Indy fans boo backmarker Danica Patrick

UPDATE On Saturday night, a couple of hours after Danica Patrick had been roundly booed by race fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tony Kanaan met with his teammate. His message to her was that she needed to adjust her attitude.

“She definitely needs to change her attitude. Not against the public or the fans," Kanaan said. “In herself. She’s not happy with herself right now. And I can understand that. I can relate to that because I’ve been there. I had a terrible year last year."

“At closed doors, we spoke last night," Kanaan said. “I think she realized what she did. And we sometimes say thing we don’t want to say and regret."

“I think my best advice to her, which I told her last night, is you’ve got to learn from the tough times," Kanaan said. “The same guys that she finished fifth in the championship last year and won her first race, they’re still there. Those are the same people. In racing, besides having a good setup and a good car, I believe that your attitude counts a lot.

“The best advice I said to her was, ‘Look, start having fun again.’ When you wake up in the morning in your bus and you can’t wait to go to the racetrack and see your guys, it’s the best feeling. But when you wake up in the morning and say God, I’ve got to drive a race car again, that’s not good."

05/22/10 Danica Patrick has experienced a new sensation at the Indianapolis 500 — getting booed. IndyCar's most popular driver (who always blames everyone else but herself) heard fans' displeasure Saturday when her comments blaming a poor qualifying performance on her car's setup were broadcast over the racetrack public address system.

Patrick, by far the leader in merchandise sales and visibility in the series, appeared upset when she talked about the reaction.

“I say one confident thing out there, that it's not me, and everybody boos me," she said. “I don't know, maybe they were booing me before, but some of them were probably cheering for me before. I'm not a different driver than I was five years ago." The fans objected to her comments, but her team didn't.

“You take one on the chin, but maybe you had it coming this time," Tom Anderson, Andretti Autosport's senior vice president for racing operations, said. “All you can do is turn the other cheek and just get back to work."

Patrick averaged 224.217 mph on four laps in her only attempt and ended up qualifying 23rd for the May 30 race. The team didn't plan to send her out for a second run, but nervousness set in as her time began falling down the field. She was in line, waiting for another shot when time ran out.

“I think we underestimated, or I underestimated what it was going to take to make the top 24 there," Anderson said. “Speeds were up a little bit. Not the starting position we wanted, for sure. Sometimes, you just need a day away from the track to analyze it."
Patrick was shaking and holding back tears after the qualifying run. She said adjustments on the car throughout the week were poor.

“The car is just totally skating across the track, and there's no grip," she said. “My mechanics took tons of time to make sure it was fast and slick and no drag. It's there, it's just that the setup's not there. I feel bad for them because it's a good car.

“The GoDaddy car deserves to be higher up than this. It's better than this. It's just not set up right." Indy Star

Leave a Reply