For a change, fortune smiles on Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

DOVER, Del.- In the first half of Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway, Danica Patrick bounced off the wall, lost a lap and was hanging out near 25th place in the running order.

Then her day got a lot better.

With her car not severely damaged by contact with the outside wall on Lap 146, Patrick got her lap back as the “lucky dog” under caution for Landon Cassill’s accident on lap 218. And Patrick was one of a handful of drivers still on the track when a Lap 330 caution trapped most of the front-runners a lap down.

Patrick avoided the overtime wreck that ended the race and finished 10th, her first top 10 of the season.

“A good day for us,” Patrick said. “We got a bit lucky with staying out at the right time and catching the yellow flags. It’s the stuff that hasn’t been happening for us all year, and it’s just nice to catch some breaks today.

“We weren’t the fastest car today, not sure we were a top-10 car. A lot of times we have been a 10th-place car and weren’t able to get the finish we needed. I’ll take the lucky days anytime, I can because there have been plenty of times where it went the other way.”

Tire management was an issue for Patrick, as it was for all teams, with the allotment down one set from last year.

“We put scuffs on two or three times on pit stops,” Patrick said. “It was an issue, but we saw that all weekend, a lot of yellows. We survived and caught the right breaks when we did. I’ll take it.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.