2012 KROGER SUPER WEEKEND AT THE BRICKYARD PRESS CONFERENCE
Danica Patrick, July 26, 2012
Q. Talk about your debut video with Miranda Lambert. I know you mentioned you had fun making it with her.
DANICA PATRICK: I haven't seen it, so I can't say the same, but I can't wait to see it because I haven't. But it was a lot of fun. Miranda is a very, very cool girl. We had a lot of fun shooting it. It was definitely a long day, but she rewarded me with a Randarita at the end of the day, which is her cocktail, so that was nice of her.
Yeah, we got to be a couple of kickass girls, so that's always a fun role to play. So yeah, I hope everybody likes it. It was a lot of fun to shoot.
Q. Let's talk a little bit about coming here to Indianapolis. Certainly you've been in this room a few times before, but talk about what it means to come here racing in the Nationwide Series, racing a stock car around this big track.
DANICA PATRICK: I don't care what I drive around this track, I love being here. I just like everything about it. I like the facility, obviously, and to me the special thing about Indy is obviously I've had great experiences, but it's about the track. It doesn't matter what kind of car I come in here, I've had great experiences, memories. So that's what I like so much about it. And I love the tradition.
The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what's important and what matters and what means the most to you.
I sound really old with that answer.
Q. Now that you've been out on the track, you knew it was going to be different than when you were in IndyCar, but was there anything that was more pronounced?
DANICA PATRICK: No, I don't think so. I mean, it's just about finding a balance with the car out there, which is no different than in IndyCar. You're just trying to find a balance. All you're doing in an IndyCar is trimming it out, and if I could have more downforce in these cars I'd probably take it, because in an IndyCar we learned very quickly that it's about how much throttle you could carry around here.
You can definitely use a little more road in these cars I feel like. I feel like I wish I was using more right now. But cars are getting very low in the corners, and that can be a little bit of a danger in an IndyCar, especially if you get just a little bit too low and get a little loose.
So that's a little bit different, I suppose, but nothing terribly unexpected.
It did feel a little funny driving through Gasoline Alley, though. We used to walk it. And I'm used to seeing the Alley Cats, and I didn't see them there. I just saw a bunch of yellow shirts, and that was nice. But I didn't see any Alley Cats.
Q. I was wondering if you'd discuss the possibility of maybe doing the double next year, and also, what is in a Randarita?
DANICA PATRICK: OK, so the Indy 500 next year, I would love to do it. I've said that all along. I love the track, I love the race. I've had I feel like I've had really good races. I feel like it was always one of my strongest races of the year in IndyCar, so I feel like that's something I would like to do, and maybe it will happen, maybe it won't, but I can tell you the only way it's going to happen if it's with someone I really feel I can have a shot to go out there and win because it's unfair to the history I've had here and to my memory to do anything less than that. I wouldn't want to wreck anything I've experienced here with something to take away from that.
So if we do it, it'll be with a shot to be able to win. On top of that, there's just a whole lot of logistical issues to iron out if that were to be the case. But first and foremost, a good car.
And then the Randarita, OK. The Randarita I think is Bacardi, it's Sprite Zero, and Crystal Light, I think. It just tastes like straight sugar, which is delightful.
Q. Obviously you've had a lot of experience here, but I wondered, have you been able to gather from your team and maybe Tony Jr. and the guys, this is the Nationwide's first appearance here, have they been a little bit more excited about coming here this weekend?
DANICA PATRICK: No. Logistically this is not exactly the best layout for stock cars, I feel, and it's because they use the haulers so much. I don't think it has anything to do with the track. It's nothing to do with that. It is hot here, so that's just the time of the year. And it's also been like the hottest summer I can remember.
That's a bit of the issue. It's hot and it's just the truck is so far away from the garages. So I feel like logistically it's just a little bit of a pain in the butt for them.
But I'm determined to make them all love it and make them see what I see. I think I'll get them there by the end of the week.
