Saturday, May 18, 2013

Danica Patrick talks about the All-Star Race

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
MAY 17, 2013

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CARES CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media and discussed, how she approaches the Sprint Showdown, the potential of winning the Sprint Fan Vote and other topics.  Full Transcript:

DOES IT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE TO YOU WHETHER YOU RACE YOUR WAY IN OR GET THE ALL-STAR VOTE?
“What do you mean? For what reason? You asked what’s the difference between making it in versus racing in? What does it mean? Well, making it in is making it in. That’s great. But personally, of course I would love to race my way in. But the best that can happen is racing in the race. That’s going to help the most for next weekend. So, anyway, I would love to race my way in.”

INAUDIBLE QUESTION REGARDING PIT STOP:
“We don’t do that. Only the ones in the race do that. I think maybe one of the most unique things is going to be watching qualifying for the guys that are already in the race. No speed limit on pit lane is going to be kind of cool to watch. I know they used to do it in the old days, but it’s going to be exciting.”

THIS IS A SHORTER RACE WITH SHORTER LAPS. IT’S NOT AN ENDURANCE RACE. HOW MUCH FUN IS IT GOING TO BE TO GET OUT THERE AND LET IS ALL HANG OUT?
“I think we see with a lot of our races that when it comes down to the end, things get exciting because it’s all on the line. NASCAR obviously recognizes that it gets good when you put us in a short timeframe. It doesn’t completely change the preparation of the car because essentially you’re still running the whole tire life of them. Or at least for our race, for the race to qualify, it’s 40 laps. You can make a pit stop if you want, but track position is very important. So, 40 laps is still a pretty long run on tires so set-up is not necessarily going to change but every lap is going to be pushing really hard.”

DO YOU PREFER THAT PUSHING HARD RIGHT OFF THE TOP OR THAT STYLE ANYWAY?
“Sure. Get it in; get it done; whatever is more entertaining for the fans.”

WILL YOU BE WATCHING THE INDY 500 NEXT WEEK FROM HERE?  DO YOU FIND IT FASCINATING?
“Do we watch it? Oh, yeah; we watch it. I will watch next week. I think we are all curious. We’re all in racing and we all watch racing. I think that’s a common thread and it always will be there; and especially with the Indy 500 being such a cool and old historic race. We’ll all be paying attention. Obviously we’ve got qualifying this weekend for IndyCar and next week will be the race. Last year they put on a great show.”

HOW WAS THE DOVER TEST?
“The Dover test was pretty good. We had 11 or so cars there. So I know that Stewart-Haas was really good there last year with not a lot of rubber down and then coming back for the race and being really bad and not feeling like they had made a lot of progress with the car and being way out of balance. So, I think that will help pay off. Any kind of testing we can do on tracks we’re going to race on is absolutely going to help for that one, but we’re going to tracks and we’re using the right tires when we’re doing it. So, it was a good test and we made a lot of progress and we learned a lot.”

WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE IN THE BIG RACE SATURDAY NIGHT, DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE SOME SCORES SETTLED?
“I think that in a 20-lap segment you push as hard as you can no matter who you are around. I don’t know if there are scores to be settled. I don’t know.”

TALKED ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARNED AT DOVER? ARE YOU GOING BACK TO DOVER SO YOU CAN RUN BETTER?  ARE THERE THINGS THAT YOU’VE LEARNED THAT MAYBE WILL HELP?
“It’s going to help, no doubt. I feel like it will help. At least it will get me comfortable with finding a limit with the car. We’ve been loose in every part of the corner at some point and we’ve been kind of tight in every part of the corner at some point in the days we were testing. So, let’s hope that the rubber put down will translate to the same balance when we get back to the race.”

