Danica Patrick looking to improve at Richmond
Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images
Danica Patrick's No. 10 car is rolled onto pit road at Kansas Speedway.
By Dominic Aragon
September 5, 2014
In an attempt to help her team and performance, Danica Patrick will come to Richmond International Raceway with a “different approach.”
In three Cup starts at Richmond, Patrick has finished 29th, 30th, and 34th respectively.
“The first thing I think of when going to Richmond is we have sucked there each and every time (laughs), so we are going there with a different approach,” Patrick said in pre-race press release. “[We will use] a different approach from what we will need out of the car to be good on Saturday night, and let’s hope it will work.”
In six overall starts at Richmond across the Nationwide Series and Cup Series, Patrick has failed to finish on the lead lap with a best finish of 18th in the summer 2011 Nationwide race.
But one can wonder if momentum from last week’s race at Atlanta can carry over for the No. 10 team.
Patrick finished sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway last Sunday night, scoring her best finish of the season—and career—in the Oral-B USA 500.
Patrick, who restarted inside the top-five on the final restart, narrowly missed scoring a top-five finish.
“We just missed it by a thousandth of a second or something with Carl [Edwards],” Patrick said. “We made steady progress all weekend and that is what happens when you do.
“We were just fast enough to be the lucky dog and we worked really hard to beat the 3 [of Austin Dillon] to the lucky dog and that was kind of the turning point because there was a quick restart and we could move up.”
With one race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins, Patrick remains one of 14 drivers on the outside looking in. While she is too far back to make the Chase on points alone, a win Saturday night guarantees Patrick a spot in this year’s Chase.
With desperation likely high for many outside drivers, Patrick believes the racing will be more intense.
“I highly doubt it will be business as usual,” she said. “You want to get the most points possible because those spots are open and people are going to try like hell to win the race.
“There is always that last great push at the end and it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Might be a few yellows.”