Danica Patrick, who drives the No. 10 Chevrolet, is in her second full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and her second with Stewart-Haas Racing and crew chief Tony Gibson. Patrick, who spent seven years driving open-wheel cars in the IndyCar Series (2005-11), has three career top-10 finishes and one career pole in Sprint Cup.
For the fourth time in five career races at the series' second-shortest track, Danica Patrick left Bristol Motor Speedway disappointed.
WHERE SHE STARTED:
Qualified 24th, failing to advance to the final round of knockout qualification.
WHERE SHE FINISHED:
Struggled with an ill-handling race car, ending the night seven laps down in 27th place.
WHAT SHE SAID: "
It was just a rough night," Patrick said. "Our GoDaddy car just wasn't that good from the beginning, and that kind of put us behind. The guys kept working on it with their adjustments, and they got it headed in the right direction, but it was just too late by that point.
"I think we all just did the best we could to hang in there, make the car better and try to make a good night out of it. It wasn't the finish that we wanted, but we didn't give up."
HOW IT UNFOLDED:
Patrick's car was tight from the drop of the green flag. Ten laps into the race, she had already dropped nine positions, and by lap 38, Patrick had fallen a lap down.
Patrick was running two laps down at the midpoint of the race when she was tagged from behind and spun out in Turn 2 to bring out the caution flag. While the No. 10 Chevrolet didn't hit anything or sustain any damage, the spin caused Patrick to lose two more laps to the leaders and dropped her to 35th place in the running order.
Though Patrick would fall another few laps behind, she was able to drive her way back into the top 30 by the time the checkered flag flew.
Oral-B USA 500, Aug. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Her night ended exactly where it started — in 21st position. Patrick finished two laps behind race winner Kyle Busch at the Labor Day weekend race on the 1.5-mile track.
PHOTOS: Danica Patrick's NASCAR career