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Danica drops to rear of pack for Sunday's race

April 06, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Danica Patrick

Stewart-Haas driver blows an engine during Saturday's practice

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- The steep climb that Danica Patrick faces Sunday at Martinsville Speedway just got that much steeper.

Stewart-Haas Racing officials said that the team will change engines in the No. 10 Chevrolet ahead of Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500. Patrick, who was scheduled to start 32nd after Friday's qualifying, will now drop to the rear of the field before the green flag falls on the sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season.

Patrick had improved in Saturday's practice, ranking 29th on the speed chart in the first morning session then 22nd in final practice.

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Unfortunately for Patrick, she's no stranger to starting from the back of the pack. Since claiming a historic pole position for the season-opening Daytona 500, the rookie's starting spots have been 40th, 37th, 41st and 40th in the last four races.

Patrick will be making her first start Sunday at the .526-mile track, one of NASCAR's trickiest circuits.

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