place finish. I think you take what the car gives you. Tony Gibson (crew chief) has a really good track record here. He’s a great crew chief. And my car was pretty good all day. We kind of bounced around from being a little loose to a little tight, but we got the GoDaddy Chevy back up there. We obviously went down real early with that spin and were two laps down at one point in time. So I feel like that’s almost one of the things I’m most proud of is coming back from two laps down to being on the lead lap and then grabbing a 12th place at the end.”

    Patrick even surprised her crew chief Gibson, who admitted after the race he didn’t expect such a strong finish from his driver.

    “I figured if we could finish top 25 and be a couple of laps down, it would be a miracle,” Gibson said. “I never dreamed this. I knew after Saturday and Friday that we had a good Go Daddy Chevrolet. I knew she was capable of doing it, as far as speed-wise and driving. To be able to go through all that beating and banging and survive and finish 12th is unbelievable.”

    Gibson was also happy with the aggressiveness his driver showed late in the race – a trait that can often be challenging for rookies to learn.

    “It was great to see that,” Gibson said. “I was worried about that. I knew that with 30 to go the restarts were going to get more and more aggressive, and that’s why I told her it’s not going to get any easier. I was really, really happy to see how aggressive she got. You know, being able to be on the defense. They would bump her, and she wouldn’t get flustered. I was really, really impressed with that. That was the biggest thing I was nervous about – how she would do in a situation like that. It will help her gain some confidence. Obviously, this is the worst-case scenario of where we go for a restart. To come out of her proving she can do it…on these restarts be more aggressive and do what these guys are doing and hopefully build some confidence that will help her down the road here.”

    Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished 17th in Sunday’s race, while Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for SHR, finished 31st after sustaining back-to-back, flat right-front tires that left him eight laps down.

    Johnson won the STP Gas Booster 500 to score his 62nd career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his eighth at Martinsville. Johnson is the winningest active Sprint Cup driver in Martinsville history. He trails only Richard Petty (15 wins) and Darrell Waltrip (11 wins) on the track’s all-time win list, which has played host to the Sprint Cup Series since 1949.

    Clint Bowyer finished .627 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 12 caution periods for 85 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    With round six of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He maintained his 22nd-place standing and is 96 points behind new series leader Johnson. Newman fell three positions to 23rd, 97 points out of first. Patrick gained three spots to climb to 26th, 112 points behind Johnson.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 13 spots ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 25th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the NRA 500 Saturday, April 13 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.

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  • STP Gas Booster 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 2, 2013) – Two big challenges await Danica Patrick as she looks toward Sunday’s STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    The first and most important challenge is figuring out how to drive the tricky .526-mile paperclip oval that her crew chief Tony Gibson describes as “a tough place for any veteran to go, let alone a rookie.” Martinsville opened for business in 1947, two years before NASCAR was formed, and has a history rivaled by few tracks on the circuit. Every NASCAR champion has raced there and the Sprint Cup Series has conducted events at Martinsville twice a year since 1950.

    So, given its extensive history, it’s a challenge to add something to the history books that isn’t already there. But Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will add her name to the record book as she will be the first female driver to qualify and race at Martinsville.

    But the primary goal is not just to add her name to the record book in such a way. She’s focused on getting experience and learning one of the most challenging tracks on the schedule. At .526 of a mile, Martinsville is the shortest track on the circuit and, from the air, looks like a paperclip as its long straightaways lead into tight, flat turns. The racing there can be described as “give-and-take” with drivers giving some bumps and taking some bumps as 43 cars fight for space on its tight confines.

    Patrick and the Go Daddy team prepared for Martinsville by testing last month at “Little Rock,” a purpose-built test track in Rockingham, N.C., designed to feature the characteristics of Martinsville. But while the test was productive, Patrick and Gibson know well that the test can only help so much and that there is no replacement for the real Martinsville experience.

    That said, part of the “real” Martinsville experience, off the track, is the world famous Martinsville Hot Dog. A popular staple at Martinsville, the hot dog is covered with slaw, chili, fresh onions and a few other secret ingredients, and wrapped in waxed paper. And that brings up the second challenge as Gibson told Patrick it’s bad karma to not have a hot dog when racing at the half-mile track. So, in addition to stomaching the tricky track, she also may feel obligated to stomach a Martinsville Hot Dog, something easier said than done for some people.

    But as the great Clark Griswold once said: “It’s all part of the experience.”

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts on Martinsville?

    “I am actually really excited about Martinsville. I like the little short tracks. They’re fun. We’re going to be close racing a lot of the time. We went testing out at Little Rock (Rockingham, N.C.) and got a feel for a track like Martinsville. I thought we actually made some really big gains that day. It was fun. Is there time to look down at your water and oil temperatures? No, there’s not. I think it will be fun and I had no idea that a woman had not competed at Martinsville (in Sprint Cup), but I guess these are things I’ll find out along the way.”

    You’ve been to five different tracks this season. Which ones do you feel most comfortable at and which ones are you not so comfortable at?

    “I feel like it’s pretty obvious that Daytona would be my answer to which track makes me feel most comfortable. I think that in Phoenix we were starting to get a little bit closer in the race and we blew the tire. I feel relatively comfortable at short tracks. I think the mile-and-a-half’s are, oddly enough, I feel like one of the bigger challenges because, if the car isn’t right, there are so many more lanes to race on that the leaders come really fast. You’re working at a higher speed and that grip is a premium. We’re going to find our good races and bad races and I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be about what kind of track it is. I think our speedway stuff is really good at this point.”

    Tony Gibson says its bad karma if you don’t eat a world famous Martinsville Hot Dog. Your thoughts?

    “I would do anything for good karma so, if that involves eating a Martinsville hot dog, then I’ll do it. Do I have to eat the whole thing? With the chili and slaw and everything? I’ll do my best as that sort of meal is not generally in my everyday diet (laughs), but I look forward to the good karma the Martinsville Hot Dog will bring.”

    You had the chance to participate in the 135th White House Easter Egg Roll, and you read Dr. Seuss’ “Go Dog Go” to a few young children Monday. Talk about that.

    “It was an amazing experience. It’s such an honor to get to go to The White House and I really enjoyed it. I got to read Dr. Seuss’ ‘Go Dog Go’ to the kids and that was a lot of fun. I love kids and they’re so much fun to be around, and it’s pretty flattering when they tell you that you’re their role model or hero. It’s really humbling. Go Daddy helped make the trip happen and I can’t thank them enough. It was a great time.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are you overall thoughts on Martinsville?

    “It’s a tough place – it’s a tough place for any veteran to go, let alone a rookie. It’s going to be a big challenge for her. It’s worse than Bristol because you’re constantly in traffic and guys are constantly bumping into you and into the side of you. Martinsville will be her biggest challenge, for sure, and the focus will be just on finishing clean and learning as much as she can so we can prepare for the second time she goes to Martinsville in the fall. If she can do that, she’ll be in good shape.”

    You’ve been racing in the Sprint Cup Series for a long time. Talk about the historic significance of Martinsville.

    “It’s one of those places where there’s a lot of history. It’s like Darlington, where it’s been around forever. It makes or breaks a lot of racecar drivers. When you go into a place like that, you don’t want it to be a bad experience. You want to have a positive experience and be part of the history, not part of the negative history. I enjoy going there and racing where some of the greats have raced. It’s neat for us that she’ll be the first woman to ever race in a Sprint Cup race at Martinsville. It’s cool to be part of that history, especially at a place like Martinsville that has been around so long.”

    Are you going to encourage her to eat a world famous Martinsville Hot Dog when she’s at Martinsville?

    “Heck, yeah. You can’t go to Martinsville and not eat a hot dog. That’s a big tradition and it’s bad karma if you don’t have one when you’re there.”

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  • Go Daddy's Danica Patrick "Gets Moving" At The White House Today

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 1, 2013) -- Go Daddy, the world's top platform for small businesses, sent its inspirational spokeswoman to celebrate a spring tradition at the White House today. Go Daddy's Danica Patrick was a special guest of the President and First Lady at today's Easter Egg Roll, which included a range of activities focused on health and fitness education.

    "It was an honor to be at the White House, but what made today really special was the interaction with the kids," said Danica, who recently won the Kids Choice Award for Favorite Female Athlete. "The First Lady's campaign to 'keep moving' and to make healthy food choices is an important one for all of us!"

    Danica participated with young students in the South Lawn "eggtivity zone," visited with on-site chefs who offered up a variety of nutritional treats and read "Go, Dog. Go!" to dozens of children who gathered to see one of the sporting world's most famous women read from the story time stage. The book describes interactions of a group of highly mobile dogs, who operate cars in a variety of pursuits ... fitting for Go Daddy's inspirational NASCAR star who has found great success competing in a male-dominated sport.

    This year's theme was "Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!" and challenged kids to incorporate physical activity into each day. Other celebrities at today's annual affair included the NFL's Adrian Peterson, Academy Award-nominated actress Quvenzhane Wallis, "Kid President" Robby Novak and American Idol star Jordin Sparks. Celebrity chefs, including Ina Garten and Spike Mendelsohn, prepared healthy eating demonstrations at the "Play with your Food" station. Activities included a Yoga Garden, basketball on the president's court and a "Hop To It!" dance party with jump ropes and hula hoops.

    Another interactive component of today's event was social media. To see Danica's personal tweets and photos about today's festivities, go to @DanicaPatrick, @GoDaddy and @DanicaRacing on Twitter. You can also check out @LetsMove and @FitnessGov or Facebook.com/letsmove or visit LetsMove.gov.

    Connect with Go Daddy on Facebook & Twitter.

    Read why our customers recommend Go Daddy.
     

    About Go Daddy
    Go Daddy is the world's largest domain name provider, Web hosting provider and new SSL certificate provider, focused on helping small businesses grow larger. Go Daddy provides dozens of cloud-based services and is the largest worldwide mass-market hosting provider by annual revenue according to 451 Research (Mass-Market Hosting Report-Fall 2012) and is the #1 provider of net-new SSL certificates for 2012, according to the Netcraft, LTD Secure Server Survey. To learn more about the company, visit www.GoDaddy.com/PR.

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  • Auto Club 400 Post-Report

    Date: March 24, 2013
    Event: Auto Club 400 (Round 5 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (2-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 40th/26th (Running, completed 199 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 29th (87 points, 112 out of first)
    Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick achieved just what she wanted to do in the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Patrick, the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), wanted to run a clean race and finish the 200-lap event. She did that, earning a 26th-place finish.

    While Patrick and the Go Daddy team hoped for a higher finish, it was an improvement from the beginning of the weekend, a goal for the team as Patrick continues her Sprint Cup education.

    Patrick started the race – her first Sprint Cup start at the 2-mile oval – in 40th place with an ill-handling racecar. She nearly lost a lap to the leaders early thanks to the rapid pace of the race, but a timely caution at lap 28 kept Patrick on the lead lap and gave the team the opportunity to work on the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet.

    The team made track bar, wedge and air pressure adjustments to help improve the balance of Patrick’s car, which she described as being loose entering the corners, tight in the center and loose exiting the turns. Once back under green, Patrick reported that the adjustments aided her car’s handling.

    Patrick continued to give valuable feedback to the crew on her car’s performance. With each opportunity, crew chief Tony Gibson made adjustments, which helped the GoDaddy.com machine come to life. She also tried various lines on the multi-grooved racetrack to learn where the car was fastest. As the race wore on, Patrick’s car continued to improve.

    Thanks to the various pit stops to work on the car, Patrick ended up on a different pit sequence than most of the leaders. A green flag pit stop at lap 77 saw her lose a lap to the leaders. But Patrick refused to give up and fought to keep her car in the mix. When the caution flag waved at lap 131, Patrick did not pit and was able to take the wave-around and get back on the lead lap.

    But she again was pitting off-sequence and again lost a lap during a green flag pit stop at lap 161. Despite being a lap down, Patrick stayed in the battle to get back on the lead lap, but she never could claim the “Lucky Dog” spot.

    By the end of the race, Patrick’s car had improved enough to turn lap times comparable to drivers in the top-15. While Patrick wanted to finish better than 26th and one lap down, she was pleased with the improvements the team made to her car throughout the race.

    “We just had a tough Friday and Saturday, and we regrouped for Sunday and put a new setup on the Go Daddy Chevrolet and stayed optimistic,” Patrick said. “The car started off a little bit loose, but once we dialed that in, it was decent. At the end of the race, I really thought it was pretty good. So I felt better at the end of the race than I did in qualifying. We made big improvements. We all want better than 26th and that’s what we had today, and it will be better next time.”

    Patrick’s performance at a difficult track made Gibson proud.

    “We’re pleased,” Gibson said. “We’re making small gains and finishing races, and that’s what we’ve got to do. We struggled Friday and Saturday. We kind of leaned on the 14 (Tony Stewart) guys on part of their setup there, and made our car definitely better there. We got better as the race went on. Our adjustments were working. We fought for that ‘Lucky Dog,’ and we actually thought we had it there one time, but we just couldn’t get in the right line and get moving. We put ourselves in position to have a good day, and we had a good day. Really appreciate everyone at Go Daddy for their support.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 WIX Filters Chevrolet SS, finished 10th to score his third top-10 finish of the season and his eighth top-10 in 19 career Sprint Cup starts at Fontana.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers /Mobil 1 Chevrolet for SHR, led twice for 18 laps and was in position for a top-five finish with 10 laps to go until a block by Joey Logano on the lap 190 restart forced Stewart low and impeded his momentum. Stewart lost valuable positions in the closing laps and finished a disappointing 22nd.

    Kyle Busch won the Auto Club 400 to score his 25th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his second at Fontana.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished behind Busch in the runner-up spot as the race ended under caution for a last-lap crash involving Logano and Denny Hamlin. Logano, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five, while Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne and Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 35 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

    With round five of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He gained three spots to climb to 20th, 78 points behind new series leader Earnhardt. Stewart picked up two positions to rise to 22nd, 91 points out of first. Patrick dropped one spot to fall to 29th, 112 points behind Earnhardt.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished six spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 20th.

    The Sprint Cup Series takes a rare weekend off for Easter before returning to action April 7 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the STP Gas Booster 500. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Auto Club 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 20, 2013) – Every race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is important, although races at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Darlington (S.C.) Raceway seem to carry extra importance due to historical significance.

    Daytona is home to the “Super Bowl of stock-car racing,” the Daytona 500. Indianapolis has been around since 1909, with the Sprint Cup Series racing there since 1994. Charlotte is the “home game,” for Sprint Cup teams, and Darlington and NASCAR were practically born together.

    While Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., doesn’t have the historical significance of Daytona, Indy, Charlotte or Darlington, it’s critically important to the teams of the Sprint Cup Series due to the fact it is among the “intermediate” tracks of 1.5 or 2 miles in length.

    If a driver and team are going to be successful in the Sprint Cup Series, mastering intermediate tracks is key. More than a third of the 36 races on the schedule – 14 to be exact – are conducted at tracks 1.5 or 2 miles in length.

    For rookie Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing, learning at every track is critical. She must learn how to restrictor-plate race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and Daytona, while learning the short-track strategy at places like Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    But perhaps more important than anything is learning the nuances of racing at intermediate tracks, given their heavy presence on the schedule. And Patrick’s education will continue this weekend at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval, site of Sunday’s Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup race.

    Patrick has competed in four races at Fontana, but only one in the last two-and-a-half years. She finished 18th after an accident in an IZOD IndyCar Series race in 2005 and then returned to the track in 2010 for NASCAR Nationwide Series races in March and October. Her last start at Fontana came in March 2012, when she qualified 21st but finished 35th thanks to engine problems that ended her day after just 63 of 150 laps.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts on Fontana?

    “Fontana’s pavement has not aged gracefully (laughs), so it makes for a challenging race. It’s a challenge to set up the car – the seams move the car around a lot. It’s very fast, yet you still have to get the car to rotate and it seems really tight off of (turn) two. It’s one of the tougher places to get the balance right. But if you do strike a good balance in practice, you have a chance to have a really good day on Sunday.”

    Are you getting used to three-day events and not doing “double-duty” with a Nationwide Series race?

    “The race weekends actually feel rather paced. On Saturday, you have half a day off, actually, because you’re usually done mid-day. You find more time in market. I enjoy being at the racetrack more than ever.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are you overall thoughts on Fontana?

    “I think it’s probably a better track for us to go to being a bigger track – a multiple-lane racetrack. I feel like we’ve run extremely well there in the past with Ryan (Newman). For two or three years, we’ve been really fast out there. I think it’s more Danica’s style of racing – a lot of throttle, not a lot of braking. That seems to be her type of deal. Hopefully, we can go out there and qualify a little better. I think that will help the racing. I’m excited about going. I feel like we’ve got a really good setup for out there and I think we’ve been pretty good there the last three or four years.”

    What has most impressed you about Danica in the first four races thus far this season?

    “I know last year you saw her not be as patient and try to make something out of what’s not there. And I told her that. What impresses me is that she takes what the car will give her and not drive over her head and get herself in trouble. That’s probably the biggest thing I’m impressed with compared to last year. I saw her get herself in trouble and get frustrated and put herself in a bad spot. This year, she’s done a good job of not doing that and just taking what the car will give her and the situation around her and finishing and making laps. She got to learn and it isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to be a process for her just like any other rookie, so she’s just got to be patient with herself and it will come.”

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  • Food City 500 Post-Report

    Date: March 17, 2013
    Event: Food City 500 (Round 4 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 41st/28th (Running, completed 495 of 500 laps)
    Point Standing: 28th (69 points, 97 out of first)
    Winner: Kasey Kahne of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick battled a tight-handling racecar and a late pit-road speeding penalty en route to a 28th-place finish Sunday in the Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 41st and dealt early with a tight-handling car. While Patrick provided superb feedback regarding the car, crew chief Tony Gibson began tinkering with the handling of the GoDaddy.com Chevy with tire pressure, wedge and track bar adjustments, as well as inserting and extracting spring rubbers from the rear springs.

    As the race moved along, Patrick’s car began to come to life. But the rapid pace of the race around the .533-mile oval – and lack of caution periods – put her three laps down to the leaders with 150 laps to go. Despite being three laps down, Patrick was still in 25th place with a top-20 result within reach.

    But after a pit stop under caution on lap 350 for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment, NASCAR officials ruled Patrick’s car exceeded the 30-mph pit-road speed limit in zone six (the end of pit road). She was forced to serve a pass-through penalty.

    After serving the penalty shortly after the green flag came out, Patrick fell to 30th, four laps behind the leaders. While a good finish was out of the question, her Sprint Cup Series education continued.

    “There are a lot of things that I have to work on at this point in time,” Patrick said. “For us, the most important thing is to find a decent balance to start off the race so that we don’t drop back.

    “We’ve been really loose the last couple of races, so we wanted to make sure we were tight. So we decided that was our accomplishment today was to aim to be tight, and we were. So we probably didn’t need to, and, in fact, we probably kind of knew we were over-compensating. But we just never really got it completely freed up like we needed to. It was better later in the race, but by then the damage is done.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished seventh to score his second top-10 finish of the season and his 13th top-10 in 23 career Sprint Cup starts at Bristol.

    Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for SHR, finished 31st after a cut left-rear tire sent him spinning into the turn one wall on lap nine of the 500-lap race. His crew repaired the No. 14 machine after a lengthy stay on pit road. After returning to the track in 41st, Stewart gained 10 positions by the time the checkered flag dropped.

    Kasey Kahne won the Food City 500 to score his 15th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Bristol.

    Kyle Busch finished 1.7 seconds behind Kahne in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Newman, Brian Vickers, Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 10 caution periods for 66 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    With round four of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He gained eight spots to climb to 23rd, 79 points behind series leader and reigning Sprint Cup champion Keselowski. Stewart dropped six positions to 24th, 81 points out of first. Patrick picked up two spots to rise to 28th, 97 points behind Keselowski.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 12 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 16th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Auto Club 400 Sunday, March 24 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 2:30 p.m.

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  • Food City 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 13, 2013) – If you’re Irish and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, you may head to Boston, Chicago or New York City or, perhaps, listen to the music of The Wolfe Tones and Paddy Reilly.

    If you’re Irish and involved in NASCAR, you’ll head to the Irish hotbed of Bristol, Tenn., for Sunday’s Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. And rather than the sound of Irish music, you’ll hear pretty much nothing as it’s pretty darn loud at Bristol when 43 stock cars roar to life.

    But in the spirit of the occasion, Danica Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will sport a special St. Patrick’s Day paint scheme. The look of the car will be unveiled Thursday on GoDaddy’s Twitter feed (@GoDaddy).

    Patrick will make her second Sprint Cup start at Bristol and hopes to build on her successful run last August at the .533-mile high-banked, concrete oval when she surprised some veteran NASCAR observers by running a solid race for much of the night. After starting 43rd due to qualifying being rained out, Patrick calmly moved her way through the field and was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished a disappointing 29th.

    Her solid run in her Bristol debut in the Sprint Cup Series, came one night after a ninth-place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

    The Food City 500 will also mark the first short-track race that she and crew chief Tony Gibson will work together. They’ve worked two races at the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway, but have never competed together at a short-track such as Bristol. In addition, it will be their first race together at a concrete racetrack.

    It’s not the traditional Irish celebration, but a good run at Bristol will have Irish eyes smiling on the GoDaddy.com team.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts heading into Bristol?

    “I’ve liked Bristol since the first time. For me, I respond to the banking, which translates to grip, and it’s definitely there. We were having a decent run in the Cup car, we were lead lap and top-20 after 440 laps and, unfortunately, were taken out. But, I think that all those events lead us to more potential the next time around with a better baseline setup. I feel like, for us and for me, my strong suit is the race, or, at least at this point. We just need to work on qualifying and get a decent qualifying spot so we can work from there. I feel like it’s not very common to drop back for me so, if we can just start further up, then we can continue to make progress and be smart.”

    You struggled with an ill-handling car last week at Las Vegas. Does that concern you as you look toward the upcoming races at Fontana and Texas?

    “Vegas is a little bit different, but the only thing that worries me is that Vegas is a little bit more of a high-grip track. So, when the grip level goes down, when I felt like I didn’t have much grip to begin with, that concerns me a little bit. We’re only one mile-and-a-half race into the year with the new Gen-6 car, so there’s no reason to panic, yet. But it is time to really buckle down and figure out how we’re going to make the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet better for the next mile-and-a-half.”

    How do you stay calm when you have a tough day like you did a Las Vegas?

    “Tony Gibson (crew chief) does a great job of telling me to stay calm and take what the car will give me. I feel bad sitting in the car and not being able to go further forward. He feels bad because he can’t give me the car that I need to go further forward. So, we’re both feeling for each other. He’s a good cheerleader and I appreciate that. It makes a big difference on days like Sunday when you’re down. We are all a little somber and disappointed, but nobody is throwing around words or screaming. And that helps us for this weekend.”

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  • Kobalt Tools 400 Post-Report

    Date: March 10, 2013
    Event: Kobalt Tools 400 (Round 3 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 37th/33rd (Running, completed 261 of 267 laps)
    Point Standing: 30th (53 points, 76 out of first)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick could tell from the drop of the green flag that her car was going to be a handful in the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

    Despite a valiant effort by crew chief Tony Gibson, the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) never came to life, and Patrick finished a disappointing 33rd, six laps behind the leaders.

    “It was a real tough day, no doubt,” Patrick said. “We knew we were going to have tough days, but this is not the kind of tough day we thought about. We need to figure out how and why it (the car) changes so much from practice to the race and really learn this new car. I was extremely loose the whole time. We made it a little bit better in the middle of the race, to the point where it would go for half the run, but by the end of every run I would find myself very, very loose again. Being behind traffic, the aerodynamics change a lot, and it’s a handful. I felt like I was about to spin on the frontstraight. We just have to figure out how to make it better and work our butts off to make sure that we never have this day again.”

    Nothing seemed to cure the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS despite Gibson’s efforts during pit stops, from the normal track bar, wedge and tire pressure adjustments, to the extreme spring rubber inserts and the packer adjustments in the shocks.

    “These are the days, and I said this on the radio, these are the days you earn your money, not the days like Daytona where you run up in the top-five all day,” said Patrick, who finished eighth in the Daytona 500. “Those days are great, but you’re just marching forward. These are the days that you have to be strong and you have to work through it and not let it drag you down.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, finished 11th. The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for SHR, finished 38th after an engine failure ended his day after just 234 laps.

    Matt Kenseth won the Kobalt Tools 400 to score his 25th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Las Vegas. Kenseth celebrated his 41st birthday Sunday and became the third driver in Sprint Cup history to win on his birthday. Cale Yarborough accomplished it twice, while Kyle Busch did it once.

    Kasey Kahne, who led six times for a race-high 114 laps, finished .594 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were five caution periods for 25 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    With round three of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 18th, 57 points behind series leader Johnson. Patrick is 30th, 76 points out of first, while Newman is 31st, 79 points behind Johnson.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 15 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 18th.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Food City 500 Sunday, March 17 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 12:30 p.m.

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  • Kobalt Tools 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (March 6, 2013) – “Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug. Today, we were the bug.” – Tweet from @TonyOldman10 Sunday evening, March 3.

    Tony Gibson, crew chief of Danica Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), hit send on that bit of wisdom just hours after he and Patrick looked over a destroyed race car in the garage area during the Subway Fresh Fit 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, March 3 at Phoenix International Raceway.

    One week after starting on the pole and leading five laps en route to a record-setting eighth-place finish in the 55th Daytona 500, Patrick and Gibson became “the bug” after a massive accident at Phoenix sent them to a disappointing 39th-place finish.

    Patrick was in the top-25 on lap 184 at Phoenix when she exited turn four of the mile oval and the right-front tire of her car suddenly lost all air pressure. Her machine headed straight for the SAFER Barrier on the outside of turn four, and the right front of her GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS took the brunt of the impact. The car then bounced off the wall and was hit in the driver’s side by the oncoming car of David Ragan, who had nowhere to go.

    The two collisions destroyed Patrick’s car, but the driver was checked and released without injury from the infield care center. The accident caused Patrick to fall from seventh to 22nd in the point standings.

    Patrick will look to change her luck in this week’s Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and everyone knows luck is an important part of any trip to Vegas. So, perhaps it’s ironic that Patrick will make her 13th career Sprint Cup Series start this weekend.

    If the number isn’t traditionally lucky, at least Patrick’s stock car luck at the 1.5-mile oval traditionally has been good. In three NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Las Vegas, Patrick has two top-12 finishes, including a record-setting fourth-place result in 2011.

    That marked the best finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by Sarah Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts coming out of Phoenix and looking toward Las Vegas?

    “Obviously, Phoenix was tough all around. It was a bad finish, we took a hit in the points, and our car was destroyed. You always hate to destroy a car, but especially with the new ones, it really hurts the team because everyone is trying to build new cars as quickly as possible. So I really feel bad for all the guys because it’s just more work for them. So, hopefully we’ll have a better outing at Las Vegas with the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS. We’ve had good results in the Nationwide Series, and I think the test day on Thursday will be beneficial. Any track time at a place we race is helpful for me as the learning process continues. It gives us a chance to learn more about the car and helps Tony Gibson and I build a notebook. The more track time, the better.”

    Is it more important to have a good finish on Sunday, or learn as much as you can on Friday, Saturday and Sunday?

    “I feel like they both lead to good things. If you learn and grow, you are going to finish better. That learning curve is different for everyone, which is why it is difficult to say where I should be at a certain point in time because you just don’t know at what point in time for an athlete or driver something is going to click and make sense, and you figure something out, and get more comfortable. I guess I would say the most important thing overall, if you look at the big picture, is to learn and grow. Good races and good finishes can just happen, and sometimes you don’t know why. Sometimes it’s because of other people’s misfortunes, your luck – which is a big part of the sport. But learning is something that is going to pay off over time far more than being lucky one weekend.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew Chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your thoughts heading into Las Vegas?

    “She likes Vegas, and I like Vegas. We’ve run well there in the past with (Ryan) Newman. Our company has been real strong there the past two or three years. We have a test on Thursday, and we’re going to focus a lot on qualifying trim on Thursday and even on Friday just to make sure we qualify better. That’s what we think is our weak point. With these cars being aero-sensitive like they are, you have to focus on qualifying. I talked to Danica about it, and we’re going to spend the second half of Thursday strictly on qualifying runs and then all of Friday on qualifying runs. We’re going to try that approach and see if that benefits us. I think the more runs she makes, we can get the balance closer for her. That’s our plan.”

    Have you had a chance to talk with Goodyear officials about the accident Sunday at Phoenix?

    “We talked, and they took the tire back to Akron (Ohio). It didn’t look like a heat failure because the rest of the tire looked normal. There was no stress in the sidewall, no heat – nothing that would show signs of a heat failure. So, we’re looking at a puncture. They have to take the tire and see how it shredded and how it opened up. I haven’t heard back from them, but that takes time and it will take a couple of weeks to get that back. It’s hard to tell on those deals, though, because when you blow a tire and hit the fence, it tears the tire up so bad it’s hard to tell. The whole weekend, we didn’t show any signs of heat or wear or anything. Our whole company raced a lot less camber than we ran there the last time, so we were real comfortable about our settings. And we ran longer than that previously in the race, and everything went fine. I can’t really explain it, but I’m leaning toward she ran over something and cut it because it was too early in the run to say anything else. They’ll let us know.”

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  • Subway Fresh Fit 500k Post-Report

    Date: March 3, 2013
    Event: Subway Fresh Fit 500k (Round 2 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 40th/39th (Running, completed 184 of 316 laps)
    Point Standing: 22nd (42 points, 48 out of first)
    Winner: Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford) in a green-white-checkered finish

    Danica Patrick cut a tire on lap 184, resulting a hard crash in turn four that caused her to finish a disappointing 39th in the Subway Fresh Fit 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was in the top-25 when she exited turn four of the 1-mile oval and the right front tire of her car suddenly lost all air pressure. Her machine headed straight for the SAFER Barrier on the outside of turn four. The right front of her machine took the brunt of the impact, and then her car bounced off the wall and was hit in the driver’s side by the oncoming car of David Ragan, who had nowhere to go.

