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IndyCar Series: Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone

IndyCar Series: Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone

Danica Patrick
September 2, 2007


THE MODERATOR: Dario, thank you.
We're joined by second place finisher, a career best second place, Danica Patrick.
Danica, take us through your day out there.
DANICA PATRICK: It was a bit of an up-and-down day. We didn't have the best weekend so far. We qualified 11th. So mid pack is never the ideal spot to be. But kind of knew that it was like settle in, make good fuel mileage and be smart, try to get 'em in the pits 'cause any time someone tried to pass, you saw what happened, we all came together. It was just a matter of being smart and making up as much time as you could in the pits.
We did that on the first stop. We came out in seventh. Then the yellow came out. Restart happened. I got hit from behind when Sam was kind of spinning off with somebody. So that was unfortunate. But grabbed the clutch, kept it running, thank goodness, and they pushed me back, I pulled away. No damage, which was fantastic. Kept going.
Then we were in the fuel strategy game because we were in the back of pack. What are you going to do except try and be clever? That's what we did. We ran up front for a good chunk of time, led, made up some ground. Then came back out again, had an accident with Sharp, as well.
You know, it was a fun-filled day for me. We weren't the fastest car, but we were fast enough to be in contention and be there to do something about it, which was half the battle today.
My team did a great job of putting the Motorola car in the right spot at the right time with the strategy. Track position was absolutely everything today, so they did a good job. Caught some unlucky breaks, but in the end caught some lucky ones, came home second.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Danica.

Q. You've been a story for so long in this series. Do you find it ironic on a day when you get your career-best finish, your story will be overshadowed by everything else that happened?
DANICA PATRICK: Hey, I think honestly that's great. I will say, sure, people latch on to when I do good things. They write about it, which I'm flatter and I'm so glad for that. But it just means that certain story lines and certain people are getting really big, too. That only helps the series, when there's more than one thing going on.
Let's face it, I'm not going to be interesting every week. To be honest, I might have a boring year at some point. Definitely last year was one of them that wasn't so spectacular.
I'm happy that there are other story lines that are taking the lead. Just gonna have to do that much better to be the head story. That's all right. Andretti Green is a great team. We've been doing really well.
I wouldn't have said we were running up front all day today, but we have had our best result today. I'd have to say that from basically Indy on, we've really been running up front the whole time. Good job to the team. Good job to the Motorola car and everybody involved.

Q. I'm sure you weren't aware of this, but when you took the lead, the whole stand almost collapsed, everybody stood up and cheered. Obviously you couldn't see that. You do create interest.
DANICA PATRICK: Thank you. I'm very fortunate to have a lot of fans, good fans, excited fans. I am a little bit different, so that's always interesting. Being something that hasn't proven to do that well really in history - consistently at least - I guess you'd say I'm a bit of an underdog, too. Everybody loves that. Everybody cheers for that, right?
You know, that's kind of what I credit it to. And I hope that they enjoy my personality. I'm definitely honest. You're going to get the straight truth out of me. I don't beat around the bush up here. I think that's important. I think it's important for consistency so that the fans really get to know you instead of like this false you. All of a sudden you have these glimmers of other people who really are you. People can tell. I'm very lucky.

Q. When you let Dario go by, was that a team order thing or you thought he would get you eventually?
DANICA PATRICK: Honestly, he probably was going to get me. Obviously Dario's very good. Our pace wasn't quite as fast as what I thought it had to be or what I thought it was going to be. So would I have been able to hang in there? Maybe. But, you know what, this wasn't my race to win today necessarily as far as the championship goes and what was happening.
I didn't have to be told. I was informed that Dario was behind me. But I kind of wanted to let him go. I wanted him to go at Dixon. I wanted them to go for it because that is the story right now. The story is who's going to win this championship. They're within a couple of points. Geez, they might even be tied up right now almost or within two. That's bigger than, you know, me finishing fifth, which is what was going on anyway, or fourth, if I wouldn't have let him by.
I didn't have to be told to do that. I would have done that for Dario out of courtesy, out of respect.
THE MODERATOR: Danica. Congratulations.

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