DANICA PATRICK – 2017 Darlington Race Report

September 4th, 2017

Event:               Southern 500 (Round 25 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
Format:             367 laps, broken into three segments (100 laps/100 laps/167 laps)
Start/Finish:      33rd/26th (Running, completed 363 of 367 laps)
Point Standings: 28th (363 points) 

Race Winner:    Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner:             Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):

  • Danica Patrick started 33rd and finished 26th.
  • The No. 10 Ford Credit Ford Fusion team ran as high as 25th, but Patrick noted the car was “tight in the center and loose off” throughout Stage 1. She went a lap down to the leader at lap 80.
  • The team pitted at laps 18, 42 and 104 for tires and fuel. On the third stop, the team also added tape to the grille. 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):

  • Started 25th and finished 27th.
  • When the caution flag waved at lap 125, crew chief Billy Scott called for the team to take the wave-around to get back on the lead lap. Patrick once again went a lap down to the leader during the subsequent long, green-flag run.
  • Patrick went a second lap down to the leader when the team pitted under green-flag conditions for tires and fuel at lap 154. The caution flag waved on the following lap, and Patrick was able to take the wave-around when all of teams on the lead lap pitted.
  • Patrick wasn’t able to make up any ground in the closing laps of Stage 2, and the No. 10 Ford Credit Ford team finished 27th, two laps down to the leader. The team pitted between stages for tires and fuel and added more tape to the grille. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 201-367):

  • Started 27th and finished 26th.
  • Patrick continued to battle with an ill-handling racecar in the final stage of the race. She raced as high as 25th before taking the checkered flag in the 26th position, scored four laps down to the leader.
  • The No. 10 Ford Credit Ford team pitted at laps 250, 291 and 327 for tires, fuel and adjustments. 

Notes:              

  • This was Patrick’s sixth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and her 179th career NASCAR Cup Series start.
  • Patrick earned 11 points in Sunday night’s race at Darlington Raceway, which puts her at 363 total points for the season thus far. She is ranked 28th in the driver point standings.
  • There were eight caution periods for a total of 38 laps.
  • Only eight of the 40 drivers in the Southern 500 finished on the lead lap.
  • Denny Hamlin won the Southern 500 to score his 31st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his second at Darlington Raceway. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was 2.599 seconds.
  • Martin Truex Jr. leads the championship standings with 1,000 points and has a 107-point margin over his nearest pursuer, Busch.

Next Up:                                                                       

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.