Early season struggles continue for Danica Patrick at Atlanta

After finishing 35th in the Daytona 500, Danica Patrick wasn't able to make up much ground at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s been a rough start to the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season for Danica Patrick.

Debuting a new primary sponsor and crew chief for her No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing team, Patrick crashed with 16 laps to go in the Daytona 500 and came home a dismal 35th.

Looking to bounce back in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Patrick finished a respectable 20th but was two laps down at the finish.

Victory eludes Kevin Harvick at Atlanta despite fast car -- again

Sunday’s race was a struggle from the beginning for the fourth-year SHR driver. Starting 25th, Patrick failed to make up any meaningful ground in the race’s early laps as she battled handling issues on her Chevrolet.

Running 21st with five laps to go, Patrick moved up a spot in the final finishing order after taking a wave-around when the caution flag waved for an incident involving Ryan Newman and set up a green-white-checkered finish.

Several cars made contact and wrecked when the race restarted, but Patrick managed to steer clear of trouble.

"I can’t believe we made it through there at the end. I think I missed about three spins," she said. "The Aspen Dental team did a great job on pit road today. The team did a good job with the adjustments. 

"We were hitting the adjustments we needed, and they helped make the car more consistent."

Patrick moved from 34th to 29th in the standings with Sunday’s finish.