First woman to reach that milestone will start 23rd at Kentucky
While still searching for that elusive first win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Danica Patrick racks up another milestone this weekend with her 100th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start in Saturday’s Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway, becoming the first female to reach the milestone.
Patrick’s six top-10 finishes are the most all-time among female drivers. She is also the only female driver to win a pole in series history (2013 Daytona 500).
On the season, Patrick ranks 20th in the driver points standings.
The No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing driver is one of 16 female drivers who have competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The race will be Patrick’s 11th at Kentucky, including two Sprint Cup races, two NASCAR Xfinity Series events and seven IndyCar Series races. Her highest Sprint Cup finish at the track was a 21st-place effort she scored last June. Patrick’s best Xfinity Series result was a 12th-place finish she earned in June 2012. In seven IndyCar races at Kentucky Speedway, she qualified on the pole in 2005, led a total of three laps and earned four top-10 finishes.
“It’s one of those tracks where I have experience but, obviously, not a lot of it in a stock car. I’ve been there a lot, but I’ve only run four stock-car races there.” Patrick said. “I ran a lot of IndyCar races at Kentucky but, obviously, those aren’t really going to benefit me this weekend. The track definitely has character to it with the bumps, and we mainly practice during the day and then race at night on Saturday, so the track conditions can change a lot during the race. When you add all that up, it’s a challenging place.”
Last year, Patrick started 10th at Kentucky and ran inside the top-15 for much of the race before handling woes dropped her to a 21st-place finish. Already this season, Patrick has earned two top-10 finishes and seven top-20s — two of those top-20s at 1.5-mile tracks, similar to Kentucky Speedway.
She will start 23rd in Saturday night’s race, based on practice time as Friday qualifying was rained out.