KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Two big challenges await Danica Patrick as she looks toward Sunday’s STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
The first and most important challenge is figuring out how to drive the tricky .526-mile paperclip oval that her crew chief Tony Gibson describes as “a tough place for any veteran to go, let alone a rookie.” Martinsville opened for business in 1947, two years before NASCAR was formed, and has a history rivaled by few tracks on the circuit. Every NASCAR champion has raced there and the Sprint Cup Series has conducted events at Martinsville twice a year since 1950.
So, given its extensive history, it’s a challenge to add something to the history books that isn’t already there. But Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will add her name to the record book as she will be the first female driver to qualify and race at Martinsville.
But the primary goal is not just to add he...