“It was just a frustrating day”
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.
“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.