    The two collisions destroyed Patrick’s GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS, but the driver was checked and released without injury from the infield care center.

    “There was no real warning,” Patrick said. “I wasn’t that tight, either; I was sliding a little bit. I felt like most of the day I was chasing the rear. It was a little unexpected. I took a hard hit to the right and then on the left. I’m fine. The cars and the tracks are so safe. As a driver that’s a nice feeling. It doesn’t change the fact that we aren’t going to get any points, really, coming out of today, and it would have been nice. These points in the beginning of the year are so important. We were making progress, but unfortunately our day ended early. I feel bad for Go Daddy – this is their home race. Obviously, I wish would we could have had a better run.”

    Crew chief Tony Gibson was left to try and figure out what caused the tire problem.

    “The bead (of the tire) looks OK,” Gibson said. “We ran longer than that today earlier with no issue. We didn’t see any temperatures all day long; our tires we pulled off were fine. It’s a mystery to me; I don’t know. Even in practice as hot as it was yesterday, no issues with temps. We got less camber than we ran last year with the old car. It’s a good question, not really sure why. We’ll take the tire back and see if they can dissect it. The bead doesn’t look melted out of it. I don’t know if she ran over something, or what. Tough deal.”

    After the accident, Patrick stuck around and surveyed the damage with Gibson and the crew for nearly 45 minutes.

    “She’s in it to win it,” Gibson said. “Got all the desire and the ‘want to,’ to do it, and she’s got the heart. A lot of people don’t understand that about her. That just shows what she does. She wanted to know what she could do different, was it something she did, how do we fix it for the next time. She’s into it, asks a lot of questions and wants to make things better. That’s all you can ask.”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished eighth to score his 12th top-10 in 23 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1-mile oval.

    The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for SHR, finished 40th. Newman had two separate right-front tire issues, which both resulted in contact with the outside wall. The damage from the second incident was too much for Newman to return to the racetrack.

    Carl Edwards won the Subway Fresh Fit 500k to break a 70-race winless streak. His last victory came March 6, 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Today’s win marked the 20th Sprint Cup victory of his career and his second at Phoenix.

    Five-time Sprint Cup champion and reigning Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson finished 1.024 seconds behind Edwards in the runner-up spot, while Denny Hamlin, reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 43 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 316-lap race, which was extended four laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    With round two of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 20th, 46 points behind series leader Johnson. Patrick stands 22nd, 48 points out of first. Stewart is 23rd, 51 points behind Johnson.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 23 spots behind Stenhouse (16th).

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kobalt Tools 400 on Sunday, March 10 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 2:30 p.m.

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  • Subway Fresh Fit 500k Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Feb. 27, 2013) – “We have a lot more history to make.”

    Those were the words of Danica Patrick just two Sundays ago following her history-making pole run for the 55th Daytona 500 as she became the first woman to ever earn a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole position.

    But those were more than just words for Patrick, the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Being competitive, having success on the racetrack and even making a little history along the way are the goals that she and her No. 10 team set forth for their first full Sprint Cup season together.

    Making more history is just what the 30-year-old Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year candidate did in Sunday’s Daytona 500. She rewrote some of the NASCAR record book yet again thanks to an impressive eighth-place finish at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, the highest finishing position ever earned by a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    In addition to her history-making pole run and finish in the Daytona 500, Patrick also led five laps (90 to 91 and 127 to 129), becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race and the first woman to lead Sprint Cup Series laps under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under caution in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

    This weekend, Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy.com team turn their attention from the high banks of Daytona to Phoenix International Raceway.

    This team has been here before. In fact, just a few short months ago last November, Patrick and her Tony Gibson-led team earned a 17th-place finish at the mile oval nestled in the Arizona desert. Prior to her record-breaking run at Daytona, Phoenix was the site of Patrick’s best Sprint Cup finish.

    As the No. 10 team rolls into Phoenix, it hopes to build on the momentum from Daytona and improve on last November’s finish at the home track for Patrick’s longtime sponsor, GoDaddy.com, which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., just 30 miles east of Phoenix International Raceway.

    And if they make a little more history along the way, so be it. Patrick wants to keep rewriting the history books.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What are your overall thoughts heading into Phoenix?

    “Obviously, coming off Daytona, we’ve got a lot of confidence. Tony Gibson and the Go Daddy crew are excited and I am, too. To have two good weeks in Daytona really helps set the tone for the early the part of the year. We ran well at Phoenix last year until we got taken out at the end, so we want to improve on that. It’s just about getting better every week. Obviously, it’s a big race because Go Daddy headquarters are in Scottsdale, not far from the track, and we know there will be a lot of people in Go Daddy green at the track supporting us. We want to give them something to cheer for.”

    What are your expectations heading into Phoenix?

    “It was nice to run like we did at the end of the year last year with Texas and especially with Phoenix. I feel like it will give us a good baseline idea of how we need to set the car up. But it also is a new car, so we’ll have to adapt to that. Tony and I are still figuring out how we get the most out of me with new tires in a qualifying situation, things like that. We still have a lot of stuff to work on. But it was nice to have that race in Phoenix at the end of last year. While it might not be so much about Phoenix, I think it’s about Tony Gibson and everybody who works around him.”

    Given what you accomplished at Phoenix last year and Daytona to start the season, do you adjust your expectations a little bit?

    “No. I mean, I think that would be unwise to sort of start telling myself that top-10 is where we need to be every week. I think that’s setting up failure. The list of drivers in the Cup series is deep. Daytona is a unique track. These tracks are different and unique. A lot about the car. I mean, you have to be smart enough to do the right thing at the right time. But it’s very much about the car. I feel like I’m still sticking to, ‘Let’s see how these first five races go where we go to a bunch of different kinds of tracks, see where we settle in.’ Then start to establish goals from there on out. The only thing we can go off of is at the end of last year and running solid inside that top-20, hopefully get inside that top-15. That’s really all I can think, right now. That’s all I can think. It might change after five races. It might be better. Who knows? It might be worse. We’re going to kind of pick up where we left off.”

    You are the first woman to lead laps in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. Talk about that.

    “I think a stat I found more interesting is only 13 people, including me, now, have led Indy and Daytona. I thought that was a much cooler stat for me. I’m honored. But, again, these are things that just happen along the way. I’m on the quest to be the best driver, run up front, get to victory lane. These things happen and I’m proud, but they’re not the ultimate goal.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew Chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What has the mood been around the shop the last few days?

    “It’s exciting. There’s still a long way to go but, to have all three cars unload really fast and have one of the cars sit on the front row, it was a good Speedweeks. It’s been great. Everyone is pumped up and excited. But, it doesn’t last long. We were at the shop until 10 or 11 at night on Monday getting the truck loaded up so they could leave at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Now we’re thrashing on Vegas cars because they’re going to have to leave on Friday so we can swap those out with the Phoenix cars after the race on Sunday. Everybody is really excited, but tired, too. This is a tough part of the season, but it helps to run well and get the pole at the Daytona 500. It helps at these times for the guys putting in extra effort. They know it’s paying off.

    What are your thoughts heading into Phoenix?

    “Daytona is a different deal than Phoenix and Vegas and all these tracks we have coming up. We’ve got our work cut out for us building that notebook between Danica and I and getting her more time on these tracks. That is one of the two races we got to work with her last year and we did run extremely well. We were 12th going into the green-white-checkered after the big fight there and we were thinking, ‘We can get a top-10 here.’ We got taken out by Jeff Burton with a lap to go, but we still finished 17th, which is still good, but we were getting ready to really surpass our goals we had set for that weekend. She did a fantastic job. She stayed on the lead lap and raced her way up into the top-15 there near the end. She gave great feedback all day and did a great job, so we’re excited to go back. We know qualifying is something we have to work on at these places, getting her up to speed quicker, and that’s what we need to work on in the first part of the year. That way, when we come back in the second half, we can do even better in qualifying. Track position at these short tracks is just so huge and she knows that and, obviously, everyone else does, too.”

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  • Daytona 500 Post-Report

    Date: Feb. 24, 2013
    Event: 55th Daytona 500 (Round 1 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway
    Start/Finish: 1st/8th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
    Point Standing: 7th (37 points, 10 out of first)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

    Danica Patrick finished eighth in the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, earning the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”

    The previous best finish for a woman in the Daytona 500 was 11th by Janet Guthrie in 1980.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), wrote another chapter of Daytona 500 history by leading laps 90-91, becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race. She also led laps 127-129. Patrick made similar history in the IZOD IndyCar Series when she led 19 laps as a rookie in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, becoming the first woman to lead open-wheel racing’s premier event. She finished fourth that year at Indy.

    Patrick is one of only 13 drivers to have led the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500, joining A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart.

    The impressive drive capped an incredible week for Patrick, who made more history a week ago by becoming the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500.

    “We ran up front all day long, and we led a little,” said Patrick, who also earned her career-best Sprint Cup finish. “We stayed in the top-10 all day, pretty much. Had nice pit stops by the GoDaddy crew, the car was fast, and it’s always a little frustrating when you come through and you’re top three on that last lap. I will learn more for next time.”

    Patrick was third as the as the field took the white flag but got shuffled out of the draft and dropped to eighth before the checkered flag fell on the 55th running of the Daytona 500.

    “I really didn’t feel like I had a great grasp as to ‘how do you go win this race?’” Patrick said. “I hadn’t wrapped my head around exactly how that was going to happen. I kept thinking about it out there because for the most part I was running half-throttle for most of the race running in the line. I will know better for next time and for Talladega. I mean, the same stuff will probably apply. Good job Jimmie (Johnson) – we got a Chevy to win, so that is good.”

    Despite being disappointed in losing a top-five finish and possibly a win, Patrick saw the upside to her impressive day.

    “At the end of the day, it was a solid day for the GoDaddy Chevrolet and the GoDaddy crew,” Patrick said. “They did a nice job in the pits, and we stayed basically in the top-10 all day long. So I can’t really complain about that. It was nice. It was calm most of the time, but it was fun when it got a little exciting.”

    Tony Gibson, crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS, could not have been more proud of Patrick’s performance.

    “I’m jacked up, man; that was awesome,” Gibson said. “We definitely had a shot to win it there, and that’s all you can ask for. Can’t do nothing about those guys getting runs on you. It is just the way it is. But I am so proud of Danica and everybody on the GoDaddy Chevy SS. It has been a great week-and-a-half. I couldn’t ask for it to go any better. She impressed the heck out of me the whole day long. Getting on and off pit road. The pit crew did a fantastic job.

    “I’m just looking forward to every week. Every week we are going to get better and better and better. There’s going to be some bumps in the road, but we’re willing to suck those on and get us some high notes. I’m just jacked up. I’m so proud of her. She kept her head for a week-and-a-half. We wouldn’t let her race in the 150 (Budweiser Duel qualifying race). We wouldn’t let her practice hard. She came out here and ran up front all day long. To be the first woman to sit on the pole of the Daytona 500 and the first woman to lead a lap in the Daytona 500 is pretty damn impressive. And the highest finish ever. What else are you going to get from that?”

    Patrick’s SHR teammate Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, finished fifth. Patrick’s other SHR teammate, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished 41st after getting caught in an accident early in the 200-lap race.

    Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 to score his 61st career Sprint Cup victory and his second in the Daytona 500, with the other in 2006. He became the 10th driver to win multiple Daytona 500s.

     
    Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished .129 of a second behind in the runner-up spot. Mark Martin, Brad Keselowski and Newman took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Greg Biffle, Regan Smith, Patrick, Michael McDowell and JJ Yeley.
     

    There were six caution periods for 24 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish.

    With round one of 36 complete, Newman leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is fifth, seven points behind series leader Johnson. Patrick stands seventh, 10 points out of first. Stewart is 37th, 44 points behind Johnson.

    Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished four spots ahead of Stenhouse (12th).

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Subway Fresh Fit 500k Sunday, March 3 at Phoenix International Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 2:30 p.m.

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  • Drive4COPD 300 Post-Report

    A strong early run for Danica Patrick ended in the garage at Daytona International Speedway in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race. After starting the race in the top 15 and surging to an early lead, an electrical failure on the No. 34 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Camaro resulted in a loss of power on the racetrack on lap 31, forcing the team to retire early and relegating Patrick to a 36th-place finish.

    Qualifying 12th on the strength of a 51.067-second (176.239 m.p.h.) lap in her Turner Scott Motorsports debut, Patrick shot to the lead by lap seven. Patrick held the point position when the first caution flag of the day waved on lap nine, and both driver and crew chief Mike Greci concurred that they would remain on the racetrack to maintain their position at the front of the field. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 12, and Patrick continued her impressive run, remaining in the top 10 as positions around her were frequently traded.

     

    On lap 29, the No. 34 GoDaddy.com Chevy unexpectedly began losing positions quickly and Patrick keyed the radio to state that her car had suddenly slowed. Checking her temperatures and gauges for information that might explain the issue, Patrick slipped into the 19th position. It was only two laps later that Patrick relayed over the radio that she had completely lost power.

    Patrick navigated the No. 34 to the NNS garage, where the Turner Scott Motorsports team worked diligently under the hood of the GoDaddy.com Chevy, determining that Patrick could not return to the racetrack as a result of an electrical failure. After a total of 120 race laps, Patrick was ultimately scored in the 36th position.

    "Turner Scott Motorsports built me a really good GoDaddy.com Chevy Camaro, and I appreciated the opportunity to run for them in Daytona. I was very happy with the way the car drove and we were running really well at the beginning. The electrical failure was unfortunate, but a very small issue in contrast to everything that happened on the last lap of the race. The fans are the reason we're able to work in this sport and do what we love, and we appreciate everyone who came out on Saturday. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was injured and their families. W​e keep hearing good news about fans being released from the hospital and conditions being upgraded, so we're very hopeful that everyone is recovering quickly."

    Turner Scott Motorsports is back in action next weekend when the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Phoenix International Raceway.

    Final Practice
    Position: 6th
    Laps: 20
    Fastest Lap: 47.307

    Qualifying
    Position: 12th
    Fastest Lap: 51.067

    Race
    Position: 36th
    Laps Led: 5
    Laps Completed/Total Laps: 31/120

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  • Budweiser Duel Post-Report

    Date: Feb. 21, 2013
    Event: Budweiser Duel (non-point qualifying races for the 55th Daytona 500)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 1st/17th (Running, completed 60 of 60 laps in Budweiser Duel No. 1)
    Winners: Budweiser Duel No. 1 – Kevin Harvick of RCR (Chevrolet)
    Budweiser Duel No. 2 – Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick and crew chief Tony Gibson learned what they needed to learn, then played it safe and finished 17th in their Budweiser Duel qualifying race Thursday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    The Budweiser Duel consists of twin qualifying races that set the 43-car field for the season-opening Daytona 500, but Patrick was already locked into the Great American Race. She will start from the pole for the 55th Daytona 500, as she set the fastest lap in qualifying last Sunday, which locked her into the No. 1 starting position.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), had nothing to gain in the Budweiser Duel other than experience and information. She got both, starting on the pole and staying up front for the first 10 laps of the 60-lap race around the 2.5-mile superspeedway. After learning how her car performed in the draft, she dropped to the rear of the field to avoid any potential accidents, ensuring that the same GoDaddy.com Chevrolet that set the quickest lap in time trials would start from the pole in the Daytona 500.

    “It’s not an exciting mission when you’ve just got to bring it home,” Patrick said. “But, it’s for the Daytona 500, so you’ve got to keep that in mind. I learned that the outside (lane) is strong and it carries a lot of good momentum. And then I learned that you need some friends. I also learned that you can’t be too tight because that outside (lane) is what’s good, but you can’t be too tight, which my car was. It was way too tight at the start. But we wanted to be conservative. We didn’t want to have any issues with the Go Daddy Chevrolet. We wanted to make sure we’ve got it on that front row for Sunday.”

    Patrick battled an issue with the tachometer during her one pit stop of the day on lap 42. Drivers use the tachometer to determine their speed down pit road, where they must mind 55 mph speed limit. When Patrick looked down at her dashboard, her tachometer was broken.

    “Again, it’s not the most exciting way to race, but something was wrong with the tachometer,” Patrick said. “I didn’t know what speed I was doing, so I just went really slow (down pit lane). I tried to hit the right revs and I realized there are no lights for those revs. So, I knew there was something wrong, and then when I got out there on the track, it showed I was going 10,000 rpm. I’m sure I’d love to have the kind of speed that comes with 10,000 rpm, but it wasn’t right. So, it’s good to get those little bugs out of the way. We’ll fix them and be solid for Sunday with the Go Daddy Chevrolet.”

    Gibson, her crew chief, was pleased with the day.

    “The important thing is the car is in one piece for Sunday,” Gibson said. “She learned what she needed to learn, but the car is in one piece for the big race. We’ll tear the car down and change everything out, the tachometer obviously too, and do some practice on Friday and Saturday. It’s always a challenge to get through the Duels clean and we did that. Just really proud of everyone on this team and everyone at Go Daddy for supporting us.”

    Patrick’s teammate and car owner, Tony Stewart, led the way for SHR by finishing sixth in the first Budweiser Duel race. Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, will start 13th in the Daytona 500.

    SHR’s Ryan Newman finished 21st in the second Budweiser Duel after a cut right-rear tire with 20 laps remaining forced an unscheduled pit stop and dropped him off the lead lap. Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet, earned the 34th starting spot for the Daytona 500, but because he’s going to a backup car due to the damage sustained from the flat tire, he’ll be forced to start the Daytona 500 from the back of the 43-car field.

    Kevin Harvick won the first Budweiser Duel by .165 of a second over Greg Biffle. Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Casey Mears, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joey Logano.
    Kyle Busch won the second Budweiser Duel by .093 of a second over Kasey Kahne. Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth took spots three through five. The rest of the top-10 consisted of Mark Martin, Paul Menard, Jeff Burton, Jamie McMurray and David Ragan.

    With the Budweiser Duel now complete, the field for the Daytona 500 is set. On the pole is Patrick, and alongside her is Jeff Gordon. By notching the two quickest times during last Sunday’s time trials, both drivers were able to lock themselves into the front row for the Daytona 500.

    Failing to qualify today for the Daytona 500 were Brian Keselowski and Mike Bliss.

    The Daytona 500 gets underway at 1 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 24 with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Danica's Daytona 500 Story Generating Big Buzz and Inspiration

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Feb. 20, 2013) -- Danica Patrick, Go Daddy's long-time spokeswoman, made history this week as the first woman to take a NASCAR Sprint Cup pole position for the Daytona 500.

    Leaders at Go Daddy, the Web's top platform for small businesses, knew the Daytona 500 was going to be big, but with Danica Patrick securing the coveted starting spot for NASCAR's marquee race ... the event is generating even bigger buzz than expected. Increased social media chatter, heightened mainstream media coverage and a surge in fan support make this weekend's races compelling to a much wider audience.

    "To watch Danica's story unfold at such a high-profile venue like the Daytona 500 has been inspirational, not just for women, but for anyone with a dream to compete at the highest level," said Blake Irving, Go Daddy CEO. Irving is a dedicated proponent for women in male-dominated fields, having been involved with the Society of Women Engineers and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing for years. "When Danica took the pole Sunday, it represented another barrier being broken and another door being opened -- and that makes us incredibly proud. We're ecstatic for Danica and the whole Go Daddy crew in Daytona."

    Go Daddy has been Danica's primary NASCAR sponsor from the beginning of her stock car career and sponsored her in open-wheel racing long before she made history as the first woman to win an IndyCar race in Motegi, Japan back in 2008.

    Coincidently, the 2013 mantra for the Go Daddy Danica partnership is about 'driving results,' both on the track and on the Web. By driving faster than anyone else vying for the Daytona 500's top spot, Danica launched the campaign with the kind of flare that can't be bought. Go Daddy sees the history-making feat as a great way to shine more light on women entrepreneurs, who like Danica, work to build a brand in order to build their businesses.

    As for Danica, she's less focused on what makes her different from others and instead is concentrating on the results. "I don't think about being a woman when I'm out there on the track, or when I'm managing my business ... I'm really just focused on driving and working with the Go Daddy team to leverage all the assets we have in order to be successful. Whether it's business or sports ... it takes a team," Danica said.

    "Most people don't think of Danica as a business owner, but she absolutely is," said Go Daddy Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman, who is at Daytona again this year to watch the races. "Danica is driving a race car in a male-dominated sport. She is also driving a business. Her website and social media presence have definitely helped her develop her brand, not unlike what other business owners do to nurture and grow their bottom line. At Go Daddy, we are focused on helping small businesses harness the power of the Internet, which is driving results for our Go Daddy customers."

    Go Daddy recently incorporated a new Content Delivery Network (CDN), technology that speeds up website load time. Go Daddy is also giving customers simple and affordable tools to build mobile websites in order to capture new customers using smartphone technology. Go Daddy also offers personalized 24/7 telephone support to help customers looking to build or develop their websites quickly.

    The parallel between speed levels in website performance and racing were noted by one Go Daddy customer, who is already enjoying Go Daddy's new CDN. "I'm a speed enthusiast, whether on the track or on the Web," said Jonathan Farkas, Vice President of Marketing at AdamsInterior.us. Adam's Interiors is a company dedicated to world-class contemporary furnishings. "Go Daddy's new CDN sped up my website performance by more than 200 percent. That means my site loads in 1.1 seconds, or three times faster than the time it takes Danica to go from zero to 60."

    Danica is set to hit speeds approaching 200-miles-per-hour in Daytona this weekend. She is in the top spot, behind the wheel of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for the 55th annual Daytona 500, scheduled to start Sunday at 1 p.m. E.T. on FOX.

    Saturday, look for Danica in the No. 34 GoDaddy.com Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. E.T.

    If you want to know more about increasing your website hosting speed, or find out how to develop your online presence, visit GoDaddy.com.

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  • Drive4COPD 300 Pre-Report

    2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season opens at Daytona International Speedway this Saturday, February 23. Danica Patrick, who embarks on her first full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season this year, will be behind the wheel of the No. 34 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Camaro for Turner Scott Motorsports in the NNS season opener.

    The race will mark Patrick's first event for TSM, and will be her 59th career start in the Nationwide Series. Veteran crew chief Mike Greci will be calling the shots from atop the pit box.

    Leading The Way...Patrick made history last Sunday when she laid down the fastest lap (45.817 seconds, 196.434 mph) in NSCS Daytona 500 qualifying, making her the first woman to win a pole in NASCAR's top series. This will not be the first time Patrick has started from the top spot at Daytona International Speedway; she earned the NNS pole in the February race last season.

    DIS Stats...Patrick, who made her NASCAR debut at Daytona International Speedway in 2010, has five previous NNS starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Patrick has one top-10 finish, which she earned in July of 2011, and one pole, which she earned in February of 2012. In her five events at the Daytona Beach, Fla. track, Patrick has started in the top five three times and has never taken the green from outside the top 15, tallying an average start of 6.0.

    This Week's Camaro...Patrick and the No. 34 team will unload chassis TSM-336 for this weekend's race at Daytona International Speedway. TSM-336 is a brand-new Chevrolet Camaro, which will be making its on-track debut on Saturday afternoon.

    Watch and Listen...The DRIVE4COPD 300 can be seen live on Saturday, February 23 on ESPN. Race coverage will begin at 12:00 p.m. ET, and the event can also be heard live on MRN Radio, as well as SiriusXM Radio, channel 90.

    Danica Patrick on driving at Daytona International Speedway

    "Daytona has been a great track for me in terms of qualifying. I've always had really good starts, but with the racing at Daytona being what it is, I haven't always had the finishes to reflect how well we ran. Every time I come to one of these superspeedway tracks, I learn a little more; it really comes down to patience and being in the right place at the right time. I'm looking forward to making my first start with Turner Scott Motorsports, I've got three talented teammates to work with and all the power we need under the hood with those Hendrick engines, so I'm hoping that everything will come together and I can help Turner Scott Motorsports win this race for the second year in a row."

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  • 55th Daytona 500 Time Trials -- Patrick Wins Pole!

    Date: Feb. 17, 2013
    Event: Daytona 500 Time Trials (Round 1 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
    Pole Winner: Danica Patrick of Stewart-Haas Racing (45.817 seconds at 196.434 mph)

    Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), qualified on the pole for the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Patrick turned a lap of 45.817 seconds at 196.434 mph on the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

    “Everything went smoothly,” said Patrick, whose Sprint Cup debut came in last year’s Daytona 500. “This is very much a moment to talk about being proud of the guys who prepare the car. For us drivers, it’s very important for us to hit our shifts and be smooth. But, there is a certain amount of speed that the car has as potential, and that’s what you’re getting to. Thanks to the Go Daddy crew, Hendrick for the power, and Chevy for the car – those are the elements that are really important. The driver plays a part, but a small part.”

    Patrick is the first female to win a Sprint Cup pole. Janet Guthrie previously held the record for top starting position by a female in Sprint Cup, twice starting ninth in 1977. She started ninth at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Aug. 7, 1977 and at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977. The previous best starting position for a female in the Daytona 500 was 18th, by Guthrie in 1980.

    “Those are nice things,” said Patrick in regard to the historical significance of her pole. “For someone like Go Daddy who has been really patient waiting for me to get to Sprint Cup fulltime, it’s very important. All the people who have been supportive along the way, that’s who it really pays off for.”

    Longtime Patrick sponsor Go Daddy.com was thrilled with her record-breaking day.

    “I don’t think anyone expected Danica to come out here today and take a pole for a second consecutive year,” said Go Daddy’s Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman, who will be at the track for the races next weekend. “When you think about the odds of this happening in the Go Daddy car again in Daytona, it’s damn impressive. All of us at Go Daddy see Danica as a role model, not just for athletes, but for women starting their own businesses. She’s a passionate, focused woman competing in a man’s world – woman who has worked hard to get where she is right now. Danica deserves every bit of this success. Congratulations to Danica and everyone on Team Go Daddy who helped make history today!”

    Also locking up his starting spot for the Daytona 500 was four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon, who qualified second to Patrick. Gordon missed the top spot by .033 of a second. He turned a lap of 45.850 seconds at 196.292 mph.

    Patrick’s SHR teammates – Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart – qualified fourth and fifth, respectively. Newman posted a lap of 45.931 seconds at 195.946 mph in his No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, and Stewart reeled in a lap of 45.936 seconds at 195.925 mph behind the wheel of his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS.

    With the front row of Patrick and Gordon, along with the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place qualifying efforts made by Newman, Stewart and Kasey Kahne (45.953 seconds at 195.852 mph), respectively, Hendrick-powered Chevrolets took five of the top-six qualifying spots. The lone interloper was third-quick Trevor Bayne (45.924 seconds at 195.976 mph) in a Ford. Toyota was the third-fastest make thanks to seventh-quick Denny Hamlin (45.972 seconds at 195.771 mph).

    Forty-five drivers made a qualifying attempt for the Daytona 500.

    While Sunday’s time trials locked in the front row, the remaining positions will be determined following Thursday’s Budweiser Duel – twin 150-mile heat races that set the majority of the 43-car Daytona 500 field.

    Those cars earning odd-numbered positions from qualifying will be assigned to the first Duel race. Those cars earning even-numbered positions from qualifying will compete in the second Duel race. The starting positions for each Duel race will be based on qualifying times.

    Patrick and Stewart will compete in the first Budweiser Duel race and start first and third, respectively. Newman will start second in the second Budweiser Duel race.

    The top-15 finishers in each Duel race – excluding the already locked-in front row – will earn a spot in the Daytona 500 and fill positions 3-32. Based on their finishing position in the first Duel race, the top-15 will line up on the inside row (odd-number starting positions). Based on their finishing position in the second Duel race, the top-15 will line up on the outside row (even-number starting positions).

    Positions 33-36 will go to the four fastest cars from qualifying that have not already earned a spot. Position 37-42 will be provisional positions, and go to the highest six cars in 2012 owner points that have not already qualified via the Duel or qualifying. The 43rd starting position will be assigned to any car owner who has the most recent eligible past Sprint Cup champion who did not make the field by any other method, providing the driver had competed in the 2012 Sprint Cup season. If the 43rd position remains unused, it will be assigned to the next highest car in 2012 owner points not already locked into the field.

    All three SHR drivers are guaranteed a starting spot in the Daytona 500 no matter their respective finishes in the Budweiser Duel. Patrick is locked in via her pole, and Newman and Stewart each finished high enough in 2012 owner points (14th for Newman, ninth for Stewart) to secure their spots in the Daytona 500.

    The Budweiser Duel gets underway at 1:40 p.m. EST on Thursday, Feb. 21 with live coverage on SPEED. The green flag waves for the Daytona 500 at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at noon.

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  • Danica to Race for Turner Scott Motorsports in Daytona Nationwide Race

    MOORESVILLE, N.C. (February 14, 2013) - It was announced today that Danica Patrick will pilot Turner Scott Motorsports' fourth entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Daytona International Speedway. Patrick, who will be a full-time Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) in 2013, will be behind the wheel of the No. 34 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Camaro in the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300. Veteran crew chief Mike Greci will be calling the shots from atop the pit box. 

    The former IndyCar driver, who made her Nationwide Series debut at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in 2010, has five previous NNS starts in Daytona, with a best finish of 10th (July, 2011). Patrick has three top-five starts at the Daytona Beach, Fla. track, including one pole award, which she earned in the first race of the 2012 season.

    Patrick, who is the first woman in history to win an IndyCar race, has raced in a total of 58 NNS events, completing one full-time season in 2012. Patrick finished 10th in the 2012 driver point standings, tallying one top-five and seven top-10 finishes. The Roscoe, Ill. native also earned the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver award following her first full-time NNS campaign.

    Patrick's longtime sponsor GoDaddy.com will back the No. 34 Nationwide entry. GoDaddy.com is the world's largest Web host and domain name provider.

    "I'm looking forward to competing in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona driving the No.34 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Camaro," said Patrick. "Turner Scott Motorsports is a great organization and they've got great people to work with. I really have to thank everybody at GoDaddy for this opportunity. They are always so supportive of what I do."

