Ready To Turn Left and Right at Sonoma
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (June 20, 2017) – Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Series teams will switch things up this week as drivers will be making both left and right turns when they visit Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway for the first of two road-course events this season.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), heads to Sonoma with 11 races under her belt at the track dating back to 2005. However, seven of those starts came in the IndyCar Series and unfortunately won’t offer much assistance to Patrick as she competes in Sunday’s Save Mart 350k NASCAR Cup Series event.
The IndyCar Series utilized two different Sonoma road-course layouts during the seven years Patrick competed there and neither is identical to the 1.99-mile, 10-turn configuration she will drive Sunday.
Patrick’s top NASCAR Cup Series result at the track is an 18th-place finish she scored in 2014. The following year, her hopes of earning another top-20 at the track were dashed when late-race contact forced Patrick off course and left her with a 24th-place finish.
Last year, Patrick started 11th and took the checkered flag in the 19th position after the team’s race strategy was hindered by ill-timed cautions.
When Patrick gets to Sonoma this weekend, her No. 10 Ford will carry the white and blue colors of Code 3 Associates. The organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing professional animal disaster response and resources to communities, as well as administering professional training to individuals and agencies involved in animal-related law enforcement and emergency response. Its mission is accomplished through hands-on animal rescue and care operations during disaster events in the United States and Canada, and through certified animal welfare training seminars, which include animal cruelty training for investigators.
As the team prepares for the weekend ahead, Patrick will be looking to have a smooth and clean race, remain on course and notch another solid run in the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford at Sonoma.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
There are only two road-course races on the NASCAR schedule, but they’re two of the most talked about and anticipated races of the year. Why is that?
“Road-course racing is something we don’t do a lot of and I think they are some fun races to watch because the cars don’t really handle very well. Our cars are like big buses trying to get around a racetrack and we’re sliding around, our brake zones are very long, tires go off and those are things that create passing opportunities.”
Is it a breath of fresh air to turn right and left, or do you have to psyche yourself up a bit to compete on a road course?
“Yeah, I feel like I have to psyche myself up a little bit in my approach about being aggressive and hitting the curbs and the ‘it doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be fast’ kind of attitude. But it’s fun. I mean, as long you can come out of the box with that and kind of start that rhythm, it’s easier to maintain all weekend, then.”
What are the keys to racing at Sonoma?
“I think, at Sonoma, you have to get through the high-speed esses comfortably, which leads to a good high-speed balance. Power down is also important there because it’s easy for the rear tires to just spin all the time. The fast lap times come from the high-speed balance, so that is the key for me and the Code 3 Associates team.”
What is it about the road courses that you enjoy?
“I’m very used to racing on road courses. That’s how I grew up in go-karting. It’s what I did in Europe when I raced and it’s what IndyCar Racing really became before I left. There were three IndyCar road-course races when I started and, by the end, the majority of the races were on road courses – I think it was eight or nine races. So, I’m super familiar and super comfortable on road courses, but jumping into a stock car on a road course does feel a lot different than a lot of the other cars I’ve driven before on a road course. It still makes for great races because the braking zones are longer in stock cars, which allows more opportunities for passing.”
What is the hardest part about road racing?
“The hardest part of road racing is just putting a whole lap together. The hardest part of road racing is just nailing every corner and doing it consistently when it counts.”
