Kasey Kahne wins at Bristol, Danica’s woes continue
By Brandon Reid
After struggling the previous two races with what she called a “loose car,” former Roscoe, Ill., resident Danica Patrick and her team hoped to tighten things up at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn., March 17. However, Patrick’s car was too tight and hard to turn, and she finished five laps down in 28th after starting the race 41st.
“We’ve been really loose the last couple of races, so we wanted to make sure we were tight,” Patrick said in a post-race interview. “So, we decided that was our accomplishment today was to aim to be tight, and we were.
“So, we probably didn’t need to, and in fact, we probably kind of knew we were overcompensating,” she added. “But we just never really got it completely freed up like we needed to. It was better later in the race, but by then, the damage is done.”
After her record-setting eighth-place finish at the Daytona 500 Feb. 24 (including becoming the first woman to win the pole position and the first woman to lead the race not under yellow caution), Patrick finished 39th at Phoenix March 3 and 33rd at Las Vegas March 10. She is now 28th in season points with 69, 97 points behind the series leader.
Kasey Kahne was the winner at Bristol March 17. He led 109 of the 500 laps. Kyle Busch finished second, Brad Keselowski third, Kurt Busch fourth and Clint Bowyer fifth. Denny Hamlin led the most laps (117), but finished 23rd after suffering a flat tire late in the race.
Jimmie Johnson (with Rockford native Chad Knaus as crew chief) finished 22nd; Cambridge, Wis., native Matt Kenseth finished 35th; and Janesville, Wis., native Travis Kvapil finished 38th.
Next race is the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 24.
Reigning series champion Keslowski now leads the season points race with 166. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is second with 157, Johnson third with 151, Bowyer fourth with 128 and Greg Biffle fifth with 126. Kenseth is 13th with 103 and Kvapil is 36th with 46.
Posted March 18, 2013
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