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DATE News (chronologically)
06/18/12
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Patrick spins three times at MIS
She spun three times and hit the wall once, but kudos  to Danica Patrick for trying to race a loose car in order to be fast.  She was fast, but she'll need to learn to drive loose without crashing if she wants to contend for race wins on a consistent basis in NASCAR
A slightly loose race car is the fastest way around a track.  Everyone will tell you that the great race car drivers can drive a car slightly loose for long periods of time and not crash.

Danica Patrick spun three times, including hitting the wall once, but was able to stay on the lead lap and finish 18th in the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan on Saturday.

“I would use ‘white knuckle’ to describe how it was for a big chunk of it,” Patrick said. “It was pretty loose for most of the race. … We’re going to need to free the car up if we’re going to run in the top-10, top-five spot the whole day.

“I don’t know if it was too loose for that or if it was just something I need to learn how to drive. It was very difficult to be aggressive with the car.”

The JR Motorsports driver, in her first full season of NASCAR racing as she transitions from the IndyCar Series, started fifth but spun on the first lap of the race for the start of a long day.

“I just got a little high and got loose and it came around,” she said. “On a positive note, I didn’t hit anything, which is something I was not very good at doing when I’ve spun.”

She then spun again on lap 103 of the 125-lap race when Austin Dillon took the air off the rear of her car and then ducked inside to pass her, resulting in her spin.

After that spin, crew chief Tony Eury Jr. told Patrick that her competition wasn’t happy that she was running well (she was in the top 10 at the time) and she should remember the move to do the same to Dillon in the future.

“When you’re racing with new people, you’re trying to earn each other’s respect,” she said. “You’re saying, ‘This is where I want to be.’ I was just racing with some different people than I’ve been racing with lately.

“So you’ve just got to kind of feel each other out.”

While Patrick kept the car off the wall the first two times, she couldn’t on lap 113 as she spun while battling Brad Sweet for position.

“I just didn’t want to give (the spot) up completely—which is what I could have done if I didn’t want to crash,” she said. “I went in there side-by-side and it just takes the air away. … We were going for the same spot and I just got a little loose and it came around.

“It’s a real bummer. I had a decent car.”

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