Saturday, October 5, 2013

Danica Patrick talks Kansas

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400
KANSAS SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTS
OCTOBER 4, 2013

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS  met with media and discussed the new tire, her expectations for the end of the season, doing a music video with Colt Ford, and more. Full Transcript:

HOW WAS PRACTICE TODAY?
“I feel like our practice today for qualifying which, it was nice to have practice yesterday because you feel comfortable to start right off in Qualifying trim. Was off to a really good start. The car felt so much better than it did yesterday.

“We struggled to find front grip throughout practice. It didn’t improve like we wanted to. I think for qualifying we’re just going to try and fix the balance and not try and get so creative maybe with finding front griip as that seems hard to do. This tire has been just hard; and it really does’t want to turn. So, let’s just shift the balance and see what we can get.”

IF THE WEATHER CHANGES AS MUCH AS THE FORECAST SAYS, HOW MUCH OF WHAT YOU LEARN TODAY WILL BE RELEVANT ON SUNDAY?
“The balance is the balance. So I really feel like when temperatures heat up and cool down it can make your problems worse. But it’s not going to make everything irrelevant that you’ve done. So, I feel like if we can achieve balance in practice, it will be the same for the race. It could get more dramatic, but that’s about it. And especially when it comes to a cooler temperature, you’re really just adding downforce to the car and grip. So, it will be better for everybody, but it’s better than getting caught, in my opinion.”

WHAT IS YOUR ENTHUSIASM LEVEL NOW FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON?
“Off the charts!” (laughter)

A LOT OF DRIVERS WANT TO SEASON TO BE OVER IF THEY’RE NOT IN THE CHASE. AS A ROOKIE, HOW DO YOU FEEL?         
“What enters my mind when I think about this season and it coming to an end is not that I want it to just get over with. I want it to just end well. That’s all. Even if you can just have one or two good races at the end of a season where it’s been up and down and a lot of down, and especially being a rookie season, that’s a good way to end. I feel like we’ve made improvements throught the year and I definitely learned a lot. But we started off a little behind and made improvements during through the summer. And I feel like we’ve fallen a little bit behind again. It’s hard. The Sprint Cup Series is hard. Everybody is pushing really far and everybody works so much and so hard that it’s just difficult. That’s what makes it so gratifying when you do well.”

WOULD A TOP-20 BE CONSIDERED ‘DOING WELL’ FOR YOU?
“I would say that top 20’s are the goal right now. I had really thought that top 20’s are really where we should have been to start the year. But we started behind. I’d hoped to be more consistently in top 15’s at this point.

“But we’ve got Talladega and Martinsville coming up and both of those tracks for me I would say, better tracks. So, I think a top 15 will be good for me toward the end of the season, here. And shoot, at Talladega, go out an win!”

HOW WOULD YOU RANK YOUR SEASON AS A DRIVER?
“I don’t really feel like those are easy answers. I, of course, give myself an A+ for trying and working things out. Your grade is your finishing position in the championship. That is what reflects what you’ve done all year.”

HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO SEE THE FINAL COLT FORD VIDEO?
“I saw the Colt Ford video a couple of weeks ago. They put it out very quickly and we only shot that five or six weeks ago. So, that’s fast. And it’s cool to see it out. It was a lot of fun to do. It was a beautiful day in Mooresville that day and those are the fun things that you get to do outside of the car. So, I enoyed that. That was good fun. And obviously, I had a pretty hot mechanic working on the car.”

DID YOU HAVE TO ACT TO FLIRT WITH RICKY STENHOUSE, JR.?
“That was not acting. That was not hard. When I look at him I smile, so that was not hard.”

DID YOU SEE THE MOVIE, RUSH?
“I did see the movie, Rush. I didn’t know the story. I had heard of obviously both of the drivers before for sure, but I didn’t know the story at all. It was a fascinating story come the end of the movie. I thought it was a really good racing movie.

“I think it’s always hard to portray excactly what’s happening when you’re like taking cockpit shots and things like that, but I thought it was pretty good. I thought it was done really well. It was a very interesting story and kind of a sad story in the end, I guess.

“But it was really cool. It’s always fun as someone that is in racing to see a movie about racing be done so well and be done with such great actors and by such a great director. So, it’s cool.”

REAGARDING TALLADEGA, LOT OF DRIVERS DON’T LOOK FORWARD TO IT. ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IT?
“The reason they don’t look forward to it is exactly why I do because someone like me has more of a shot there, just like everybody else. So, they’re in the Chase and have run welly well and been fast all year. So, when we get on more traditionaly tracks, that’s where they’re going to fall into place more than not.

“But with speedways, it’s a toos-up what’s going to happen. So, that’s why it’s fun for me because somebody like me has a chance. On top of that, Stewart-Haas speedway cars are really good. So, hopefully it will be one of the good days at the end of the year.”

ARE YOU MORE READY TO WIN THAT RACE NOW BECAUSE YOU’VE LEARNED A LOT?
“I feel more comfortable. I felt really comfortable at Daytona in general, but I think that I’m realizing how important it is throughout the race to try things and practice taking runs and thing like that and being a little bit more brave with not worrying about what happens as a result; and knowing that as long as you don’t lose the draft, you can be set up for the end of the race. I’ve lost the draft and that’s not good either.

“But I was ready at the beginning. I think as a race car driver when you get to this level, you’re ready for anything that comes at you. But as I said at the beginning of the season coming from Daytona that you have to at least know what your car do and get a run and get by somebody. I’m more apt to practice that now in practice and in the race.”

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT KURT BUSCH JOINING SHR NEXT YEAR?
“I think that Kurt and Kevin (Harvick) are both going to be great teammates. I’ve always gotten along with both of them very well and I think we have a chance to have a lot of fun. Obviously a lot of people talk about all of our strong personalities together, but I feel like what you have it a lot of comfort and confidence with a lot of the drivers and for me especially, I have the opportunity to learn a lot with Tony (Stewart), Kurt and Kevin. Those are three really incredible drivers. I’m very lucky to be in the position that I am and hopefully being able to rise to the occasion.”

HOW IS TONY STEWART DOING?
“Tony pushes hard. He works hard. He’s doing really good. And he is very foused on recovery and doing what’s right along the way. That’s good because you know he’s got that rebellion streak in him but he’s been very dedicated to the process. So, you’ll see him back just as good as ever.”

DID YOU KNOW COLT FORD BEFORE DOING THE VIDEO?
“No, I had never met Colt Ford. I had obviously heard his music on the radio over the last good year, being a Country (music) fan now. Although, he’s kind of a rapper. I don’t know. Has he ever done any music other than Country Music?  I grew up listening to rap in Northern Illinois. That was the most common stuff we listened to. I like rap; especially the kind of rap you can understand what he’s saying. Putting a southern twist on it is good. So, I like it. I like unique-sounding music and he definitely has that for country music.”

More from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

Blog entries from The Dog Blog

More blog entries by Tom Gillispie

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

No comments: