Career Best for Patrick
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on May 11, 2014 | 12:57 A.M. EST
Patrick got the crowd to cheer when she passed both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart to take the third position. She also raced her way past Jimmie Johnson at one point. (Photo: Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Danica Patrick finished seventh in Saturday night’s 5-Hour ENERGY 400 at Kansas Speedway for the best finish in her Sprint Cup Series career.
Patrick raced in the top 10 all night and climbed as high as third. After qualifying ninth, he second straight top-10 starting effort, Patrick remained inside the first ten throughout the race.
She slid back in the late going but was able to rally back and post the seventh.
"It felt good," said Patrick. "My goal at the beginning of the race was really just to stay up in that lead group. You're going to move up, you're going to move down, but generally to average out where I was starting. I feel like we did all that.
"I'm overall proud of the team for building cars like these," she said. "This is a new car, and it was so good. I think it shows when the runs were long and I would keep coming. That just shows this is a good car."
Patrick got the crowd to cheer when she passed both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart to take the third position. She also raced her way past Jimmie Johnson at one point.
“Honestly the most rewarding part of my night was probably when I drove around the outside of the No. 48 (Johnson) on a restart,” said Patrick. “That was probably my most rewarding thing of the night. I say that with all the respect in the world. It’s a big deal because he is Jimmie Johnson. Aside from that I was really just overall proud that we stayed up front all day. That was the biggest thing.”
Patrick, who credited Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick for providing guidance this week, also thanks crew chief Tony Gibson for his role in giving her a competitive car this weekend.
“Gibson did a good job in making changes for the race and it was good from the get-go,” said Patrick. “And I think what says even more are two things: It was really good on restarts and it was really good when it wasn’t quite right, and really good on long runs.
“And I think that just goes to show that this is a new car and they built a great one. And we’ve got more of these coming. That’s the even better news. But overall, I’m just proud for the team.”