Thursday, July 04, 2013

Patrick Says 500 Experience Will Help Saturday

Danica Patrick returns to Daytona International Speedway this week, the site of the best finish of her brief NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.

Patrick won the pole for “Great American Race” in February and ran in the lead pack until getting shuffled out of contention with a handful of laps remaining and finishing fifth. Asked if she can parley that experience into a better finish Saturday night, she replied, “Yeah! I don’t get worse as the year goes on. I should have better experience… especially having done Talladega too. It’s definitely possible.”
The Stewart Haas Racing rookie said she expects Saturday night’s race to be similar to the Daytona 500.
“It’s not going to be worlds of difference,” she said. “Maybe a little less single file, just because we have been in the car all year and people don’t feel the need to… start the year off well. You could see people a little bit more prepared to pass and know how to do it a little easier than at the start of the year.”
She also said she has a better idea of how to close the deal if she finds herself in contention with five laps to go Saturday.
“Right after the (500), I said I wish I would have had a plan,” she said. “But when I talked to Tony (Stewart) afterwards, he said I probably had more to lose than I had to gain by trying something at the end.  He thought I made the right decision. 
“I suppose it is about being at the right place at the right time and having the right people behind you,” said Patrick. “There is luck that plays into it that way, although a lot of times good drivers win, so you still need to know what to do.  Probably more than anything, (you need to) have a little bit of experience so you can handle whatever situation comes up.” 


  1. "Patrick won the pole for “Great American Race” in February and ran in the lead pack until getting shuffled out of contention with a handful of laps remaining and finishing fifth."

    Hey Dave. Need a proof reader/fact checker?

    Danica finished 7th, at Daytona this year.

    Will work cheap for a Hard Card. :-)

  2. Check that Dave, Danica finished 8th. Oops.

  3. Actually, "Longtime," your fact checker is as shaky as mine. Danica finish eighth in the 2013 Daytona 500.

  4. Mike S.2:25 PM

    Um, Dave, "Longtime" corrected his original comment almost an hour before your correction. And since you don't like me bad-mouthing Princess Provisional, I won't go into the legitimacy of the pole she "won" back in February.

  5. I read just fine, Mike. Thanks. And as far as the "legitimacy" of Danica's D500 pole, I recall every car taking time that day, with her going fastest of all. Did I miss something by standing on pit road, instead of watching at home?

  6. Mike S.4:01 PM

    I understand you can read, Dave. I was just wondering why, 12 hours after the fact (not an hour as I originally thought; Longtime posted last night and you posted this morning), you got a dig in on him after he corrected his original comment, which is something you failed to do. Be that as it may, yes, by all means let's talk about PP's pole for the 500. You didn't miss anything standing on pit road. The "fix", as it has been called, was performed in the garage. I have read accounts that said her plate was 1/64" larger than the other cars and other accounts that said it was 1/32" larger. Either one would do, even though I'm partial to the 1/32" enhancement. An extra 12-13 hp can do wonders in a qualifying run, especially when all you have to do is put your right foot all the way down and leave it there, and make sure not to hit the wall. Brian France figured the sport needed a jumpstart for 2013, and that was the easiest and safest way to get it. He got what he wanted, with all of the subsequent publicity surrounding the 500. But that enthusiasm died a quick death, as tv ratings and race attendance have dropped in the 17 races since. One other reason to doubt the validity of the pole this February: her qualifying effort in the 2012 Daytona 500 was a 29th place effort. 29th to 1st in one year, for a "rookie"? I don't think so. Btw, it's also the only time she has qualified better than 23rd in her Cup career. Yep, I'm going to continue to cast a skeptical eye on that pole this February. Now I understand that since you draw a paycheck from NASCAR (indirectly), you aren't in a position to be completely honest about how you feel in a forum like this, since there could be repercussions.

  7. Mike, please post a link to the "account" you read about Danica Patrick being given a larger restrictor plate. I read just about everything written about this sport, every day. I am also in the NASCAR garage just about every weekend, and there has never been any such allegation made by anyone I know of. Just on the off-chance that the article you refer to actually exists and isn't a figment of your imagination, you should be able to produce it pretty easily. I look forward to reading that article of yours, but honestly, I'm not going to hold my breath, since I don't believe it exists.

  8. Mike S.5:05 PM

    No article does exist. The accounts were via personal e-mail, and I'm not going to divulge the sources. Sorry. You can doubt me all you want, that's fine. Just like I doubt your sincerity, you can doubt mine.

  9. Shocking. So let me get this straight. An anonymous poster (you) makes wild-ass accusations based on alleged e-mails from anonymous sources he cannot name. Gee, why would anyone POSSIBLY doubt you? Amazing...

  10. Mike S.5:15 PM

    Oh, and if you think I'm the only one doubting the validity of the February pole, you need to not only read "just about everything written", but the accompanying comments by the fans. Not a whole lot of them believe it was on the level, and perception can sometimes be reality. BTW, you're not one of those who believes that every debris caution is legit, are you? And if debris cautions can be manipulated, so can qualifying runs at restrictor plate tracks. To think otherwise is to be naive. It would also be naive to think that anyone in the garage would verbalize their honest beliefs about things that do or don't go on, when it comes to something like this, to anyone in the mainstream NASCAR media, and that includes you.

  11. Mike S.5:44 PM

    Even though you haven't posted or responded to my last comment, I'll send out one more. The accusations of a "fixed" qualifying run at a plate track aren't "wild-ass". It's not some wide-ranging conspiracy, just a couple of people acting "in the best interests of the sport". And they aren't even part of any of the race teams. And trust me, fewer fans doubt me than doubt you, as far as this issue goes.

  12. Mike S.6:59 PM

    Okay, you didn't take the bait. I commend you for that. But my sources do exist, one in Charlotte and one in Talladega. Yeah, everything was based on second-hand conversations, but I trust these guys. Maybe they were just having a little bit of fun at my expense, but I doubt it.

  13. Anonymous10:04 AM


    It's all about Danica invading the good 'ole boys sacred ground, that's all it's about.

  14. Anonymous1:11 PM

    Mike, if you are such a NASCAR hater, why do you continue to watch it. Why don't you watch F-1, where the winners are picked by the owners and their team orders.