Good preformance at a track where her best finish was 29th.
Danica Patrick said last week after her career-best finish of sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway that “it’s great, but I keep thinking that I suck at Richmond.”
She can stop thinking that way now, as she started 13th and finished a respectable 16th in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. In three previous NASCAR Sprint Cup races there, she had never finished better than 29th.
“It was a good day,” Patrick said. “Everyone on the GoDaddy team worked hard; we had good night. I’m proud of where we have been the last two weeks, and tonight was by far our best run at Richmond. It was a good job by the team.”
Patrick ran between 10th and 20th all night and was 16th on lap 211 when her Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Kevin Harvick put her car one lap down. She kept after it, though, and passed Denny Hamlin on lap 300 to become the first car one lap down.
Things get interesting
Things got interesting for Patrick when the caution came out on lap 330. Hers was the first car one lap down, so she got to get her lap back via the “Lucky Dog” rule. The caution was for a person that had climbed the outside retaining fence about 10 feet in turn four. The incident was bizarre, but Patrick and the GoDaddy team benefited by getting back on the lead lap. Unfortunately, she had to start at the rear of the field per the rule, and it was the last caution of the day, so she remained 16th.
“If we could have got one more caution, it would have been nice,” Patrick said. “But it didn’t happen. Still, I’m proud of these guys and for GoDaddy. It’s our best run here by far. We’ve been testing a lot, so hopefully everyone can wind down on Sunday before we get ready for Chicago.”