As Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams visit the “Valley of the Sun” for the penultimate race of the 2017 season, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will be looking for another solid finish in the Can-Am 500k at Phoenix Raceway.
Patrick enters Sunday’s race on the heels of back-to-back top-20 efforts after finishing 17th at both Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The efforts marked a positive turn for Patrick after three consecutive races that saw her hopes of a top-20 finish dashed when her No. 10 Ford was collected by late-race accidents, resulting DNFs each time.
As Patrick returns to Phoenix, she brings experience from competing in three different series at the mile oval: the NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the IndyCar Series. In her lone IndyCar start at Phoenix in 2005, Patrick finished 15th. She has competed in five Xfinity Series races at Phoenix and earned a 10th-place result in November 2012. Patrick has made 10 NASCAR Cup Series starts at the track and scored her best finish there – a 16th-place effort – after overcoming a pit-road penalty in November 2015.
In March, Patrick started 26th and finished 22nd in the NASCAR Cup Series race. She struggled with the car’s handling for much of the race but was able to rally from 28th to 22nd in the final 60 laps.
With two races remaining in the 2017 season, Patrick has earned one top-10 and 14 top-20 finishes so far this year. Heading into this weekend at Phoenix, the Code 3 Associates Ford team is looking to close out the season strong and it has great hopes that a return to the “Valley of the Sun” will result in a solid performance.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Talk about returning to Phoenix for this weekend’s race.
“The Phoenix area just has amazing amenities, like great grocery stores, great restaurants and great shopping. When it comes to the track itself, the fans are such a big part of everything. They get in early to camp out and it’s like they have their own little city. They even have a grocery store at the track. There’s always a really big crowd at Phoenix and it’s great to see how much this area supports our sport. I like Phoenix and think it’s a great track, so I hope we can have a smooth run and do well.”
Do you have a lot of friends coming out for this race?
“I always have a lot of friends who come out for the races in Phoenix. It’s a nice track for everyone to come out to and, hopefully, everyone has a good time.”