Mar 31, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
But by the time it was over, Patrick’s momentum had been thoroughly zapped.
After her No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy was plagued by handling issues initially, she was unable to rally back and finished 32nd, six laps off the pace.
Martinsville had emerged as one of Patrick’s more competitive tracks last year after she logged finishes of 12th and 17th there in her rookie Sprint Cup season.
But with her car tight in the corners and loose off yesterday, Patrick plummeted from the lead pack in the early stages.
“It was a disappointing day,” Patrick said. “We ran so well at Martinsville last year, but we struggled all race long today. It’s disappointing for everyone on the GoDaddy team. We had high hopes coming into this race based off what we accomplished last year, but we missed the setup.
“[Crew chief] Tony [Gibson] made changes every time we came to pit road and really hit on something around halfway. But by that point, we were already a couple of laps down.”
In a bid to get back on the lead lap, Patrick stayed out on track during cautions at both Lap 341 and Lap 412. But the gambles did not work out and she was forced to pit under green, losing more laps to the leaders.
“We tried staying out on a couple of the cautions to take the wave-around and get a couple of laps back,” she added. “It wound up biting us toward the end when we had to make a green-flag pit stop because the tires were killed. Needless to say, it wasn’t the finish we were looking for today.”
Before Martinsville, Patrick had improved her finishing position each week after starting the year with a 40th-place result in the Daytona 500. She’ll look to get back on track this weekend at Texas, where she finished 28th and 25th last year.
Aug 23, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT
Millen becomes the fifth different winner of the GRC season in his Hyundai Veloster, beating out Ken Block and Bucky Lasek for the victory at Daytona International Speedway.
Aug 23, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
All of the latest news, reports and analysis from the Belgian Grand Prix paddock at Spa-Francorchamps.
Aug 23, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT
Click here to watch live coverage of the final round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on NBC Sports Live Extra today at 3 p.m. ET.
Aug 23, 2014, 2:03 PM EDT
RHR leads the way with a 1 minute, 17.7150 lap around the Sonoma Raceway road course in first practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Aug 23, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
CLICK HERE for stream links to Round 6 of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross championship from Daytona International Speedway.
Aug 23, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
F1 supremo confirms that he has no problems with taking F1 to Russia in October.
Aug 23, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT
The 450 Class championship battle between Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen has come down to the final race of the season. Who will leave Utah with a title in hand?
Aug 23, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Fourth place a welcome surprise for Fernando Alonso and Ferrari.
WATCH LIVE: Utah National qualifying and pre-show at 1 p.m. ET; Tomac, Martin currently top the charts
Aug 23, 2014, 12:40 PM EDT
The final round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has arrived. Watch the second qualifying session at 1 p.m. ET and the pre-show at 2:15 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Aug 23, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
For the second year in a row, Bianchi managed to upset some of the bigger names during qualifying at Spa.
Aug 23, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series had raced at the track “Too Tough To Tame” on Labor Day weekend from 1950-2003.
Aug 23, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
P18 on the grid goes down as the Hulk’s second-worst qualifying result in F1.
Aug 23, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Defending world champion qualifies a distant third behind the two Mercedes cars on Saturday at Spa.
Aug 23, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
2008 world champion secures his first top five qualifying result since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June.
Aug 23, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
Mercedes locks out the front row of the grid for the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June, with Rosberg claiming pole at one of the sport’s most famous circuits.
Aug 23, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
Lewis wants to beat Rosberg when the German is at the peak of his powers, as the two drivers fight for this year’s F1 world title.
Aug 23, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT
German driver takes pole at a damp Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday afternoon.
Aug 23, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT
The Ferrari driver took the plunge after being nominated by Felipe Massa and soccer player Juan Manuel Mata.
Aug 23, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT
You can watch qualifying from Spa-Francorchamps live on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET.
Video from NASCAR America
- Belgian GP Paddock Notebook – Saturday 0
- WATCH LIVE: Lucas Oil Pro Motocross ends seasons in Utah at 3 p.m. ET 0
- Rosberg tames wet conditions to claim Belgian GP pole 0
- Bottas breaks Mercedes’ stranglehold at Spa by topping FP3 0
- Ryan Blaney passes Kyle Busch on final restart, hangs on to win Nationwide race at Bristol 1
- Kevin Harvick edges Jeff Gordon for Bristol Sprint Cup pole 1
- Will A.J. Allmendinger seek payback for Brad Daugherty’s practical joke? 1