IndyCar »

Series "needs more ovals" says Danica

Danica Patrick says that IndyCar is too dominated by street and road courses, and American drivers are leaving for NASCAR as a result.
One driver who was particularly pleased to be back on a 1.5 mile oval last weekend at Texas was Danica Patrick, who has been sorely missing the oval races this season.

"This is how we started," said Danica, adding that ovals were "IndyCar at its best."

Danica is also especially delighted to see this weekend's race at the Milwaukee Mile back on the calendar. The IndyCar season started with four straight street/road courses (at St Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach and Sao Paulo) before finally getting to the first oval event of the year, the Indianapolis 500, in May and Danica revealed just how much she'd hated that opening sequence.

"I can't wait until those first four are over," she said. "It's not that I can't do well. Barber was probably one of my better races, and I was the least excited to go there. So I can have good weekends, but it's frustrating. I just don't qualify the car well."

When IndyCar emerged from the reunification between Indy Racing League and Champ Car in 2008, the idea was that the Indy ovals would be matched with the Champ Car preference for street courses in a roughly even split, but in recent years the balance has tipped away from ovals.

Since Randy Bernard took over as CEO of IndyCar, the series has severed its relationship with International Speedway Corp. (ISC) which led to the dropping of events at Chicagoland, Homestead and Kansas; in an unfortunate coincidence, the final event to be held at Motegi, Japan has also been forced to switch to the road circuit there rather than the oval where Danica Patrick recorded her one and only series victory in 2008.

"I was disappointed to see that Motegi is not an oval anymore. That almost makes me feel like I have half the oval races for some odd reason in my mind," said Danica at a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway at the weekend. "Unbelievably, in 2011, we have 10 road courses and seven ovals. It's a disappointing schedule, but it's what the schedule is.

"I was disappointed [in 2008] when we lost Michigan, and everyone said it was the most dangerous track, but I think it was the best race we put on all year," she continued, adding that she was delighted to at least see at least one previously dropped oval race restored to the calendar this season. "It's great to see Milwaukee back on the schedule. That's like a Michigan for us. Lots of passing. Cars going off, cars changing, new tires making a difference. It reminds me of the Nationwide races.

"This [oval racing] is how we started," she said. "This is the series that prevailed, and we were oval racing ... I think it's our great racing. Promotions like [last weekend's Firestone Twin 275s double-header] are the things we need to get people excited to watch races beyond the Indy 500. The racing is really competitive and exciting to watch. It's really exciting to drive, too. Sometimes you get out of the car and think, 'Wow, it's crazy.'"

Instead, it seemed to Danica that all people every talked about were "road-course ideas and locations and venues and wanting to go there, and how it's going to be a great race and great area to go. I don't hear a lot about oval races necessarily."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
4-5  June, 2010, Fort Worth, Texas USA #7 Team GoDaddy.com`s Danica Patrick.
Indy Racing League May 31-June 1, 2008. Indy 225 at the Milwaukee Mile.  West Allis, Wi. Yellow flag pitstops.
IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Texas Motor Speedway   [pic credit: image.net]
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by posing with the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves and Tim Cindric come together after a valiant effort in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and crew celebrate winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and wife Lauren celebrate winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and wife Lauren with the Winners Trophy after winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Confetti falls on the podium trio Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


GREGOROV

June 16, 2011 10:32 PM

Danica, just go to NASCAR, and you will get all the ovals you can handle (or can't handle!). INDYCAR is just starting to get back to the good old days like it was with CART, we DO NOT want to go back to the IRL days! Bring back Road America, Laguna Seca, Mosport, Mont Tremblant, or Circuit Gilles Villeneuve!

Maxx - Unregistered

June 16, 2011 6:14 PM

What she is really saying is: "Hey, I suck on ovals. If you don't get more ovals people will start to figure out that I'm an average driver at best"



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.