great little article here:
April 14, 2012
Patrick Uses Bad Breaker, Late Yellow and Angry Driving to Finish 8th at Texas
A bad electrical breaker and some oil on the race track brought some good luck to Danica Patrick on Friday the 13th at Texas Motor Speedway.
Fortunate yellows combined with a late tire gamble by crew chief Tony Eury Jr. and some driving angry from Patrick helped her advance from 20th to 8th in the last 50 laps of Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide race.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the race that came down to a six-lap trophy dash after a blown engine brought out a yellow late. Stenhouse passed Austin Dillon for the lead with 23 to go, then overtook Denny Hamlin on the first lap of the final restart. The top five at the finish were Stenhouse, Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne, Hamlin and Dillon. The win was Roush Fenway Racing's fourth consecutive victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
Patrick drove from her starting position of P17 to P8 in part by “getting a little ####” as her spotter Rick Carelli put it on Patrick's in-car radio. Fans could listen to radio transmissions from any driver to his or her pit crew thanks to a free online service provided by series sponsor Nationwide Insurance.
Carelli is a former racer and Regan Smith’s spotter in NASCAR Cup. He also spotted for Patrick at Bristol. Running around P15 most of the race, Patrick blamed herself for a slow green-flag pit stop that caused her to be lapped late in the race. She charged after the leader, remaining in the Lucky Dog position (first car a lap down) for multiple laps. “I was a little frickin' mad when the leader went by me then I was abusing the car a little bit,” Patrick told Carelli on her radio during a late yellow.
By focusing the rage Danica manage to hold onto that Lucky Dog spot long enough for a bank of lights on the inside of turn three to go dark for the second time during the race. The lighting failure brought out the yellow on lap 163 of 200, which put Patrick back on the lead lap. “Oh, amen!” said Danica on her radio.
With Patrick back on the lead lap and the entire field red flagged for about 10 minutes as track wrokers replaced a breaker switch in the lighting system, Tony Eury Jr. decided to gamble that there would be at least one more yellow. With enough of fuel to make the race distance and Patrick restarting at the end of the longest line (but back on the lead lap) Eury elected not to pit for fresh tires.
He told Patrick via radio that saving the fresh tires to use during a later pit stop was a better bet than using them up coming up through the traffic at this point. Patrick’s job would be to pass numerous lapped cars on the restart and drive as far up the field as possible then hang on for a lucky yellow.
The strategy played out perfectly on lap 189 when an engine failure by Ryan Truex or Kurt Busch (they happened almost simultaneously) dropped oil on the track, bringing out the hoped-for yellow. “GOLD!” Patrick said when the yellow flew to which Eury responded "this is good; this is good." After pitting for new tires, Patrick emerged in P16 for what amounted to a six-lap trophy dash finish.
With fresh tires, some aggression and verbal encouragements from both Carelli ("elbows up!") and Eury, Patrick charged from 16th to 8th, including getting into the middle of a three-wide through a corner late. “#### yeah I was going to make it three-wide,” Patrick said on her radio after the race. Later she Tweeted "Good calls tonight, nice to have a solid finish for the @GoDaddy gang."
Patrick improved to 11th overall in points. Elliott Saddler leads the points standings, followed by Stenhouse, Dillion and Sam Hornish Jr.
Full field run-down:
1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Pure Michigan Ford 200 $83,843 Running
2. Paul Menard(i) Menards/Rheem Chevrolet 200 $56,525 Running
3. Kasey Kahne(i) Great Clips Chevrolet 200 $36,825 Running
4. Denny Hamlin(i) SportClips Toyota 200 $32,115 Running
5. Austin Dillon # American Ethanol Chevrolet 200 $37,758 Running
6. David Ragan(i) Mercury Ford 200 $24,015 Running
7. Justin Allgaier Brandt Chevrolet 200 $28,433 Running
8. Danica Patrick GoDaddy.com Chevrolet 200 $29,658 Running
9. Michael Annett Pilot/Flying J Ford 200 $26,768 Running
10. Steve Arpin Mike's On The Rocks Chevrolet 200 $27,383 Running
11. Sam Hornish Jr. Wurth Dodge 200 $25,908 Running
12. Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Chevrolet 200 $25,658 Running
13. Cole Whitt # TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet 200 $25,408 Running
14. Dale Earnhardt Jr.(i) Degree Chevrolet 200 $18,580 Running
15. Joey Logano(i) GameStop/Batman 2 DC Super Heroes Toyota 200 $18,745 Running
16. Mike Bliss TriStar Motorsports Toyota 199 $25,028 Running
17. Joe Nemechek SWM International Toyota 199 $24,218 Running
18. Jason Bowles # American Majority Toyota 199 $24,033 Running
19. Mike Wallace G&K Services Chevrolet 198 $23,698 Running
20. Johanna Long # Foretravel Chevrolet 197 $24,263 Running
"Excuse me, pardon me, comin' through" ~ Tony Stewart
"Take a deep breath, I've got this" ~ Tony Stewart