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Danica Patrick, Stewart-Haas Racing - Q&A

Me, I probably did. I guarded down into 3 on the last lap, and then the #55 hit me and got me loose and pushed me up the track, and then I held it next to him, came off the corner, and then Harvick is on the very inside so we were three wide coming to the line, and then for some reason the #55 just spun all the way - like big smoke going into 1. I don't know if that's what you were talking about. I don't know what happened. I have no idea.

Clint Bowyer:
I think you were just trying to stir stuff up.

Danica Patrick:
That seems normal. You're always trying to do that, aren't you?

Clint Bowyer:
You were running with it pretty good, so keep digging.

Danica Patrick:
Okay. I'm such a rookie.

You know, it was - we just answered how the day went. More than that, kind of what Clint said about the sport being exciting, a lot going on. I hope the fans enjoyed that late red that made for a chaotic last seven or eight laps there. You know, it was good to look up in the stands and see it full. It was good to see people with their shirts off. Summer's coming, so I'm ready for it. I'm sure y'all are because it snowed here on Thursday.

Things are just going well, and for me it was just really nice to have a nice weekend since Daytona because we haven't had -

Clint Bowyer:
I got pretty excited about that comment and I realized it was a girl that made it, and I was like, oh.

Danica Patrick:
About the shirts off thing?

Clint Bowyer:
Yeah.

Q:
Danica, they say that the toughest thing about your first race here is getting comfortable. At what point - was there a point in the race where you felt that comfort level grow, and when you did spin, were you thinking, okay, everything everybody said about this place was right, it is a little hard to get around here?

Danica Patrick:
I think it was just the circumstance, but it just got me on my toes when I was inside of people, making sure I didn't slide up into them and them kind of help turn me sideways. Honestly I felt pretty comfortable from the get-go. When you have a decent car, things just are a lot easier. I've had a lot of other worse weekends, like Fontana, I've been there a bunch of times, but it was misery until the race.

It was just a good car, so we were steady all weekend and we just kind of kept improving. We also improved in the race, which is always really important. We ended up getting really good power down by about halfway through the race and no matter what I did I could really get on it well coming off the corner.

I would say that I learned pretty early, I was backing up my corner and kind of going it easy and trying to kind of save everything. I was getting really loose doing it, so once I finally got back to going in hard again and loading the front up like I was before, it seemed like the car got really balanced again.

I learned that kind of easy, and that's kind of what helped me get more comfortable in race runs.

Q:
Danica, you were five spots ahead of Tony Stewart and many more ahead of Ryan Newman. How did it feel to be first in class for Stewart-Haas Racing today?

Danica Patrick:
Well, I mean Ryan Newman had an issue, and he was really nice out there. There was one time he let me in when I was stuck up high, so that was really helpful of him. And I felt a little funny kind of racing really hard for position there with Tony at the end, and then to get in front of him, that was a little victory for me because he's so good.

I'm going to go over to his bus after this and see what he has to say about it. But no, it was really fun. Gibson just prepares nice cars for Martinsville. It's not about being first on your team, it's about being first out there overall, and you work towards that the whole time.

Q:
And then also, is this place - you've had success at Phoenix, at Milwaukee, at flat short tracks like this. Does this place remind you of either of those and is that why you got so comfortable so quick and got that rhythm?

Danica Patrick:



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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, and Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 on April 7, 2013 at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 RK Motors Toyota, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fifth Third Ford, and others are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 on April 7, 2013 at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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TonyO - Unregistered

April 08, 2013 7:50 PM

Great run from Danica. She was patient when she was 2 laps down and happily traded paint with the boys and beat many big names as well. I know she was pushed into the #88 but I laughed so loud when she span Joonya out!!!



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