Friday, March 22, 2013

Patrick Says "We Are Just Missing It"

Danica Patrick said today that the key to improving her early season performance is to find more speed in practice and qualifying.

“I think I have actually been a little bit surprised how we unload,” said Patrick. “We have been closer unloading than I would have expected, (but) instead of progressing or staying there, we have kind of fallen off throughout the weekend.
“I think we need to strike a good balance when it comes to qualifying and the race,” she said. “Qualifying is the first step. I have been loose every single time in qualifying (and) that puts you in the back. You are already starting off down in the race. I have been loose every race except for the last one, where we were really tight. We kind of anticipated it, then we found out after we got done that the right-front toe was out pretty far from a hit really early in the race. That explains some of our challenges last weekend at Bristol.
“We just have to get the car balanced right when it counts, which is qualifying and race.”
Asked about the struggles experienced by the entire Stewart Haas Racing stable this season, Patrick said, “I don’t have a great feel for it. I feel like Tony or Ryan would have a far better answer for you. We were really good when it came to speed and the speedway. Then we went testing at Charlotte and all of a sudden it kind of switched, so I don’t know. Maybe we just need to find some grip. We are good when it comes to going fast, but when it comes to getting the car locked down on the track, maybe we need to find some downforce.
“I think the last few weeks have been very important,” she said. “That is the bulk of the season, to be honest. I’m not the best at this kind of stuff; all I know is that as a team, it’s not for a lack of trying. We will figure it out. For me and the No. 10 car, I know we need to get the car much closer when it counts.”
Patrick admitted that identifying the problem may be easier than solving it.
“If I had the answer of how to turn it around, we would just do it,” she said. “Obviously, it’s not that easy. We got to Phoenix, unloaded well and went into qualifying trim. (Then) all of a sudden the car was bouncing around and we never really got it back. In Las Vegas, we had a lot of testing and the car unloaded okay. Then it was really tight the first day (and) really loose the second practice day. We were loose in qualifying and extremely loose in the race.
“We are just missing it.”
Patrick said she works hard to avoid becoming frustrated, adding, “Every weekend, there is good and bad to it. You are going to remember the end of it the most. You can’t let it get you down, and you can’t be mad. I know I have a lot to learn, and I know that as a group we have a lot to learn together to figure out where the car is best for me, so we can be closer more of the weekend.
“But we will get it,” she said. “I’m not discouraged or afraid at this point. This is just the process that we go through. We will be fine.”
Photo: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports


  1. Anonymous12:05 AM

    No you just can't drive and that's the bottom line

  2. Anonymous1:12 AM

    when asked about the struggles experienced by the entire Stewart Haas Racing stable this season, Patrick said, “I don’t have a great feel for it. I feel like Tony or Ryan would have a far better answer for you."

    Oh yeah struggling so hard. Poor equipment and little experience as a team. Tell us danica, do u think your multi-champion boss, tony stewart is hindering your success in the sport? Perhaps his inability to set up a car or manage.. is it your (lame duck) teamate ryan newman that is killing your team and your chances for success and domination in your first year as a full time driver? You know there HAS been talk that perhaps hendrick motorsports is to blame. Danica can you tell us ANYTHING we can incriminate you for? Anything at all? Is ricky stenhouse jealous of your media exposure? Does that also involve an earnhardt by any chance? Anything, danica? Danica! Isn't there anything you can give us to smear you or your team or the ones you love? Don't you DARE tell us you are just a racer! We the media know better! We know you are human and we will make you pay for it! You and your little dog too!!!!

    Minneapolis, MN

  3. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Maybe "Just missing it" means she has no idea how to communicate with her crew chief. Meaning, she has no idea what the car needs.

  4. Anonymous12:54 PM

    did she ever stop & consider that the car & crew is the best of the best....SHE CANNOT DRIVE A RACE CAR well enough to compete for top tens! it will be interesting when the hype & marketing get tired of her inability

  5. Anonymous3:35 PM

    I know it is a team effort and all of the SHR cars are struggling right now. But.. At some point or another, down the road, she is going to have to take some responsibility for her level of ability or talent on the race track. I do commend her for admitting at times that she is still learning or is unfamiliar with a track she has not raced on, but as she continues in her journey in nascar's top level, a certain amount of "it's also my responsibility" has to come into play at some point.

  6. NASCAR Fact: In 2012 Danica finished over 150 points behind then teammate Cole Whitt. She wasn't moved up to Stewart Haas to win championships or even races but was moved for the hype and money that comes with her. If you wanted the best chance to win races would you chose Cole or Danica? I wouldn't say Danica is bad, she's an average driver and at some point after taking a wave around or two, will probably win a rain shortened fuel mileage race. Don't be discouraged or afraid Danica, you'll be fine, you are already winning.

  7. The EPA is going to be on their case for wasting fuel and tires

  8. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Frankly, I will be surprised if Danica ever becomes a force to be reckon with in Cup Racing. In my opinion, she should have stayed in Nationwide Cars for another year or two to get some more experience. Guess we'll see how this works out but she certainly hasn't shown anything to make me believe she will be a contender in Cup Racing.

  9. I wonder what Kyle Larson will achieve when he gets as much Nationwide experience as Danica has?