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DATE News (chronologically)
01/09/09
irl
Danica blames AGR team  
Danica Patrick
In this LA Times interview Danica Patrick says the Andretti Green team was the reason for her poor performance this year. The IRL's greatest driver of all time (based on the length of her autograph line) had this to say:

Question: You had the win this year but you also had only three top-five finishes overall. What happened?

Answer: The whole performance of the team was bad; I don't think it was just me. We definitely didn't have the year. The team had, like, a combined 10 wins or something last year, over half of [the races]. That was not the case this year.

Q: What was the problem?

A: We just lacked a little bit of speed. We missed something on the road courses. I think our short ovals were OK. And then on the mile-and-a-halves, it just seemed like [the] Ganassi [team] in particular was just the strongest on the ovals.

Q: What is your personal goal for next season?

A: I go in with the same [goal] every year. I want to win a whole bunch of races. It would have been nice to win two or three this year but that didn't happen. So I'd say that would be my goal for next year.

But I can't say that and then critique myself when we had a tough year overall as a team. How can it really be my fault when we just didn't have the goods?

Q: Winning the Indianapolis 500 is the ultimate goal, of course?

A: Yes.

Q: And you have no plans to change [racing] series until you win the 500?

A: I don't think that's a parameter I set. For me it's a matter of being in a position that I'm able to win races. That's the most important thing for me at all times. Because when I perform well everything else falls into the place and I'm the happiest.

Q: With two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves facing tax-evasion charges, there's a chance he won't be in the field next season . . .

A: Yes, there is a good chance.

Q: . . . so would that change the competitive landscape for you?

A: It's a loss for the series because Helio's a known name, a great man for the series; he's good at representing us. Unfortunately there are other things that he has to deal with.

Helio is a great driver. He drives also for a great team [Penske]. If for some reason Helio doesn't drive, Penske I believe will have the ability to find a great driver and it will still be a great team and it will still be a challenging car to pass.

Q: What else have you been doing in the off-season?

A: Just doing this kind of stuff, doing sponsor stuff, getting my personal business side stuff together. There are always so many things going on and there's always so many decisions to be made, just getting everything in order. I don't really have time during the season to do it, so we do it in the off-season. LATimes
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