    Turner Scott Motorsports heads to Daytona International Speedway as the defending winner of the February race; 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher claimed his first NNS win at the season opener in 2012. Patrick will partner with full-time TSM teammates Justin Allgaier, Kyle Larson and Nelson Piquet Jr. in the 300-mile restrictor plate race.

    "We are very happy to announce the addition of Danica Patrick to our lineup for the race in Daytona," said team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. "We think a lot of Danica and what she's achieved so far in NASCAR. She's a great qualifier at Daytona and she has a lot of experience there in her relatively short NASCAR career. We think Turner Scott Motorsports has a lot of potential for the first race of the season and we're looking forward to getting to the racetrack."

    The NASCAR Nationwide Series season kicks off on Saturday, February 23rd with the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. The race will air live on ESPN and MRN beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET.

    About Turner Scott Motorsports: Turner Scott Motorsports was established in 1999 by Texas businessman Steve Turner, who was joined by partner Harry Scott Jr. as co-owner in 2013. This season will mark the fourth season of full-time NASCAR competition for the organization, which expanded in 2011 from a two-truck operation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) to become the largest stand-alone multi-series team in NASCAR's top-tier touring series. The team earned its first championship when James Buescher captured the NCWTS title in 2012. Turner Scott Motorsports operates out of an 110,000 square-foot state-of-the art facility in Mooresville, N.C. The Chevrolet-backed team has created alliances with General Motors' powerhouse team Hendrick Motorsports, which provides engine support for both its NNS and NCWTS programs, and Earnhardt Technology Group for drive train and suspension technology assistance. For more information on Turner Scott Motorsports, visit www.TurnerScottMotorsports.com.

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  • Daytona 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Feb. 13, 2013) – The No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS is loaded up and ready. Crew chief Tony Gibson and the GoDaddy.com crew are ready. And, most importantly, Danica Patrick is ready for the start of her first full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

    The marathon 36-race Sprint Cup schedule begins with the 55th Daytona 500 Feb. 24 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. And it marks the first race in Patrick’s first full season in NASCAR’s top division.

    After seven full seasons in the IZOD IndyCar Series and one full season of NASCAR Nationwide Series competition, Patrick is about to embark on the longest and toughest season in all of racing. In IndyCar, she competed in only one race a year of 500 miles in length – the world famous Indianapolis 500. In the Sprint Cup Series, 10 of the 36 races on the schedule are 500 miles or more in length and only six are less than 300 miles.

    Patrick will drive more miles than she ever has in a season, but she’ll do so with a veteran crew led by crew chief Gibson. The Go Daddy crew and Gibson worked with Patrick last November at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Phoenix International Raceway in order to get prepared for the 2013 season.

    The two-race “get-to-know-you” session worked well as Patrick had her two best Sprint Cup races of 2012. She finished 24th at Texas and 17th at Phoenix, her best two Sprint Cup finishes in 10 career starts, all of which came last season.

    While Patrick, a Rookie of the Year candidate, lacks a ton of Sprint Cup experience, a new car may help level the playing field for her as she embarks on her first full season at NASCAR’s highest level. NASCAR’s sixth-generation Sprint Cup car (Gen-6) is being used for the first time this season, meaning even veteran drivers won’t have old notes to work from, given that the new machines are vastly different (and better looking) than the Gen-5 automobiles.

    So the car is ready, the team is prepared and the driver is relaxed and focused as the new journey begins.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Talk about your outlook for the year.

    “I think the Daytona test went very well. Obviously, the car is fast. At the Charlotte test, we learned a lot, got more comfortable and, more than anything, kind of found a better balance as the day went on, improved our race pace. I’m sure there are going to be some trying moments moving through the beginning part of the year, but we kind of know it’s going to be a challenging year and there’s just a lot to learn. We’ll move through that together and we’ll keep our heads up, and we’re still going to have some good days, too, and those will be nice rewards for our hard work. But it’s that time of year where everybody is feeling relatively optimistic.”

    Tony Stewart chose 10 of the toughest races on the schedule for you last year. Do you feel like, having been through the tougher races, you’ll see the benefit of that this year?

    “Of course. I think whenever you get the tough ones out of the way, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think last week they were saying Tony was wondering why I wasn’t doing Martinsville at the end of the year, and somebody said, ‘Well, you picked the schedule, you tell us why she didn’t do Martinsville.’ So we’ll be obviously testing there before we get to race there. But, other than that, I mean, I think Pocono is the only other one I haven’t been to. There will still be some challenges ahead as far as new experiences, but just getting those – the toughest ones – out of the way first is going to be nice going into the season. And, hopefully, it’ll help us in the long run, of course.”

    Do you feel like competing in 10 races last year will make you more comfortable this year since the Sprint Cup Series will not be completely new to you?

    “I think all the experience I had last year, of course, is going to make me a little more comfortable moving into this year. I think just the little things like fitting in the car and just the stuff you’re constantly messing with when you first get in with a team, that’s all gone and you can really hit the ground running as far as how does the car feel, how do I improve it. Obviously, I’m familiar with the people who work at Stewart‑Haas and that just makes it all easier when you get going for the next year. We still have a lot to do, though, and there’s a lot of stuff I haven’t experienced, yet. I’m still in Cup for the first time, full‑time, so that’s going to be difficult in and of itself.”

    Talk about working with your crew chief Tony Gibson.

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: He’s a great guy. I haven’t come across anyone who doesn’t like Tony Gibson. For some reason, I like these good ol’ boys. I got along great with Tony Eury Jr., and I feel like they just have a good feel for the sport and they’re real hands‑on, and that’s nice, I guess. That’s a big compliment for somebody different like me to come in and make a good ol’ boy a fan of mine and work hard for me and want to do that job. That’s a nice compliment.”

    What specific things do you want to work on this year?

    “I feel like I tend to work on similar issues no matter where I go or what I do, and then there are ones I don’t have to work on because they are more natural to me and I’m naturally maybe better at. But it’s usually things like getting on and off pit road well. It’s qualifying, getting up to speed quickly. That’s stuff where you need to really, really trust the car and know what it’s going to do. I’m just not there, yet, especially now in Cup starting that full‑time. It’s just a learning process. It took a while to get there in Nationwide, but I did, especially from more of a qualifying get‑up‑to‑speed perspective, and I’m sure that’ll happen in Cup in due time.”

    Does the new car help level the playing field for you as a rookie?

    “Well, I mean, again, we’re obviously all dealing with the new car. I think it’s nice from a driver’s perspective like mine, without a lot of experience in the Cup Series, to be able to kind of start with this new car, now, because I won’t take any bad habits in, I won’t take any pre‑conceived ideas as to what the car is doing or can be doing for me out on the track. It’s a clean slate and I think that’s a good thing. It’s definitely not bad.”

    What are your expectations for Daytona?

    “I don’t know. Does anybody know what to expect when they go to Daytona? I think what makes it exciting for the fans and exciting for everybody is every now and again you have a surprise, and I would hope to be one of those surprises. That would be nice. Obviously it was about as bad as it could go last year getting taken out in the Nationwide race after starting on the pole, and getting taken out in the last lap of the Duel and the first lap of the Daytona 500. Those are all the worst times to get taken out. We’re only looking up from there I say, right?”

    Tony Gibson has a habit of calling everyone “Old Man.” Has he called you “Old Man,” yet?

    “He only called me Old Man once. It was maybe after Charlotte qualifying or Atlanta qualifying. I think I qualified like 21st or 23rd. I don’t know, it was like a decent qualifying for me, and he comes in and I picked up like 1.2 seconds in qualifying, and he was like, ‘Old Man, good job.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, sorry.’ I said ‘I’m glad you’re feeling comfortable enough to call me Old Man. That’s fine, but you could call me Old Lady, too, and I wouldn’t be mad.’

    You’ve had a long association with Go Daddy. Talk about that.

    “One of the most important roles is the sponsor and I’ve got the best one in Go Daddy. They gave me the ability to take my time and move from IndyCar to NASCAR. I’m not sure people understand how supportive they are. When I told them I wanted to drive for Stewart‑Haas, they said, ‘Whatever you want to do, we support you.’ And that’s a really rare thing. I’m really lucky to have the support of Go Daddy and all their employees.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew Chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing:

    What is your outlook for the 2013 season?

    “Well, I think for us the sky’s the limit. We were fortunate enough to get a couple races at the end of the year; Texas and Phoenix went extremely well. We were really pumped up when we left both those places. Me and Danica talked after Phoenix and she was, like, when we go to Homestead, because everything was going good, guys were excited, she was running good, running up front, doing a great job. But we’re setting small goals for ourselves. I told her when we first started this deal, we’re going to set goals that we can reach, set small goals, and when we achieve it, we’ll go to the next one. And we’ve done that the two races that we did. I think we hit all our goals before we left there, so it was pretty exciting.

    “We want to run good, we want to gel as a team and, like I said, it’s so exciting to have a driver who is so pumped up each day to get in the car. And the feedback she’s been giving us is tremendous, and it’s been a lot of fun to experience that again. You know, we all feel like rookies, now. I’ll tell you, we’re rookies together. That part of it’s been exciting. But we’re just setting small goals and we’re achieving them and being proud of that. We want to come out each weekend with a positive. No matter what happens on the weekend, you’ve got to bring a positive home and we can build from that and have a great season.”

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  • Bar Refaeli & Danica Patrick Appearing Together in Go Daddy's "Perfect Match"

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Jan. 4, 2013) -- Go Daddy has signed actress and model Bar Refaeli to star with Danica Patrick in one of its two 30-second Super Bowl commercials this year. The question now is how the two women will illustrate the Go Daddy customer story for television's most-watched event.

    The commercial is titled "Perfect Match," though details of the ad concept are not being released. This will be Bar Refaeli's first-ever Super Bowl commercial. Bar is an Israel native and ranks number one on the Maxim Hot 100 list for 2012. She'll share the screen with Danica, the Go Daddy Girl known for being in more Super Bowl commercials than any celebrity in television history, 12 after this next campaign.

    "We think we're going to make special Super Bowl magic with 'Perfect Match,'" said Go Daddy Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman. "This ad marries Go Daddy's edgy brand with our reputation for taking care of customers in a way we think will be surprising and, more importantly, entertaining."

    The ad was developed by Deutsch NY and is being filmed in Los Angeles today.

    "The opportunity to be in a Super Bowl commercial is thrilling ... and to partner with Go Daddy is something I just couldn't resist," Bar said. "I feel like the 'Perfect Match' commercial is a chance to be in an iconic Super Bowl spot that not only leaves people talking, but shows everyone what Go Daddy is really about. I really look forward to meeting Danica too!"

    The two have a few things in common. Both have been featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, each have built strong brands using the Internet and understand the power of the Web. "I think we both know how important online is for any up-and-coming business today and Go Daddy is THE place to go if you're looking to build a brand online," said Danica.

    "Go Daddy attracts a lot of marketing attention," Danica explained. "What really makes Go Daddy special, though, is the way they 'get it done' for their customers -- their brand of personalized service is unlike anything in the tech industry ... the commercials are just the icing on the cake and I think 'Perfect Match' will be one of those ads people rewind to see over and over."

    This is Go Daddy's ninth consecutive Super Bowl campaign. Over the years, the iconic TV commercials have generated massive media attention for Go Daddy, the world's top Web hosting and domain name provider serving nearly 11 million customers, many of whom are small business owners looking to leverage the Internet.

    "The Super Bowl ads definitely got my attention over the years," said Van Bond at Van-Tech Industries, a longtime Go Daddy customer. "But what really makes Go Daddy a great company to do business with is how they take care of their customers. I challenge you to name an Internet company that offers round-the clock, bend over backward telephone support ... and provides top-notch, easy to use products to help small businesses grow. That may not sound all that sexy, but when you're building a business, that's the bottom line. That's why I use Go Daddy."

    While the commercials aren't Bond's top reason for loving Go Daddy, he did confess his plan to watch for the ads on Super Bowl Sunday.

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  • Danica Ready to Share the GoDaddy.com Bowl With You

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Jan. 3, 2013) -- Don't be surprised if the chant from the stands at this year's GoDaddy.com Bowl is "let's go social, let's go!" Go Daddy, the world's largest Web hosting and domain provider, is sending its spokesperson superstar to lead the festivities at Sunday's GoDaddy.com Bowl, which includes a big social media campaign. Go Daddy Girl Danica Patrick will lead the social charge on and off the field in Mobile, Ala. this weekend and is asking fans to tweet and post to Facebook using the hashtag #GoDaddyBowl.

    Two #GoDaddyBowl field markings are being stamped in each red zone. Danica, NASCAR's Most Popular Nationwide driver, will also use the hashtag to help spectators get closer to the action, posting behind the scenes photographs and commentary.

    "Social media is an excellent way to connect fans to not only sporting events like the GoDaddy.com Bowl, but the players and coaches too," said Go Daddy customer Hatton Weeks, who also serves as News Content Director of KAIT TV Jonesboro. "Everyone in the stadium or the millions watching on TV can experience the event in a personal, real-time way never thought possible before social media. Just a quick glance at Facebook or Twitter and you can tell Arkansas State fans and players are fired up for the GoDaddy.com Bowl!"

    Danica, who has been in more Super Bowl commercials than any other celebrity in history, is also serving as the Grand Marshal for the GoDaddy.com Bowl Parade and will be on the field for the coin toss and trophy presentation, as well.

    "I am planning to tweet photos to my friends and followers," Danica said. "Social media is such a great way to share the experience and engage with fans. It's sort of like the game, a live event where you aren't sure exactly what's going to happen. I want to hear from football fans, especially the ones who are Go Daddy customers -- we're on the same Go Daddy team, no matter who you are rooting for in the Bowl."

    Forty-thousand passionate fans are expected to fill the stadium to cheer on their team at this year's GoDaddy.com Bowl game, which pits Mid-American and Sun Belt Conference teams against each other in Mobile. This year Kent State University (11-2, 8-0) faces Arkansas State University (9-3, 7-1). This is Kent State's first college bowl game in 40 years. Arkansas State University is back for a second time, after being defeated by Northern Illinois last year.

    "We are really excited to have one of our clients playing in the GoDaddy.com Bowl," said Go Daddy customer Serge Knystautas, CEO of PrestoSports, a company that helps sports teams manage their online image. "Kent State had a fantastic football season and we plan to tweet using the hashtag #GoDaddyBowl ahead of the game to show our support and enthusiasm."

    Go Daddy, the go-to choice for individuals and small businesses looking to leverage the power of the Internet, took over Bowl sponsorship in 2011.

    "Just as Go Daddy is known for providing a great customer experience, we want fans of college football to have a great time watching our game," said GoDaddy.com Bowl President Jerry Silverstein. "Go Daddy is an outstanding partner -- they're always innovating and engaging."

    Watch the GoDaddy.com Bowl live from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Sunday at 8:00 p.m. CST. The game is televised nationally on ESPN.

    Can't watch the game, but want to get in on the action? Look for tweets with #GoDaddyBowl from your computer or your smartphone.

    To learn more about the GoDaddy.com Bowl please visit www.GoDaddyBowl.com.

    To learn more about how Go Daddy helps customers succeed on the Internet, please visit: www.GoDaddy.com.

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  • Ford EcoBoost 300 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Ford EcoBoost 300 (200 laps / 300 miles)
    TRACK: Homestead-Miami Speedway
    LENGTH: 1.5-mile oval
    DATE: Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012
    TV: ESPN2 (Coverage begins at 4 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (4:15 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com/"Make Yourself Mobile" Chevrolet
    “I definitely showed concern years and years ago about the length of the sea-son. That was one of the things that held me back from committing to NASCAR. Now that I’m in it, and I feel like I’ve had a nice transition into it, I don't mind at all. I like racing every weekend. The season could keep going and I’d be fine with that. Although I never turn down off time, and there is definitely a lot of stress and work, it’s fun at the same time. That’s surprising for me. I thought I would be very tired at this point in time. But I feel like I am figuring it out.”

    Notes

    REGAN SMITH JOINS JRM IN SEASON FINALE - Regan Smith will pilot the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at Homestead-Miami Speedway, giv-ing the Dale Earnhardt Jr.-owned company three cars in this weekend’s season-finale race. The race will mark the eighth event in which JRM has entered three cars this sea-son. Smith’s entry is in preparation for 2013 when he’ll compete for a Nationwide Se-ries Championship under the JRM banner in the No. 5 Chevrolet.

    TAXSLAYER.COM TO KICK OFF UPCOMING BOWL SEASON AT HOMESTEAD -
    The familiar red and black paint scheme of the TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet will take on a new look this weekend. In promotion of TaxSlayer.com’s sponsorship of the 68th Gator Bowl, which will be played on Jan. 1, 2013, at Everbank Field in Jacksonville Fla., the car features a special football-themed paint scheme. Cole Whitt will also wear a special helmet in the 300-mile race that replicates an actual football helmet. The TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl will kickoff at Noon ET on Jan. 1, and will be televised nationally on ESPN2. It pairs the fifth selection after the BCS from the Southeastern Conference and the third selection after the BCS from the Big Ten Conference.

    RECORD-SETTING RUNS WITH JRM - In the three years Patrick has competed for JR Motorsports, she has twice etched her name in the NASCAR history books and is on the cusp of doing so a third time. Patrick holds the distinction of being the highest-finishing female in any NASCAR national touring series race, following a fourth-place effort at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. After winning the pole in the season opening race at Daytona in 2012, she became the first woman in nearly 18 years to win a NASCAR pole award. Currently occupying the 10th spot in the driver standings, Patrick will finish no worse than 11th in championship points, giving her additional accolades as the all-time highest-finishing female in points among NASCAR’s top three series. The previous high was held by Sara Christian who finished 13th in the Sprint Cup stand-ings in 1949.

    SMITH’S CUP RECORD IN HOMESTEAD - Smith holds four starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway at the Sprint Cup level with a pair of top-20 finishes to his credit. With his best finish of 13th coming in 2011, Smith’s average finish at the facility is 24.0.

    HISTORY WITH HOMESTEAD - Whitt made his debut in the Camping World Trucks Series at Homestead Miami Speedway in 2010, finishing 28th. The facility is one of six tracks where Whitt holds a start in each of NASCAR’s top-three touring series.

    PATRICK’S CAREER STATS - Since joining JR Motorsports for her 13-race rookie campaign in 2010, Patrick has made 57 starts in Nationwide Series competition, earning one top-five and seven top-10 finishes. She earned one pole (Daytona 2012) and led a total of 55 laps.

    JRM SEASON-ENDING STATS - Through 32 races this season, the JR Motorsports team cars have amassed nine top-five and 22 top-10 finishes. The team also earned one pole (Daytona 2012).

    YEAR END AUTOGRAPH SIGNING FOR COLE WHITT - Don’t miss out on Cole Whitt’s final autograph session of the sea-son. On Saturday, Nov. 17, beginning at 1:30 p.m. local time, Whitt will sign autographs at the JR Nation merchandise hauler in the fan concourse area. Stop by the JR Nation merchandise hauler on Saturday morning to obtain a free ticket to the ses-sion.

    HENDRICKCARS.COM RETURNS ON NO. 5 CHEVROLET – For the second time in the 2012 season, the HendrickCars.com brand will be featured on a JRM Chevrolet. Cole Whitt drove the No. 88 HendrickCars.com ride to a 16th-place finish during the Bristol spring event. This week Regan Smith will wheel the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevy in the season finale at Home-stead. HendrickCars.com is the best destination for online shoppers of cars, offering a selection of 20,000 new, used and classic automobiles. The site also offers CARFAX reports, nationwide delivery, and holds the distinction of housing one of the largest collections of manufacturer certified used cars in the world.

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  • AdvoCare 500 Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 11, 2012
    Event: AdvoCare 500k (Round 35 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 37th/17th (Running, completed 318 of 319 laps)
    Winner: Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet) in a green-white-checkered finish

    Danica Patrick finished a career-best 17th in the AdvoCare 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, giving herself and the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet team plenty of momentum as they prepare for her first full-time Sprint Cup Series season in 2013.

    Patrick, who drives the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), improved upon her previous best of 24th on Nov. 4 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The Phoenix race was her 10th career Sprint Cup Series start and her last of 2012.

    While Patrick had one of her best races of the season, her 17th-place result came after a wild day for her and several competitors at the 1-mile oval.

    After starting 37th, Patrick was running top-10 lap times despite her car’s tight handling. Crew chief Tony Gibson was able to improve the car’s handling throughout the race, but the duo still needed track position as Patrick went one lap down during a green-flag run from laps 59-168.

    Patrick continued to chip away at the cars in front her, climbing the standings until she was in 22nd-place and one of only four cars one lap down on a lap-276 restart. She passed Bobby Labonte on the restart to take 21st when the caution flew again on lap 281 for a spin by her SHR teammate Tony Stewart. By being the first car one lap down, Patrick was able to take advantage of the “lucky dog,” which allowed her to join the leaders on the lead lap.

    Then things really got interesting.

    Patrick was in the top-20 when a four-car accident on lap 312, triggered by Jeff Gordon intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer, brought out the red flag and set up a green-white-checkered finish. And as a donnybrook between the teams of the two feuding drivers made the garage area crazy, the race’s final restart made things even crazier.

    Patrick was 14th on the restart when she and Jeff Burton entered the backstretch dogleg on the on the penultimate lap, and the right-front of Burton’s car hit the left rear of Patrick’s machine, sending her car spinning into the SAFER Barrier on outside retaining wall between turns three and four. Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet limped off the wall, down to the apron of the track and along the frontstretch, leaking oil from an oil line that ruptured during the crash.

    But the caution flag was never thrown, and Patrick had no choice but to continue to drive her wounded racecar as far as possible for the best potential finish. The leaders raced down the backstretch and into turn three, only to discover, as race winner Kevin Harvick said, “There was more oil than there was asphalt.”

    Harvick tip-toed off turn four and crossed the finish line first to take the win. Denny Hamlin followed, with polesitter Kyle Busch – who led four times for a race-high 237 laps – in third. Behind the trio was calamity, as cars spun in the oil and careened off each other.

    Patrick’s car served as a proverbial ping-pong ball and briefly got airborne after getting hit hard in the rear by the out of control cars of Kurt Busch and Paul Menard, who had crashed behind her.

    Patrick was checked and released without injury from the infield care center.

    “We had a green-white-checkered; it was a nice exciting finish for the fans,” Patrick said. “Got around (turns) one and two and came off had decent distance on the No. 31 (Burton) and he went down and took the apron got down into (turn) three, and I did not think he was near close enough to be on me going into (turn) three. I left a little bit of room, not a ton of room, for sure, but I think Tony Gibson (crew chief) said he went down and talked to him, and he said he just went in too deep.

    “Clipped my left-rear, spun me around, and I just tried to limp back to the line. I didn’t know exactly how much damage I had or what it was, but just trying to limp to the line and get the finish on the lead lap, whatever that was. Still our best finish, but you always want more. I was 14th, I think, or something right around there, and that would have been a really good finish for the Go Daddy Chevrolet.”

    Gibson was ecstatic with Patrick’s effort throughout the day.

    “Another great day,” Gibson said. “Everybody did a really good job today. She raced hard. She had some great runs today. She raced herself to the ‘lucky dog’ there and got a lap back. Then she was solid, man. She had a top-10, top-12 car all day long. She deserved to finish 12th, at least. But she got wrecked by (Jeff) Burton. But it’s our best finish. 17th. We’ll take that. But we know we were better than that.

    “She’s getting better, and better and better. It just makes up pumped for next year. She said herself, ‘I wish we were going to Homestead.’ It is just pumping everybody up. It’s exciting. I’m glad we got these two races in because it just shows her she can drive and run with these guys. It puts confidence in our guys, that yes, she can do it. Around the whole table, it is awesome for the Go Daddy Chevrolet team.”

    Harvick’s win in the AdvoCare 500k was his 19th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Phoenix.

    Hamlin finished .580 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Menard and Mark Martin comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were eight caution periods for 38 laps, with 15 drivers failing to finish the 319-lap race, which was extended seven laps by a green-white-checkered finish.

    The final race of the Sprint Cup Series season, the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, begins at 3 p.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 18. Live coverage by ESPN begins with a pre-race show at 2 p.m.

    Patrick will make her final NASCAR Nationwide Series start for JR Motorsports in the Ford 300 on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Homestead. She begins her first full-time Sprint Cup Series season in February 2013 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway driving the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing.

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  • Go Daddy Rallies Support For Injured Service Men & Women & Their Families

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 8, 2012) -- Go Daddy, a one-stop shop for small businesses to succeed online, and The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation are matching all donations, dollar for dollar, to the Semper Fi Fund up to $1 million. They are joining forces to make a profound difference in the lives of the brave men and women injured while serving our country ... and they are giving the public simple ways to make a big difference, as well.

    The Semper Fi Fund is a non-profit organization set up to provide immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The Semper Fi Fund provides relief for financial needs that arise during hospitalization and recovery, as well as assistance for those with perpetuating needs.

    The new multifaceted fundraising project was formally announced today by Go Daddy Executive Chairman and Founder Bob Parsons with unprecedented star power. Go Daddy Girl and NASCAR superstar Danica Patrick and her Sprint Cup team owner Tony Stewart flanked Bob and Renee Parsons as the program was outlined from Go Daddy's headquarters. Also on stage at today's news conference was the Arizona Veteran's Hall of Fame Society President Rick Romley, who represented a Go Daddy customer website dedicated to benefiting military veterans.

    "We are taking fundraising to support injured members of our military to an all-new level -- we're making it insanely simple for people to help this vitally important organization," said Bob Parsons. "Our veterans, from each and every branch of our military, deserve to come home to a support system that reflects how much we appreciate and respect the sacrifice they and their families have made for our country ... for all of us. If you can't give a lot, give a little, no amount is too small ... we'll match it and together we will definitely make a difference."

    Bob Parsons is a decorated war veteran, who joined the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and received the Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and a Purple Heart Medal. Thanks to the G.I. Bill, he enrolled into the University of Baltimore. He graduated magna cum laude and founded two successful businesses, one, a multi-million dollar company called Parsons Technology, later sold to Intuit, and the other, a billion-dollar company, GoDaddy.com.

    Earlier this year, Parsons and his wife Renee created The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation to inspire hope by providing critical funding at critical times to communities striving to make a difference. "The Semper Fi Fund hits home for us because we know how dedicated our armed forces are," said Renee Parsons. "These men and women are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice ... we believe we owe our veterans the utmost respect and support and we think our fellow Americans will join us in this important cause. It's a simple process and every donation, large or small matters."

    The key to this Semper Fi Fund drive is the variety of easy alternatives for people to participate. Donation options include Go Daddy's Round Up for Charity program, an initiative where customers "round up" their purchase to the next dollar. The spare change adds up to make a big difference over time. People can also donate directly at GoDaddy.com by clicking Go Daddy's 8th annual U.S. Marine Corps Birthday Salute, a special tribute to the U.S.M.C.'s 237th birthday.

    "Our military veterans and active troops alike have been enjoying Bob's Marine Corps Birthday video card for years, it's become part of our tradition," said Semper Fi Fund President, CEO and Founder Karen Guenther. "What's so moving about this donation program is its inspirational aspect. This is more than cutting a check and shaking a few hands, this is about rallying people together, making it easy for the entire community to donate what they can and have that amount doubled instantly."
     

    The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and Go Daddy are teaming up to provide the $1 million match. Bob Parsons said, "We owe our military everything, that's the way I look at it -- Semper Fi!"

    "Having been severely wounded in combat while in Vietnam, I personally know how important these funds are to wounded soldiers," said former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, who serves as Executive Advisor for Veterans Heritage Project, a Go Daddy customer. The organization uses its Go Daddy website to help connect veterans with students to share their stories of service. "Matching donations of up to $1 million are going to help more of our wounded soldiers as they return home. I am honored to be here with Bob Parsons and Go Daddy. Both care deeply for those who serve in our military."

    Go Daddy is looking to inspire NASCAR fans, too. Go Daddy Girl Danica Patrick is set to drive two cars sporting the matching donation message this weekend in Phoenix. Both Danica's Nationwide and Sprint Cup Chevys will sport a new logo created to raise awareness about the Semper Fi Fund program.

    "These veterans and their families face some challenging circumstances," said Danica. "I'm fortunate to have a sponsor who, time and time again, demonstrates its caring heart and soul. It feels good to be part of something this special. I can tell you, when Bob and Renee put their minds to something, there's no stopping them."

    Alongside Danica at today's news conference was three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who is also Danica's teammate and co-owner of her Stewart-Haas Racing team.

    "NASCAR fans are some of the most patriotic people you will meet," Stewart said. "I think Danica's Cup car promoting the matching donations program will not only bring attention to this worthy cause, I think it's also something fans will rally around. The fact Bob and Renee, along with Go Daddy, initiated this effort to support our brave military veterans says a lot about them and their organizations."

    To learn more about the Semper Fi Fund, visit SemperFiFund.org.

    To find out more about Go Daddy's charity work, go to GoDaddyCares.com.

    To find out more about The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, visit WeDealinHope.org.

    To join the Go Daddy team of customer-oriented professionals, visit GoDaddy.com/Jobs.

    Connect with Go Daddy on Facebook & Twitter.

    Read why our customers recommend Go Daddy.
     

    About Go Daddy
    Go Daddy is the world's largest domain name provider, Web hosting provider and new SSL certificate provider, focused on helping small businesses grow larger. Go Daddy provides dozens of cloud-based services and is the largest worldwide mass-market hosting provider by annual revenue according to Tier1 Research (Mass-Market Hosting Report-Winter 2011) and is the #1 provider of net-new SSL certificates for 2011, according to the Netcraft, LTD Secure Server Survey. To learn more about the company, visit GoDaddy.com/PR.
     

    About The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation

    The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation inspires hope by providing critical funding at critical times to communities striving to make a difference. We primarily focus on issues in the greater Phoenix area. We believe every person is entitled to an education, good nutrition, medical care, a stress-free, happy environment and the hope that they too, will share in the American Dream. We provide funding to non-profit organizations that are successfully addressing these essential needs. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is also committed to the children of Haiti, helping to grow and improve schools, medical services and overall well-being for communities in rural Haiti through the Hope for Haiti organization.

