The STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race looked like being little short of a disaster for Stewart-Haas Racing driver Danica Patrick, after an early spin dropped her at the back and put her off the lead lap. But some fast pit strategy thinking helped her recover, and she survived more on-track scares to finish in a commendable 12th position by the time the chequered flag came out.
Danica Patrick had a strong 12th place showing her first trip here to Martinsville Speedway. Certainly Danica driving the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas. Outstanding job out there today. Maybe just talk about your experience driving at Martinsville and how you thought things went.
Yeah. I had a spin at the very beginning. I don't know how many laps in, 10, 20, something like that, and felt like I kind of got pinched down but I also got in pretty hard. When you've got the momentum going that way, it was sort of a perfect storm.
But I learned my lesson to make sure that you just don't go in too hard because they're going to be holding you tight, and there's going to be nowhere to go, nowhere to slide up, and you get into them and it's a lot - if you've got wheel in it you're probably going to come around.
Learned that lesson early. We were two laps down at one point, so I'm probably most proud of getting those two laps back and then running strong until the end there on the lead lap.
You know, it was just nice to have a good weekend after having so many that weren't good since Daytona. Yeah, it was a fun little track. I was told that if it goes well, you'll be like, I don't mind this place at all, let's come back, and if it doesn't you don't ever want to see it again. Today was one of those days I had a good car, and Gibson has got a good track record here, obviously Newman won this race last year, and he's always run really well.
I think the team has a lot to be proud of. The stops were good. We had a little right front damage from early in the race so it was a little bit of a pain in the butt to get that tyre off and then back on for stops. But it was good to get the Go Daddy car up there, and Hendrick did a nice job all weekend.
Obviously I had to start from the back because I decided I was going to go from 4th to 3rd and coming up to speed on my out lap in practice, and that's not the normal progression. I got 11.4 on the revs, and they were like, we should probably just take that out. Unfortunately I had to start from the rear.
But Hendrick gave me another really strong engine, and I felt like we had decent speed in practice, and it was nothing different today.
Danica, how do you feel about your performance?