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Danica: Cup debut at Indy was “not anything special”

Jul 28, 2013, 8:45 PM EDT

Samuel Deeds 400 At The Brickyard - Practice Getty Images

In her first Brickyard 400, Danica Patrick just couldn’t summon up the past magic she had in an IndyCar at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Sprint Cup rookie was name-checked in the command from IMS board chairwoman Mari Hulman George – “Danica and gentlemen, start your engines,” she said – but was unable to move towards the lead pack in the race and finished 30th.

“You know, it just wasn’t anything special,” Patrick said about her long Sunday afternoon at the Speedway. “I just kind of kept with it and hoped to catch a break somewhere or that the car would get a lot better and it just kind of stayed real steady.”

“We took two tires on one of the stops and we got track position out of it, but unfortunately, it just didn’t run very well. So, we tried something; it just didn’t work and that’s that. It just was what it was.”

Patrick believed that additional practice would have helped matters, saying that despite her past experience at IMS, she felt that she didn’t know the track well enough in the car she had today.

“I didn’t feel like I was extremely comfortable as in I knew where to take the car to the limit,” she said. “More time would have probably helped. That’s where experience comes in and it’s not like [the Indianapolis 500] – we don’t have a whole week [to practice]. So, we’ve got to get it done in a couple of hours.”

Despite her problems on the track, she was still happy for Stewart-Haas teammate Ryan Newman, who won in front of his home crowd.

“We’ve had a trying year for sure and so, the high point of Tony [Stewart] winning at Dover and Ryan winning here is pretty cool,” she said. “This is a special place and I’m sure he’s very happy in Victory Lane.”

  1. sportfan2 - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Poor baby, if she was a real driver she might just have overcome some of those obstacles and placed higher.

  2. drylake - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    I think she needs to take some guest shots in the new USCR. She should show up for the 24 hours in Daytona or other endurance event where they need more than two drivers. Look at the buzz Tony Kanaan generated today. It establishes you more as a driver and not associated with your regular ride which has been at the back of the pack all year. Even I feel sorry for her now.

  3. rpbilleaud - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Here’s what I don’t get. Everyone loves to pile on Danica because they don’t feel she’s a real driver. She consistently runs in the middle to the back of the pack, but it’s funny that you don’t hear the same thing about guys like J.J. Yeley and David Stremme and Travis Kvapil and Brian Keselowski, guys who typically run far worse than even Danica does. You also seem to forget that she did have a successful, if not spectacular Indy Car career before moving to NASCAR. The only conclusion anyone can reasonably draw is that the only reason you are against her is that she is a woman in a man’s sport. Does she draw more attention and sponsors because she’s a hot chick than she would probably otherwise “deserve” given her lack of results. Sure, but what is she going to do if they wave the dollars in front of her? Because I’m so sure that if someone gave you the chance to earn millions of dollars based solely upon how you look you are going to turn them down. Get real.

    • mondogarage - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      “it’s funny that you don’t hear the same thing about guys like J.J. Yeley and David Stremme and Travis Kvapil and Brian Keselowski, guys who typically run far worse than even Danica does.”

      Now you’re just being silly. J.J. Yeley and David Stremme run for way underfunded, often start-and-park teams. Danica carries 8 figure GoDaddy sponsorship, and is on one of the best funded teams in the sport. That Danica tends to finish only in front of guys like Yeley and Streeme says more about Danica than it says about Yeley and Stremme. As for Brian Keselowski, he has run TWO races in his entire Cup career, in a self-funded car. Apples to apples, dude.

      Furthermore, her career in Indycar wasn’t really “successful, if not spectacular”, it was pretty much mid-pack. Which is not to denigrate her, because you can’t have a pack unless you have some middle of the pack racers. But she’s not even middle of the pack in NASCAR, not even close, really.

      I don’t blame Danica one bit for leaping at the $$$, but I sure as hell blame broadcasters for continuing to lavish a level of attention that goes way, way beyond what her talent and skill merit. Get real. Johanna Long’s a far more talented stock car driver. Too bad she’s got about 10% of the funding that Danica has. And yet, she gets top 20 finishes in inferior equipment. Danica can’t get top 20’s in actual superior equipment.

      “Not anything special” is a pretty apt description of Danica’s entire stock car career, not just yesterday.

      • bmcgrath2 - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:52 PM

        Headline could have been, Danica: “Not anything special,” and I probably wouldn’t have to think twice

    • lesovuls - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:12 AM

      Courtney Force>Princess Sparkle Pony

  4. raymondbarger - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    I don’t care about her gender I just dislike all people who are overexposed given their accomplishments. Feel the same way about Tim Tebow.

    • mondogarage - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      This, this, this.

  5. lesovuls - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Newman wins, but he’s jobless for 2014. Princess Sparkle Pony finishes in top 30 brings sponsor $$ and stays.

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