Homecoming For Patrick, Others This Weekend
Danica Patrick is another driver who was disappointed at Daytona, after a 40th-place finish that belied a semi-strong run. A hard crash into the wall entering the DIS tri-oval ended her effort.
This week Patrick returns to her adopted hometown of Phoenix. Patrick, from Roscoe, Ill., has three NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at PIR with a best finish of 17th in November 2012.
A few more Phoenix connections to watch for this weekend:
- Denny Hamlin, fresh off his runner-up Daytona 500 finish, has an affinity to the area – renting a house in Scottsdale in the offseason between the 2011-12 seasons. He won at PIR in March 2012 and got his first series pole there in November 2005. Hamlin’s listed hometown is Chesterfield, Va.
- Michael McDowell, driving the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford, is from nearby Glendale. McDowell failed to qualify for the 500.
- Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Alex Bowman, from Tucson, Ariz., will make his series PIR debut after a 23rd-place finish in the 500.
- And new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Managing Director Richard Buck is a Phoenix native. Buck was named series director in January of this season after overseeing the merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series. Prior to his role at IMSA, Buck served as the director of NACAR’s touring series from 2006-12.