    About Semper Fi Fund

    The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit set up toprovide immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The Semper Fi Fund provides relief for financial needs that arise during hospitalization and recovery as well as assistance for those with perpetuating needs. Our program provides support in a variety of ways including: Service Member and Family Support, Specialized & Adaptive Equipment, Adaptive Housing, Adaptive Transportation, Education and Career Transition Assistance, PTSD and TBI Support and Team Semper Fi. For more information visit http://www.SemperFiFund.org, http://www.facebook.com/semperfifund, or follow them on Twitter @SemperFiFund.

    To learn more about the Veterans Heritage Project, visit VeteransHeritage.org.

    To find out more about the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society, visit AVHOF.org.

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  • Great Clips 200 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Great Clips 200 (200 laps / 200 miles)
    TRACK: Phoenix International Raceway
    LENGTH: 1-mile tri-oval
    DATE: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (3:40 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “I’ve transitioned through quite a bit over these years. It was coming every month or so into the car and doing a race, and trying to get comfortable quickly after driving in IndyCar for a while. There was that transition for two years, and then this being the first full time year in Na-tionwide. That’s a lot of transitions and a lot of things to get used to, new cars and new schedules. I think that it all helps me adapt quicker and helps me focus on being more specific with my words and more poignant with what I want. There has been a lot I’ve learned, for sure, and I have a lot left to learn. Just understanding the cars and how they change from practice to the race, and then how they change during the race. Those are things that are just so much more unique to NASCAR than they are to IndyCar.”

    Notes

    INTRODUCING TAKAGI ON BOARD THE NO. 88 CHEVROLET - Takagi Tankless Water Heaters will be primary sponsor of the No. 88 team this weekend in Phoenix, with its Chevrolet featuring a vivid red, white and blue paint scheme. A producer of tankless water heaters since 1952, Takagi is a worldwide industry leader and the first tankless water heater company specializing in tankless-only products. In addition to its commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction, Takagi is focused on increas-ing consumer awareness surrounding the use of energy efficient products at home. For more information visit www.takagi.com.

    JRM’s SHORT TRACK INFO - JRM team cars have tallied a top-10 finish in over half of the nine short track starts in Nation-wide Series competition this season. All totaled, drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt have earned one top-five and five top-10 finishes on short tracks in 2012.

    PHOENIX POLE AWARD - JR Motorsports’ sixth organizational pole came at Phoenix International Raceway last year with the No. 88 team. They went on to lead a season-high 66 laps in the race.

    WHITT’S SHORT TRACK PROFILE - Whitt has notched three top-10 finishes (Iowa, Bristol II and Dover II) on short tracks this season. His average finish is 12.6.

    88 TEAM CHASSIS INFO - The 88 team will race chassis 605 this weekend in Phoenix. Whitt has a best finish of seventh with this chassis at Iowa, and raced it in four short track events this season, including earlier this spring in Phoenix.

    PATRICK ON SHORT TRACKS - Patrick owns one top-10 finish on a short track, which came earlier this season at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Roscoe, Ill. native has made solid gains on short tracks through her stock car career, seeing her aver-age finishing position improve from 33.5 in her rookie campaign to 20.6 in 2012.

    7 TEAM CHASSIS INFO - Patrick is scheduled to drive chassis 613 at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. She earned a pair of top-10 finishes wheeling this chassis at the spring Texas event and Kansas.

    MEET COLE WHITT AT PHOENIX AREA WALMART - Fans are invited to meet JRM driver Cole Whitt at an autograph ap-pearance on Thursday, Nov. 8, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Walmart, located at 2020 North 75th Ave., Phoenix. Whitt will be appearing at the store on behalf of the Degree Men and Hellmann’s brands.

    WHITT TO PARTICIPATE IN NNS AUTOGRAPH SESSION - Cole Whitt will participate in the Nationwide Series driver auto-graph session on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. local time at Phoenix International Raceway outside the turn one grandstands.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) on Twitter.

    “DRIVEN TO GIVE” SET FOR NOV. 7 - The Dale Jr. Foundation’s fall fundraiser “Driven to Give” returns next Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. “Driven to Give” is a dinner, concert and silent auction hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. each year. Headlining the festivities is special musical guest Kellie Pickler. For more information on The Dale Jr. Foundation, its mission and initiatives, visit its website here or contact The Foundation’s Project Manager, Lauren Caldwell (lauren@dalejr.com). You can also follow The Foundation’s official Twitter handle @tdjf.

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  • AdvoCare 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Nov. 6, 2012) – Daytona Speedweeks seem so, so long ago. And that’s probably because it was a long, long time ago, given that around nine months have passed since the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season kicked off at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

    Mitt Romney was still two months away from winning the Republican nomination for President of the United States, the 2012 World Series-champion San Francisco Giants had just started spring training, and Peyton Manning was still a member of the Indianapolis Colts when the racing season started.

    So it’s hard to believe that Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, is about to complete the 10-race Sprint Cup Series schedule she embarked upon at the outset of 2012. The goals set forth by team owner Tony Stewart were simple: log laps and learn at the toughest tracks NASCAR has to offer.

    And so Patrick has raced at places like Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and Dover (Del.) International Speedway as she preps for a full-time Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2013.

    There have been ups and downs but, throughout the year, Patrick has made steady progress in the Sprint Cup Series, including a career-best 24th-place finish last week at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Teamed with new crew chief Tony Gibson, who will be atop to the pit box for 2013, Patrick was in the top-20 late in the race at Texas and had one of her best outings of the season.

    The final race of Patrick’s Sprint Cup Series season will be a bit of a “homestand” as Phoenix International Raceway, site of Sunday’s Advocare 500k, is about 30 miles west of her residence in Scottsdale, Ariz. Scottsdale is also home to her longtime sponsor GoDaddy.com.

    While enjoying the comforts of home, it will also give Patrick one more race to work with Gibson before the duo begins racing with points on the line in 2013.

    And before they know it, they’ll be back at Phoenix March 3 for the second race of the new season.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

    You worked with new crew chief Tony Gibson last week for the first time. Talk about that.

    “We had a really nice first weekend. It was really steady from the beginning. The car unloaded and it had speed right from the get-go. We just kept on improving with it. I felt like it was a nice progression of the weekend where I actually felt like I knew why I went faster and I knew why I went slower. In the race, we were creeping along. We spent most of the race tight, but there, late in the race, we finally got it freed up enough to start really running some good speed. Those yellows at the end, I just didn’t do a good enough job on those restarts and lost a whole bunch of spots. I always feel so defeated at the end of the race when that happens. It was a really nice first weekend with the new GoDaddy.com crew. Tony Gibson did such a good job. I’m really looking forward to next year.”

    What lessons have you learned in your three years in NASCAR and are you getting comfortable here?

    “For me, I have just transitioned through quite a bit over these years. It was just coming every month or so into the car and doing a race and trying to get comfortable quickly after driving an IndyCar for a while. There was that transition for two years, then this being the first full-time year (in the Nationwide Series), then sort of sprinkling in some (Sprint) Cup races, then next year going full-time Cup. That is a lot of transitioning and a lot of changes and a lot of things to get used to, whether it’s new cars, new schedules or a new crew chief. It’s just been a lot to get used to, but I think it all helps me adapt more quickly. It helps me focus on being more specific with my words and being more poignant with what I want. There has been a lot I have learned, for sure, and I have a lot left to learn. Just understanding the cars and how they change from practice to the race, and how they change throughout the race. Those are things that are just so much more unique to NASCAR than they are to IndyCar, I feel. In IndyCar, you could set the car up in practice and it would feel the same in qualifying and the race, for the most part, when it came to adapting to weather changes, the downforce levels. To that, they were equal. You could calculate that. There is a lot more transitioning within the weekend itself in NASCAR. So, getting used to that has been something I’m still learning.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew Chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

    Talk about working with Danica for the first time last weekend at Texas.

    “It was a great day and a great weekend for the first weekend working together. Qualifying went really well and practice went really well. She had an awesome race and she did a great job. We did the wave-around twice and got back on the lead lap early and she stayed on the lead lap. She ran with guys she’s never run with before – Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin. To go to Texas and run on the lead lap and have a shot at a top-20 was pretty impressive.”

    How will you know if things are moving in the right direction next year, and what will be your expectations for Danica to know that she is improving?

    “Well, there’s no pressure on us. I think the communication will get better and smoother. Every driver I’ve ever had is different. Even (Tony) Stewart and (Ryan) Newman are totally different. The offsets that we had to do for Newman versus Stewart are just on the other side of the spectrum. Just learning those things for what she needs going into qualifying trim and, as the races go on, how do we adjust, and me learning the tone of her voice. I can tell from a driver, if the tone of his or her voice is getting higher and higher and higher, that it’s pretty serious. Those things we’re going to learn. For us, it’s all about learning and growing together. Like I told her, we’re going to set small goals and achievable goals for us. Whether it’s by the end of practice and qualifying, if we’re the left side of the board by qualifying 25th, 23rd, 20th, 18th – let’s set goals we can achieve together as a race team and grow together. I’m not putting any pressure on her or saying we’ve got to win a race or we’ve got to run a top-five. So, I’ll judge everything by how we are getting along, how our team is building, more than I am results.”

    Notes of Interest:

    • The Advocare 500k at Phoenix International Raceway will mark Danica Patrick’s 10th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and her first at Phoenix. She has four NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at the mile oval with a best finish of 17th in February 2011.
    • Last week at Texas, Patrick finished 24th to score her best career Sprint Cup Series finish.
    • In the August Sprint Cup race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Patrick was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another car and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.
    • The Advocare 500k marks the final race of Patrick’s 10-race Sprint Cup Series schedule for 2012. She will compete full-time in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013 driving the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing.
    • In 2012 Nationwide Series competition, Patrick has one pole (Daytona) and a best finish of eighth, which came in April at Texas. She led once for a race-high 20 laps in August on the road course at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal until mechanical problems caused her to go to the garage for repairs. She finished 27th, six laps down.
    • Four Score: In March 2011, Patrick finished fourth in the Nationwide race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the best-ever finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by Sarah Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.
    • History Maker: Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series in April 2008 by winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 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.

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  • AAA Texas 500 Post-Report

    Date: Nov. 4, 2012
    Event: AAA Texas 500 (Round 34 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 32nd/24th (Running, completed 355 of 355 laps)
    Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet) in a green-white-checkered finish

    In her first race working with new crew chief Tony Gibson, Danica Patrick finished a career-best 24th in the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    Patrick, who drives the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing, improved upon her previous best of 25th in September at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Today’s race was her ninth career Sprint Cup Series start.

    “We had a really nice first weekend together,” Patrick said of working with Gibson. “It was really steady from the beginning. The GoDaddy Chevy unloaded, and it had speed right off the get-go. We just kept on improving with it. I felt like it was a nice progression of the weekend, where I actually felt like I knew I why I went faster and I knew why I went slower. In the race, we were creeping along. We spent most of the race tight, but there late in the race we finally got it freed up enough to start really running some good speed.”

    Patrick was in the top-25 and on the lead lap for much of the event and was in the top-20 as the laps wound down. But she wasn’t able to maintain that position through the final two restarts and finished 24th, on the lead lap.

    “Those yellows at the end, I just didn’t do a good enough job on those restarts and lost a whole bunch of spots,” Patrick said. “I always feel so defeated at the end of the race when that happens. It was a really nice first weekend with the new GoDaddy crew. Tony Gibson did such a good job. I’m really looking forward to next year.”

    Crew chief Gibson was ecstatic with the effort displayed by his new driver.

    “It was a great day and a great weekend for the first weekend working together,” Gibson said. “Qualifying went really well, and practice went really well. She had an awesome race, and she did a great job. We did the wave-around twice and got back on the lead lap early, and she stayed on the lead lap. She ran with guys that she’s never run with before: Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin. To come here and run on the lead lap and a shot at a top-20 was pretty impressive.”

    Jimmie Johnson won the AAA Texas 500 to score his 60th career Sprint Cup victory, his fifth of the season and his second at Texas. The win marked the 700th Sprint Cup victory for Chevrolet and made Johnson only the eighth driver in Sprint Cup Series history to record 60 or more wins.

    Brad Keselowski finished .808 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Stewart rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were nine caution periods for 49 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 335-lap race, which was extended one lap by a green-white-checkered finish.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the penultimate race of the Sprint Cup Series season – is the Advocare 500k on Nov. 11 at Phoenix International Raceway. The race begins at 3 p.m. EST, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 2 p.m.

    The Advocare 500k will be Patrick’s final scheduled Sprint Cup Series start in 2012.

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  • Danica at TMS's "Speeding to Read" Program

    FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 1, 2012) – Danica Patrick owns rock-star status when it comes to popularity in motorsports, but on a supposed quiet Thursday morning at Texas Motor Speedway, she actually felt like a music star.

    Thunderous chants of “DAN-I-CA,” cascaded from the frontstretch grandstands as 1,500 students from three nearby Northwest ISD elementary schools showed their raucous appreciation for Patrick visiting with them for the Turn 2 awards assembly of Texas Motor Speedway’s “Speeding To Read” educational program.

    Patrick was on hand to speak with the student bodies and faculty from W.R. Hatfield, Clara Love and Justin elementary schools about the important of reading, encouraging them to chase their dreams while sharing her early start and meteoric rise in motorsports. The top-reading classrooms and individuals also were treated to Patrick presenting them with their trophies, signing autographs and taking photographs along with Sonic the Hedgehog mascot next to her SEGA-themed No. 7 Nationwide Series show car on the frontstretch.

    “That was a really fun experience with all the kids,” Patrick said. “To see them get all excited about something maybe when you are growing up that you think ‘Ah man, I have to read,’ but they make it fun and rewarding for the kids and it teaches them how to read,” Patrick said. “I feel the more you read when you’re younger, the more you read when you get older. That’s definitely been a highlight of the week to see them cheering so much. They made me feel like I was Taylor Swift up there or something.”

    "Speeding To Read" is an incentive-based, NASCAR-themed reading program created by Texas

    Motor Speedway to encourage elementary school students to read more frequently during the school year. The program, currently in its second year, has the three schools going head to head to determine the school champions of the "Speeding To Read" competition as well as the top classrooms and individuals in the two divisions (Kindergarten-2nd Grade and Grades 3-5). The competition is split into four quarters - or four turns like a speedway - with the students and schools being rewarded at each turn.

    “It’s great any time that you can do things with kids or do things that help communities or something outside of the norm are always things we try and do if we can make it work on a race weekend,” Patrick said. “We were here a little early – I was doing an event yesterday – so we had some time to be able to do these types of good things. It’s definitely been the highlight so far this week.”

    On Thursday, the Turn 2 leaders were rewarded with special appearances by Patrick and Sonic; two tickets to Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Nationwide Series race to watch her compete; Patrick’s autobiography; AAA Texas 500 race program; Sonic the Hedgehog lanyard; special edition Sonic the Hedgehog comic book from Archie Comics; and books for their home library from Score-A-Goal in the Classroom.

    Patrick also donated several hardback copies of her autobiography, “Danica—Crossing the Line,” to each school’s library for the other students to enjoy during the competition.

    “It was really cool to go on the same track that Danica will race on this weekend and see her car and meet Sonic the Hedgehog,’’ said Clara Love fifth-grader Brandon Etchieson, who was among the top five readers in the Grades 3-5 Division. “I’m really looking forward to coming back and seeing her race this weekend.”

    Patrick will be performing double duty this weekend, competing in both Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge and Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race. Sonic the Hedgehog will be on her No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet with a special paint scheme for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge. She also will be driving the No. 10 GoDaddy Racing Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing in the AAA Texas 500.

    “It may be tough for both the Saturday and Sunday crowds combined to match the reception she received from these students,” Texas Motor Speedway Vice President of Media Relations Mike Zizzo said. “She transcends all age groups as witnessed by today and her visit was a big boost to keep these students motivated to keep reading at a high level. She was a big hit with the students and definitely left here with 1,500 more avid fans.”

    The three schools combined to read 92,908 books, with 49,192 coming in Turn 2. Hatfield unseated Turn 1 leader Clara Love and captured the lead in Turn 2 – the midpoint of the

    competition – by reading 25,992 books with 84 percent of their students meeting their reading goals. Hatfield Principal Cathy Sager was awarded the giant “Speeding To Read” trophy as the Turn 2 leader to showcase in their school until the competition reaches Turn 3 in February.

    Clara Love, however, had the leading Turn 2 classrooms in both divisions. Ms. Green’s second-grade classroom, with 5,680 books read, was the Turn 2 leader for the K-2 Division and Ms. Porter’s fifth-grade class, with 514 books read, was the Grades 3-5 Division leader.

    The individual Turn 2 leader in the K-2 Division was Hatfield kindergartener Chloe Brown with 539 books read. She was followed by Hatfield kindergartener Katie Gilbert (510 books), Clara Love second-grader Zya Lee (431), Clara Love kindergartener William Arnett (425) and Clara Love second-grader Dominic Duarte (403).

    Justin fourth-grader Cooper Donoho was the Turn 2 leader for the 3-5 Division with 74 books read. He was followed by Clara Love fifth-grader Justin Barnes (72), Etchieson (63), Clara Love fifth-grader Joshua Graybeal (59) and Justin fifth-grader Ashlyn Newman (49).

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  • O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Pre-Report

    EVENT: O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (200 laps / 300 miles)
    TRACK: Texas Motor Speedway
    LENGTH: 1.5-mile oval
    DATE: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 7 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: PRN (7 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - SEGA Sonic the Hedgehog/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “I feel like we’ve been much faster and performed much better than what our results show. We definitely had a long stretch of bad luck through the summer, which is when I felt we had the most speed. Everything from Elk-hart to Daytona to Iowa, there were a bunch of races where things happened that definitely were not in my full control, but that’s racing.

    We recognize as a team that we need to find more speed and that’s why you’ve seen all the personnel changes. We all want to get faster and be more competi-tive. For me, ultimately because I’m moving on, it’s about learning and understanding cars and changes. And get-ting a better grasp for all the elements of the weekend.”

    Notes

    SONIC THE HEDGEHOG MAKES NASCAR DEBUT - Sonic the Hedgehog makes his NASCAR debut this weekend on board Danica Patrick’s No. 7 SEGA Sonic the Hedge-hog/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, which is in promotion of the upcoming release of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed™. Patrick is featured in the game, which challenges players to race across land, air and water in fully transforming vehicles against an All- Star cast of SEGA characters like Sonic, Knuckles, AiAi and others. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will be available on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Play- Station®Vita system, the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system, Nintendo’s Wii U™ sys-tem and PC Digital Download this holiday season.

    PATRICK RETURNS TO THE SITE OF HER SEASON BEST FINISH - Patrick will return to Texas Motor Speedway, the track where she earned her season-best effort of eighth in April. During that event, she maintained a position inside the top-15 for most of the night. The pivotal moment for the No. 7 team came with a caution on lap 189. Patrick proceeded to pit for four tires and took the final restart in 13th, improving five positions in the closing laps to finish eighth.

    NASCAR BASHERS ON THE 88 CAR - For the second time this season, the NASCAR Bashers brand is featured as primary sponsor of the No. 88 Chevrolet and driver Cole Whitt. NASCAR Bashers is a line of toys produced by SpinMaster and styled like an actual NASCAR race car. These cars actually crash, featuring multiple different dramatic crash transformations. NAS-CAR Bashers are available at major toy retailers like Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Kmart and more.

    88 TEAM HITTING ITS STRIDE - Whitt and the 88 team have earned one top-five and five top-10 finishes in the past eight races (Bristol II through Kansas). The team’s average finish in that time is 9.0.

    WHITT TO VISIT THE CHEVY STAGE AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY - Cole Whitt will appear at the Chevy Stage on Satur-day, Nov. 3, at 1 p.m. local time for a Q & A session with fans. The Chevy Stage is located in the fan concourse area on the frontstretch side of Texas Motor Speedway.

    A RUNNING TALLY AT INTERMEDIATE TRACKS - The JR Motorsports team’s best finish at 1.5-mile facilities this season came at Kansas Speedway two weeks ago, where Cole Whitt finished fifth. All totaled, the teams have one top-five and seven top-10s (Whitt with five and Patrick with two). JRM’s average finish in those races is 7.4.

    88 TEAM CHASSIS INFO - The 88 team will race chassis 746 this weekend in Texas. The team finished fifth with this chassis in Kansas two weeks ago.

    7 TEAM CHASSIS INFO - Patrick is scheduled to drive chassis 740 at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. She earned one top-10 finish with this chassis (Bristol II) and also drove it in races at Charlotte II, Iowa II, Loudon and Richmond II.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    “DRIVEN TO GIVE” SET FOR NOV. 7 - The Dale Jr. Foundation’s fall fundraiser “Driven to Give” returns next Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. “Driven to Give” is a dinner and silent auction, which will be hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Mooresville, N.C. Headlining the festivities is special musical guest Kellie Pickler. For more information on The Dale Jr. Foundation, its mission and initiatives, visit its website here or contact The Foundation’s Project Manager, Lauren Caldwell (lauren@dalejr.com). You can also follow The Foundation’s official twitter handle @tdjf.

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  • AAA Texas 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Oct. 30, 2012) – For Danica Patrick and the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet team, it could be argued that the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season starts this week at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

    While the calendar will read November 4, 2012, Sunday’s AAA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.5-mile oval will mark the first race that Patrick and new crew chief Tony Gibson work together in preparation for Patrick’s first full season at NASCAR’s highest level.

    Anyone in the Sprint Cup garage knows that the driver-crew chief relationship is the most critical to success during the 36-race schedule. But for a rookie like Patrick, having an experienced crew chief on the pit box like Gibson cannot be understated.

    Gibson is a veteran who most recently won races and twice made the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with Stewart-Haas Racing’s Ryan Newman. He now moves to the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet piloted by Patrick and brings with him a wealth of experience, including Sprint Cup Series championships as a crew member with Jeff Gordon (1998 and 2001) and the late, great, owner-driver Alan Kulwicki (1992).

    While Gibson has worked with veteran drivers like Kulwicki, Gordon, Newman, Mark Martin and Bill Elliott either as a crew chief or crew member, he’s also worked with up-and-coming drivers like Aric Almirola and Steve Park. So while he can draw off his vast experience of working with established drivers, he can also understand the challenges facing drivers early in their career.

    One thing Gibson won’t have to worry about this week is Patrick’s familiarity with Texas Motor Speedway as she already has competed in 11 races at the 1.5-mile oval. The downside is that nine of those races were in the IZOD IndyCar Series, which won’t offer her much helps as she makes her Sprint Cup debut at Texas this weekend. That said, the Lone Star State has been kind to Patrick throughout her career as she was second in the June 2010 IndyCar Series race and notched a third-place result in IndyCar competition in June 2007.

    And in her two NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Texas, she finished 11th in November 2010 and then eighth this past April.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

    What are your thoughts on working with Tony Gibson for the first time?

    “I know Tony about as well as I know anyone else at Stewart-Haas, other than Zippy (Greg Zipadelli). I’ve always felt really comfortable around Tony. I feel like he’s always listened to me. I feel like he has a lot of respect and I have a lot of respect for him. I get along with him great and, most of all, I trust in what they decide for me because I’m not experienced enough to make those calls. That’s why I went with a team like Stewart-Haas, because I know they’re going to give me what I need.”

    How valuable will the two races you work with Gibson this year be as you look toward 2013?

    “Any practice we can get this year is a step ahead for next year because he can get to thinking over the winter about my driving style. We can then fine-tune the language between each other and he can understand what I mean when I describe how the car is handling. It’s just little things that will make it easier next year for both of us.”

    TONY GIBSON, Crew chief of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

    What are your thoughts on working with Danica for the first time?

    “I talked to Danica about it and our thought process is small goals – small goals and try to make improvements each practice. We just want to make small gains. We want to set forth reasonable, reachable goals for her and this race team. We have two races to get started, so we’re going to use these as kind of a test session for 2013. We want her to get confidence in us and us to get a feel for what she wants.”

    How valuable will the two races you work with Danica this year be as you look toward 2013?

    “It’s huge. Some of the smallest things are things you just don’t think about. The communication side of it – hearing my voice on the radio, the things I’m going to be saying on the radio during the race and learning things she wants to hear during the race. Some of the strategy stuff we’re thinking about might be a little bit different than what she’s used to. It’s going to be fun in a lot of ways. A lot of the veteran drivers already have a mindset about what will and won’t work with these cars. With a new driver like Danica, she’s open-minded and has the attitude of, ‘Just feed me what you want to feed me and I’ll give you feedback on it.’ So it’s like a huge test session for us. It’s a challenge but, at the same time, it’s exciting for us because we have a driver who is brand new. She’s just so new, she’s like a sponge just absorbing information. But getting two races’ worth of communication will be huge. Her hearing my voice, me hearing her voice, knowing what she wants in the car – it’s all going to help us get ready for next year.”

    Notes of Interest:

    • The AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth will mark Danica Patrick’s ninth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and her first at Texas. She has finished 11th and eighth, respectively, in her two NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval.
    • In eight IZOD IndyCar Series starts at Texas between 2005 and 2011, Patrick scored five top-10 finishes, including a second-place result in June 2010.
    • Patrick has career totals of one top-five finish, six top-10s, and 55 laps led and one pole in 55 career NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    • In 2012 Nationwide Series competition, Patrick has one pole (Daytona) and a best finish of eighth, which came in April at Texas. She led once for a race-high 20 laps in August on the road course at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal until mechanical problems caused her to go to the garage for repairs. She finished 27th, six laps down.
    • Patrick started 34th and finished ninth in August in the Nationwide race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway to score her second top-10 of 2012. One night later, in the Sprint Cup race, she was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another car and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.
    • The only remaining race on Patrick’s Sprint Cup Series schedule after Texas is the Advocare 500k Nov. 11 at Phoenix International Raceway.
    • Four Score: In March 2011, Patrick finished fourth in the Nationwide race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the best-ever finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by Sarah Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.
    • History Maker: Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series in April 2009 by winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
    • Point Taken: In 2009, Patrick finished fifth in IndyCar Series points, the best finish ever for a woman in the series.
    • 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.

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  • Hollywood Casino 400 Post-Report

    Date: Oct. 21, 2012
    Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 32 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series}
    Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 40th/32nd (Accident, completed 154 of 267 laps)
    Winner: Matt Kenseth of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)

    Danica Patrick finished 32nd in the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.

    Patrick, who drives the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing, was involved in an accident with Landon Cassill on lap 154. Her car was damaged too extensively to continue.

    “I have just been really frustrated with the No. 83 (Landon Cassill),” said Patrick, who started 40th but twice managed to crack the top-20. “He slammed into me on the front straight for no other reason than his radio communication, ‘She was in the way.’ I’ve always played fair.

    “If it’s one time, I can imagine it’s frustration, but it’s been quite a few times with him. At some point, I have to stand up for myself so this doesn’t happen with other people. I chose today. The bummer about it is that my car is out, and he kept going, so I’ve got to work on how to do that.”

    Before the accident, Patrick was having one of her best races of the season. She ran has high as 15th on lap 124. Throughout the race, she and race strategist Greg Zipadelli worked on the handling of her GoDaddy.com Chevrolet while spotter Tab Boyd offered tips on navigating traffic on the newly-paved 1.5-mile oval.

    “The GoDaddy crew and Zippy (Greg Zipadelli) gave me a really good car today,” Patrick said. “I know we struggled in practice, but we made a lot of progress here today and were making the car better.”

    Matt Kenseth won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his 24th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Kansas.

    Martin Truex Jr. finished .495 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were a race-record 14 caution periods for 66 laps, with 16 drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the seventh race of the 10-race Chase – is the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on Oct. 28 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.

    Patrick, who is running only a 10-race Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2012, will next drive in NASCAR’s top division in the AAA 500 on Nov. 4 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

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  • Tony Gibson Named Danica's 2013 Cup Crew Chief

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 19, 2012) – With an eye on 2013, Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is restructuring its team lineup beginning with the Oct. 26-28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

    Tony Gibson, currently the crew chief of the No. 39 U.S. Army/Quicken Loans team of driver Ryan Newman, will move to the No. 10 GoDaddy.com team of driver Danica Patrick. Gibson will get a jump start on the 2013 season by serving as Patrick’s crew chief during her last two Sprint Cup races of the 2012 season – Nov. 4 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Nov. 11 at Phoenix International Raceway.

    Matt Borland, currently the vice president of competition for SHR, will add to his duties by returning to the role of crew chief when he takes over the No. 39 team beginning at Martinsville. Borland served as Newman’s crew chief for five years when the two were together at Penske Racing (2002-2006), earning 12 wins and 37 poles.

    The 2013 structure of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 team of driver/owner Tony Stewart and crew chief Steve Addington will remain unchanged from 2012.

    Greg Zipadelli, competition director for SHR, explained the restructuring.

    “We have a lot of talented people at Stewart-Haas Racing and as we grow, it’s important to place people in the proper roles to get the best out of everyone.

    “Tony Gibson has been with Stewart-Haas Racing from the beginning and knows what it takes to build a team. His experience will be crucial to developing the No. 10 team and Danica, and the rapport he already has with Matt Borland and Steve Addington will make the communication between all three of our teams seamless.

    “Matt Borland has had great success as a crew chief, and much of it came when he and Ryan Newman worked together. Matt and Ryan both have engineering backgrounds and they have similar mindsets. It’s a pairing that produced some very good results and there’s no reason why it can’t produce similar results now that they’re back together. Their four races together this year will position them very well for 2013.”

    About Stewart-Haas Racing:

    Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The team fields two entries in the elite Sprint Cup Series – the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart and the No. 39 U.S. Army/Quicken Loans Chevrolet for 2008 Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman. Based in Kannapolis, N.C., Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 140,000-square-foot facility with more than 160 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing and on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng.

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  • Hollywood Casino 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Oct. 16, 2012) – Say the word “test” to just about anyone and there is usually a chill that will go up his or her spine. Any high school student will tell you he or she doesn’t like tests (unless you’re one of those really smart students who gets into someplace like Princeton).