HOW WAS PRACTICE?
“Practice was okay. I feel like I didn’t do a great job of getting a lot of time out of the car on the first run, but we were relatively consistent and I felt like to me, that was making progress because the tires and the heat of the track and sliding around out there, it doesn’t get any easier as the tire life wears on. So, my runs were fairly long. I feel like we made progress. I don’t think we were the fastest car by any means but hopefully we’ve got ourselves a car that will be consistent enough to put those 40 laps together.”

WHILE CLARIFYING THE RULES THIS WEEK, YOUR NAME CAME UP A LOT WITH THE MEDIA. IS THAT FAIR TO YOU?
“I don’t know in what light they were talking about.”

SOME PEOPLE CALL IT THE DANICA RULE
“What rule?”

ON HAVING OR NOT HAVING TO BE ON THE LEAD LAP AT THE END OF THE SHOWDOWN
‘From my understanding, that was a mistake on NASCAR’s part earlier in the week. So, outside of that I have absolutely no idea what the rules are from the past or what they’re going to be or what they have been. It’s all-new to me. I had no idea that qualifying was like a three-lap pit stop thing. So, it’s all new to me.” 

(GREG) ZIPADELLI (ZIPPY) SAID THAT YOU GUYS WERE MAKING PROGRESS AT STEWART-HAAS RACING BUT THAT EVERYONE NEEDED TO BE PULLING IN THE SAME DIRECTION TO GET BETTER.  HAVE YOU NOTICED ANYTHING IN THE TEAM MEETINGS AS YOU GUYS ARE KIND OF WORKING ON THAT?
“Well, I feel like we all have the same feeling about the car and we all have a similar opinion of what the car is doing and more importantly what it’s not doing.  And when that happens, it’s time to go to work to figure out how to get that out of the car.  And I feel like once we do we are going to be better for the struggles that we have had.  But we do need to figure those out and I think we are all in agreement that we need to make a lot of progress and I feel like sometimes that is half the battle.”

YOU RAN THE 600 HERE LAST YEAR AND YOU HAD TESTING IN JANUARY.  DO YOU FEEL ANY MORE COMFORTABLE HERE THAN OTHER PLACES YOU HAVE BEEN THIS YEAR?
“Yeah, and I always go back to it.  It’s really dependent on the car.  I mean essentially I had better results in my Cup races last year than I have had this year other than Martinsville and Daytona.  So we have had a couple of really good highs but the rest of them have been not so good at all.  So I don’t think I unlearned things from last year, it’s just a matter of getting the car to a place where it does what we all want it to do as drivers on the team.  So I feel comfortable, yes.   There is a lot of stuff that I don’t worry so much about and I can just get in the car and go.  But things I am more familiar with are looking at a tire sheet, or understanding what happens to a car in the corner and being able to translate to Tony Gibson.  But it really all comes to being comfortable with the car that you have underneath you to be able to go do the job you need to do.”

DO YOU FIND THAT COMFORT WHEN YOU ARE RACING AT NIGHT AND PRACTICE DURING THE DAY AND THE TRACK CHANGES DRAMATICALLY.  DOES THAT REALLY HELP YOU IN FEELING MORE COMFORTABLE WITH THIS TRACK?
“I feel like there is so much experience on the crew chief’s part about the transition from day to night that they have an offset that they know already.  So what we learn today will help us later as long as we get that right offset from daytime to nighttime. Which is something pretty well known by the crew chiefs.”

IS (CREW CHIEF) TONY (GIBSON) MORE ADJUSTING AT THIS TRACK TO WHAT YOU WANT?
“The track changes when its sunlight versus shade and versus dark.  So as long as they know it gets tighter or looser and the offset for that, and then all the changes are still applicable.”

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO RACE YOUR WAY IN THE ALL STAR RACE, HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU THAT YOU WILL WIN THE FAN VOTE?
“I don’t know. I feel like I am very lucky to have so many great fans and all my partners and everybody involved are doing a good job of promoting to the fan vote.  Hopefully that is there, but again, I would rather just focus on racing my way in and if I needed the fan vote then I will cross my fingers.”


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