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.
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.