    But when it comes to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, sometimes a test is a great thing – something even looked at with anticipation. That would be the case for Danica Patrick and the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet team as they look forward to the two-day testing session this week at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

    The current NASCAR rules prohibit teams from testing at tracks the top three series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck) compete at during the season other than the season-opening test at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, any test at a newly paved racetrack, and any test sanctioned by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

    So basically, testing is extremely limited, which makes it challenging for a new Sprint Cup driver like Patrick. Other than Daytona, her six other Sprint Cup Series starts have consisted of a couple of hours of practice, two qualifying laps and then going right into the race.

    This week at Kansas will be different, however, as NASCAR has scheduled a two-day testing session Wednesday and Thursday prior to the three days of normal practice, qualifying and Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at the newly paved 1.5-mile Kansas oval. With new pavement and 17 to 20 degrees of variable banking in the turns – a change from the 15-degree banking there from 2001 through the spring of this year – NASCAR decided to schedule four hours of testing Wednesday, followed by four hours Thursday to allow teams to gather plenty of information so the fans can see the best race possible.

    While the extra track time will be of immediate benefit to Patrick at Kansas for Sunday’s race, it will also help her prepare for a full-time Sprint Cup season in 2013. Intermediate tracks of 1.5 and 2 miles in length, like Kansas, are critical as they comprise 14 of the 36 races on the schedule.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

    How beneficial are the extra two days of testing at Kansas, and does the new surface sort of “even the playing field” for you, a bit?

    “The reason we picked Kansas in the first place was because there is extra testing and it will give me the opportunity to get more laps and get more comfortable. I think a new surface evens it out a little bit more, competition-wise, because no one is perfectly prepared from previous races with the setup. So, the extra testing will be good and that’s why it went on the schedule.”

    Intermediate tracks of 1.5 and 2 miles in length make up 14 of the 36 Sprint Cup races on the schedule. Can you talk about your learning curve on those types of tracks?

    “I think that, for me, I feel like 1.5-mile and bigger tracks and the higher grip tracks – I feel like there’s just more of a similarity to where I came from with the way the car loads up in the corner and the way you can feel the car pick up G-forces in the corner and you feel the load as opposed to the slippery and slower tracks. I was talking to Kasey Kahne about it a couple of months ago and he said the short tracks took him the longest to get used to. Both of us kind of having an open-wheel background, I think there’s just a relief to hear that, sometimes, and understand why the short tracks are a little bit harder. A lot of drivers come from short-track (pavement Late Model) racing, so that’s just a real comfort zone for them. I come from much more of the 1.5-mile, 200 mph speeds, so they’re a comfort zone for me.”

    GREG ZIPADELLI, Race Strategist of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

    How valuable are the two days of testing going to be for Danica at Kansas?

    “I think any time you can test and get practice at the same place you’re going to race and do so on the same time, it’s important. It’s going to help her probably more than anyone else. Everyone else, they’re up here in a small group and she’s here, trying to play catch up, so I think she has the most to gain there. So, we’re definitely looking forward to a couple of days of testing there. She’s in the Nationwide car as well as the (Sprint) Cup car, so hopefully it will be a good weekend for her.”

    Notes of Interest:

    • The Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City will mark Danica Patrick’s eighth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and her first at the 1.5-mile oval. She started 15th and finished 15th in the October 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series race in her only other stock-car start at Kansas.
    • In six IZOD IndyCar Series starts at Kansas between 2005 and 2010, Patrick scored three top-10 finishes. She won her first career IndyCar pole at the 1.5-mile oval in July 2005.
    • Patrick has career totals of one top-five finish, five top-10s, and 55 laps led and one pole in 54 career NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    • In 2012 Nationwide Series competition, Patrick has one pole (Daytona) and a best finish of eighth, which came in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. She led once for a race-high 20 laps in August on the road course at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal until mechanical problems caused her to go to the garage for repairs. She finished 27th, six laps down.
    • Patrick started 34th and finished ninth in August in the nationwide race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway to score her second top-10 of 2012. One night later, in the Sprint Cup race, she was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another car and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.
    • The remaining races on Patrick’s Sprint Cup Series schedule after Kansas are at Texas (Nov. 4) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 11).
    • Four Score: In March 2011, Patrick finished fourth in the Nationwide race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the best-ever finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by Sarah Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.
    • History Maker: Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series in April 2009 by winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
    • Point Taken: In 2009, Patrick finished fifth in IndyCar Series points, the best finish ever for a woman in the series.
    • 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.

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  • Kansas Lottery 300 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Kansas Lottery 300 (200 laps / 300 miles)
    TRACK: Kansas Speedway
    LENGTH: 1.5-mile oval
    DATE: Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 3 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (3:15 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - Tissot/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “We’re definitely going to get plenty of laps this weekend with both series combined. I do feel like it’s nice to go out in the Cup car first. It’s the faster car and helps me push a little harder when I get in the Nationwide car and be more comfortable. Everything happens so much slower in the Nationwide car. Everything from driving down the straights to getting in the gas, it’s all a little more lethargic. I think that will be a good scenario for me this weekend. The biggest challenge will just be get-ting up to speed.”

    Notes

    TISSOT RETURNS - Tissot, a manufacturer of Swiss watches since 1853, will be fea-tured as co-primary sponsor of the No. 7 Chevrolet this weekend at Kansas along with GoDaddy.com. Tissot has been a partner of JR Motorsports since 2010 and this marks its third race in as many years as co-primary sponsor of Danica Patrick and the No. 7.

    HALLS KANSAS CITY & TISSOT SWISS WATCHES CELEBRATE DANICA PATRICK - Tissot and Halls Kansas City invites members of the media to attend a special red car-pet event featuring Danica Patrick at Hotel Nightclub (1300 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, Mo. 64106) on Thursday, Oct. 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m. local time. Unique photo op-portunities will be available, as Patrick arrives at the red carpet event in her No. 7 Tissot/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet after driving down Grand Avenue in the Power and Light District. She will be joined by Sharon Buntain, US President, Tissot Swiss Watches and local Kansas City celebrities. To register for the event and to submit interview requests, please contact Iya Bley-man, PR Manager, Tissot at iya.bleyman@swatchgroup.com. Media check-in will begin at 6:30 p.m. local time.

    JRM AT INTERMEDIATE TRACKS - The JR Motorsports team’s best finish at 1.5-mile facilities this season came at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway, where Cole Whitt finished sixth. All totaled, the teams have five top-10s (Whitt with four and Patrick with one) and finished 14th or better in eight of the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks. Its average finish in those races is 12.3.

    ADDITIONAL PRACTICE SESSION FOR NNS - Both JR Motorsports Chevrolets will join the Nationwide Series in participat-ing in an additional four hour practice session at Kansas Speedway on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. local time. The extensive practice will serve as a test session for teams, who will see track action for the first time since the speedway’s update added new pavement and variable banking in the corners.

    88 TEAM CHASSIS INFO - The 88 team will race chassis 746 this weekend in Kansas. This chassis was previously used by the 7 team in the September races at Chicagoland and Kentucky. It also tested at Nashville earlier this month.

    7 TEAM CHASSIS INFO - Patrick is scheduled to drive chassis 613 at Kansas Speedway this weekend. She is averaging a fin-ish of 12.6 with this chassis and piloted it to her season-best effort of eighth at Texas. It also raced at Atlanta, Charlotte, Chi-cago, and the second event in Dover.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

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  • SEGA Partners w/ Danica & Hot Wheels for Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed

    SAN FRANCISCO – October 10, 2012 –SEGA® of America Inc. is thrilled to announce a unique partnership with Mattel, Inc. and the iconic Hot Wheels® brand offering consumers an exciting cross-platform experience for the upcoming release of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Within the video game, players who choose to race as Danica Patrick will be able to drive a custom transforming electric green Hot Wheels® vehicle, designed to navigate the dynamic land, sea and air environments. In addition to its in-game presence, the “Danicar” will also be available as an exclusive diecast vehicle available this holiday season with purchase of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed at select retailers.

    “Using Danica Patrick’s existing relationship with Mattel and Hot Wheels, we were able to extend our brand beyond the Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed game universe and into consumer products with the creation of this custom toy,” said Marcella Churchill, Senior Director of Marketing, SEGA of America. “The Hot Wheels brand has a reputation for developing beloved childhood toys and our partnership will undoubtedly ignite this nostalgia amongst fans when they get to race this transforming vehicle within the game.”

    “We are incredibly excited to link two iconic brands like Hot Wheels and SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog together for the first time,” said Matt Petersen, Vice President of North America Boys and Games Marketing, Mattel. “The new ‘Danicar’ is a unique vehicle that combines style elements from Danica Patrick and Sonic the Hedgehog with the outrageous design that Hot Wheels is known for – resulting in an in-game vehicle and diecast toy that all of our fans will love.”

    Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will be available November 18, 2012 on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Nintendo’s Wii U™ system. On December 11, 2012 it will be available on PlayStation® Vita system and the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed races onto Windows PC via digital download this holiday season.

    For more information about Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, please visit www.facebook.com/sonic; to download SEGA game assets, please visit www.sega-press.com.

    About SEGA® of America, Inc. SEGA® of America, Inc. is the American arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA® Corporation, a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including Windows PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment. SEGA® of America’s Web site is located at www.sega.com.

    About the Hot Wheels Brand Since 1968, Hot Wheels has been passionate about creating thrilling vehicle experiences through innovative product and content. With a fan base of more than 41 million people, Hot Wheels is the No. 1 vehicle property in the United States producing the coolest cars imaginable. The Hot Wheels brand began as a line of 16 1:64-scale die-cast vehicles; today, it has evolved into a true, global lifestyle brand for boys of all ages with segments that range from aftermarket parts to licensed apparel to branded digital content from Team Hot Wheels, a real-life race crew of professional drivers performing over-the-top stunts. Check out the official Hot Wheels website for the hottest car games and racing videos, and be sure to visit the Hot Wheels Facebook page.

    About Mattel Mattel, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAT) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Radica® and Tyco R/C®, as well as Fisher-Price® brands, including Thomas & Friends®, Little People®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2012, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the fifth year in a row. Mattel also is ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 28,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are Creating the Future of Play. Visit us at www.mattel.com, www.facebook.com/mattel or www.twitter.com/mattel.

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  • Dollar General 300 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Dollar General 300 (200 laps / 300 miles)
    TRACK: Charlotte Motor Speedway
    LENGTH: 1.5-mile quad-oval
    DATE: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 7 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: PRN (7 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com/ .ORG Chevrolet
    “I think that Ryan (Pemberton) and I will definitely be more comfortable with each other and more confident in what we’re doing based on these past couple weeks. In general, things like getting through those initial first meetings of how big the changes should be, what we should do going into the race and how we communicate. The first time is the hardest with all those things, so it should be better as we go. But it is another weekend and it will present different challenges. If we start further away from where we need to be with the car, it could be a little bit of a challenging weekend. We’ll face that chal-lenge if it happens, and we’ll be better for it. And we’ll be better prepared the next time it happens.”

    Notes

    JRM ANNOUNCES EXTENSION WITH TAXSLAYER - TaxSlayer.com, the online tax preparation service that has been a cornerstone partner of JR Motorsports since 2011, has renewed its partnership with a long-term sponsorship agreement, JRM general manager Kelley Earnhardt-Miller announced this week. As part of the new agreement, TaxSlayer.com will receive primary paint schemes in 17 Nationwide Series races in each year of its contract, beginning with the 2013 season-opening Daytona race with Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel. The complete JRM sponsor and driver line-up for 2013 is still in the final stages and will be announced soon.

    “CHECK YOUR HEADLIGHTS” - To generate buzz around The National Breast Cancer Foundation and Breast Cancer Aware-ness Month, Go Daddy, JR Motorsports and Chase Authentics are collaborating on the pink-themed No. 7 car as part of the “Check Your Headlights” program, which works to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research and education. In conjunction with the program, there will also be an exclusive line of apparel and products available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Go Daddy is also donating $50,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation as part of the program, along with the Public Interest Registry which manages .ORG domain names.

    COLE GOES PINK - Cole Whitt’s familiar yellow and blue No. 88 Hellmann’s Chevrolet will feature a pink theme this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Whitt will join a number of other drivers, in-cluding teammate Danica Patrick, in recognizing the important cause of Breast Cancer Awareness.

    QUALIFYING TIPS - Patrick’s third-place start at Charlotte in the spring event was her career-best qualifying effort on a non-restrictor plate track. She has earned seven top-five starts in her three-year NASCAR career, including a pole at Daytona, which made her the first woman in nearly 18 years to win a NASCAR pole award and was JRM’s first pole at the historic track.

    CONSECUTIVE STREAK CONTINUES FOR WHITT - Whitt and the Hellmann’s team are coming off consecutive top-10s after sixth-place finishes at Kentucky and Dover. In the past six races the rookie holds four top-10 finishes, three of which were sixth-place efforts.

    WHITT AND PATRICK PARTICIPATE IN NNS AUTOGRAPH SESSION - Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt will participate in the Nationwide Series driver autograph session on Friday, Oct. 12, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. local time at Charlotte Motor Speedway below the Ford grandstands.

    JRM ANNOUNCES FALL RACE WEEK SCHEDULE - Beginning on Thursday, Oct. 11, and continuing through Sunday, Oct. 14, fans are invited to the JRM facility in Mooresville, N.C. for festivities surrounding Charlotte race week. The first 100 cus-tomers to make a purchase in the JR Nation Retail Store each day will receive free gifts valued at $40. Cars from Dale Earn-hardt Jr.’s personal collection will be on display. Additionally, JRM shop tours will be given at two-hour intervals on Thursday and Friday, with the first tour beginning at 9 a.m. and the final tour beginning at 4:30 p.m. Space is limited for the tours. To register please email shoptours@jrmracing.com.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    DON’T MISS THE CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY TRACK WALK - Just hours before the green flag drops for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, The Dale Jr. Foundation and the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children’s Chari-ties will host a track walk on Saturday, Oct. 13, beginning at 1 p.m. EST. Fans of all ages may register for the walk online here or at the JR Motorsports facility and Charlotte Motor Speedway in the days leading up to the event. Registration costs $25 in the form of an advance donation or $35 after Oct. 10. Children 13 and under are free with a registered adult.

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  • AAA 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 30, 2012
    Event: AAA 400 (Round 29 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile concrete oval)
    Start/Finish: 38th/28th (Running, completed 393 of 400 laps)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Penske Racing (Dodge)

    Danica Patrick finished 28th in the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Patrick, who drives the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing, was making her seventh Sprint Cup Series start and her first at the fast, challenging 1-mile concrete oval.

    “I was a little bit slow to start,” said Patrick, who started 38th. “The car was pretty tight to get going. That is a pattern, for sure, but it is better off that I start out a little tight and comfortable and we free it up rather than the other way around. We worked our way through it. The last run was decent. We made it better most every stop. That is a good starting place for next year when we get here, and that is the point of these races.”

    It was an odd race because the first 70 laps were conducted under green, there were only five cautions for 28 laps, only six cars were on the lead lap at the end of the event, and only 11 cars completed 398 or more laps.

    “It was just the way cautions fell,” said Greg Zipadelli, race strategist of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet. “It’s not our typical race lately. It was more like years ago. It was an odd day, for sure.”

    Zipadelli was pleased with Patrick’s progress at one of the toughest tracks on the schedule, while noting areas that need improvement as she continues her preparation for a full-time Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2013.

    “I think it was a typical day for us,” Zipadelli said. “We started off a little slow and then the longer we went, we made the car better and she a better job of figuring out where to make speed when she got around guys. She picked up a lot. We just really need to work on restarts. We gave up a lot of speed there. And that just takes time. It takes a lot of drivers a long time to learn that and how to make speed on the front side of a run. And this is a tough place to do it because the leaders are coming before you know it. Clean air is worth so much. That got us behind. Starting in the back and then not taking off, you give up a lot and spot a lot of time.”

    Brad Keselowski won the AAA 400 to score his ninth career Sprint Cup victory, his fifth of the season and his first at Dover.

    Jeff Gordon finished 1.078 seconds behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the fourth race of the 10-race Chase – is the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 on Oct. 7 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.

    Patrick, who is running only a 10-race Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2012, will next drive in NASCAR’s top division in the Hollywood Casino 400 on Oct. 21 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

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  • AAA 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Sept. 26, 2012) – Danica Patrick has raced on concrete surfaces many times during her career, having done so in IZOD IndyCar Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR Nationwide Series and even NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

    But she knows as well as anyone that her concrete starts in four different racing series can’t fully prepare her for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on the ultra-fast and ultra-challenging concrete mile oval at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    Dover’s 24-degree banking in the turns and 9 degrees on the straightaways, and being surrounded by 42 other Sprint Cup machines each producing nearly 900 horsepower, equate to one challenging race for Patrick in Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover.

    Fortunately for Patrick, who drives the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, concrete has been good to her, at times.

    In four IndyCar Series starts from 2005 to 2008 at 1.33-mile concrete Nashville Superspeedway oval in Lebanon, Tenn., Patrick never started or finished outside the top-10, and she scored three top-five results and two starts on the outside of the front row.

    She led her first-ever laps in a stock car on the concrete surface at Dover in September 2010, holding the top spot for three circuits en route to a sixth-place finish in the Sunoco 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.

    And last month, at the .533-mile concrete oval at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Patrick was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining in the Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series event before her car was hit by another car and she contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.

    That said, Patrick knows the Sprint Cup race at Dover is not like any other race she has contested on a concrete surface. But, just as it has been for her first six Sprint Cup Series starts, Patrick’s goal is to continue her education in preparation for a full-time Sprint Cup ride in 2013.

    And part of that education is “Concrete 101” (a.k.a. Sunday’s AAA 400).

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

    What are your overall thoughts on Dover?

    “Dover is a race that’s going to be one of the tougher (Sprint) Cup races I’m going to do. I’m sure it’s going to be a difficult weekend, but the difficult weekends are what will make next year easier. Hopefully, it’s one of those tracks where it helps to run both cars (Nationwide and Sprint Cup) – they both help each other. I always like going to Dover. The track is pretty fun and, hopefully, we can make it to the end this time. I remember everyone telling me how unique and challenging Dover was prior to my first race. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot to compare that track to. They said it was like a larger version of Bristol, but I hadn’t raced at Bristol yet, either. It’s nice to have more of a handle on what to expect heading in there this time. Dover is fun. It’s fast and it can make for a really long day of racing. I think that’s part of the appeal of it – how demanding it can be. We definitely want to stay out of trouble, which is easier said than done at these types of tracks.”

    This will be your first Sprint Cup Series start at Dover, but you’ve driven three stock car races there, previously. Do you review previous races before going to an event?

    “I look through notes at what the feel was from the time before. If I’ve got some in-car (video), I’ll look at that, too. That’s really all there is to do. Every weekend is its own weekend and sometimes I feel like it’s nice almost to come in a little bit fresh, too, and not have any preconceived ideas. I like to make notes from the races because there are so many that are similar, you almost can’t remember what you’re supposed to do. There are little tiny things about a track that are helpful to remember – just where the grip is and bumps and certain things. There’s general feel, like do you drive flat into the corner or do you lift early – just little things that help you get your rhythm quicker. That’s about all I do.”

    GREG ZIPADELLI, Race Strategist of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

    Darlington, Bristol and Atlanta were pinpointed as some of the most challenging races for Danica this year. But is Dover also one of the most challenging on the schedule?

    “I think it will be, for sure. The good news is she’s running the Nationwide Series car there and she seems to like the place. That being said, we’ll go and attack just like every place else. We’ll try to give her a good solid racecar and be conservative on our changes and just work through the weekend, like we have. It’s kind of a crazy day because we have all of our practice on Friday and then we just come in and qualify on Saturday. I don’t think that does us any favors. If we can practice on Friday, go right into qualifying when it’s fresh in her mind and she has a good feel for how the racetrack is, that benefits us a little bit. But, we’ll do our best and go out there and have some fun.”

    Notes of Interest:

    • The AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway will mark Danica Patrick’s seventh career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and her first at the concrete mile oval. She has competed in two NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Dover and one NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at the track.
    • In September 2010, Patrick led her first laps in a stock car at Dover when she held the top spot for three circuits en route to a sixth-place finish in the Sunoco 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.
    • Patrick has career totals of one top-five finish, five top-10s, 55 laps led and one pole in 52 career NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    • In 2012 Nationwide Series competition, Patrick has one pole (Daytona) and a best finish of eighth, which came in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. She led once for a race-high 20 laps last month on the road course at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal until mechanical problems caused her to go to the garage for repairs. She finished 27th, six laps down.
    • Patrick started 34th and finished ninth last month in the Nationwide race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway to score her second top-10 of 2012. One night later, in the Sprint Cup race, she was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another car and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.
    • The remaining races on Patrick’s Sprint Cup Series schedule after Dover are Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (Oct. 21), Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Nov. 4) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 11).
    • Four Score: In March 2011, Patrick finished fourth in the Nationwide race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the best-ever finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by Sarah Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.
    • History Maker: Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series in April 2009 by winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
    • Point Taken: In 2009, Patrick finished fifth in IndyCar Series points, the best finish ever for a woman in the series.
    • 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.

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  • OneMain Financial 200 Pre-Report

    EVENT: OneMain Financial (200 laps / 200 miles)
    TRACK: Dover International Speedway
    LENGTH: 1-mile concrete oval
    DATE: Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 3 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (3:15 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “In preparation for races, I do like to make notes. I find that helpful because there are so many tracks that are kind of similar. They tend to blend together in your mind, and you almost can’t remember the subtle differences. There are all these tiny things about a track that are help-ful to remember, like where the grip is and bumps and certain things. It’s just a general feel as to whether or not you drive flat into the corner or if you lift early. There are little things that help you get your rhythm quicker. If I have in-car video, I’ll watch that too. But ultimately every weekend is its own weekend. Sometimes I feel like it’s nice to just come in with a fresh perspective for the race and not have any preconceived ideas.”

    Notes

    PEMBERTON CONTINUES AS PATRICK’S INTERIM CREW CHIEF FOR DOVER - JR Motorsports director of competition, Ryan Pemberton, will serve as interim crew chief for Danica Patrick’s No. 7 GoDaddy.com team for the remainder of the 2012 season. Pemberton occupied the position last weekend at Kentucky Speedway where Patrick finished 14th.

    CONCRETE STATS - In three races on concrete surfaces this year, the JRM teams have amassed one top-five and three top-10 finishes.

    FIRST LAPS LED IN A STOCK CAR - Patrick led her first laps in a stock car at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 24, 2010. She made her K&N Pro Series East debut and led three laps en route to a sixth-place finish in the event.

    DOVER VICTORY - JRM earned its fifth victory at Dover International Speedway on May 30, 2009, with Brad Keselowski. Starting third for the final green-white-checkered restart, the team took advantage of a tangle between the first and second-place cars, passing the pair for the lead and eventual win.

    JRM ANNOUNCES FALL RACE WEEK SCHEDULE - Beginning on Thursday, Oct. 11, and continuing through Sunday, Oct. 14, fans are invited to the JRM facility in Mooresville, N.C. for festivities surrounding Charlotte race week. The first 100 cus-tomers to make a purchase in the JR Nation Retail Store each day will receive free gifts, valued at $40. Cars from Dale Earn-hardt Jr.’s personal collection will be on display. Additionally, JRM shop tours will be given at two-hour intervals on Thursday and Friday, with the first tour beginning at 9 a.m. and the final tour beginning at 4:30 p.m. Space is limited for the tours. To register please email shoptours@jrmracing.com.

    TICKETS AVAILABLE UNTIL OCT. 1, 2012 IN WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE RAFFLE - As if a chance to win Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s very own 2011 Chevrolet Camaro wasn’t enough, The Dale Jr. Foundation just upped the stakes by offering a shot at a pair of VIP race experiences and monthly prizes with the purchase of a raffle ticket in the Win Dale Jr.’s Ride promotion. Tickets are only $25. For a complete rundown of the prizes or to purchase a ticket visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com. The grand-prize winner will be invited to JR Motorsports where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys to the car. Follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

    FALL FUNDRAISER “DRIVEN TO GIVE” RETURNS - The Dale Jr. Foundation’s fall fundraiser “Driven to Give” is returning this November. “Driven to Give” is a dinner and silent auction, which will be hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Nov. 7, 2012, in Mooresville, N.C., featuring special musical guest Kellie Pickler. Fans are being afforded the chance to attend the private charity event with the purchase of a $10 raffle ticket. Only 500 tickets will be sold and the four randomly selected winners will each receive two tickets to the event. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.thedalejrfoundation.org/ driven_to_give_.aspx

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

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  • Vote Danica NNS Most Popular Driver

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 20, 2012) – Citizens of this great nation will have many decisions to ponder this fall. And as the calendar flips to November and voting booth curtains swing open, a vital choice must be made. Who’s it going to be? Who will you help win the popular vote?

    Simply put, who’s your Most Popular Driver?

    For the fifth consecutive year, fans can vote online on NASCAR.COM for the 2012 Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (Twitter hashtags: #NNSMPD, #NCWTSMPD).

    Voting begins Sept. 21 and runs through Friday, Nov. 16, prior to the season finale for both national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend.

    New to this year’s campaign, two lucky fans and their guests will win an all-expense paid trip to the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards on Nov. 19 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel by registering for the Most Popular Driver Vote Sweepstakes after placing their vote on NASCAR.COM. The sweepstakes is open to fans 18 and older in the 48 continental states. Eligible fans may register once (1) per 24 hours. The sweepstakes entry period ends November 3, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The Most Popular Driver winners from both series will be announced at the combined gala event.

    For the NASCAR Nationwide Series will the incumbent, Elliott Sadler, win again? Or will it be strong candidates like Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brian Scott or newcomer Austin Dillon? In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will rookie Ty Dillon follow in his brother’s footsteps and win the series’ Most Popular Driver vote? Or maybe Ron Hornaday Jr. can win his third MPD title? There are definitely plenty of options from which fans can to choose.

    Each series has a dedicated page on NASCAR.COM for voting. Fans can go to www.NASCAR.COM/nnsmpd for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and to www.NASCAR.COM/ncwtsmpd for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Fans are encouraged to vote once per day leading up to the Nov. 16 deadline.

    To be eligible to receive votes, drivers must have selected either the NASCAR Nationwide Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for their 2012 driver championship points. Additionally, drivers must have attempted at least half of each series’ races this season.

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  • Kentucky 300 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Kentucky 300 (200 laps / 300 miles)
    TRACK: Kentucky Speedway
    LENGTH: 1.5-mile D-shaped oval
    DATE: Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: PRN (3:30 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “I think it’s safe to say it has been an eventful week for our Go Daddy team, and pretty much everybody at JR Motorsports for that matter. It’s going to be critical that we keep our focus going into this weekend. We still have seven races left on the schedule and getting solid finishes through the end of the year is important for our team.

    I’m going to do my best to get acclimated with Ryan (Pemberton) this week. I think that will be easier said than done. There’s no doubt it will be challenging and we won’t have a lot of time to do it in. Chemistry is im-portant for a driver and crew chief, so I’m hopeful we can get adjusted to each other quickly. I don’t know a whole lot about him, but what I do know is that he has a wealth of experience and comes well recommended.”

    Notes

    PEMBERTON TO SERVE AS PATRICK’S INTERIM CHIEF FOR KENTUCKY - JR Mo-torsports director of competition, Ryan Pemberton, will serve as interim crew chief for Danica Patrick’s No. 7 GoDaddy.com team this weekend at Kentucky, as announced via team press release on Tuesday. A decision has not been made on the remaining races. The news comes on the cusp of Monday’s announcement that Tony Eury Jr. is no longer with the company. Eury Jr., who was Patrick’s only crew chief in her three-year Nationwide Series career, led Patrick to one top-five and five top-10 finishes with one pole in 51 career races.

    FOUR OF FOUR FOR CLEAN COAL - Kentucky marks the fourth and final race for Clean Coal as primary sponsor of JRM’s No. 88 Chevrolet. Whitt tied his NNS career-best finish of fourth driving the Clean Coal Chevrolet at Michigan earlier this year. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is a non-profit, non-partisan partnership of companies involved in producing electricity from coal. ACCCE supports energy policies that balance coal’s vital role in meeting our country’s grow-ing need for affordable and reliable electricity with the need to protect the environment. For more information, visit www.americaspower.org.

    JRM SEASON UPDATE - With only seven races remaining in the 2012 Nationwide Series schedule, the JR Motorsports team tally stands at eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. The teams earned one pole and have led 96 combined laps.

    BACK IN HER WHEELHOUSE - Patrick’s finishes at 1.5-mile tracks continue to show her knack for racing at intermediate fa-cilities this year. Her season-best finish of eighth came at Texas Motor Speedway in April. Of her 13 top-15 efforts this year, more than half were earned at 1.5-mile tracks. Patrick’s average finish in seven starts at 1.5-mile facilities this season is 12.0.

    NO. 7 TEAM CHASSIS INFO - The 7 team brings chassis 746 to Kentucky Speedway this weekend. 746 made its debut at Chicagoland last week with a 12th-place finish.

    WHITT DRIVING CHASSIS 626 - The 88 unloads chassis 626 at Kentucky. Whitt piloted 626 in six races this year, earning one top-five and four top-10s with an average finish of 10.0 in those events.

    MEET COLE WHITT AT THE CLEAN COAL DISPLAY - Cole Whitt will appear at the Clean Coal Display to sign autographs for fans and give away prizes on Friday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m. local time. The Clean Coal display is located in the Kentucky Speedway fan concourse area.

