Danica wants new great memories at Brickyard
Danica Patrick has great memories at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Patrick finished in the top ten in six of her seven starts in the Indy 500, with a best finish of third in 2009. Patrick was the first and still is the only woman to lead the Indianapolis 500. She has led 29 laps in two races.
That was all in an IndyCar.
"I'd like to make some new great memories,” said Patrick during a sponsor appearance for Aspen Dental. “I haven't really done very well in a stock car here. I remember my first year here in a stock car. I hit the wall. I had never hit the wall at Indy. I was like 'Oh! That sucks! I didn't want to do that.’ Hopefully the car, which is a brand new car for the weekend, rolls off the truck really fast. "
Patrick started her Brickyard week visiting the Aspen Dental Mouth Mobile parked at the Avondale Meadows YMCA. Danica's sponsor provided free dental services.
“I’ve been going to the dentist since I was a kid,” said Patrick. “I’m lucky that was something that was accessible for me, that we had the money and the dentist was nearby. For people that are in pain that can’t afford service, this is an option for them.”
Patrick is showing her great smile returning to Indianapolis.
“I think it’s mostly because my sister lives here and she’s so funny,” joked Patrick. “My mom and dad and my sister are here so it’s always nice to see family when I come back.”
New rules for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs mean one win could put a driver in the chase for the championship. Patrick has never won a NASCAR race, let alone the Brickyard. She finished 30th in her Brickyard debut last year.
“It means everything even if it didn’t put me in the chase,” said Patrick. “That’s just icing on the cake.”
Patrick stands 27th in the points standings this season, with just two top ten finishes. She stills follows IndyCar as much as possible. But the driver of the number 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet is happy in a stock car.
“I feel pretty at home with the people in NASCAR,” said Patrick, who is in a relationship with fellow Sprint Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. “It reminds me of growing up racing go-karts, a bunch of southern and midwestern people, very American. But I’m grateful for all my time I’ve had anywhere with the great teams I’ve driven for.”
Patrick and the other Sprint Cup drivers practice on Friday at 11:35 a.m. at the Speedway. Qualifying is Saturday at 2:10 p.m. and the race is Sunday at 1:22 p.m. (ESPN).