They say that the yellow shirts are pretty strict around here, but I see all the yellow shirts and they all like wave and hug me. I say you just have to be really nice to them, you have to smile, wave, "How you doing," just show them some love. That's what I always did around here, and then I come back and they hug me. So there you go.
Q. Do you have any Camaro stories? Today the Camaro was unveiled, and everybody seems to identify with that car. Do you have one? Did you have a Camaro?
DANICA PATRICK: I do. It was a car that was built by Funkmaster Flex with one of my sponsors, PEAK, sort of commissioned the whole thing to come together, it was for a TV program, and I got it here at Indy, at this track, and I think it was a '67, right, '67 Camaro, I think, something like that. Anyway, it was old.
And I got it here at the track, and we shot a little piece about it, and it was cherry red, like fire engine or cherry red, and it had a No. 16 with a circle around it on the side of the door, sort of like a little bit not a bright white one but a faded look.
So yeah, that's my story of a Camaro. It's actually very appropriate that I would have that story and that you would ask about that.
It was very cool to see the unveiling of the new Chevy Camaro today for the Nationwide Series. It's a great looking car. Tony Jr. and I were sitting next to each other and said, man, that pace car is a good looking car. Maybe I'll have to get one of those in the future.
Q. You know this place is loaded with history. Do you realize you have a good shot at being the first woman to win here?
DANICA PATRICK: Well, I had a shot a winning my very first year here, so being the first woman to win at Indy is kind of not an unfamiliar concept to me.
I think I had that in IndyCar sometimes, too, so I think it's just a matter of how the day plays out, the good work that you do leading up to the race, and then just having a couple of lucky breaks in the race and having a strong car. You know, I know that JR Motorsports has done everything they can to prepare a great car for this race, and Tony Jr. definitely has the experience here with coming here in a Sprint Cup car, so hopefully that'll play into our favor.
Q. When you were in IndyCar, which turn gave you the most trouble?
DANICA PATRICK: I would say that, again, it's this track. It's Turn 1. I always feel like Turn 1 is just it has the most amount of issues for whatever reason. I don't know if it's partly because you get there a little quicker because 2, 3 and 4 are a little bit more smooth and the arc is nice and smooth through the corner. I don't feel like there's as much adjusting. I don't know what it is, but Turn 1 has always been the issue no matter what car I've been in now.
So that was my answer for IndyCar, and it's my answer for today. It always gives you that little bit of a loose feeling getting in at times.
And with these cars especially I feel you have to set them up for the long haul. You have to set them up for the whole run as opposed to where in IndyCar they have so much downforce and grip that you could set it up and it'd stay like that through the whole race or the whole run. So there's a little bit of sacrificing and compromising on the car of what you have at the beginning to have a good car at the end. We're going to spend a lot of time focusing on 1.
Q. Your respect for the facility is readily obvious. So when you get here each year, what does it feel like for you when you first arrive and first walk in or drive into the facility, and what do you think about, and was it any different this morning than it's ever been before?
DANICA PATRICK: I think the best thing about coming back, and I got in last night, is that it feels familiar and it feels comfortable. I'm always happy I woke up this morning and pushed the blinds up in the bus, and I said to Paul, I said, "It feels good." It sounds like a story you wouldn't believe, but I said, "It feels good to look out the window and see Indianapolis," because it's out the window when I look out my bus from the bus lot. I like seeing it. It feels very comfortable, very familiar.
I just feel like I've had a lot of different experiences here that can help me, and again, it's just a special place, where I feel like from the beginning I've always really believed that you have to show this track respect, and it will hopefully show you the respect back.
I've always thought that, and especially in IndyCar this place can bite you pretty big. I don't think it's too much different in a stock car to be honest. I don't want to find the wall. I haven't found the wall, and I don't want to.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks for coming in. Look forward to watching you race here on Saturday and look forward to the video on Monday.
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