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DANICA PATRICK - 2014 Phoenix I Race Report
Event: The Profit on CNBC 500k (Round 2 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 33rd/36th (Running, completed 306 of 312 laps)
Point Standing: 39th (13 points)
Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was caught up in a midrace accident not of her making midway through The Profit on CNBC 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and finished a disappointing 36th.
Patrick, who had a strong car but lacked track position, was 24th and one lap down on lap 172 when she was involved in an accident in turn one with Justin Allgaier and Travis Kvapil. Her car suffered damage to the left front and left rear, but the GoDaddy crew was able to do a “quick fix” in order to get her out on track without losing a lap and dropping only to 27th.
Unfortunately, just 13 laps later, the damaged left rear fender ended up rubbing against Patrick’s left rear tire, causing it to lose air. With a flat left rear tire, she spun in turn three, bringing out another caution. This time the GoDaddy crew was forced to do extensive repairs, and Patrick went four laps down and restarted in 39th.
“It’s tough,” Patrick said. “That’s two weeks in a row we’ve had good cars and nothing to show for it. The car was good all day, we just needed track position. I’m starting to think if we didn’t have bad luck, we’d have no luck at all. The GoDaddy guys built me a great car for the second week in a row. I hate it for them, and I hate it for GoDaddy. This is obviously an important race for them. Hopefully things turn around in Las Vegas.”
Last week, Patrick was involved in another accident not of her making at the 56th Daytona 500 and finished 40th.
Patrick’s SHR teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, started 13th and led four times for a race-high 224 laps en route to his fifth Sprint Cup win at Phoenix, where he is now the all-time leader in Sprint Cup victories. It was also Harvick’s 24th Sprint Cup victory in 468 career starts.
It was the 20th point-paying Sprint Cup victory for SHR since the team’s inception in 2009.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished .489 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 16th. The fourth member of SHR, Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished 39th after suffering engine failure on lap 292.
There were eight caution periods for 38 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 312-lap race.
With round two of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is fourth, 11 points behind series leader Earnhardt. Stewart is 20th, 53 points out of first. Kurt Busch is 30th, 61 points out of first. Patrick is 39th, 77 points out of first.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 2 p.m.