DANICA PATRICK – 2017 Indianapolis Race Report

Event:               Brickyard 400 (Round 20 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format:             160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Note:                 Race ended under caution in overtime, going seven laps past its scheduled 160-lap distance
Start/Finish:      23rd/11th (Running, completed 167 of 167 laps)
Point Standing: 28th (280 points, 500 out of first) 

Race Winner:    Kasey Kahne of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner:             Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50):

  • Danica Patrick started 23rd and finished 25th.
  • The No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion team dropped to the 28th position before the caution flag waved at lap nine as Patrick battled a loose-handling racecar. When the team pitted for the first time at lap 32, crew chief Billy Scott called for wholesale changes, including wedge, packer and air pressure adjustments.
  • Patrick restarted in the 30th position at lap 34 and raced her way up to 25th before the end of the stage.
  • The team pitted between stages for wedge, packer and air pressure adjustments and added tape to the grille of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford. NASCAR officials deemed that the team’s jackman was over the wall too soon, so Patrick had to drop to the tail of the field before the start of Stage 2. 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100):

  • Started 31st and finished 25th.
  • The No. 10 team continued to adjust the car during pit stops during the second stage as Patrick battled a car that was loose on corner entry and tight on corner exit.
  • Despite the handling issues, Patrick was able to work her way up to 25th by the end of the stage. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 101-160):

  • Started 23rd and finished 11th.
  • Patrick started the final stage from the 23rd position. When the caution flag waved at lap 110, the team pitted for tires and fuel, and Patrick brought her racecar back in before the field went back to green to top off with fuel.
  • When the race restarted at lap 119, Patrick was scored 22nd and worked to conserve fuel in an effort to make it to the end without pitting.
  • She made it all the way up to 12th before the caution flag waved again at lap 149. The Aspen Dental Ford team pitted for tires and fuel. When the caution flag waved yet again at lap 154, Patrick radioed to the team that it felt like something was broken on the car. Scott called her to pit road for tires and fuel, and the team found that a valve stem had been knocked off the left-rear tire.
  • Patrick restarted 22nd at lap 158 and persisted through the final restarts to score an 11th-place finish. 

Notes:              

  • This was Patrick’s fifth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and her 174th career start.
  • Patrick’s 11th-place finish in the Brickyard 400 was her first top-15 at the track and her fourth top-15 this season.
  • Patrick earned 26 points in Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which puts her at 280 total points for the season thus far. She is ranked 28th in the driver point standings.
  • There were 14 caution periods for a total of 55 laps.
  • Only 16 of the 40 drivers in the Brickyard 400 finished on the lead lap.
  • Kasey Kahne won the Brickyard 400 to score his 18th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski finished second.
  • Martin Truex Jr. leads the championship standings with 780 points and has a 48-point margin over his nearest pursuer, Kyle Larson. 

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“The weekend was a bit of a challenge, but everyone on the Aspen Dental team gave it their all and never gave up. We definitely dodged a lot of bullets today, from handling issues to cars wrecking in front of us and more. It wasn’t pretty, but I really don’t care. We’ve had plenty of races where our luck went the other way, so I’ll take it today.”

Next Up:                                                                        

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Overton’s 400 on Sunday, July 30 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The event starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.