As Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Ford Fusion team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) prepare for Sunday’s ISM Connect 300 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, nearly 1,400 miles away in Central Florida, personnel from the team’s sponsor Code 3 Associates are wrapping up efforts to assist in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Based in Longmont, Colorado, Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that specializes in technical animal rescue and recovery operations in disaster areas. Late last month, its team deployed to Southeast Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and the organization’s Animal Search and Rescue (ASAR) and Big Animal Rescue Truck (BART) teams then went to Central Florida to provide assistance following the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma.
The ASAR team members are all trained and certified to human rescue standards in swift water and rope rescue, and BART is an 82-foot tractor trailer that carries a three-quarter-ton, crew-cab pickup truck, several boats and motors, rescue gear and the team members’ personal protective and operational equipment. Equipped with the necessary training and tools, Code 3 Associates personnel have been on the front lines working in conjunction with state and federal rescue teams to assist domestic and farm animals impacted by the events in Texas and Florida.
In support of the Code 3 Associates team’s dedication to saving animals, SHR and the Tony Stewart Foundation have joined forces to raise awareness for all that the Code 3 Associates team is doing to help animals impacted by these recent natural disasters, and to raise funds to help the organization’s efforts. This weekend, Patrick’s No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion will feature decals on the rear deck lid and television panel encouraging fans to visit TonyStewartFoundation.org and make a tax-deductible donation to the Tony Stewart Foundation. One hundred percent of the donations will transfer to a grant that will be given to Code 3 Associates to support its efforts in Texas and Florida.
“It’s fairly well known that I’m a huge animal lover,” Patrick said. “Some might even say that I like animals more than people, at times, so it’s been incredibly sad to see all the animals left behind in the wake of the recent hurricanes. I’m truly proud to represent a group like Code 3 Associates that’s doing such great things to help out in those communities, and I hope we can help shed some light on the work they’re doing.”
In addition to supporting Code 3 Associates’ efforts this weekend, Patrick and the No. 10 team head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway ready for a repeat performance of the solid run they had at the track in July. In that race, Patrick started 30th but cracked the top-15 by the end of Stage 2 and went on to finish 13th, an effort that marked Patrick’s career-best NASCAR Cup Series finish in nine starts at the track.
In two Xfinity Series events at New Hampshire, Patrick’s top finish was 14th in July 2012. In addition to her stock car experience at the track, Patrick competed in the 2011 IndyCar Series event at New Hampshire and earned a sixth-place finish.
While Patrick and the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion team will be driven to improve upon their performance Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, they hope fans will be driven to donate to the Tony Stewart Foundation in support of Code 3 Associates and the organization’s efforts in Texas and Florida.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What is the key to being successful at New Hampshire Motor Speedway?
“I feel like with any short track it’s always really important to turn. I think focusing on that has probably been one of the biggest things that has helped me on short tracks – just getting the car to rotate in the center. But, if you can’t put the power down, then you definitely won’t be fast. It’s a fine line, but you need to find it.”
What part of New Hampshire Motor Speedway has been the hardest part for you to figure out?
“I’d have to say it’s probably the bumps into (turn) three and getting those under control with having balance in the rest of the corner. Also, it seems like, even more so this year than most years, being loose in is an issue, but that is honestly very common at Loudon. You can’t get tricked into thinking you’ve got to fix it because then it wrecks the center, and you need to turn the center.”
What are you looking forward to as you return to New Hampshire this weekend?
“I love the area. I do. I love the track, too, because I love short-track racing. When I come to Loudon, I love the lobster. I go to this place that does this amazing, humongous – like way-too-much-food – stuffed lobster dish. And I love the lakes. I’m reminded every time on Saturday, when I drive into the local town, that there’s a farmer’s market, or what looks like one during the day, so I’ve got to try and catch that this year. The summers in the north are so beautiful. I grew up near Chicago, so I really appreciate that. I just enjoy the area, but the racing is great because, again, it’s short-track racing. It’s a little bit interesting because of the different banking throughout the track from lane one to lane two that makes for good racing.”
How challenging is New Hampshire Motor Speedway?
“It’s flat and tough to get around, sometimes. You just have to make sure you get through the corners OK and are able to get on the gas quickly on the straightaways. It’s tough but, if you have a good car, you can pass and move up through the field. But it can be challenging if it’s not working in your favor.”