An All-New Look and Feel at an Old, Familiar Track
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (April 5, 2017) – While Danica Patrick is more
closely associated with her performance at tracks like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, the driver of the No. 10 TaxAct Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has far more experience at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, the site of Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. However, all of her experience has been marginalized by recent changes at the 1.5-mile oval.
Of all the tracks where the NASCAR Cup Series competes, Patrick has the most starts at Texas, having driven in 21 major-league races – nine in the
Cup Series, four in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and eight in the IndyCar Series.
Patrick’s career-best NASCAR Cup Series result at Texas is 16th, a mark she earned at both events there in 2015. In her four Xfinity Series races at Texas, Patrick has three top-15 finishes, including an eighth-place result in April 2012. In Patrick’s eight IndyCar Series starts at the track, she has five top-10s, including a third-place result in June 2007 and a second-place finish in June 2010.
While Patrick enters Sunday’s race with considerable experience at Texas Motor Speedway, it all goes for naught as the Cup Series returns to the track this weekend. In January, track officials announced an extensive capital improvement project that included a complete repave of the 1.5-mile track surface and pit lane, along with a reconfiguration of the banking in turns one and two from 24 to 20 degrees. The project also added additional racing surface in turns one and two with the width expanding from 60 to 80 feet in that section of the track. The effort marked the second full repave since Texas Motor Speedway made its NASCAR debut in 1997, and the first since the summer of 2001.
The resurfacing project was just completed last month, so NASCAR Cup Series teams will first run laps on the new layout when drivers head out for Friday morning’s practice session at Texas. Patrick and the No. 10 TaxAct Ford team will look to capitalize on the extended practice session NASCAR has given teams Friday to get acquainted with the new track configuration and learn as much as they can for Sunday’s race.
As this is the final race weekend before the filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns on April 18, TaxAct is offering its “Premium Finish” promotion this weekend at Texas. If Patrick or any member of the SHR team secures a top-10 finish in Sunday’s race at Texas, NASCAR fans can file their 2016 federal and state tax returns using the TaxAct Online Premium Bundle for only $10 – it’s currently priced at $85. This gives filers access to the federal and state forms needed to complete their TaxAct Online return no matter how complex their tax situation, all in, for $10, with offer and pricing subject to change.
If an SHR driver does not finish in the top-10, NASCAR fans can take advantage of a $10 discount off of their federal return when they use TaxAct Online Plus or Premium Editions. Filers can lock in their “Premium Finish” price online by visiting TaxAct.com/Ten and the applicable discounted pricing offer is available through April 15. With TaxAct’s Price Lock Guarantee, filers are guaranteed to pay the price offered for its online products at the time they register, no matter when they choose to file.
As NASCAR Cup Series teams head to Texas, Patrick and her No. 10 TaxAct Ford team look to conquer the new track surface and get a “Premium Finish” in Sunday’s race.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 TaxAct Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Talk about racing at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I’ve always liked racing at Texas. I first competed there in the IndyCar Series in 2005 and they always put on a great show for the fans. Texas is a really nice facility. The track has been repaved since we were there in the fall, so I’m glad they’re giving us extra practice time Friday to get a handle on the new track surface.”
You have a lot of experience at Texas and you seem to really enjoy racing there. Why is that?
“I think, more than anything with Texas, it’s the fact it’s a really high-banked, fast track and those are the kinds of tracks I’ve liked the most. I feel that load in the corner and you’re able to carry so much speed through there because of that banking. I feel like it translates more to a feeling I was familiar with from Indy cars, so I like going to Texas.”
TaxAct Racing Team Report
Round 7 of 36 – O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 – Texas
Car No.: 10 – TaxAct 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 Chris Burton
Hometown: West Covina, California and Bethel, Ohio, respectively
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
O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Notes of Interest:
* The O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 will mark Danica Patrick’s 161st career start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and her 10th at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Her best finish at the 1.5-mile track is 16th, a mark she earned in both races at the track in 2015. In four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, she finished a career-best eighth in April 2012.
* In addition to her stock-car experience at Texas, Patrick has competed in eight IndyCar Series races at the track, in which she earned two top-five finishes and five top-10s. Patrick’s best IndyCar Series result at the track is a runner-up finish she earned in June 2005.
* Homecoming: Two members of the No. 10 TaxAct Ford Fusion team will return to their home state this weekend for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Rear tire carrier Jeremy Howard is a Dalhart, Texas native, and Clayton Brewer, who is responsible for pit support on race day, is from Ding Dong, Texas.
* TaxAct on the No. 10 at Texas: With the 2017 tax filing season winding down, TaxAct, the leading provider of clear, transparent and affordably priced tax preparation software for DIY filers, will serve as primary sponsor of Patrick’s No. 10 Ford Fusion in Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. The race marks the fourth event this year in which TaxAct, the official tax preparation software partner of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) and Patrick, has served as the primary sponsor of the No. 10 Ford Fusion.
* Celebrate a “Premium Finish” with TaxAct: TaxAct is once again offering its “Premium Finish” promotion this tax season. If Patrick or any member of the SHR team secures a top-10 finish in Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR fans can file their 2016 federal and state tax returns using the TaxAct Online Premium Bundle for only $10 (currently priced at $85). This gives filers access to the federal and state forms needed to complete their TaxAct Online return no matter how complex their tax situation, all in, for $10 (offer and pricing subject to change). If an SHR driver does not finish in the top-10, NASCAR fans can take advantage of a $10 discount off of their federal return when they use TaxAct Online Plus or Premium Editions. Filers can lock in their “Premium Finish” price online by visiting TaxAct.com/Ten and the applicable discounted pricing offer is available through April 15. With TaxAct’s Price Lock Guarantee, filers are guaranteed to pay the price offered for its online products at the time they register, no matter when they choose to file.
* For the History Books: Since Patrick began competing in NASCAR on apart-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.