    FALL FUNDRAISER “DRIVEN TO GIVE” RETURNS - The Dale Jr. Foundation’s fall fundraiser “Driven to Give” is returning this November. “Driven to Give” is a dinner and silent auction, which will be hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Nov. 7, 2012, in Mooresville, N.C., featuring special musical guest Kellie Pickler. Fans are being afforded the chance to attend the private charity event with the purchase of a $10 raffle ticket. Only 500 tickets will be sold and the four randomly selected winners will each receive two tickets to the event. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.thedalejrfoundation.org/driven_to_give_.aspx

    MORE PRIZES OFFERED IN WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE RAFFLE - As if a chance to win Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s very own 2011 Chev-rolet Camaro wasn’t enough, The Dale Jr. Foundation just upped the stakes by offering a shot at a pair of VIP race experi-ences and monthly prizes with the purchase of a raffle ticket in the Win Dale Jr.’s Ride promotion. Tickets are only $25. For a complete rundown of the prizes or to purchase a ticket visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com. The grand-prize winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys to the car. Follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

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  • Statement from Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the departure of Tony Eury Jr.

    MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 17, 2012) – The following is a statement from Dale Earnhardt Jr., founder and owner of JR Motorsports, regarding the departure of crew chief Tony Eury Jr.: “Unfortunately Tony Jr. is no longer with the company. I had hoped he would be here for a long time, but as we’ve discussed the direction of JR Motorsports moving forward, it was clear our differences in ideas were too vast to overcome. I love him like a brother, and you’ll never hear me say a bad thing about him. I know he’ll have much success in anything he does going forward. As for our No. 7 team, no decision has been made on who will crew chief that team this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. We will discuss our options and make a decision very soon.”

    ABOUT JR MOTORSPORTS: Based in Mooresville, N.C., JR Motorsports is the management company and racing operation for Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s nine-time Most Popular Driver and winner of more than 40 NASCAR-sanctioned races. JR Motorsports competes in multiple racing divisions, including the NASCAR Nationwide Series where the team owns 10 victories. To learn more about the organization and its stable of drivers which include Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt, visit www.jrmracing.com. The JR Motorsports facility also houses the JR Nation retail store, Hammerhead Entertainment and JRM Licensing.

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  • Geico 400 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 16, 2012
    Event: Geico 400 (Round 27 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. (1.5-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 41st/25th (Running, completed 265 of 267 laps)
    Winner: Brad Keselowski of Penske Racing (Dodge)

    Danica Patrick’s continued her NASCAR Sprint Cup Series education with a career-best 25th-place finish in the Geico 400 on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.

    Patrick, who drives the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing, was making just her sixth Sprint Cup Series start and her first at the 1.5-mile oval.

    “I think we made a lot of progress in the race,” said Patrick, who grew up in nearby Roscoe, Ill. “I think Zip (Greg Zipadelli, race strategist) did a good job of changing the car and making good changes each time. We got a little bit loose toward the end, and I feel like we lost a little bit of ground in that run. But then in the last run, I felt like we got a little bit of that back, and, if anything, we were a little tight. So be careful what you ask for, I guess. Ultimately I think it was generally a big improvement on overall lap time throughout a run, and that is the kind of stuff we need to be doing.”

    Patrick started 41st but ran a smooth, clean race as she steadily rose through the field. Her spotter, Tab Boyd, worked with her to find different lines on the racetrack to provide more speed, while Zipadelli massaged the car’s handling through a series of chassis and tire pressure adjustments. Both efforts produced progress throughout the day.

    Near the end of the race, Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya and Patrick were the only drivers one lap down in the field. In the closing laps, Patrick was catching both of them with a chance to gain one or two more positions. Unfortunately, time ran out, and the checkered flag flew before she was able to work her way past the veteran drivers.

    While every track where Patrick races is important to her development, intermediate tracks (1.5 and 2 miles in length) like Chicagoland are critical as they comprise 14 of the 36 races on the Sprint Cup Series schedule as Patrick prepares for a full-time schedule in 2013.

    Brad Keselowski won the Geico 400 to score his eighth career Sprint Cup victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Chicagoland.

    Jimmie Johnson, who led four times for a race high 172 laps, finished 3.171 seconds behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot. Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five. Tony Stewart, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were four caution periods for 23 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the second race of the 10-race Chase – is the Sylvania 300 on Sept. 23 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.

    Patrick, who is running only a 10-race Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2012, will next drive in NASCAR’s top division in the AAA 400 on Sept. 30 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

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  • Geico 400 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Sept. 11, 2012) – It wasn’t quite planned this way, but it was close.

    Danica Patrick will finally make a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start during the day – unless Mother Nature once again decides to change things, of course.

    Patrick has made five Sprint Cup starts – all under the bright lights – as her races in February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, in May at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, in August at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and in September at Atlanta Motor Speedway were all night races.

    Darlington, Charlotte, Bristol and Atlanta were scheduled night races while Daytona went from a Sunday-afternoon start to NASCAR’s version of Monday Night Football due to heavy rains that forced the event to be delayed more than 24 hours.

    So, weather permitting, Patrick’s first daytime race will be Sunday’s Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. And it will also be a homecoming of sorts as Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, grew up in Roscoe, Ill., about 116 miles to the north and west.

    The 1.5-mile oval is a place Patrick has driven at nine times throughout her career – six times in IZOD IndyCar Series competition and three times in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In September 2005, she qualified on the pole for the IndyCar Series race at 215.970 mph and finished sixth. She also scored a 10th-place result in Nationwide Series competition in June 2011.

    With each of her Sprint Cup starts, Patrick has continued to learn the ropes of succeeding in NASCAR’s top division. And this week (again, weather permitting) the education will involve something as simple as Sprint Cup racing during the day.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

    Is it helpful for you that your last Sprint Cup start was two weeks ago at the 1.5-mile oval at Atlanta as you’re now headed to another 1.5-mile oval at Chicagoland?

    “To be honest, I feel like the grip levels are sort of similar. At Chicago, you can definitely hustle around there, but it’s a slippery track. I feel like it will translate. Some of the tougher ones are the slippery ones, for me, but that was the point. We didn’t pick places like Texas or (Las) Vegas where I enjoy hustling around those tracks. We picked the ones that are hard, that have day-to-night transitions, things like that.”

    You grew up in Roscoe, Ill., about 116 miles northwest of Chicagoland Speedway. Will you have a lot of family and friends at the race this weekend?

    “There are going to be 10 or so people out there, which is a lot for me. We don’t normally have a lot because we don’t exactly volunteer tickets because it’s a lot of work and there’s a lot going on during the weekend. For people who come out to the track, you want them to have a good time and, if you don’t feel like you can help them have a good time, then there’s not much point. But I think, more than anything, the fact it’s the second time at Chicagoland is more why there are people coming. They’re reminded that I go to the Chicago racetrack the first time and then, the second time, they’re coming because they remember me being there a little while ago and missing the opportunity to get the tickets (laughs). It’s going to be busy with the (Sprint) Cup weekend but, I have to say, a lot of times on the weekends, when there are people there and it’s a busy weekend, I don’t have to do anything, quite honestly. My husband is a real trooper and he takes care of anyone who comes out to the track. Other than that, I don’t see any difference at Chicago compared to going to Richmond or Atlanta or any other place. It only matters if there are people out there who we’re entertaining. Or, I should say, people my husband is entertaining (laughs).

    How important was it for you that Stewart-Haas Racing recently re-signed Ryan Newman?

    “I really like Ryan. He’s a really good guy and he’s pretty damn funny. And I think it’s very beneficial for someone like me to have experience on the team. Tony and Ryan drive quite differently and it’s good for me as a driver to see those different styles on the (engineering) traces for every lap we run, so I’m excited about that and I’m sure the team is excited to get that out of the way. It’s always tricky and tough in this sport – it’s the chicken and the egg. You have to have a driver to get a sponsor, but you’ve got to have the sponsor to get the driver. So, hopefully, this gets them to the point where sponsors pull the trigger.”

    Notes of Interest:

    • The Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., will mark Danica Patrick’s sixth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and her first at the 1.5-mile oval. She has competed in three NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Chicagoland and has two top-15 finishes, including a 10th-place result in 2011.
    • Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway marks the first time Patrick will compete in a Sprint Cup race at a track where she previously raced in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Among her six IndyCar starts at the 1.5-mile oval, she won the pole and finished sixth in 2005 while driving for Rahal Letterman Racing.
    • Patrick has career totals of one top-five finish, five top-10s, 55 laps led and one pole in 50 career NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    • In 2012 Nationwide Series competition, Patrick has one pole (Daytona) and a best finish of eighth, which came in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. She led once for a race-high 20 laps last month on the road course at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal until mechanical problems caused her to go to the garage for repairs. She finished 27th, six laps down.
    • Patrick started 34th and finished ninth three weeks ago in the Nationwide race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway to score her second top-10 of 2012. One night later, in the Sprint Cup race, she was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another car and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.
    • The remaining races on Patrick’s Sprint Cup Series schedule after Chicagoland are Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Phoenix International Raceway.
    • Four Score: In March 2011, Patrick finished fourth in the Nationwide race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the best-ever finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by Sarah Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.
    • History Maker: Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series in April 2009 by winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
    • Point Taken: In 2009, Patrick finished fifth in IndyCar Series points, the best finish ever for a woman in the series.
    • 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.

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  • Dollar General 300 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Dollar General 300 (200 laps / 300 miles)
    TRACK: Chicagoland Speedway
    LENGTH: 1.5-mile D-shaped oval
    DATE: Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012
    TV: ESPN2 (Coverage begins at 3 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (3:15 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “I’ve said before that I’m still learning. Each and every week is something new. So as far as last week goes, you try learn from it, put it behind you and go on to the next race weekend.

    “Once again, I’m sure it will be a busy weekend pulling double duty. But nothing is better than getting some solid seat time and turning laps around the track. I think it certainly benefits me being able to run both series through the course of a weekend. On the Nationwide side, I think I’m getting a better understanding of how the races will progress. And the fact that you’re not al-ways going to have the car comfortable at that exact mo-ment, but it needs to have adjustability in order to adapt to the changing track conditions.”

    Notes

    BREEZING THROUGH THE WINDY CITY - Chicagoland Speedway continues to be one of JRM’s strongest tracks. In its past six organizational start at the facility, JRM Chevrolets have earned two top-five and five top-10 finishes. The company’s average finish at the track during that span is 8.0.

    HOMETOWN FAVORITE - Danica Patrick will race in front off her hometown crowd this weekend in Chicagoland. The 30-year-old hails from nearby Roscoe, Ill., a 90-mile trip northwest of downtown Chicago. In three Nationwide Series starts at the track, Patrick holds one top-10 finish.

    STARTING INFO - When the green flag drops for Saturday’s Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, Patrick will have four starts at the facility, making it the 1.5-mile track where she holds the most NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) starts. She also owns four (NNS) starts at Phoenix International Raceway. But Patrick’s five starts at Daytona International Speedway tops the list.

    GODADDY.COM TEAM BRINGS NEW CHASSIS - The 7 team unloads a new chassis at Chicagoland Speedway this week, numbered 746.

    WHITT DRIVING CHASSIS 743 - The 88 team brings chassis 743 to Chicagoland this weekend. Whitt piloted 743 to a ninth-place finish in Atlanta two weeks ago, and also drove it at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    FALL FUNDRAISER “DRIVEN TO GIVE” RETURNS - The Dale Jr. Foundation’s fall fundraiser “Driven to Give” is returning this November. “Driven to Give” is a dinner and silent auction, which will be hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Nov. 7, 2012, in Mooresville, N.C., featuring special musical guest Kellie Pickler. Fans are being afforded the chance to attend the private charity event with the purchase of a $10 raffle ticket. Only 500 tickets will be sold and the four randomly selected winners will each receive two tickets to the event. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.thedalejrfoundation.org/ driven_to_give_.aspx

    MORE PRIZES OFFERED IN WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE RAFFLE - As if a chance to win Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s very own 2011 Chev-rolet Camaro wasn’t enough, The Dale Jr. Foundation just upped the stakes by offering a shot at a pair of VIP race experi-ences and monthly prizes with the purchase of a raffle ticket in the Win Dale Jr.’s Ride promotion. Tickets are only $25. For a complete rundown of the prizes or to purchase a ticket visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com. The grand-prize winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys to the car. Follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Virginia 529 College Savings 250 (250 laps)
    TRACK: Richmond International Raceway
    LENGTH: .75-mile D-shaped oval
    DATE: Friday, Sept. 7, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 7 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (7:15 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “When you’re going from practice in the daytime to rac-ing at night the most important thing is finding balance in the car, especially front to rear when it’s slippery. Then hopefully that balance will translate into the evening. I’ve heard that the balance doesn’t shift too much from day to night. So we’ll work to achieve that.”

    Tony Eury Jr., crew chief “Right now Danica is at the point where she understands how the races are going to play out. She knows what kind of car she needs and knows you have to start off a little free to be there at the end. We’re at the point where if we had one more year, I think you’d see some top-fives and wins. She is still learning every week, learn-ing something new. It’s just a matter of putting every-thing together. Plus, you’ve got to remember this is really her first fulltime season running stock cars.”

    Notes

    JR MOTORSPORTS TO MAKE 400TH START THIS WEEKEND - JRM will make its 400th start this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Since the company’s debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2005, 28 different drivers have piloted JRM Chevrolets. The team’s tally currently stands at nine wins, 77 top-fives and 162 top- 10s. Additionally, JRM has earned seven poles and led 1,397 laps in Nationwide Series competition.

    HISTORY WITH HELLMANN’S – Richmond marks JRM’s third of four races with Hell-mann’s as a primary sponsor in 2012. In the team’s two previous starts with the popu-lar brand, Whitt drove to a fourth-place finish in the season opener at Daytona, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned a fifth-place effort at Talladega. The team is averaging a finish of 4.5 in a Hellmann’s-branded Chevrolet in 2012.

    .COM DECAL FEATURED ON GO DADDY CHEVROLET - The No. 7 Go Daddy Chevrolet will feature a .com decal on its hood this weekend in Richmond. A top-level domain and the most recognized domain worldwide, .com was one of the original domains introduced in 1985. Currently, there are more than 100 million registered .com names worldwide. Register a .com domain at accredited registrars like GoDaddy.com.

    CAREER-BEST SHORT TRACK FINISH - Danica Patrick and the Go Daddy team are only two races removed from a ninth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway, a career-best short track effort for the Roscoe, Ill. native and her second top 10 of 2012. Patrick improved 25 positions from her starting spot and capitalized on a pit stop for four fresh tires to crack the top 10 in the waning stages of the race.

    WHITT AND COOK COMBO - On the cusp of his second consecutive top-10 finish, Whitt’s season tally now stands at 10 top -10 finishes. This weekend will mark Whitt’s 20th race with crew chief Bruce Cook. Since Cook moved into the crew chief role on the 88 team, Whitt has amassed two top-five and eight top-10 finishes.

    WHITT TO MAKE TWO APPEARANCES IN RICHMOND MARKET - Whitt will make a pair of autograph appearances on Thursday, Sept 6., beginning at Walmart, located at 7430 Bell Creek Rd, Mechanicsville, Va. at 3 p.m. to EST. He will then sign autographs at Kroger, located at 9351 Atlee Rd, Mechanicsville, Va. at 4:30 p.m. EST.

    JRM DRIVERS PARTICIPATING IN RICHMOND AUTOGRAPH SESSION - Fans can meet JRM drivers Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt at the Nationwide Series autograph session from 2 to 3 p.m. EST on Friday, located outside of turn one in the Amphitheater behind the Commonwealth Tower.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    MORE PRIZES OFFERED IN WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE RAFFLE - As if a chance to win Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s very own 2011 Chev-rolet Camaro wasn’t enough, The Dale Jr. Foundation just upped the stakes by offering a shot at a pair of VIP race experi-ences and monthly prizes with the purchase of a raffle ticket in the Win Dale Jr.’s Ride promotion. Tickets are only $25. For a complete rundown of the prizes or to purchase a ticket visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com. The grand-prize winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys to the car. Follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

    FALL FUNDRAISER “DRIVEN TO GIVE” RETURNS - The Dale Jr. Foundation’s fall fundraiser “Driven to Give” is returning this November. “Driven to Give” is a dinner and silent auction, which will be hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Nov. 7, 2012, in Mooresville, N.C., featuring special musical guest Kellie Pickler. Fans are being afforded the chance to attend the private charity event with the purchase of a $10 raffle ticket. Only 500 tickets will be sold and the four randomly selected winners will each receive two tickets to the event. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.thedalejrfoundation.org/ driven_to_give_.aspx

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  • Advocare 500 Post-Report

    Date: Sept. 2, 2012
    Event: AdvoCare 500 (Round 25 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 23rd/29th (Running, completed 321 of 327 laps in a green-white checkered finish)
    Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series education continued Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where she finished 29th in the AdvoCare 500.

    Patrick, who drives the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing, never had raced at Atlanta until the Nationwide Series event Saturday night, in which she finished 13th.

    So her weekend goal was to get familiar with the treacherous 1.54-mile oval and complete as many laps as possible, continuing the transition from INDYCAR to NASCAR.

    She completed 321 of 327 laps while learning how drive on Atlanta’s worn pavement that causes even veteran drivers to slip and slide around due to a lack of grip. And as she has throughout her very brief Sprint Cup Series career, she got better throughout the weekend, with lap times improving right to the end of the race.

    “I think we picked up overall throughout the race and we were learning about the car,” Patrick said. “I was a lot tighter than I thought I would be, but I was pretty afraid after last night at how loose I was in the Nationwide car to come tonight where I was in practice far looser in the Cup car than in the Nationwide car. I was afraid it was going to be just tank-slapping the whole time. Zippy (Greg Zipadelli, race strategist) said that we were running a pretty conservative setup, and the changes he was making were not huge changes so it didn’t step over.

    “We are just in that phase of get the laps done, feel it out, run different lines, bring the car home, finish the race and try and learn a bit as we go. He said that, I don’t know if it was the whole time or some of the time, but (we were) running top-20 lap times. I think that is a good step for me. This is definitely a challenging track. I struggle most on tracks where there is low grip or they are flat. I would consider this a low grip feeling track. So we did what we meant to do.”

    Zipadelli was pleased with Patrick.

    “I thought she did great,” Zipadelli said. “At the end of the day, if you look at our speed and compared to where we were in practice yesterday, we picked up a lot of speed. We had to tune our race car quite a bit because we tightened it up so much yesterday in the sun (during final practice), and tonight we were pretty tight.

    “It’s certainly a very hard racetrack. There’s no grip. It’s a handful for the best of them. And this year it seems like this racetrack took a big turn with grip. It’s the same tire we’ve had for a couple of years. Every year this racetrack sits in the sun for a year, and you come back and race on it and it continues to lose grip.”

    Denny Hamlin won the AdvoCare 500 to score his 21st career Sprint Cup victory, his series-high fourth of the season and his first at Atlanta. It was his second consecutive trip to victory lane as he also won last week at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    Jeff Gordon finished .378 of a second behind Hamlin in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five. Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were six caution periods for 31 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 327-lap race, which was extended two laps beyond its scheduled distance by a green-white-checkered finish.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 8 in the series’ return to Richmond. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ABC beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.

    Patrick, who is running only a 10-race Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2012, will next drive in NASCAR’s top division in the GEICO 400 on Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.

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  • Danica Leverages Go Daddy in Fight Against Breast Cancer

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Sept. 1, 2012) -- Danica Patrick's GoDaddy.com No. 7 Chevy is going "pink" in honor of the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign next month. The hot pink car is set to be revealed today in Atlanta. It's the car Danica plans to drive in NASCAR's upcoming Nationwide Series race in Charlotte October 12.

    The idea is to generate buzz for The National Breast Cancer Foundation and it's a team effort. Go Daddy and JR Motorsports are sponsoring the pink-themed car as part of the Chase Authentics' "Check Your Headlights" program, which works to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research and education. Each year some 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Of those, 40,000 succumb to the disease, according to The National Breast Cancer Foundation.

    "I love the idea of a pink car to help raise awareness about breast cancer. The No. 7 Chevy is known for its iconic Go Daddy green color ... I think the pink car will pop and attract attention for a good cause," Danica said. "We all know someone who has been impacted by this disease and NASCAR fans are so passionate, I know they'll step up to help the cause."

    Go Daddy, the world's largest provider of Web hosting and domain name registrations, is also donating money to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, along with the Public Interest Registry which manages .ORG domain names. A $50,000 donation is planned as part of the program in Charlotte next month.

    "We are fortunate to be in a position to help others -- awareness and prevention are keys to 'beating breast cancer,'" said Go Daddy's Marketing Vice President Teri D'Hooge, whose own family is dealing with the devastating disease. "Women's health has been a cornerstone of Go Daddy's charity work over the years. We think this campaign is especially powerful because it plays off of Danica and NASCAR in a fun, non-conventional way. Now we hope NASCAR fans will help get more people talking about the breast cancer battle, which unfortunately has touched so many families."

    In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month, Chase Authentics and JR Motorsports will feature a "Check Your Headlights" line of apparel and products. A portion of the proceeds go directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. To learn more about the "Check Your Headlights" campaign, visit: www.NASCAR.com/CheckYourHeadlights.

    You can watch Danica drive her hot pink No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet October 12 in the NASCAR Nationwide race presented by GoDaddy.com on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

    To learn more about Go Daddy and how to get online easily and affordably, visit www.GoDaddy.com.

    To donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, visit: www.NationalBreastCancer.org.

    Connect with Go Daddy on Facebook & Twitter.

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  • NRA American Warrior 300 Pre-Report

    EVENT: NRA American Warrior 300 (195 laps/300.3 miles)
    TRACK: Atlanta Motor Speedway
    LENGTH: 1.5-mile quad oval
    DATE: Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012
    TV: ESPN2 (Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: PRN (6:30 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “I’ve heard lots of great things about Atlanta. It’s good racing. The tires definitely fall off with the surface being old. The line moves around a lot and you can search for the best line. For me, it’s going to be a big weekend, run-ning both Nationwide and Cup. I’m going to be really busy. But nothing is better than going to a new track and having lots of track time.

    We’re always looking for good results. The 7 team has been working extremely hard. That doesn’t change if we finish first or last. But it’s nice to get rewarded with a good finish sometimes. I think we’re all looking forward to trying and accomplishing that again this weekend in Atlanta. There is a rhythm to these races and the only way you can get a feel for that is to do the whole thing. It will be important to finish all the laps.”

    Cole Whitt - NASCAR Bashers Chevrolet
    “It has taken us a couple weeks, but following the top 10 at Bristol we finally feel like we’ve got some momentum to build on. I like the mile-and-a-half tracks, so I’m anxious to get to Atlanta and get some laps under my belt.

    Atlanta is a cool place because it gives you a lot of options as far as where to run. There are several different lines you can take around that place. But you’ve got to be prepared for the tires to drop off. Typically, you’ll see the tires start to give up about 15 laps into a run. The track is just really abrasive. Then you’ll see guys start slipping and sliding around. It can be challenging and quite a workout at times.”

    JOIN DANICA PATRICK FOR SPECIAL PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT - Media mem-bers are invited to join Danica Patrick, Teri Dhooge, Go Daddy vice president of mar-keting and Chris Williams of Motorsports Authentics in the Atlanta Motor Speedway infield media center on Saturday, Sept. 1, at noon for a special program announce-ment.

    ATLANTA IN-RACE REPORTER - Whitt will serve as the ESPN In-Race reporter for this weekend’s NRA American Warrior 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Crew chief Bruce Cook will also give his thoughts from atop the No. 88 team’s pit box.

    NASCAR BASHERS ON THE 88 CAR - The NASCAR Bashers brand is featured as primary sponsor of the No. 88 Chevrolet this weekend in Atlanta. NASCAR Bashers is a line of toys produced by SpinMaster and styled like an actual NASCAR race car. These cars actually crash, featuring multiple different dramatic crash transformations. NASCAR Bashers are available at major toy retailers like Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Kmart and more.

    ATLANTA VICTORY - Jamie McMurray and the 88 team secured a win at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2010. McMurray took the lead on lap 172 and cruised through the next 23 laps to earn JRM it’s ninth overall series victory.

    PATRICK’S FINAL NNS DEBUT - After this weekend, Patrick can add another item to her NASCAR resume. Atlanta Motor Speedway remains the only track where Patrick has yet to make a stock car start. Following this race, she will have made at least one start on every track on the Nationwide Series schedule.

    INTERMEDIATE UPDATE - Patrick earned her season-best finish of eighth at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season. Of her 17 career top-15 finishes, all but two have come at tracks 1.5-miles in length or larger. Patrick’s average finish in five starts at 1.5-mile facilities this year is 11.8.

    MEET COLE WHITT AT ATLANTA WALMART - Fans can meet JRM driver Cole Whitt at Walmart (#3201) located at 135 Wil-low Lane in McDonough, Ga., on Friday, Aug. 31, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. local time. Whitt will be signing autograph and meeting fans on behalf of the NASCAR Bashers brand.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    MORE PRIZES OFFERED IN WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE RAFFLE - As if a chance to win Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s very own 2011 Chev-rolet Camaro wasn’t enough, The Dale Jr. Foundation just upped the stakes by offering a shot at a pair of VIP race experi-ences and monthly prizes with the purchase of a raffle ticket in the Win Dale Jr.’s Ride promotion. Tickets are only $25. For a complete rundown of the prizes or to purchase a ticket visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com. The grand-prize winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys to the car. Follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • Advocare 500 Pre-Report

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Aug. 28, 2012) – Atlanta Motor Speedway is considered one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit, and for good reason. Geoff Bodine set the track record in November 1997 when he qualified in the top spot at 197.478 mph. And, in March 2010, Dale Earnhardt Jr., hit 192.761 mph en route to winning the pole.

    Danica Patrick will be making her first career appearance at Atlanta this weekend when she competes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at the 1.54-mile oval. When she drives onto the track for practice Friday in the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet to prepare for Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race, the speed – at least to some degree – won’t be new to her.

    Coming from the INDYCAR world, Patrick is no stranger to going well over 200 mph. In 2005, during her rookie IZOD IndyCar Series season, she set the tone early at the Indianapolis 500 when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice at 221.463 mph. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times throughout the month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carb Day.

    Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month and the fastest turned by any woman in the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning her rave reviews for her car control by longtime Speedway observers. She ended up qualifying with a four-lap average of 227.004 mph, good for the fourth spot on the grid and the best-ever starting position for a woman in the historic race.

    Patrick then found victory lane in the IZOD IndyCar Series in April 2008 at the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan, where speeds often hit the 200-mph mark.

    That said, Patrick’s numerous moments above 200 mph came in a 1,500-pound, rear-engine car with downforce provided by front and rear wings. The No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet she will drive this weekend in Atlanta is a front-engine, 3,500-pound, stock car that couldn’t be more different from an Indy car.

    So while she’ll be used to the speed that Atlanta Motor Speedway is known for, the sensory input from that high speed will be vastly different from what she’s used to.

    Patrick heads to Atlanta after a solid weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway that saw her finish ninth in the Nationwide Series event Friday night at the tricky .533-mile concrete oval, then run a respectable race in the Sprint Cup event Saturday night. Patrick was on the lead lap and in the top-20 in just her fourth career Sprint Cup Series start and first at Bristol when her GoDaddy.com Chevrolet was hit by Regan Smith’s car, spinning her into the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. Her night was done after 434 laps and she was credited with 29th place, but the experience and confidence taken away from the event were extremely valuable.

    She’ll look to take that experience and confidence from Bristol into Atlanta and “speed” up her ongoing NASCAR education.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

    What are your overall thoughts on Atlanta?

    “I’ve heard lots of great things about Atlanta. It’s good racing. The tires definitely go off with the surface and the line moves around a lot. For me, it’s going to be a big weekend not only from the standpoint that there’s Cup and Nationwide with the GoDaddy.com cars, but it’s a big Coca-Cola weekend, so I’ll be really busy. I think nothing is better than going to a new track and having lots of track time.”

    Tony Stewart said he picked the toughest tracks for you for your 10-race Sprint Cup schedule this year. Do you think it’s beneficial?

    “I don’t think that being able to know whether or not it’s beneficial at this point is really possible. The part that we’ll know if it’s beneficial will come next year, when either I feel much more comfortable coming back to those tracks or I have better results. At this point and time, it’s about gaining the experience. There is a saying, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ So I’m sure that it will help in the long run. But, until we get to next year and actually know how I feel, that will decide whether or not these races helped or not. As long as I can keep my head up and stay confident and stay looking forward and upbeat, I think they will serve that purpose. But, there’s always that chance these are humbling moments, especially being at the tough tracks they are at and the tough races they are. I’ve just got to focus on staying positive.”

    What did you learn last week at Bristol?

    “I learned a ton. I learned how the track changes. I learned how the track gets looser and looser as it goes. We were just tightening the car up all night. We learned a lot about that and, while we didn’t get to the very end, we got really close and that’s a good thing. I felt all night I was being smart and Tab (Boyd), my spotter, was being smart about observing what kind of cars were around me and would tell me, ‘Just let them go, we’ve got our race to run.’ I would do it and have no problem with that. You just have to look around, sometime, and see the cars that are beat up and those are the one you have to be a little leery about.”

    You struggled in practice on Friday and then were in the top-20 and on the lead lap late in the race at Bristol. On race morning, how would you have gauged your chances of doing that?

    “To be honest, to come from 34th to a top-10 (in the Nationwide Series) Friday night after the terrible practice we had, and then being last in practice to being in the top-20 and on the lead lap (in the Sprint Cup race) was an example of what you need to do as a team and as a group. And that’s to just stay focused and know that the race is a whole different thing and just be smart and never get down. That’s what we did. We were just smart with everything and just tried to stay out of trouble and, unfortunately, trouble found me.”

    Notes of Interest:

    • The AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will mark Danica Patrick’s fifth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and her first at Atlanta Motor Speedway. She has never competed in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta.
    • Patrick has career totals of one top-five finish, five top-10s, 55 laps led and one pole in 48 career NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    • In 2012 Nationwide Series competition, Patrick has one pole (Daytona) and a best finish of eighth, which came in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. She led once for a race-high 20 laps two weeks ago on the road course at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal until mechanical problems caused her to go to the garage for repairs. She finished 27th, six laps down.
    • Patrick started 34th and finished ninth in last week’s Nationwide Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway to score her second top-10 of 2012. In Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series race, she was in the top-20 and on the lead lap with 66 laps remaining when her car was hit by another car and contacted the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall of the frontstretch. She finished 29th.
    • The remaining races on Patrick’s Sprint Cup Series schedule after Atlanta are at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Phoenix International Raceway.
    • Four Score: In March 2011, Patrick finished fourth in the Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the best-ever finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by Sarah Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.
    • History Maker: Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series in April 2009 by winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
    • Point Taken: In 2009, Patrick finished fifth in IZOD IndyCar Series points, the best finish ever for a woman in the series.
    • 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.