Code 3 Associates Racing Team Report
Round 16 of 36 – Save Mart 350k – Sonoma
Car No.: 10 – Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion
Primary Team Members:
Driver: Danica Patrick
Hometown: Roscoe, Illinois
Crew Chief: Billy Scott
Hometown: Land O’ Lakes, Florida
Car Chief: Tony Cardamone
Hometown: Bristol, Virginia
Engine Builder: Roush Yates Engines
Headquarters: Mooresville, North Carolina
Engine Specialist: Evan Cupples
Hometown: Hudson, Illinois
Spotter: Brandon Benesch
Hometown: Cumberland, Wisconsin
Over-The-Wall Crew Members:
Gas Man: Justin Wilson
Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota
Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder
Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa
Second Gas Man: Nate Spoor
Hometown: Penn Yan, New York
Front Tire Carrier: Tyler Bullard
Hometown: King, North Carolina
Windshield: Kyle Anderson (also serves as interior mechanic)
Hometown: Jewell, Iowa
Rear Tire Changer: Jonathan Sherman
Hometown: Monroe, Louisiana
Jackman: Nate House
Hometown: Gastonia, North Carolina
Rear Tire Carrier: Jeremy Howard
Hometown: Dalhart, Texas
Road Crew Members:
Truck Drivers: Wayne Anderson and Larry Lush
Hometown: West Covina, California and Waynesville, North Carolina,
Tire Specialist: Nathan McGuire
Hometown: Palmyra, New York
Shock Specialist: Aaron Kuehn
Hometown: Kensington, Connecticut
Engineers: Scott Bingham and William Lee
Hometowns: Lawrenceville, Georgia and Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina,
Underneath Mechanic: Nick McIntosh
Hometown: Havre, Montana
Front End Mechanic: Joe Zanolini
Hometown: Sybertsville, Pennsylvania
Save Mart 350k Notes of Interest:
* The Save Mart 350k will mark Danica Patrick’s 170th career start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The driver of the No. 10 Code 3 Associates Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has competed in four races at the NASCAR Cup Series level at the 1.99-mile road course and her career-best finish is an 18th-place effort she earned in June 2014. In seven IndyCar Series races at the track, Patrick scored one top-five finish and three top-10s.
* Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing professional animal disaster response and resources to communities, as well as administering professional training to individuals and agencies involved in animal-related law enforcement and emergency response. Its mission is accomplished through hands-on animal rescue and care operations during disaster events in the United States and Canada, and through certified animal welfare training seminars, which include animal cruelty training for investigators. More information is available at code3associates.org.
* Vote for Danica: Kids across America have nominated Patrick for two Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards: “Queen of Swag” and “Need for Speed.” Fans can vote by visiting Nick.com/KCS. The show, hosted by Russell Wilson, is scheduled to air on Nickelodeon on Sunday, July 16 at 8 p.m.
* Dallas Dogs Available: A plush version of Dallas Stenhouse, the 3-year-old miniature Siberian Husky that belongs to Patrick and her boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr., is now available for sale. Race fans can purchase their own Dallas plush dog at the SHR team store in Kannapolis, North Carolina, the SHR online store and at Shop.DanicaPatrick.com. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will benefit animal charities.
* For the History Books: Since Patrick began competing in NASCAR on a part-time basis in 2010, she has made plenty of history. Here is a recap of how she has altered the record books through the years:
+ Became the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the 2013 Daytona 500.
+ Led laps 90 to 91 of the 2013 Daytona 500, becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race. She also led laps 127 to 129.
+ Became the first woman to lead a NASCAR race under green (Daytona 2013). Janet Guthrie led five laps under yellow in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.
+ Finished 2013 Daytona 500 in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”
+ Finished 10th in 2012 Xfinity Series points, the highest points finish by a woman in the history of NASCAR’s top three series (Cup, Xfinity, Truck).
+ Competed in every NASCAR Cup Series race in 2013, becoming the first female driver to complete an entire season in the series.
+ Became the first female to compete in the non-points NASCAR All-Star race (2013) and Sprint Unlimited (2014).
+ Have the most starts of any female in NASCAR Cup Series competition.
+ With six top-10 finishes, holds the record for the most top-10 finishes of any female in NASCAR Cup Series competition.
* History Maker in IndyCar: Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series in April 2008 by winning the IndyCar Series Japan Indy 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
* Big Stage: In seven Indianapolis 500 starts, Patrick finished in the top-10 six times, including a third-place result in 2009, the best finish ever for a woman in the historic race.