Posted May 29, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Danica Patrick left the first racing rough patch with boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the track.
At home, the relationship is still smooth sailing.
Patrick and Stenhouse escaped for some relaxation on a boat after their first dust-up on the track since the NASCAR rookies announced in January they were dating. NASCAR's power couple rubbed each other the wrong way during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 after Stenhouse drove his car into the side of Patrick's car and effectively ended her race.
There was no escaping the relationship doghouse for Stenhouse - the two shared a ride home.
''You don't not talk about it because you're riding home together,'' Patrick said Wednesday. ''There's a few silent moments for sure, many moments. I was upset. I wasn't necessarily strictly just upset at him. He was there three wide as part of the issue.''
Patrick was racing in the middle of the three-wide pack when she was hit by Stenhouse and collided with Brad Keselowski. Patrick's No. 10 Chevrolet suffered serious damage and she finished 29th, her sixth straight result of 25th or worse in her first full season in Sprint Cup.
''I've always given him a lot of room and he's done the same for me,'' Patrick said. ''It was just one of those situations where we're on a restart and we're all trying to dig for what we can.''
Unlike her dinged-up car, the two were quickly on the mend.
''We'll be fine. We're fine,'' she said. ''We had a lovely day on the boat, on the lake, got a sun tan.''
Sounds like fun. At least, more fun than a weekend at the track, where Patrick is off to a rocky start as a Cup regular. She swept the sport and herself into the national spotlight when she won the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500 and finished a solid eighth. But Patrick finished 39th the following race in Phoenix and has no finished no better than 12th in any race outside of Daytona.
Patrick, 30th in the points standings, is not the only member of Stewart-Haas Racing in a slump. Ryan Newman is 16th and Tony Stewart 20th, one reason why SHR came to test Wednesday at Pocono Raceway. Richard Childress Racing drivers Jeff Burton, Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick, who won at Charlotte Motor Speedway, also tested at Pocono.
Newman finished sixth Sunday, Stewart was seventh and Patrick was pleased with her run before the crash, making it a solid night for the team.
''It doesn't make you feel like it's turned around,'' Stewart said. ''It's a step in the process. I don't know you can say just one weekend automatically turns a season around. That's why we're here today. We have a lot of work to do. It's a sign of progress.''
Patrick said testing was useful because the 2 1/2-mile triangle track was the last one she hadn't raced on since making the shift from IndyCar to NASCAR. The series runs this weekend at Dover International Speedway before heading to Pocono next weekend. There's a second Cup race Aug. 4.
Patrick has a long way to go before she's truly comfortable at Pocono - or just about any other track on the circuit, for now. Patrick has a pair of tracks on the horizon that have been kind to her when she hits Daytona and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. Patrick scored six top-10 finishes, including third place in 2009, in seven Indianapolis 500s. Yes, it's a different series, but a comfortable track could lead to a more confident Patrick.
Not that she's showing any nerves in the garage.
''We haven't had to do a lot of coaching with her,'' Stewart said. ''Her input is as good as ours right out of the box. That's the one thing we noticed the first weekend we took her (testing) last year. Her feedback is so strong.''
It was needed at Pocono. Newman credited a recent test at Dover for the solid outing at Charlotte. Perhaps Charlotte and the Pocono test can help fix all that ails SHR.
''There's a lot of things to be really excited about,'' Stewart said. ''I hope four weeks from now, we can come back here and say, `Yes, we have the answers.'''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. found himself in the doghouse last Sunday not only with his girlfriend Danica Patrick, but also with his former car owner -- and her current car owner -- Tony Stewart.
Although Patrick believes that Brad Keselowski triggered the Lap 319 incident in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway -- since he acknowledged not knowing he was three-wide with...
It isn’t often that Danica Patrick is left with nothing to say. That is exactly what happened following Sunday’s race in Charlotte. Both Patrick and Stenhouse left the track without giving statements to the press and neither driver said anything about the incident on Twitter as of late Sunday night. Patrick had to be pissed at her boyfriend. I can imagine that their Memorial...
credit: getty images
What happens when your significant other wrecks you during a NASCAR race?
“You don’t not talk about it because you’re riding home together,” Danica Patrick told reporters on Wednesday during a testing session at Pocono. “There’s a few silent moments for sure, many moments. I was upset. I wasn’t necessarily strictly just upset at him. He was there...
Danica Patrick spoke Wednesday about her boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., hitting her No. 10 Chevrolet on Sunday during the Coca-Cola 600 that sent her into Brad Keselowski, and caused a wreck on the restart.
Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had a rough night in Charlotte…
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – With the two weeks of Charlotte complete, the competitors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now begin the summer stretch of races, the majority of which are conducted in the northern part of the country.
For Danica Patrick, it means a lot of races at tracks she is familiar with, just not in the Sprint Cup Series. Of the next eight races on the schedule, Patrick...
Team: No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Scott Graves
Primary Chassis: RK- 820 – last raced at Kansas– finished 11th.
Backup Chassis: RK-811 – chassis raced numerous times by No. 99 in 2012.
Stenhouse Jr. at Dover International Raceway:
Stenhouse Jr. has one Sprint Cup start at the Monster Mile. He finished 12th in last year’s fall race.
The two-time Nationwide champion...
With the two weeks of Charlotte complete, the competitors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now begin the summer stretch of races, the majority of which are conducted in the northern part of the country.
For Danica Patrick, it means a lot of races at tracks she is familiar with, just not in the Sprint Cup Series. Of the next eight races on the schedule, Patrick has raced at seven of...
Danica Patrick admits she was mad at boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. after the two were involved in a crash on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
As the calendar turns to June, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series begins the summer stretch of races, the majority of which are in the northern “cold” part of the country. For Danica Patrick, it means a lot of tracks she’s familiar with from her Nationwide days. And Danica Patrick is from near the Illinois and Wisconsin border, so she’s familiar with the snow belt.
Of the next...
Tony Stewart loves rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. “like he’s family,” but wants to “choke” him after what he did to his driver Danica Patrick during Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600. “Ricky Stenhouse, I’d choke him right now
Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing
600 grueling miles and over 5 hours of racing left the GoDaddy superstar with a disappointing 29th place finish.
The Coca-Cola 600 runs on Memorial Day weekend and on a day where Danica Patrick used to find herself amongst the Indy 500 festivities, she now finds herself sitting back and watching, for the second year in a row.
Last season marked Patrick’s...
Pocono Raceway announced today fan-driven driver experiences, including NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick, for the Party in the Poconos 400 Presented by Walmartrace weekend June 7-9.
Earnhardt, Jr. will join Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin and David Ragan in a driver autograph session, located behind Victory Lane inside the Paddock...