Danica Patrick and the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS team left Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway with a 19th-place finish in the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
The race, originally scheduled to run under the lights on Saturday night, was postponed until Sunday afternoon due to persistent rain. Patrick started from the 24th position. Despite battling handling issues, she remained inside the top-30 through the team’s first two trips to pit road.
When the caution flag waved at lap 75, crew chief Daniel Knost called for the team to stay out in an effort to gain track position as many of the lead-lap cars pitted. Patrick lined up seventh for the subsequent restart but fell back to the 25th position in less than 20 laps as she battled a car that wouldn’t turn and was on older tires than the cars she was racing against. She went a lap down to the leader during the long, green-flag run that followed.
The GoDaddy team made a scheduled, green-flag pit stop at lap 120 and made wedge and packer adjustments to help improve the car’s handling. Less than 10 laps later, Patrick reported that the car was “definitely driving a lot better” following the adjustments. Once the field cycled through pit stops, she was scored 24th.
As Patrick prepared to hit pit road for another green-flag stop, her spotter called for her to stay out, a timely call just before the caution flag waved for debris at lap 168. Knost and the team then made another four-tire change with packer and wedge adjustments when Patrick brought the No. 10 Chevrolet to pit road at lap 170.
Less than 15 laps later Patrick was able to race her way into position to be the first car one lap down, and she got to wave-around and get back on the lead lap when the caution flag waved at lap 182. The team pitted twice under the caution, as Patrick noted a vibration in the tires after the first trip to pit road and Knost called her back to the team’s stall for another four-tire stop as a precautionary measure.
In the final stages of Sunday’s race, Patrick remained inside the top-25 and was able to advance from 23rd to 19th following the team’s final stop of the day at lap 282. She took the checkered flag in the 19th position, one lap down to the leader. It was Patrick’s 11th top-20 finish of the season and her career-best finish at the 1.5-mile track. She remains 24th in the driver point standings.“We struggled a bit with the handling on the GoDaddy Chevy today,” Patrick said. “We were able to bring home a decent finish in the end, but we have to keep working on getting better each week.”