Danica Patrick looks forward to racing Cup & Nationwide at Bristol
Taking on the iconic Bristol Motor Speedway for 500 laps in August isn’t for the faint of heart. Plenty of drivers will tell you the steeply banked oval is one of, if not the, most demanding tracks on the NASCAR schedule.
So, for those drivers who decide to pull double duty by first running in the Food City 250 Nationwide Series event Friday, Aug. 24, before taking on the .533-mile oval for 500 laps during the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup event Aug. 25, the challenge can be quite daunting.
If Danica Patrick is intimidated by the thought of braving the newly revamped BMS, she definitely isn’t showing it. In fact, she is looking forward to what would be her first Cup start at Bristol as she attempts to manhandle the place for a total of 750 laps.
“I look forward to going to Bristol again,” said Patrick. “I look forward to going there every single time. It’s a track I really enjoy because of the banking in the corners.”
Patrick has two previous Nationwide starts at BMS, but both have come in the spring. She finished 33rd in her Bristol debut in 2011 and had a 19th-place showing this past March.
Not only will the Food City 250 and the IRWIN Tools Night Race be her first attempts under the lights at BMS, she also will be facing a different track surface. Over the summer, the progressive banking in the upper grove of the track was eliminated, tightening up racing space.
“It’s going to be more challenging now without the top line having the increased banking,” said Patrick. “It’s going to make it a little more of a bump-and-go kind of racing… but that can still be fun, as long as I’m the one bumping.”
The 30-year-old Patrick, who becomes the first woman to compete in a Sprint Cup event at BMS since Janet Guthrie did so in 1977, says competing in both races should help her efforts.
“I also look forward to going back there in a Nationwide car because I’m going to be in the Cup car,” she said. “I find that every time I run the Cup car (at the same track), the Nationwide stuff goes better.
“Hopefully, we can get our first great result on a short track.”
Qualifying for the Food City 250 takes place Aug. 24 at 3:40 p.m. with the green flag set to fall at 7:30 that evening. Qualifying for the IRWIN Tools Night Race is at 5:10 p.m. Aug. 24 while the race gets under way Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets remain available for all three nights of racing at BMS in August. Race week begins Aug. 22 with a doubleheader, featuring the UNOH 200 Camping World Truck Series race and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified event.
Tickets for the IRWIN Tools Night race start at $75 while tickets for the Food City 250 start at $45. An August race weekend package, which includes a ticket to the IRWIN Tools Night Race and the Food City 250, starts at $110. A doubleheader ticket for Wednesday night’s Camping World Truck Series race and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 is available for $30.
Food City 250 tickets for children 15 and under are available at half price, starting at $22. Entry for children 15 and under is free for Wednesday night’s doubleheader.
For tickets, call toll-free 1.866.415.4158 or PURCHASE ONLINE NOW.