Q and A with Danica Patrick from Infineon
IZOD IndyCar® Series driver Danica Patrick (No. 7 Andretti Autosport) hosted a media availability at Infineon Raceway today in advance of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Below are a few select quotes from Patrick’s press conference:
|Danica Patrick Friday at Infineon|
What do you look forward to on and off the track here in Sonoma?
DP: On the track, I feel this is a real rhythm track, and if you get in a good rhythm with the car, and you’re aggressive and you put it where you want it, it can be a good weekend. Off the track, I look forward to the wine.
About the transition to NASCAR:
DP: I had to think about what would make me happiest and where I would have the most fun. I really enjoy racing those (stock) cars.
What’s the biggest difference between an INDYCAR and a stock car?
DP: It’s hotter in a stock car, a lot hotter. I found out in Montreal when your water and oil temperatures are between 240- and 280-degrees, it’s a lot hotter. Also, the length of the races. I feel they’re pretty long. Nationwide races are as long, if not longer, than INDYCAR races, and Sprint Cup races are even longer. The car changes a lot over a run of the race. The amount of things you can do on a pit stop are pretty cool. It feels in a stock car you can take bigger swings at it. You can start the race off struggling and the second or third pit stop you can be great. That’s pretty fun.
What will “success” mean to you in NASCAR?
DP: The same thing that defines success here (in INDYCAR). Getting to victory lane and running up front and being competitive every weekend.
On getting into a stock car for the first time:
DP: I remember Dario Franchitti saying he got in a stock car for the first time and said, “What am I doing?” I got in and said, “This is awesome!”
I went to Daytona in an ARCA race and got my first taste of bumping and pushing. Sliding into cars was so liberating. It was the most fun I ever had in a stock car. It was so much fun. I really had a great time.
About the bumping and shoving on-track in NASCAR:
DP: I really enjoy it. I really do. It’s tough to do in an INDYCAR. You don’t want to be touching wheels. In a stock car, if someone messes with you, you just hit them back. It doesn’t really ruin your day. You help your day out by getting them out of your way. I’m not saying I’m an aggressive, aggressive person out there; I’m not going to go after people. I will always race someone fair to start with. I give them the benefit of the doubt they’ll race me clean, but if they don’t, you retaliate.
On her last possible race in Sonoma:
DP: I probably won’t have to miss coming (to Sonoma), hopefully I’ll be back again (in NASCAR).