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  • Irwin Tools Night Race Post-Report

    Date: Aug. 25, 2012
    Event: Irwin Tools Night Race (Round 24 of 36)
    Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
    Start/Finish: 43rd/29th (Accident, completed 434 of 500 laps)
    Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

    Danica Patrick saw a potential top-20 finish end in a heartbreaking accident less than 70 laps from the finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race Saturday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick, who drives the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing, was running 20th on lap 434 when the right front of Regan Smith’s car hit the left rear of her machine.

    The contact sent Patrick out of control, and the nose of her GoDaddy.com Chevrolet slammed into the SAFER Barrier on the inside retaining wall.

    The damage was too extensive for the GoDaddy team to fix with so few laps left in the race, and Patrick’s night was done.

    It was a tough end to what had been a positive outing for Patrick, who was making just her fourth career Sprint Cup Series start and her first at the .533-mile oval.

    After starting 43rd, Patrick stayed out of trouble and, with the help of spotter Tab Boyd, methodically climbed the standings while learning how to compete at one of NASCAR’s toughest tracks. She was as high as 17th on lap 325 and was in the top-20 and on the lead lap in the closing portion of the race. A solid finish was within reach until the contact with Smith ended her day.

    “I haven’t seen the replay,” said Patrick, who finished ninth in the Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Friday night at Bristol. “We’re all racing hard. This is Bristol, and this is why people love this track is because you see a lot of that, and you see tempers flare. It’s usually part of the broadcast and when they describe what’s going to happen. It was just a bummer because I really felt like the GoDaddy Chevrolet was going to get a solid, maybe a top-20, finish and on the lead lap. And that wouldn’t have been something that I thought would happen tonight. The team did a great job, and everything was running really smoothly. So it’s a shame that we lost that. But you know, Bristol is a place where you find out who’s playing fair and who’s not.”

    Patrick’s race strategist, Greg Zipadelli, was impressed with her continued education in NASCAR’s top division.

    “Every place we’ve gone – when she gets around people, she really learns what she needs to do, and we’re able to adjust on the car and get her better,” Zipadelli said. “She gained a lot of speed. I would say by far this is her best effort.”

    Denny Hamlin won the Irwin Tools Night Race to score his 20th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Bristol.

    Jimmie Johnson finished 1.103 seconds behind Hamlin in the runner-up spot, while Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers, and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five. Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne and Paul Menard comprised the remainder of the top-10.

    There were 13 caution periods for 87 laps, with 11 drivers failing to finish the 500-lap race.

    The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 2 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Irwin Tools Night Race

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Aug. 22, 2012) – The last time Danica Patrick competed in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Memorial Day weekend was in full swing and kids around the United States were preparing for the annual summer break from school.

    Now entering late August, kids are heading back to the classroom and Patrick is heading back to Sprint Cup competition as her “summer break” from NASCAR’s top series is over. She’ll return to the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

    It will mark Patrick’s fourth career Sprint Cup race and her first since the Coca-Cola 600 in May at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, where she started 40th and finished 30th after completing 395 of 400 laps.

    Patrick will compete in seven of the final 13 Sprint Cup events in preparation for a full-time Sprint Cup schedule in 2013. And while she and the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet team will look to achieve the best possible results, it’s what they will learn and be able to use in the future that will be most important during this final stretch of the 2012 season.

    This week’s race at Bristol will be Patrick’s first Sprint Cup outing on a concrete surface and, while she will look to build a database of information for her return trips to Bristol, there is also the goal of learning something useful for the upcoming AAA 400 Sprint Cup event at the concrete “Monster Mile” oval at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

    With two previous NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Bristol, Patrick is familiar with the .533-mile concrete oval. But in addition to competing in a Sprint Cup car for the first time, Patrick will also learn to drive the “new” surface at Bristol.

    The top lane will not be usable through the turns after track officials had it milled following the NASCAR weekend in March. So, instead of three racing lanes, the track now has only two grooves in the turns, creating tighter confines for the 43 competitors and the intended result of added bumping and banging throughout the night.

    It’s all part of the continuing education for Patrick as she makes the difficult transition from INDYCAR to NASCAR.

    And with limits on testing, there is nothing more important than getting seat time and turning as many laps as possible. And, with 18 races in the next three months in NASCAR’s top two series (11 Nationwide, seven Sprint Cup) the education will be accelerated.

    DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet:

     

    What are your overall thoughts on Bristol?
    “I’m looking forward to going to Bristol. I’ve look forward to going there every single time. It’s been a track I’ve enjoyed because of the banking in the corners. It’s going to be more challenging now without the top line. It’s going to make it a little more bump-and-go kind of racing, which could still be fun as long as I’m the one bumping (laughs). I’m looking forward going there with the Cup car because, every time I run the Cup car, I feel like the Nationwide car stuff goes better. So, hopefully, we can get our first really great result on a short track.”

    Your luck has not been great the last few weeks in the Nationwide Series. How do you overcome that?
    “It’s part of it. It’s frustrating. It definitely can get you down and it does get you down a little bit. I feel like, with the very consistent schedule that keeps coming at you, you need to have a positive attitude and look at each weekend as the weekend it could turn around and the weekend that you could have great luck and come back from the last one. It’s really easy. I did it at the beginning of the year. You get down and get a little negative and that carries over to next weekend and things just get worse. And it can really spiral in a pretty bad direction pretty quickly and easily in NASCAR, with how many races there are and how often you’re on track. You just have to keep at it. If we were just slow everywhere, then I think that would almost be worse than being knocked out or having issues or making mistakes. Once you can get on a good, consistent pace, where you’re making good decisions not making mistakes and luck comes your way, you’re ready to go.”

    Can you assess the 2011 Nationwide Series season for you thus far?
    “One thing I’m always pleased to see is how much overall speed we’ve picked up from last year and the year before. In practice, I would struggle to get in the top-20, and now I feel like we’re almost always inside the top-10, if not top-five, sometimes. That’s a very positive sign moving forward for me because I’m figuring out how to get speed out of the car and work on the car. Qualifying has improved. That was another thing, just getting that race experience. I really feel like a lot of stuff has gone in the right direction. Now, I feel like I’ve definitely made mistakes, for sure. There’s definitely been a hefty amount of bad luck. At the end of the day, I find it far more important – of course I’d love to get results – but as the whole, looking long-term into the future, the most important thing I can do this year is learn, get experience and be prepared for next year.”

    Notes of Interest:

    • The Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway will mark Danica Patrick’s fourth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. Her first came in February’s rain-delayed 54th Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where she finished 38th, having completed only 138 of 202 laps after being involved in a multi-car accident not of her making on lap three.
    • Patrick has career totals of one top-five finish, four top-10s, 55 laps led and one pole in 47 career NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    • In 2012 Nationwide Series competition, Patrick has one pole (Daytona) and a best finish of eighth, which came in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. She led once for a race-high 20 laps last week at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal until mechanical problems caused her to go to the garage for repairs. She finished 27th, six laps down.
    • Patrick has never competed at Bristol in a Sprint Cup car, but she has two starts in the Nationwide Series. She finished 19th in March at the .533-mile oval.
    • Four Score: In March 2011, Patrick finished fourth in the Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the best-ever finish by a woman in a NASCAR national stock-car series, topping a fifth-place run by Sarah Christian in a Sprint Cup race in 1949 at Heidelberg (Pa.) Raceway.
    • History Maker: Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series in April 2009 by winning the IZOD IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
    • Point Taken: In 2009, Patrick finished fifth in IZOD IndyCar Series points, the best finish ever for a woman in the series.
    • 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.

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  • Food City 250 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Food City 250 (250 laps / 133.24 miles)
    TRACK: Bristol Motor Speedway
    LENGTH: .533-mile concrete oval
    DATE: Friday, Aug. 24, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 7 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: PRN (7 p.m. EST)

     

    Danica Patrick

    “I’ve always prided myself in not tearing up equipment on the IndyCar side. In stock cars though, sometimes these crashes are unavoidable. You do crash cars in this sport, it’s that simple. You go to places like Talladega, Daytona and Bristol and you’re lucky to come out unscathed. It’s just that style of racing, when you’re running that tight. In stock car racing you’ve got to be close to your competitors. You use the air to sometimes push others up the track and make them chase it. You run extremely close, and when you run that close, there’s just a higher likelihood of collecting more cars. The smoke these cars have when they spin out, you can’t see the track sometimes. So you get collected in things that you just don't’ know your way through, that you can’t see. And you can use fenders, which is a contributor to a lot of accidents.”

    Notes

    SPY OPTIC ON BOARD 88 CAR AT BRISTOL – Spy Optic will be featured as the primary sponsor of Whitt’s No. 88 Chevrolet this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Spy is revving up its support of JR Motorsports and its Dale Jr. Signature 88 Sunglasses Collection with a Spy-branded black, orange and white paint scheme. Check out the entire Dale Earnhardt Jr. Signature 88 Collection here.

    JRM UNDER THE LIGHTS – JR Motorsports’ fourth series victory came at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2008. The organization holds one pole and has led 91 laps at the facility. Additionally, four of the team’s seven top-five finishes at Bristol were earned under the lights.

    SHORT TRACK RECAP – Patrick’s 11th-place finish at Iowa Speedway earlier this month marked the 30-year-old’s best short track effort of her NASCAR career. The No. 7 Go Daddy Chevrolet spent the bulk of the race inside the top 10, but when lap traffic came into play, the team concluded the race in 11th position.

    WHITT’S SHORT TRACK PROFILE – According to NASCAR Statistical Services, Whitt and the 88 team are ranked seventh in the Nationwide Series for most points earned on short tracks this season. Whitt has earned 116 points in the year’s four short track events, notching one top-10 finish (Iowa) and leading four laps.

    CHASSIS 740 FOR PATRICK – The 7 team unloads chassis number 740 this weekend. Patrick drove this chassis to her career-best short track finish at Iowa Speedway in August. It also raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. Patrick’s average finish with this chassis is 12.5.

    CHASSIS 705 FOR WHITT – The 88 team brings chassis 705 to Bristol this weekend. Whitt piloted 705 to a sixth-place finish at Las Vegas earlier this year, and drove it in races at Charlotte, New Hampshire and Texas.

    PATRICK’S MEDIA AVAILABILITY – Patrick will be available to members of the NASCAR media on Friday, Aug. 24, at 8:15 a.m. EST in the Bristol Motor Speedway deadline room.

    MEET COLE WHITT AT JR NATION MERCH HAULER – Fans can meet JRM driver Cole Whitt on Friday, Aug. 24, beginning at 5 p.m. EST at the JR Nation hauler in the fan concourse area.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA – Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Motorsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    MORE PRIZES OFFERED IN WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE RAFFLE – As if a chance to win Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s very own 2011 Chevrolet Camaro wasn’t enough, The Dale Jr. Foundation just upped the stakes by offering a shot at a pair of VIP race experiences and monthly prizes with the purchase of a raffle ticket in the Win Dale Jr.’s Ride promotion. Tickets are only $25. For a complete rundown of the prizes or to purchase a ticket visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com. The grand-prize winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys to the car. Follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • NAPA Auto Parts 200 Pre-Report

    EVENT: NAPA Auto Parts 200 (74 laps / 200.46 miles)
    TRACK: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
    LENGTH: 2.71-mile 14-turn road course
    DATE: Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 2 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (2:15 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “Every weekend is its own weekend. Things can change and you are presented with different obstacles every time you show up at the track. We put last week behind us and this is a brand new week for our Go Daddy team. “It’s been great working with Ron (Fellows) as a teammate. He has been nice to me from the start. I have a lot of respect for him, and I feel like I get the same in return. He is very generous with information when I ask him questions. It’s always nice to have somebody on the team with such a great amount of experience. When I feel something on the track, I’m not always sure of it, especially at this point in time running road courses in these cars. It’s good to be able to have Ron’s terminology and experience to lean on with that.”

    Notes

    THINK YOU KNOW RACING? PROVE IT WITH THE FELLOWS FIVE CHALLENGE - This is the final week to enter the “Fellows 5 Challenge”. Fans can log on here and pre-dict five scenarios for Ron Fellows at Montreal. Get one question right, and you’re eligible for an autographed prize. Get all five questions right, and you might win a three-day trip to Ron Fellows Performance Driving School at Spring Mountain Motor Resort near Las Vegas.

    HISTORIC VICTORY AT CIRCUIT GILLES VILLENEUVE - Fellows is a past winner of the Montreal event in 2008. With the win, he was part of NASCAR history, as he be-came the first Canadian to win a NASCAR event on Canadian soil. He qualified sixth and led seven laps en route to his fourth series victory. The win was also the first road-course victory for JRM. In five starts at the facility, Fellows has one win and two top-five finishes. He holds the additional distinction of being the oldest winner of the race at 48 years, 10 months and five days old.

    FELLOWS UP FRONT - Fellows is ranked third on NASCAR Statistical Service’s list of laps led at Montreal over the past five races with 20, trailing only Jacques Villeneuve and Carl Edwards in that category. The Ontario native has led 5.7 percent of the 350 laps during those five events.

    DANICA AT MONTREAL 2011 RECAP - In last season’s event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Patrick drove the GoDaddy.com Chevrolet to 13th prior to the halfway mark. The team was forced to pit for brakes issues shortly after, but rebounded to 14th before a broken axle in the final laps relegated Patrick to a 24th-place finish.

    WHITT TO APPEAR AT MONTREAL WALMART - On behalf of the NASCAR Bashers brand, Cole Whitt will appear at

    Walmart, store number 3007, located at 9000 Boulevard Leduc Brossard, Montreal, Quebec from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST on Thursday, Aug. 16, to sign autographs for fans.

    SEASON FINALE FOR FELLOWS - Montreal will mark Fellows’ last Nationwide Series race of the season with JR Motorsports in the No. 5 Canadian Tire Chevrolet. In his two previous starts for the team this year at Road America and Watkins Glen, he earned two top-five finishes. Fellows’ average finish in a JRM Chevrolet this season is 4.0.

    FELLOWS AND WHITT SLATED FOR NNS AUTOGRAPH SESSION - Ron Fellows and Cole Whitt will join a number of other Nationwide Series drivers for a series autograph session on Friday, Aug. 17, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., located in the Beer Garden at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

    FELLOWS IN NNS COMPETITION - Fellows’ Nationwide Series history goes back 15 years to 1997. In his 23 career races, he scored four wins, 11 top five and 14 top-10 finishes. Fellows earned two poles, led 219 laps, and had an average finish of 14.0.

    JACK OF ALL TRADES - A longtime sports car and road-racing veteran, Fellows is credited with three class championships in the American Le Mans Series, two class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and 19 overall victories in the Sports Car Club of America's Trans-Am Series as a member of the Corvette Racing Team. His NASCAR credentials include six overall wins (two in the Camping World Truck Series), and two runner-up finishes in Sprint Cup competition.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    MORE PRIZES OFFERED IN WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE RAFFLE - As if a chance to win Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s very own 2011 Chev-rolet Camaro wasn’t enough, The Dale Jr. Foundation just upped the stakes by offering a shot at a pair of VIP race experi-ences and monthly prizes with the purchase of a raffle ticket in the Win Dale Jr.’s Ride promotion. Tickets are only $25. For a complete rundown of the prizes or to purchase a ticket visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com. The grand-prize winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys to the car. Follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • Zippo 200 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Zippo 200 at The Glen (82 laps / 200.9 miles)
    TRACK: Watkins Glen International
    LENGTH: 2.45-mile 11-turn road course
    DATE: Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012
    TV: ABC (Coverage begins at 2 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (1:45 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “After the race Road America, (ran top-five all day before last-lap incident with Jacques Villeneuve) I’m looking forward to turning right again. I feel like Watkins Glen has a lot of the same rhythm as Elk-hart. It’s a little smaller, but we’ll just take it one corner at a time. I’ve been there before and driven the full circuit. The short circuit won’t offer any new corners.

    I feel like we have the ability to buckle down and do some good stuff the next few weeks. It’s definitely an interesting mindset for me, to be looking forward to road courses, since that was part of why I wanted to leave IndyCar. A lot of the NASCAR drivers don’t have a lot of experience on road courses. IndyCar had a lot of focus on road racing, so that type of racing is where I came from.”

    Notes

    THINK YOU KNOW RACING? PROVE IT WITH THE FELLOWS FIVE CHALLENGE - With Ron Fellows’ return to the No. 5 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen and Montreal, JRMracing.com is featuring the “Fellows Five Challenge”. Fans can log on here and answer five questions based on Ron’s performance at Watkins Glen and Montreal. Get one question right, and you’re eligible for an autographed prize. Get all five questions right, and you’ll be entered to win a three-day trip to Ron Fellows Performance Driving School near Las Vegas.

    JRM WECOMES BACK CANADIAN TIRE - Canadian Tire returns to the No. 5 Chevro-let for its third year of partnership with JR Motorsports and driver Ron Fellows. The retailer will be primary sponsor of the No. 5 at Watkins Glen International and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Canadian Tire is the largest automotive retailer in Canada with more than 480 stores.

    IMPECCABLE STATS - Fellows has enjoyed immense success in NNS competition at Watkins Glen. He has three victories in 11 starts with five top-fives, eight top-10s and 189 laps led. He still holds the distinction of being the senior victor at the fa-cility, winning at the age of 41 years, nine months and 10 days old on July 8, 2001. Additionally, he is tied with Marcos Ambrose for second on the all-time NNS wins list at The Glen with three victories to his credit.

    A NATURAL AT THE GLEN - In addition to Fellows’ impressive career stats at Watkins Glen, he has one top-five and three top-10 finishes in his three races driving for JR Motorsports. Over the past three years of competition at the track, Fellows holds respective finishes of fifth, sixth and seventh, giving the Canadian native an average finish of 6.0.

    TOPPING THE CHART IN GREEN-FLAG PASSES - Fellows is ranked first at Watkins Glen in the green-flag passes category with 277, according to NASCAR Statistical Services. The green-flag pass category tracks the number of passes a driver com-pletes under green-flag conditions over the past seven races at a respective track. Fellows has completed 45 more passes than the second-place competitor.

    DANICA IMPRESSIVE IN LAST ROAD RACE - Patrick was a frontrunner from the drop of the green flag at Road America in June, piecing together a strong outing in the No. 7 Chevrolet. She was racing hard for fourth position on the final lap when Jacques Villeneuve made contact with Patrick’s bumper, sending the Go Daddy Chevrolet careening off course and into a gravel trap, deflating her solid effort and relegating the team to a 12th-place finish.

    WHITT’S 2012 LAP PERCENTAGE - Whitt is ranked sixth on the list of Nationwide Series regulars in laps completion per-centage for 2012. The rookie has completed 3,503 of 3,570 laps on the year, leading to a completion percentage of 98.12.

    FELLOWS AND POPS COMBO - Fellows and veteran crew chief Tony Eury Sr. are off to a solid start after racing to a third-place finish in their most recent outing Road America. This weekend they’ll compete in their second of three scheduled races in 2012. The duo also worked together in 2010, racing the No. 88 Chevrolet to one top-five and two top-10 finishes in three races. Their average finish together in four events is 10.3.

    FELLOWS IN NNS COMPETITION - Fellows’ Nationwide Series history goes back 15 years to 1997. In his 22 career races, he scored four wins, 10 top five, and 13 top-10 finishes. Fellows earned two poles, led 219 laps, and had an average finish of 14.4.

    MORE PRIZES OFFERED IN WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE RAFFLE - As if a chance to win Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s very own 2011 Chev-rolet Camaro wasn’t enough, The Dale Jr. Foundation just upped the stakes by offering a shot at a pair of VIP race experi-ences and monthly prizes with the purchase of a raffle ticket in the Win Dale Jr.’s Ride promotion. Tickets are only $25. For a complete rundown of the prizes or to purchase a ticket visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com. The grand-prize winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys to the car. Follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • U.S. Cellular 250 Pre-Report

    EVENT: U.S. Cellular 250 (250 laps / 218.75 miles)
    TRACK: Iowa Speedway
    LENGTH: .875-mile oval
    DATE: Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012
    TV: ESPN2 (Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (7:15 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “Last time we raced at Iowa it was probably the most complete short-track weekend that we’ve had as a team. We had a great car and we were confident heading in to the race. But we didn’t get the finish we wanted. The fact that we practiced well, qualified well and raced in the top 15 - until the cut tire - was a real positive sign for the Go Daddy team, especially at a short track.

    I don’t think it will make a huge difference racing at night versus our previous race there in the daytime. Obviously, you’ll see the speeds increase. The car does transition through some changes as it’s get cooler and darker. You just need to keep up with it. It’s usually not so far out of the ballpark that you can’t maintain with little adjustments.”

    Cole Whitt - Clean Coal Chevrolet
    “I think it’s safe to say that everyone on this 88 team has a bit of a fire under them right now. We haven’t had the best luck over the past few weeks. Iowa is a track that we all enjoy, so this will be a great weekend to get our season pointed back in the right direction. We get to race in the evening, and you’ll see the speeds come up once the sun goes down. Once you have a lot of grip, you’ll see guys start putting down fast times. Iowa is a place where you can run hard and race your car, not the track. Plus, final practice is in the early evening, so those conditions will be close to what we’ll race in. That will help a lot. Typically, that’s not how the schedule works. We will do our best to utilize that and make it work to our advantage.”

    Notes

    PROVE YOU KNOW RACING WITH THE FELLOWS FIVE CHALLENGE - In prepara-tion for Ron Fellows’ return to JRM to drive the No. 5 car at Watkins Glen and Mont-real, JRMracing.com has unveiled an exciting contest dubbed the “Fellows Five Chal-lenge”. Fans can log on here and answer five multiple-choice questions based on Ron’s performance at Watkins Glen and Montreal. Get one question right, and you’re eligible for an autographed prize. Get all five questions right, and you’ll be entered to win a three-day trip to Ron Fellows Performance Driving School in Las Vegas.

    ROUND TWO AT IOWA FOR JRM - JR Motorsports returns to Iowa Speedway for the second of its biannual trips to the .875-mile oval. Cole Whitt led four laps and drove to a seventh-place finish in the last out-ing at Iowa. Danica Patrick showcased one of her best short-track efforts of the season before falling victim to a cut tire that ended the team’s day 137 laps early.

    IMPROVED QUALIFYING EFFORTS - Patrick posted her best effort qualifying on a short track at Iowa Speedway earlier this season. She drove the Go Daddy Chevrolet to a ninth-place start, eclipsing her previous mark on a short track of 16th at Richmond International Raceway.

    THREE OF FOUR FOR CLEAN COAL - The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is back on board Whitt’s No. 88 Chevrolet in its third of four races as primary sponsor this season. In his most recent start with the Clean Coal Chevrolet at Michigan, Whitt raced to a fourth-place finish. The effort tied his career best in the Nationwide Series. ACCCE is a non-profit, non-partisan partnership of companies involved in producing electricity from coal. ACCCE supports energy policies that bal-ance coal’s vital role in meeting our country’s growing need for affordable and reliable electricity with the need to protect the environment. For more information, visit www.americaspower.org.

    ACCCE LAUNCHES AD CAMPGAIN WITH DALE EARNHARDT JR. - On July 30, ACCCE unveiled its new ad campaign fea-turing JRM Co-Owners Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller. The ads will run nationally on ESPN and SPEED. Visit ACCCE’s YouTube Channel here to view the spot.

    THE COLE AND COAL DISPLAY - Fans at Iowa Speedway will have twice the opportunity to meet Cole Whitt this weekend. He will appear at the Clean Coal Display located in the Iowa Speedway fan concourse area on Friday, Aug. 3, from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and again on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 5:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. local time. Whitt will be signing autographs for fans.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    CHECK OUT THE RELAUNCHED COLE WHITT WEBSITE - For everything Cole Whitt visit his newly redesigned website at www.colewhitt.com. The expanded site features updated photos, news and videos. View recaps on Cole’s most recent races and learn about his beginnings in go-karts and Sprint Cars, to his transition up the NASCAR ladder as driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.

    MORE PRIZES OFFERED IN WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE RAFFLE - As if a chance to win Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s very own 2011 Chev-rolet Camaro wasn’t enough, The Dale Jr. Foundation just upped the stakes by offering a shot at a pair of VIP race experi-ences and monthly prizes with the purchase of a raffle ticket in the Win Dale Jr.’s Ride promotion. Tickets are only $25. For a complete rundown of the prizes or to purchase a ticket visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com. The grand-prize winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys to the car. Follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • Indy 250 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Indy 250 (100 laps / 250 miles)
    TRACK: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
    LENGTH: 2.5-mile oval
    DATE: Saturday, July 28, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 4 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “It’s going to feel great to head back to Indian-apolis. I love that place, I really do. I enjoy being there and being inside the track. The one thing that remains the same when I’m driving around Indy is that you always take it seriously. No matter what type of car you’re in. I have so much respect for that place and I always feel ex-tremely focused when I’m there.

    I’m looking forward to driving Indianapolis in a stock car. It’s obviously going to be a little slower than in an IndyCar. I have such good memories there, and I feel so good when I come into the track and see the facility. So I think those good and positive emotions can translate into a good weekend. I look forward to seeing the Indi-anapolis fans, too. It should be a fun weekend.”

    Cole Whitt - TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet
    “Being part of this first Nationwide race at the Brickyard is going to be amazing. I know a lot of peo-ple like the short track, but when it comes to prestige, the two biggest tracks in my book are Indianapolis and Daytona. I lived in Indy for several years when I was running Sprint Cars, so going back there feels a little like a trip home for me.

    Winning at Indy would be huge. I want to win everywhere we go, but if I had to pick one, I want to win at Indy more than anywhere. It would be the ultimate. I’ve been to the track a lot but I’ve never had the opportunity to race on it. It’s going to be exciting and a pretty big deal for me to go out there and turn those first few laps during practice.”

    INAUGURAL NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE AT THE BRICKYARD - It’s a historic weekend in Nationwide competition as the series turns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for its inaugural event at the Brickyard. The Sprint Cup Series has been turning laps at the Brickyard since 1994, but this marks the first weekend that Nationwide cars will take to the track.

    BREAKING RECORDS AT INDY - Patrick owns a pair of records at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 2005, she became the first woman to ever lead the Brickyard’s prestigious event, after leading 19 laps. Patrick also earned the distinc-tion of being the highest-placing female in the Indianapolis 500 with a fourth-place finish in 2005. She would later snap that same record when she crossed the bricks in third-place in 2009.

    INDYCAR STATS FOR PATRICK - With seven IndyCar starts to her credit at Indy, Patrick holds an average finish of 8.7 with 29 laps led. Her highest finish was third in 2009 and she placed in the top-10 in all but one of her starts.

    A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE - Despite it being the first race for the Nationwide Series at the Brickyard, Patrick and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. combine to bring the experience of 10 races at the track to the GoDaddy.com team. Eury Jr. has been crew chief in three Sprint Cup Series races, while Patrick has driven seven IndyCar races. The two have completed 1,817 combined laps and 4,542 miles of competition.

    SECOND HOME - Whitt’s return to Indianapolis this week will be a bit of a homecoming for the Nationwide Series rookie. Whitt moved from his hometown of Alpine, Calif. to Indianapolis early in his career to drive Sprint Cars. He maintained resi-dence in Indy until he made the trek to North Carolina in an effort to break into NASCAR.

    CHEVROLET PRESS CONFERENCE - JR Motorsports co-owners Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Tony Eury Jr., along with drivers Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt will attend a press conference for Chevrolet on Thursday, July 26, 2012, at 10 a.m. EST in the Hospitality Village North Chalet in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield.

    LIVE NATIONWIDE CHAT FROM INDY INFIELD - Patrick will be featured in this week’s Nationwide chat live from the Indi-anapolis Motor Speedway infield on Friday, July 27, at 2 p.m. EST. Visit NASCAR.com to submit questions for the chat and then watch it live on NASCAR Nationwide Series.com.

    PATRICK AND WHITT TO ATTEND NNS AUTOGRAPH SESSION - Patrick and Whitt will participate in the Nationwide Se-ries driver autograph session on Saturday, July 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in-field.

    MEET COLE WHITT AT JR NATION MERCH HAULER - Beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 28, fans can meet Cole Whitt at the JR Nation merchandise hauler at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    CHECK OUT THE RELAUNCHED COLE WHITT WEBSITE - For everything Cole Whitt visit his newly redesigned website at www.colewhitt.com. The expanded site features updated photos, news and videos. View recaps on Cole’s most recent races and learn about his beginnings in go-karts and Sprint Cars, to his transition up the NASCAR ladder as driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.

    SECOND CHANCE TO WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE - The Dale Jr. Foundation is raffling off Dale Jr.’s 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. Raf-fle tickets are $25 and only 8,888 will be sold. The winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys of the car to the winner. Visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com for more information and follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • STP 300 Pre-Report

    EVENT: STP 300 (200 laps / 300 miles)
    TRACK: Chicagoland Speedway
    LENGTH: 1.5-mile tri-oval
    DATE: Sunday, July 22, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 2 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (2:45 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “I’m definitely getting better overall. My pace is getting faster every weekend. I remember hoping that I would be in the top 20 in practice. Now, I’m in the top 10 and hop-ing I can be top five or quickest. Practice and qualifying are getting much better. Good qualifying results help a lot during the race. I like seeing improvement.

    I think we just need to transition from a car that’s com-fortable for me, to a car that I deal with and can be fast through the whole run. Right now, it feels like I can be fast at the beginning or end of a run. I just need to put all three parts of the run together - beginning, middle and end.

    Our season is coming along. We’re working on things like qualifying, restarts and getting faster all the time. Everything is about finding improvement.”

