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DANICA PATRICK - 2014 Michigan II Race Report
Event: Pure Michigan 400 (Round 23 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 14th/18th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 28th (445 points, 371 out of first)
Winner: Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Danica Patrick rallied from an early accident to finish a respectable 18th in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), came back from two laps down to score her seventh top-18 finish of 2014.
Her day started rough with a spin in turn two on lap 26, and she was hit in the front left portion of her car by Justin Allgaier’s machine. She sustained cosmetic damage to the GoDaddy car that required three pits stop for the crew to work on repairs.
She returned to the track in 36th place, and it appeared a long day was ahead of her as she lost two laps over the next 130 circuits. But she soon got one of those laps back during pit stop cycles and then was awarded the “Lucky Dog” spot when she was the first car a lap down on lap 179. From there she raced to 18th.
“To come back from the accident and being two laps down to finishing 18th, I’ll take it,” Patrick said. “It was a good job by the GoDaddy crew to fix the damage, and we ran well to get back up to 18th. It was a tough day, but I’m happy with where we finished.”
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the way for SHR by finishing second. He started sixth and ran in the top-five all day en route to his seventh top-five this season and his seventh top-five in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at Michigan. It was also his 107th top-five in 489 career Sprint Cup starts.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 16th and finished 31st after getting into the outside retaining wall while battling for the lead late in the race. Busch led two times for three laps.
Jeff Burton, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he subs for regular driver Tony Stewart, started 27th and finished 37th after spending time in the garage while the team replaced a broken tailpipe.
Jeff Gordon won the Pure Michigan 400 to score his 91st career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his third at Michigan.
Harvick finished 1.412 seconds behind Gordon in the runner-up spot, while Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were eight caution periods for 37 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.
With round 23 of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is sixth with 687 points, 129 behind first-place Gordon. Busch is 23rd with 543 points, 273 out of first. Stewart is 25thwith 537 points, 279 out of first. Patrick is 28th with 445 points, 371 out of first.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Irwin Tools Night Race on Saturday, Aug. 23 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ABC beginning with its prerace show at 7 p.m.