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.
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.”