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Danica Patrick on Racing at Richmond, Being on The Colbert Report And More

TALK ABOUT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY AND YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE WEEKEND: “I’ve always enjoyed coming to Richmond. I was just talking about that…had fun racing Indy cars here. I liked driving the Nationwide car here. We didn’t have the greatest result, but it was still fun. Even in the Nationwide car, Ricky (Stenhouse) and I were talking about it; we struggle with getting the power down off the corner after 20 or 30 laps. So, I can’t imagine how much fun this is going to be in a Cup car. We’ll have to see. There seems to be some similarities between Martinsville and here. We’re hoping that that translates.”

 

YOUR DIVORCE WAS FINAL LAST WEEK, ANY COMMENTS ON THAT? “No. It is just the end.”

 

AFTER THE RACE LAST WEEK, WERE YOU REALLY MAD AT (DAVID) GILLILAND, OR WAS THAT JUST VENTING ON THE RADIO? “Yes, I was mad. I’ve felt like he drives very aggressively against me from Darlington last year on. There was just a lot more of it last weekend, and I was frustrated. But, I think in general it was a frustrating race, and that was just one of the elements.”

 

HOW MUCH OF A CHANCE DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE OF WINNING AT TALLADEGA CONSIDERING HOW WELL YOU RAN AT DAYTONA? “I feel like I’ve learned some lessons from Daytona about the draft, and that unfolds at the end if you are in the right place at the right time. I think that when we talk speedway racing, there’s a lot of luck involved. Like I said, right place at the right time…there are a lot of people that have a good chance of winning Talladega I think. Hopefully we are one of them at the end of the race. But, we won’t know that until end of the race.”

 

HOW MUCH WAS THE COLBERT REPORT EXPERIENCE? WHAT’S IT LIKE CARRYING HIS LIKENESS ON YOUR CAR THIS WEEKEND? “I have always liked The Colbert Report. I think it is a great show. It is really funny. I love his (Stephen Colbert) sense of humor. That was the first time I have been on his show. I was excited. He’s a cool guy. Obviously he plays a character. He said before I went out there.  So my character is incredibly ignorant and stupid. Just bear with me; have fun with it. It was cool. When we got done, he came back and said good job; that was fun; sorry I went a little bit long, but I was having a good time. So that’s a very nice thing for him to say. I had a good time. I felt like he went kind of easy on me. I’m glad I’ve watched the show because I was prepared for anything. I feel like I watch his show and I see some people that go on and I don’t think they have any idea what that show is all about, and what he does on it. I’m glad I had some knowledge. It was a lot of fun. It’s always fun to do those kinds of things that are a little different and outside the box.

 

“I’ll take the Colbert bump, sure. He has a big following. I guess, really, I’m one of them. It was nice of GoDaddy to let that go on the car. I didn’t make the joke on TV, but we would have gone about it, I would have said I will try and keep his face off the wall. We’ll have to see.”

 

HOW ARE YOU ADJUSTING TO THE GEN SIX CUP CAR? WHAT CHARACTERISTICS HAVE YOU NOTICED ON THIS TRACK THAN IT WAS LAST YEAR WITH THE PREVIOUS CAR? “We haven’t been out on the track yet, and I wasn’t on the track last year in the Cup Series to know what that would have even been like to tell you what the difference is. I feel later today you’ll probably have a better answer from someone who’s been here in a Cup car. The new Gen Six is fine. We are all just adapting. I feel like we are running okay on certain kinds of tracks as a team, but struggling at some others. We will work that out; sooner than later hopefully.”

 

DID GILLILAND’S “SHUT-UP AND DRIVE” COMMENT BOTHER YOU, OR DID YOU SORT OF FEEL LIKE HE IS TREATING YOU LIKE EVERYONE ELSE? “No, I don’t think he races me like everyone else. I watched him move over, and let someone by, so no, I don’t think he does. And, that is what makes me mad. He is just getting more attention for this than he deserves.  I think he was just driving in a way that I didn’t think was appropriate, and I haven’t thought was appropriate for a long time, but it was just too much that time.”

 

A LOT OF PENALTIES HAVE BEEN LEVIED BY NASCAR THIS YEAR.  DO YOU THINK NASCAR HAS BEEN PARTICULARLY TOUGH THIS YEAR?  HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE MOST RECENTLY MATT KENSETH? “It’s tough for me to know what the things that teams, cars, drivers, owners have been penalized for and to know how bad that is.  I think that penalties happen more in (Sprint) Cup than anywhere it seems like, and I haven’t been around that long, and I don’t know how much of these things are performance gains or oversights or blatant or something they just got caught for.  I just don’t know.  I don’t know if it has to do with the new car, I really don’t.  So I would say that NASCAR is definitely sending a message that if something is found that they don’t like, that there will be penalties for it.  That’s pretty clear.”

 

WITH THE NEW GENERATION 6 CAR IT SEEMS LIKE THEY ARE TURNING RECORD LAPS AT THESE TRACKS.  DOES THAT MAKE YOU NERVOUS AT ALL HAVING TO GO OUT AND RACE IN A NEW CAR THAT YOU HAVE NEVER USED ON A CERTAIN TRACK AND ITS GOING TO BE RUNNING AT RECORD SPEEDS? “We are talking tenths of a second or a mile-an-hour.  I mean we are not talking about going from 100 to 200 miles-an-hour, so no.   You are not nearly going to feel it.  There is probably a bigger difference going from qualifying trim to race trim, so we are talking small amounts here.  So I think it’s a talking point, but the car is similar, and I think that is what we can see….that it’s similar.  So, maybe it’s a little bit faster, maybe it could be a little bit slower.”

 

IN YOUR HISTORY OF RACING; INDYCAR, ETC, AND EVERYTHING – DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE DRIVER SHOULD ALWAYS BE RESPONSIBLE IN A PENALTY SITUATION WHETHER IT WAS THE ENGINE BUILDER, CHASSIS, OR WHATEVER, WHO BROKE THE RULE? “Oh gosh, I hope not because I have absolutely no idea what goes on other than when I am driving the car.  If you are asking if it’s just the driver that should be held responsible, then I don’t.   If you are asking if they should get a penalty then it’s the team that puts the car out there that gets that result so it all kind of goes hand-in-hand but I definitely don’t think it should be all the driver’s penalty.  But you are driving for a team where NASCAR found something they didn’t like so the biggest penalty is the car that is out there running for the championship points, so that is where they get them.  That is what hurts the most, you know?”

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Posted by on April 27, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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