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The NASCAR media is beginning to resent having to write the same Danica Patrick story week in and week out.  Here in the Bristol media center again where she will start dead last, she meets University of Tennessee women's basketball head coach emeritus Pat Summitt
Getty Images for NASCAR
For once Tony Stewart was speechless.

"Can you get Danica to just stop coming by the media center every week, while she's running so bad," the reporter asked with a straight-face, and to be honest, seriously.

Ol' Smoke simply didn't know what to say.

If you think this Danica Patrick story line is a bit strained, week after week after week of "learning," well, you're not alone.

But don't feel that sorry for her, because she is getting a lot of money to play this NASCAR game...even if this season she is playing at it rather poorly.

Yes, she was finally doing something worthwhile on the track, the other day up in Montreal, leading the race....until she ran over a shoe.

It looked great on television. And when she had to pit for repairs right after that, well, it was looking easy to blame it on the shoe.

Of course the shoe had nothing to do with it. And she finished woefully again.

It's like a broken record.

Yet NASCAR's relentless marketing machine again here Friday marched her into the press center for another series of pointless questions and answers.

Still Patrick handles it all gamely.

And she is braced - we think -- for a double-header weekend here, running in Friday night's Nationwide 250 and Saturday night's Bristol 500. More at MikeMulhern.net

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