Danica Patrick: Latest News and 2014 Sprint Cup Ranking Ahead of Bristol

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IAugust 19, 2014

Aug 15, 2014; Brooklyn, MI, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick during qualifying for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

The roller-coaster ride of a season for Danica Patrick continued on Sunday. Only this time, Patrick had to rally back from an accident she was deemed responsible for by a fellow driver.

Patrick was running well when she spun out and collected several cars in an early crash. With drivers such as Trevor Bayne, Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr., the accident was a costly one for the notable names.

At the end of race, Patrick captured a top-20 finish and has three in her first four career races at Michigan. After qualifying 14th and going two laps down thanks to the accident, Patrick's record at the track remained consistent.

Just three races remain in the first 16-car Chase for the Sprint Cup, and Patrick is well outside of the window. Without a win before the 26th race, Patrick will likely be driving for pride and experience at the end of the year.

As the Sprint Cup circuit moves on to Bristol, here's a look at the latest news, ranking and results for Patrick ahead of the Irwin Tools Night Race.

Danica Patrick 2014 Results
RaceTrackStartFinish
Pure Michigan 400Michigan International Speedway1418
Cheez-It 355Watkins Glen International4321
GoBowling.com 400Pocono Raceway1030
Brickyard 400Indianapolis Motor Speedway1442
Camping World RV Sales 301New Hampshire Motor Speedway2922
Coke Zero 400Daytona International Speedway298
Quaker State 400Kentucky Speedway1021
Toyota/Save Mart 350Sonoma Raceway1118
Quicken Loans 400Michigan International Speedway2717
Pocono 400Pocono Raceway1637
FedEx 400Dover International Speedway2823
Coca-Cola 600Charlotte Motor Speedway439
5-Hour Energy 400Kansas Speedway97
Aaron's 499Talladega Superspeedway722
Toyota Owners 400Richmond International Raceway3534
Bojangles' Southern 500Darlington Raceway3322
Duck Commander 500Texas Motor Speedway2427
STP 500Martinsville Speedway1032
Auto Club 400Auto Club Speedway2714
Food City 500Bristol Motor Speedway3618
Kobalt 400Las Vegas Motor Speedway2221
The Profit on CNBC 500Phoenix International Raceway3336
Daytona 500Daytona International Speedway2740
NASCAR.com
2014 Sprint Cup Chase Grid
Pos.DriverPointsWinsTop 5Top 10
1Dale Earnhardt Jr.81331116
2Jeff Gordon8163816
3Brad Keselowski7333911
4Jimmie Johnson6863613
5Joey Logano7142913
6Kevin Harvick6872712
7Carl Edwards679259
8Kyle Busch620169
9Denny Hamlin5891510
10Aric Almirola556124
11AJ Allmendinger556124
12Kurt Busch542155
13Matt Kenseth7090814
14Ryan Newman679028
15Clint Bowyer6720310
16Greg Biffle660038
28Danica Patrick445002
NASCAR.com

 

Latest News

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Driving through adversity has been a theme for Patrick and the entire Stewart-Haas Racing team, but Sunday was a special exception.

Not only did Patrick get involved in a wreck, but she was called out by Jeff Burton, who was driving in place of teammate Tony Stewart. Burton's thoughts on the accident were shared by Bob Pockrass of Sporting News:

Patrick appeared to lose control of the vehicle but couldn't recover to avoid the melee on the track. Though she dropped two laps down, the 32-year-old did make some noise at Michigan.

After catching the "Lucky Dog" on Lap 179, the SHR driver made it count by coming in as the last remaining car on the lead lap. Patrick spoke about her eventful afternoon following the race, per SHR's official site:

“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.”

The accident on Sunday was just the most recent issue in a long line for Patrick in the Sprint Cup. Brant James of ESPNW.com provides a breakdown of her last several races:

Patrick's four-race stretch since an eighth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway in early July has been testing. She finished 22nd at Loudon, New Hampshire, 42nd at Indianapolis Motor Speedway because of a gear problem and 30th at Pocono after qualifying 10th.

Then things got really interesting. During last Friday's first practice at Watkins Glen she missed a shift and broke the motor, then in the final session crashed into the tire barrier after a left front shock failure. 

It was far from perfect, but Patrick still nailed down her seventh top 20 of the season. In order to make the Chase, she'll need perfection moving forward.

The SHR driver needs one thing to make NASCAR's postseason—a checkered flag. Though she clinched a career-best 18th-place finish at Bristol during the spring race, she has never had a top-10 result.

Here's a look at her career results from the short track, via DriverAverages.com:

Danica Patrick Bristol Results
DateStartFinishLaps LedDriver RatingStatus
March 16, 20143618055.6Running
Aug. 24, 20132226046.2Running
March 17, 20134128041.4Running
Aug. 25, 20124329046.3Accident
DriverAverages.com

While her slow progression at the "World's Fastest Half Mile" is evident, she hasn't finished near the top of the pack. Rather than being a luxury for Patrick to win the race, it's a necessity to make the Chase.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of a victory over the next three races is minuscule. As the Chase fast approaches, Patrick's chances would continue fading away without a win at the Bullring.

Predicted finish: 22nd

 

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