Judy Garland’s character, Dorothy Gale, stated “there’s no place like home” in the 1939 movie classic “Wizard of Oz.” That sentiment rings true for Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), as she competes in Sunday’s Tales of the Turtles 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.
Patrick grew up in Roscoe, Illinois, which is 115 miles northwest of the racetrack and 90 miles northwest of Chicago. As a result, she will have a number of friends and family members in attendance. And when racing near home in front of family and friends, a driver wants to be successful.
In addition, as Patrick returns to Chicagoland, she will continue to help promote Aspen Dental’s “Get Started” initiative. As the “Official Dentist of NASCAR”, the dentists and teams at Aspen Dental practices are making it easier for NASCAR to “Get Started” on their way to a healthier mouth. In March, Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the United States, announced a new health initiative with NASCAR and Patrick called Get Started. Together, they hope to get as many of the 150 million Americans who do not visit the dentist each year to get started or restarted on the road to a healthier mouth. Get Started makes it easier for fans to go to the dentist, no matter what’s holding them back. Fans can visit AspenDental.com/GetStarted to schedule appointments. Get Started is all about making it easier for NASCAR fans and the rest of the public to improve their oral health. There are 600 Aspen Dental practices around the country to choose from. And, from the moment fans make an appointment, they receive help with paperwork and insurance and, with its compassionate dentists and hygienists, Aspen Dental practices make it easier to Get Started – easier on patients’ time, wallets, and mouths.
When Patrick takes to the track at Chicagoland in her No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion this weekend, not only will she be returning to her “home” track and helping Aspen Dental further the “Get Started” effort, she will also be returning to a facility where she has experienced a measure of success. In five NASCAR Cup Series starts at the track, she finished a career-best 19th there in September 2014 and has two top-20 finishes to her credit. In four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, she finished a career-best 10th in June 2011 and has earned three top-15 finishes. Patrick also competed in six IndyCar Series events at Chicagoland, earning a pole award in September 2005, two top-10 race finishes and six top-15s.
This weekend “there’s no place like home” for Patrick as she looks to score another good run for the Aspen Dental team.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What are your overall thoughts on Chicago?
“I enjoy any reason to get to Chicago. I just love the city. It’s a great place. There’s so much to do – the restaurants, the shopping – it’s just a world-class city. I’ve been going there ever since I got my driver’s license. I would drive downtown and park by the Water Tower and my girlfriend and I would put on our rollerblades and tear it up on Lake Shore (Drive).”
You grew up in Roscoe, Illinois, about 115 miles northwest of Chicagoland Speedway. Will you have a lot of family and friends at the race this weekend?
“There are going to be a few out at the track. I normally don’t have a lot because I don’t exactly volunteer tickets because it’s a lot of work and there’s a lot going on during the weekend. For people who come out to the track, you want them to have a good time and, if you don’t feel like you can help them have a good time, then there’s not much point. But it will be nice to have family and friends out. It’s a little different because I rarely have people at the races with me. It’s nice to see everyone and have their support and hopefully we put on a good show for them.”