    Cole Whitt - TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet
    “I’m glad to be getting back to a mile-and-a-half track. I don’t have a ton of experience at Chicagoland, but I think our TaxSlayer team has put a lot of work into the mile-and-a-half program. At Kentucky a couple weeks ago, we had a good piece but had to pit for fuel right before the end because we were off pit sequence. The car was fast though and that’s the car we are bringing to Chicago.

    The guys have done a solid job at the shop and we have unloaded well over the past few weeks. That’s really important. The better your car when you unload, the more time you have to fine tune on it dur-ing practice. If you don’t unload well, you end up chasing the car a lot and spending a lot of time trying to get it right.”

    Notes

    HOME SWEET HOME - Danica Patrick will race in front off her hometown crowd this weekend in Chicagoland. The 30-year-old hails from nearby Roscoe, Ill., a 90-mile trip northwest of downtown Chicago. The track was the site of Patrick’s third-career pole in IndyCar competition, where she holds six starts with an average finish of 10.8.

    PATRICK’S TOP 10 UPDATE - Patrick is currently ranked ninth in Nationwide Series driver points. Patrick’s position makes her the all-time highest ranked female in NNS competition this late into the season. She has retained a top-10 position in points during seven of the season’s first 17 races.

    PATRICK LOOKS TO CONTINUE 1.5-MILE SUCCESS - Patrick earned her second career top-10 finish in the Chicagoland event last summer. Additionally, all but one of her career top-10 efforts have come at high-banked 1.5-mile facilities (Chicagoland, Las Vegas, Texas). She is averaging a finish of 11.3 at 1.5-mile tracks in 2012.

    RECENT SUCCESS IN THE WINDY CITY - JR Motorsports rides a streak of success into Chicagoland Speedway. In the two Nationwide Series races at the 1.5-mile facility in 2011, JRM team cars amassed two top-five and four top-10 finishes. The company’s average finish at the track last year was 6.3.

    CHECK OUT THE RELAUNCHED COLE WHITT WEBSITE - For everything Cole Whitt, visit his newly-redesigned website at www.colewhitt.com. The expanded site features updated photos, news and videos. View recaps on Cole’s most recent races and learn about his beginnings in go-karts and Sprint Cars, to his transition up the NASCAR ladder as driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.

    PATRICK AND WHITT TO ATTEND NNS AUTOGRAPH SESSION - Patrick and Whitt will participate in the Nationwide Se-ries driver autograph session on Saturday, July 21, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. local time in Champion’s Park located in the fan con-course area.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Keep up with JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    SECOND CHANCE TO WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE - The Dale Jr. Foundation is raffling off Dale Jr.’s 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. Raf-fle tickets are $25 and only 8,888 will be sold. The winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys of the car to the winner. Visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com for more information and follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • Coming Soon: "Fastest Girl In Town" Video Starring Miranda Lambert & Danica Patrick

    NASHVILLE, TN -- As her new single "Fastest Girl In Town" is racing up the charts, Miranda Lambert recently called on some new friends to join her in the music video which was shot a few weeks ago.

    Miranda's partner in crime is NASCAR driver Danica Patrick. "Danica was the person I thought of immediately when I envisioned the video. We had so much fun playing two bad ass chicks up to no good," she laughs. "Danica has a really busy schedule, and I'm thrilled she was able to take time to come to Tennessee and be a part of this."

    Also along for the ride is famed actor W. Earl Brown, co-star of HBO's Deadwood and upcoming film The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp. Among over 90 films to his credit, he is well-known for his role as the brother of Cameron Diaz in There's Something About Mary. "Earl is a true character, and he brings so much charisma and authenticity to his scenes," tells Miranda.


    Directed by CMA Award winner Trey Fanjoy, "Fastest Girl In Town" is completely narrative; it's the first Miranda video with no vocal performance scenes. "I really get to act in the video. We have live sound and action scenes which feel more like a mini-movie than a music video," shares Miranda.

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  • F.W. Webb 200 Pre-Report

    EVENT: F.W. Webb 200 (200 laps / 211.6 miles)
    TRACK: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
    LENGTH: 1.058-mile oval
    DATE: Saturday, July 14, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: PRN (3:30 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “It’s kind of amazing to think that I don’t even notice it has been half a year of racing already. It does go quick. I like racing every weekend, actually. A weekend off makes me feel like I’ve been away for a really long time, even though that’s what I was used to IndyCar. I enjoy the schedule. To be honest, it’s everything else that keeps me really busy. It’s the stuff outside of the car that gets a little relentless at times.

    I feel good on the year thus far. I think that the last two years served as a good starting ground for a busier schedule. I did 30 races through the past two years and now I’m doing 34 weekends. It’s not that much more, so I feel like it’s been a good transition.”

    Cole Whitt - TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet
    “Last week I had one of the best superspeedway cars I’ve ever driven. It’s disappointing we didn’t have any-thing to show for it at the end of the race. But it does show how much our team is coming together. We’ve had some bad luck over the past couple weeks, but we know we’re a top 10 team and we’re working on be-coming a top five team, so that’s our goal moving for-ward.

    Loudon really isn’t one of my favorite tracks. I’m much more comfortable on the faster tracks with more banking. But that’s what makes the Nationwide schedule unique, the fact that you go to a variety of tracks. I do have some experience there in the trucks and the K&N Series, so the track’s not new to me, it’s just not one of my favorites.”

    Notes

    A PAIR OF TOP-FIVES - JR Motorsports finished last year’s race in New Hampshire by placing both its No. 88 and 7 team cars inside the top five. The effort marked the first time JRM teammates earned top fives in the Loudon event.

    SITE OF SECOND POLE - JR Motorsports earned its second organizational pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 28, 2008, with the No. 5 team. It was the second of the company’s seven career poles.

    PATRICK RETURNS TO LOUDON - Patrick takes to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the first time since her 13-race rookie campaign in 2010. She made only her fourth Nationwide start at the track, where she finished 30th after tangling with a competitor on the race’s seventh circuit.

    WHITT’S K&N EFFORTS AT THE MAGIC MILE - Whitt owns one top-five and one top-10 finish in two K&N Pro Series East starts at New Hampshire. His average start is 7.0 and he’s led 15 laps in those two events.

    DASH 4 CASH ROUND ONE - If drivers Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt are among the four highest finishing Nationwide Se-ries regulars at Loudon, they could be eligible for the second round of the Dash 4 Cash program. Dash 4 Cash is an on-track bonus program that rewards the highest finishing Nationwide Series regular in each of the next four consecutives races (New Hampshire, Chicagoland, Indianapolis and Iowa) with $100,000 bonus. It creates the potential for a $1 million payout to a single driver should they sweep all four of the program’s events. For a complete breakdown on the program and eligibility requirements visit www.nascar.com/dash4cash.

    WHITT AUTOGRAPH SESSION - Whitt will sign autographs at the JR Nation merchandise hauler, located in the fan con-course area, beginning at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 14.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Follow everything JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    SECOND CHANCE TO WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE - The Dale Jr. Foundation is raffling off Dale Jr.’s 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. Raf-fle tickets are $25 and only 8,888 will be sold. The winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys of the car to the winner. Visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com for more information and follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • TBD No More

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (July 10, 2012) – Danica Patrick will compete in the Oct. 21 Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the newly-paved Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.

    Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will benefit from an extra day of practice, scheduled for the Thursday before the race weekend due to the 1.5-mile oval being resurfaced since the Sprint Cup Series’ last visit to Kansas in April.

    “With the testing rules the way they are, we can’t test with her at tracks where NASCAR’s top three series compete,” said Greg Zipadelli, SHR competition director and race strategist for Patrick. “That extra day of testing will be huge for her. With the amount of 1.5-mile ovals on the schedule, it made sense to have her compete at Kansas to better prepare her for 2013.”

    The addition of Kansas Speedway completes Patrick’s 10-race Sprint Cup schedule for 2012, which includes upcoming races at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Aug. 25, Atlanta Motor Speedway Sept. 2, Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sept. 16, Dover (Del.) International Speedway Sept. 30, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth Nov. 4 and Phoenix International Raceway Nov. 11.

    Patrick made her Sprint Cup debut in the season-opening Daytona 500 Feb. 27 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and has since competed in the Southern 500 May 12 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and the Coca-Cola 600 May 27 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

    Patrick is no stranger to Kansas Speedway. She scored her first career IZOD IndyCar Series pole in July 2005 and qualified third or better in three of her six starts at Kansas. She also had three top-10 finishes at Kansas in IndyCar Series competition. Her lone NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Kansas came in October 2011 when she started 15th and finished 15th.

    “I’ve always liked racing at Kansas Speedway,” Patrick said. “I think the extra day of testing will be very beneficial, not only to prepare for the race weekend, but to learn for the rest of 2012 and looking ahead to 2013 with Stewart-Haas Racing. The more track time I can get, the better, so I’m happy to be driving the GoDaddy.com Chevy at Kansas.”

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  • Subway Jalapeno 250 Post-Report

    Race 16 of 33: Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway
    Track Specs: 2.5-mile tri-oval / 100 laps
    Weather: Clear; 81 deg.
    Race Winner: Kurt Busch
    Whitt’s finish: 29th
    Patrick’s finish: 31st

    After a strong start misfortune found Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt in the form of separate accidents, which took both JR Motorsports cars out of contention in Friday night’s Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Whitt drove a steady race in the No. 88 Degree MEN Chevrolet, leading once for three laps. He was caught in a massive 14-car pileup on lap 66 that sent the team to the garage for extensive repairs. Whitt returned his damaged car to the track and limped home to a 29th-place finish. Patrick saw another solid showing in the GoDaddy.com/ NASCAR Unites – An American Salute Chevrolet disappear. Rarely falling outside the top five, she led five times for 13 laps before making evasive maneuvers to avoid a wreck on lap 83. The reaction sent her across a competitor’s front bumper and resulted in hard impact with the inside retaining wall, abruptly ending the No. 7 team’s night with a finish of 31st.

    Cole Whitt, driver No. 88 Degree MEN team
    “This certainly wasn’t the finish we hoped for with our Degree MEN Chevrolet. I felt like we had a good race going up to that point. We got shuffled around a little bit, but we led laps. These types of races are just a wildcard sometimes. It’s unfortunate we got caught up in someone else’s wreck. There was just nowhere for us to go, running in a pack like that. I’ve got to thank all the guys on this 88 team. They worked real hard to get us back out after the wreck and they did a great job.”

    Danica Patrick, driver No. 7 GoDaddy.com / NASCAR Unites – An American Salute team
    “It’s just a bummer. The Go Daddy car was really fast. I feel bad for (crew chief) Tony Jr. I was disappointed and I could hear the disappointment in his voice after the accident. I thought we were going to win tonight. It felt like the IndyCar days when you’re close to a win and it’s frustrating when it doesn’t happen. There was an accident happening in front of me and the best thing you can do is try to get around it. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us tonight.”

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  • Subway Jalapeno 250 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Subway Jalapeno 250 (100 laps / 250 miles)
    TRACK: Daytona International Speedway
    LENGTH: 2.5-mile tri-oval
    DATE: Friday, July 6, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 7 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (7:15 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com / NASCAR Unites - An American Salute
    “I’m just glad I can go to a place like Daytona in a stock car and have it be a place where I run competitively and run well. I think for me at this point, Daytona is the first track that I’m going to have a good opportunity at. It’s pack racing. It’s very fast. You don’t lift off the throt-tle and it’s also the most like IndyCar racing. That is what IndyCar racing is like at anything bigger than one-mile.

    It’s going to be a fun weekend of racing sur-rounding the Fourth of July. We’re changing up the Go Daddy car a bit for this race and you won’t see the typical Go Daddy green. We’re going with a red, white and blue theme as part of the NASCAR Unites program. The Go Daddy car will look a lot different under the lights. It’s for a great cause and our way of saying thank you to all the service members and their families.”

    Cole Whitt - Degree MEN Chevrolet
    “We’ve done a good job staying out of trouble during the first two restrictor-plate races so hopefully we can keep that going this weekend. More so than with other tracks, luck has a lot to do with where you finish at Daytona. You’ve got to have a good, strong car, but the wrecks can happen anywhere. I’m of the opinion that if you’re trying to position yourself to avoid the big wreck, you’re overthinking it.

    I think we just try to get to the front and stay there. Typically if you can lead laps and position your-self in the top five, the rest will take care of itself. Plus we’re going to do our best to qualify for the Dash 4 Cash program, and you’re going to have to be up front to do that. It really is a cool program and great incentive for the series regulars. It’ll be fun.”

    Notes

    PATRIOTIC COLORS FOR DANICA AND GO DADDY - The familiar green Go Daddy Chevrolet will take on a special patriotic look this weekend at Daytona. The No. 7 car is part of the “NASCAR Unites - An American Salute” program, a six-week patriotic initiative uniting the NASCAR industry and fans this summer to celebrate America and support U.S. military families. The paint scheme features the American flag and is pre-dominately white with red and blue detailing. Visit www.nascar.com/unites for more details on the program.

    GREEN FLAG FOR NATIONWIDE’S DASH 4 CASH PROGRAM - The Dash 4 Cash program begins this weekend with the Daytona event being used as a qualifier for the four-week shootout. Dash 4 Cash is an on-track bonus program that rewards the highest finishing Nationwide Series regular in each of the next four consecutive races (New Hampshire, Chicagoland, Indianapolis and Iowa) with a $100,000 bonus. It creates the potential for a $1 million payout to a single driver should they sweep all four events. For a complete breakdown on the program and eligibility re-quirements visit www.nascar.com/dash4cash.

    JRM AT DAYTONA 2011 RECAP - Patrick worked well in the tandem draft at Daytona last summer, with both the 7 and the 88 Chevrolets clear-cut contenders throughout the evening. Patrick took the lead with two laps to go with a push from the 88 car, but her chance for victory was ruined by a multi-car accident within sight of the checkered flag. As a result, the 88 and 7 machines finished ninth and 10th, respectively.

    EARNHARDT JR. AND WHITT ON ESPN’S COUNTDOWN SHOW - Don’t miss an exclusive sit-down interview with JRM Co -Owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Cole Whitt during the NNS Countdown show, airing at 7 p.m. EST on Friday, July 6, on ESPN.

    PATRICK LEADS AT DAYTONA - Of Patrick’s laps led in Nationwide Series competition, 73% (16 of 22) have come at Day-tona International Speedway. It was also the site of her first NASCAR pole last spring.

    WHITT’S RESTRICTOR PLATE RECORD - With only two restrictor-plate races to his credit this season, Whitt has top-five finishes in both events. He finished fourth at both Daytona and Talladega earlier this year.

    WHITT TO APPEAR ON TRACKSIDE - Cole Whitt will be a guest on SPEED’s “Trackside” on Thursday, July 5, at 8 p.m. EST. Whitt will join host Krista Voda along with Kyle Petty and Rutlege Wood on SPEED’s at-track variety talk show.

    COLE WHITT TO VISIT WINN DIXIE IN ORMOND BEACH - Whitt will sign autographs for race fans on behalf of the Degree MEN and Hellmann’s brands from 10-11 a.m. EST on Thursday, July 5, at the Winn Dixie (store #2309), located at 353 West Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach, Fla. The event is open to the public.

    AT-TRACK AUTOGRAPH SESSIONS - Whitt will sign autographs at the JR Nation merchandise hauler, located in the fan concourse area, beginning at 5:30 p.m. EST on Friday, July 6.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Follow everything JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    SECOND CHANCE TO WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE - The Dale Jr. Foundation is raffling off Dale Jr.’s 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. Raf-fle tickets are $25 and only 8,888 will be sold. The winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys of the car to the winner. Visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com for more information and follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • Feed the Children 300 Post-Report

    Race 15 of 33: Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway
    Track Specs: 1.5-mile tri-oval / 200 laps
    Weather: Clear; 85 deg.
    Race Winner: Austin Dillon
    Patrick’s finish: 12th
    Whitt’s finish: 14th

    Danica Patrick’s 12th-place finish led the JR Motorsports teams to a pair of top-15 finishes in Friday night’s Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Making her stock car debut at the track, Patrick settled into a spot in the top half of the field and solidly maintained until the checkered flag fell. Patrick’s effort in the Go Daddy Chevrolet netted the team its seventh top 15 of the season. Cole Whitt saw a sure top 10 fizzle when the Degree MEN team pitted for fuel 12 laps shy of the finish. The team struggled through radio issues early in the race that forced the 88 off pit sequence with the leaders and created the shortage on its fuel window.

    Danica Patrick, driver No. 7 GoDaddy.com team
    “We made the most of our weekend. Our qualifying run was a little better than where we had practiced. But in the race it was one thing or another. When the balance was okay, our Go Daddy car didn’t seem like it was down in the track. It made the night a little frustrating. I felt like I couldn’t get any more out of it. I guess we just have a few things to work on and think about for next week.”

    Cole Whitt, driver No. 88 Degree MEN team
    “Things didn’t end up the way we had hoped tonight. Our Degree MEN car was a little loose for the start of the race. We were going to take two tires on that first pit stop, but Bruce (Cook) called for four. We were having radio problems and I didn’t hear him change the call, so I took off after they changed two. That’s what put us off pit sequence with everyone else.

    “Even after all that we still had a chance at a top-10 finish. We just needed a caution in the last 25 laps. It didn’t happen. It’s a shame, but we’ll learn and move on to Daytona next week.”

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  • Feed the Children 300 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Feed the Children 300 (200 laps / 300 miles)
    TRACK: Kentucky Speedway
    LENGTH: 1.5-mile tri-oval
    DATE: Friday, June 29, 2012
    TV: ESPN2 (Coverage begins at 7 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: PRN (7 p.m. EST)

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “For me, I feel like as my speed has come up and the fact that I’m racing further up the grid, I’m racing against new people now. I’ve said it from the very begin-ning when I first came into NASCAR, you’ve got to earn the respect from the folks you’re driving around. I feel like I’m racing against different drivers now. It’s just a matter of finding the limits with each other and earning that respect. That’s what I’m working on doing.

    I’m far more interested in overall pace and learn-ing at this point than I am about the exact result. The results will end up coming when I put it all together. We were almost able to do that last weekend at Road Amer-ica. We were poised for a strong finish and it just didn’t happen. We’ll keep on trying. Overall, pace and learning are what the focus is right now.”


    Cole Whitt - Degree MEN Chevrolet
    “We’ve put together some good points races over the past couple of weeks. Looking ahead to Ken-tucky, that’s something our Degree Men team wants to continue doing. We came out in those first few races of the season and ran well. Then from around Bristol through Richmond we really struggled. I think our team is at the point now where we can consis-tently run in the top 10, so we want to improve on that. It’s cool to see us gaining some ground and see-ing growth in the team. I think there is a lot of posi-tive chemistry within our group. We have some great guys on the team and I really enjoy working with them. Bruce (Cook) and I are on the same page with the feel we need in the car and that’s a good place to be.”
     

    Notes

    RED, WHITE AND BLUE FOR DEGREE MEN - Degree Men is on board Cole Whitt’s Chevrolet this weekend at Kentucky for the first of three races with the 88 team in 2012. The car will feature patriotic-themed colors in conjunction with the “NASCAR Unites - An American Salute” program, a six week patriotic initiative uniting the NAS-CAR industry and fans this summer to celebrate America and support U.S. military families.

    KENTUCKY IN-RACE REPORTER - Whitt will serve as the ESPN In-Race reporter for this weekend’s Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Crew chief Bruce Cook will also give his thoughts from atop the No. 88 team’s pit box.

    WHITT TO MAKE KENTUCKY WALMART APPEARANCE - Whitt will appear at the Walmart in Carrollton, Ky. to sign auto-graphs for fans on Thursday, June 28, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST on behalf of Unilever, Degree Men and the Hellmann’s brands.

    TEAM JRM SEASON STATS - The JRM teams have combined to score six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes to date in 2012 with drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ron Fellows, Danica Patrick and rookie Cole Whitt. The teams have also earned one pole and led 58 laps on the season.

    STRONG SEVEN FOR WHITT - Two of Whitt’s three top-fives and five of his seven top-10s on the year have been earned in the past seven races (Talladega through Road America). During that time, Whitt has secured an average finish of 10.9 and accumulated 235 points.

    ONE OF FOUR FOR PATRICK - Kentucky Speedway is one of only four tracks on the current 33-race Nationwide Series schedule where Patrick has yet to make a stock car start. The other three facilities include Atlanta Motor Speedway, Indian-apolis Motor Speedway and Watkins Glen International.

    INDYCAR STRENGTH - Patrick is making her stock car debut at Kentucky, but she has raced there seven times in IndyCar competition, with top-10 finishes in four of those events. The speedway was also the site of her second-career pole. Patrick’s average finish at the facility is 11.1.

    INTERMEDIATE UPDATE - Patrick earned her season-best finish of eighth at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season. Of her 12 career top-15 showings, all but one have come at tracks 1.5-miles in length or larger.

    JRM SOCIAL MEDIA - Follow everything JR Motorsports through the team’s @JRMotorsports Twitter account and JR Mo-torsports Facebook page. You can also follow JRM drivers Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick), Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) and General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller (@EarnhardtKelley) via Twitter.

    SECOND CHANCE TO WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE - The Dale Jr. Foundation is raffling off Dale Jr.’s 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. Raf-fle tickets are $25 and only 8,888 will be sold. The winner will be invited to JR Motorsports, where Dale Jr. will personally hand over the keys of the car to the winner. Visit www.WinDaleJrsRide.com for more information and follow the Foundation’s Twitter account @TDJF.

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  • Sargento 200 Post-Report

    Race 14 of 33: Sargento 200 at Road America
    Track Specs: 4.058-mile road course / 50 laps
    Weather: Cloudy; 75 deg.
    Race Winner: Nelson Piquet, Jr.
    Fellows’ finish: 3rd
    Whitt’s finish: 9th
    Patrick’s finish: 12th

    Ron Fellows’ third-place finish in the No. 5 AER Manufacturing Chevrolet capped a strong effort by all three JR Motorsports teams in Saturday’s Sargento 200 at Road America. Fellows overcame a flat tire on lap nine, which forced him down pit road, and relegated the team to 25th-place. Fellows quickly gained ground, drove back inside the top-10 and methodically picked off positions until he claimed third place. He mounted a charge on the second-place car of Michael McDowell on the last lap, but ran out time to complete the pass. Danica Patrick was a frontrunner from the drop of the green flag, piecing together a strong showing in the No. 7. She was racing hard for fourth position with the 22 of Jacques Villeneuve on the last lap, when Villeneuve made contact with the bumper of the Go Daddy machine. The incident sent Patrick careening off course and into a gravel trap. She finished 12th. Cole Whitt had a solid but quiet race in his Road America debut. Whitt drove as high as fourth in the VooDoo Ride Chevrolet and finished the day in ninth.

    Ron Fellows, driver No. 5 AER Manufacturing team
    “My heart sank when I knew we had that flat tire. Fortunately, I was able to limp the car around, but I thought for sure we were going to go a lap down. Somehow we managed to stay on the lead lap and work our way back up toward the front. We had a good race there with Michael (McDowell) at the end and that was a lot of fun. But neither of us had anything for Nelson (Piquet, Jr.).

    “I’ve got to thank AER, Canadian Tire and everyone at JR Motorsports. It has been great fun driving for Dale Jr. and Rick Hendrick at Road America. This is a great facility and it’s neat to come here and be able to run so well.”

    Cole Whitt, driver No. 88 VooDoo Ride team
    “We did what we came here to do. We didn’t get caught up in anyone else’s mess, kept all VooDoo Ride Chevrolet on the track and out of trouble for the entire day. At the end of it, we managed a top-10 finish. That’s what we were hoping for today.”

    Danica Patrick, driver No. 7 GoDaddy.com team
    “I’ll start with the positive. We ran in the top-five all day. I took the lead for a brief moment. Then I learned my lesson down in turn five when you try to get a little more out of the brake zone. The bummer is that we weren’t able to finish that off and finish with a top-five like we all deserved. The guys did a great job in the pits. They were awesome. Tony Jr. gave me a great Go Daddy car. We’ve been running better, we just haven’t been able close the deal.

    “I think everyone saw what happened with the 22. You can make a decision for yourself. I wasn’t going to just give him the position. He was going to have to race me for it and he wasn’t able to do that cleanly. So it is what it is.”

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  • Sargento 200 Pre-Report

    EVENT: Sargento 200 (50 laps / 202.4 miles)
    TRACK: Road America
    LENGTH: 4.048-mile 14-turn road course
    DATE: Saturday, June 23, 2012
    TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 3 p.m. EST)
    RADIO: MRN (3:15 p.m. EST)
     

    Danica Patrick - GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
    “I’m of the opinion that expectations shouldn’t always equal results. It’s not about what everyone thinks should be done. It’s about how my team and I are working together, what we hope for and what our goals are. Expectations are just a point of conversation.

    Obviously, we want to keep improving on the things we’ve done, and we will. That’s just going to take time. I could go through all the things that I think have been better over the years - and there are quite a few of them. Instead of getting upset about the individual weekends and results, it’s better to think about what you’ve improved on, and the things you need to improve on moving forward, so your results keep getting better.”

    Cole Whitt - VooDoo Ride Chevrolet
    “I’m not sure what to expect this week-end. Sometimes it’s difficult to establish clear goals when it’s track new to me. I know we want to have a strong finish. A lot of the guys say that half the battle is just keeping all four tires on the track.

    Our team was lucky to go testing last month with Ron (Fellows). He is a great road course racer and an excellent teacher. As a rookie, I’m very thankful that he is running for our team this weekend. He is very open and willing to help. All you have to do is ask.

    It’s neat to be running the VooDoo Ride paint scheme on our car this weekend. It’s probably one of the coolest looking cars I’ve driven. I think the matte black finish looks good and what’s not to like about a green skull on the hood?”

    Ron Fellows - AER Manufacturing Chevrolet
    “I have been fortunate enough to finish second at both Road America races over the last two years. But it is no secret that last year was much more disappointing (see RA 2011 recap note).

    Given the situation in hindsight, I know NASCAR made the right call with the finish. We don't have to like it, but it's over and done with. My wife had joked that I wasn't going to be able to keep the Harley Davidson motorcycle for winning last year anyway.

    But we're back with yet another oppor-tunity with JRM and AER Manufacturing. I’m hopeful that the third time really is a charm. If we can improve one position from our finish last year, we’ll have this thing won. That sounds a lot easier than it’s going to be.”

    Notes

    FELLOWS BACK WITH JRM FOR THREE RACES - Accomplished road racer Ron Fel-lows will return to the seat of the No. 5 Chevrolet this weekend at Road America. A native of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Fellows has scored one win (Circuit Gilles Ville-neuve 2008), four top-five and six top-10 finishes in nine career races with JRM. Fellows will also drive JRM’s third entry in races at Watkins Glen International (Watkins Glen, N.Y.) on Aug. 11, and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Montreal, Quebec, Can-ada) on Aug. 18.

    ROAD AMERICA 2011 RECAP - Ron Fellows had a win in hand in the final laps of last year’s event at Road America. But a NASCAR ruling after the race was over forced Fellows to surrender the victory since his pass of Reed Sorenson happened just as the caution came out. Sorenson was declared the winner and Fellows finished sec-ond.

    FELLOWS AT ROAD AMERICA - Fellows has finished second in both of his career Nationwide starts at the 14-turn road course. His average start is 8.5 and he has led six laps at the facility.

    FELLOWS AND POPS COMBO - Fellows will be paired with veteran crew chief Tony “Pops” Eury Sr. for his three road course races with JR Motorsports this season. The duo worked together in 2010, racing the No. 88 Chevrolet to one top-five and two top-10 finishes in three races. Their average finish was 12.6.

    FELLOWS IN NNS COMPETITION - Fellows’ Nationwide Series history goes back 15 years to 1997. In his 21 career races, he scored four wins, nine top-five, and 12 top-10 finishes. Fellows earned two poles, led 215 laps, and had an average finish of 15.0 with an average start of 8.0.

    JACK OF ALL TRADES - A longtime sports car and road-racing veteran, Fellows is credited with three class championships in the American Le Mans Series, two class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and 19 overall victories in the Sports Car Club of America's Trans-Am Series as a member of the Corvette Racing Team. His NASCAR credentials include six overall wins (two in the Camping World Truck Series), and two runner-up finishes in Sprint Cup competition.

    HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY TO WHITT - Whitt turns 21 on Friday, June 22, 2012 and will spend the day participating in a pair of practice sessions leading up to the 50-lap race at Road America on Saturday. Impressively, Whitt has earned the following racing accolades prior to turning 21: one of the few drivers to have raced in all three of NASCAR’s top touring series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World) before the age of 21...became the youngest USAC National Champion in history in 2008...named Hoosier Sprint Car rookie of the year in 2006...earned eight International Karting Federation champion-ships...drove to two World Karting Association Grand National Championships.

    NNS FIRST FOR WHITT - Rookie Cole Whitt is preparing for his first Nationwide Series start at a road course. He competed in one road course race at Lime Rock Park in the K&N Pro Series East during the 2010 season. Whitt qualified second and led 12 laps prior to earning a second-place finish.

    VOODOO ON THE 88 CHEVROLET – Whitt’s No. 88 Chevrolet features the VooDoo Ride paint scheme this weekend at Road America. The black scheme showcases VooDoo Ride’s chilling skull logo on its hood and quarter panels. VooDoo Ride is a car care and lifestyle company co-founded by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2007. Visit its website at www.voodooride.com to see its vast array of car care products.

    AER MANUFACTURING BACK FOR THIRD YEAR WITH JRM - AER Manufacturing, a world leader in the engine remanufac-turing industry for more than 60 years, will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 5 Chevrolet this weekend. The company has been a supporter of Fellows for 22 years in the Trans Am Series, NASCAR and the American Le Mans Series. Fellows drove an AER-branded JRM Chevrolet at Road America in 2010 and 2011.

    SECOND ATTEMPT FOR DP - Patrick makes her second NASCAR start at a road course, but first at Road America this week-end. Her previous start came at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2011, where she qualified 25th. Patrick looked to be on the cusp of a top-15, but succumbed to brake issues and finished 24th.