Jimmie Johnson's victory was a refreshing change of pace for team owner Rick Hendrick, who didn't field a single question about Danica Patrick in the postrace news conference in Phoenix.

The same couldn't be said before the event, when Hendrick answered questions about the possibility of Patrick driving next year for the JR Motorsports Nationwide Series team he co-owns with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"I think everything is an option," Hendrick said. "It's just too early to really comment on it. I can't give you anything concrete, because there isn't anything concrete right now. Nothing is ever imminent until it's signed -- you know how that goes. Too many things can happen."

Asked whether he thought the focus on Patrick was stealing attention from Johnson's run to a fourth straight title, Hendrick demurred.

"No, not to me," he said. "I don't think so."

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment