IZOD IndyCar Series: Cafés do Brasil Indy 300
Topics: Cafés do Brasil Indy 300
October 2, 2010
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. We're now joined by Danica Patrick, who finished 2nd tonight. Danica, heck of a race you had with Tony Kanaan. Talk about it.
DANICA PATRICK: Thanks. First off, obviously, with Will walking out, it's fresh in my mind. You know, he did a hell of a job this year. He kicked ass on the road courses for sure. He really did.
He was a sleeper for the championship. But he did a great job. So he shouldn't be disappointed with himself. And obviously Dario did a great job, too. He came back in the championship throughout the year and did what he needed to do and did what an experienced driver does. You know, they finish races and get points.
And he's got the experience on the ovals. So, you know, it's unfortunate that that ended in the way that it did because you weren't able to see that dueling finish for the championship.
But leading to that, hopefully Tony and I put on a good show for the end at least. It was definitely a bit of a workout there. It was a hard 19 laps, is what we went green with.
And I had a strong car. It was a little bit -- we had a lot of stuff to start the race off. We cranked the front wing in it. And they were able to bring it to life.
And it was a good car. So it was back to what I remembered in practice. So everybody on the Godaddy crew did a good job. They kept their heads down all year. I know it wasn't the greatest year. But I know I'm rambling on with stuff that sounds so formatted for a driver to say, but it's the time to say it. And thanks to Tony for making it exciting at the end.
It was a good race, and I think it was just a wind gust down the straightaway. I don't know, I think it was just wind.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. I like how you put that. You said at Texas that was the best oval race of your career. Do you revise that after tonight?
DANICA PATRICK: Good question. I think the end of that race was definitely my best oval racing, probably. It was fast and keep your foot in it and ride out the washouts and be calculated at the same time.
So you had to keep your foot in it, but you had to be smart as well. So Texas was a good race from a top-to-bottom perspective. We were strong all weekend in the race.
We ran in the top 5 the whole time. And I really managed my car well in Texas. But that was probably -- I also managed my car those last 19 laps, and I think that's what also attributed to me being able to pass them at the end, too, was I went low a few times down in 3 and 4 early on in the last 19 laps.
And I could keep it down there fine, but I just didn't have the run-off. It didn't have the oomph off the corner because you didn't exit the corner with the momentum from the wider radius. So I said, all right, we're just going to go up high for a while. Then we went high, and we went higher and then we went higher.
So finally, by the end, I think that he might have been scrubbing some speed by sliding from trying to hold it down low. So I was able to capitalize on that and get underneath them.
Q. If you could just speak to what -- this is the way you want to go out, I'm assuming, and kind of carry things over. But this has got to be good for your confidence and a real up for the season.
DANICA PATRICK: Thanks. It's been a tough year. I mean, it's been very frustrating. It seems like it's a second or a 20th this year for me.
So it's very frustrating. But we kept focused. And, you know, we revised things as we went to them. We said this isn't working for us; what do we need to do to improve?
And we adapted as well. So it's what you need to do as a team. And my engineers kept their -- my mechanics kept their confidence in me. And they did a fantastic job. These last two races at Motegi and here were a nice way to end the season.
Q. Tony said he apologized, because I think you guys brushed wheels a little bit. Do you remember that incident at all?
DANICA PATRICK: It was wind, remember? Yes, I remember very vividly. I mean, he pushed up wide out of 4. And I came down low. And I had the momentum. And I got underneath him. And his left front wheel, I looked, was right behind my right front wheel. So I was a little ahead of him. He said his spotter didn't call inside until he was into the side of me.
So, I mean, it is what it is. I ended up getting by him and beating him. So I guess at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. But I kept thinking that our boss, Mike, was sitting in pit lane biting his nails like crazy, hoping his cars weren't going into the wall. Because he was definitely swerving over to intimidate me and moving me up the track.
It kind of reminded me of like Briscoe and Carpenter's finish at Kentucky last year, or I think maybe the year before that it was Helio and Dixon or somebody like that here at Homestead. I think it was the season opener a couple of years where it was just lap after lap, side by side.
And the fans get what they want here. And I'm disappointed it's not on the schedule for next year. We keep losing my favorite tracks. So bummer, dude.
That quote is going to come off so bad in the newspaper. It's going to come off like I'm an idiot. Please don't make me seem like that. Please follow that quote with the rest of the quote.
Q. TK is a guy you have the utmost respect for, but he's also probably one of the most intimidating guys out there. So really what was that like racing him?
DANICA PATRICK: Yeah. We've had our times together this year, at Indy and Texas and Iowa, and we've definitely had our times. And it was not a great year for teammates getting along and being buddy-buddy.
And he definitely raced me hard here tonight. But the point is that I beat him and that's really all that matters.
Q. I'm not asking you if you're angry, but you sure would have had a right to be there in the last several laps.
DANICA PATRICK: You know, I mean, yeah, he raced me really hard. You guys could see it on TV. You guys can have your own opinions as to what you think happened.
Like I said, I ended up getting by, so it was okay in the end. But I also -- I also didn't get the chance to chase Dixon down either.
So he was holding the low line for a while. And for a while we were being pretty consistent. I went low early on, and he kind of came down low, and as the run was going on, we were getting higher and higher on the track, especially around 3 and 4.
So I was exploring the space, for sure, higher than I had been all night. But, you know, it's the end of the race and that's what you're doing. So, you know, it kind of reminds me of what happened with Marco and I at Texas last year, when Marco was really mad that I was taking his space away going up high.
And that was, again, that was like the last sort of 20 lap range. So this was a little different because it was the end of the season, and I know we're in his hometown. So we didn't crash. And that's good. And that can always happen when you're floating around out there at 220.
So we didn't. And he was smiling at the end and he apologized for coming in at the side of me on the front straight. So I'll take that for what it is. And that we raced really hard and we both finished the race with almost no scratches.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
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