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Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Danica Patrick talks crashes, NASCAR

By Richard Durrett


FORT WORTH -- TMS president Eddie Gossage interviewed Danica Patrick on stage at Media Day on Wednesday and she shared a few notes:

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* Patrick thinks fans may see a crash at the beginning of the second Twin 275 with a blind draw. "I think they’ll probably be a crash," Patrick said. "You are going to have some overanxious, someone out of place, someone who normally doesn’t race next to each other. I know it’s going to give Brian Barnhart a headache."

That doesn't mean Patrick doesn't like the idea of the twin races. She does. "I think it’s going to be good for the fans and at the end of the day, they are the most important people," Patrick said. "I like it. I like change. I like something different."

* Patrick, who raced in 13 Nationwide races last year, will run a bunch this year too. She's headed to Bristol this season and said she didn't know what to expect. "It's a half-mile and I've been told you don't brake apparently, so that's tough for me to fathom," Patrick said. Denny Hamlin, also in town for TMS Media Day, yelled that they weren't telling her the truth. "You need to brake," Hamlin said.

* Patrick said one of the toughest things about NASCAR is trying to find the garages after qualifying. "I'm used to sitting in pit lane and driving out," Patrick said. "I've been lost after qualifying before and I feel kind of dumb on those moments." Patrick said drivers have been good in NASCAR about coming up an offering advice, especially open-wheel veteran Juan Pablo Montoya.

* Patrick felt she made progress on 1.5-mile ovals in the IndyCar Series last year, but that she wants to improve on road courses.

* Patrick talked about swapping engineering staff with Marco Andretti and that everyone is getting used to the new personnel.

* Patrick said she gets asked if racing on tracks in an Indy Car gives her an advantage. "It gives a false expectation that I’m going to know my way around," Patrick said. "The way around in an Indy Car and a stock car are different. The speeds, we can go flat out on a mile-and-a-half in Indy car, the perspectives are totally different. It's like going to a new track, other than I know where the pits are."