Danica Patrick didn’t talk to the media after a 32nd-place finish in the Wypall 200 on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.
Her crew chief hopes that she made at least one small statement on the track.
After contact with Tony Raines and Alex Kennedy while a lap down, Patrick tapped Kennedy to get past him with about 70 laps left in the race.
“That’s about the coolest thing I’ve seen all day,” her spotter, T.J. Majors, told her.
Patrick seemed ready to retaliate against Raines, too – “I know what to do when I get by him,” Patrick said – but was told under caution that Raines had apologized for getting loose underneath the JR Motorsports driver.
With about 40 laps remaining, Patrick ended up in the all while battling Michael Annett for position. She came to pit road for extensive repairs and ended up seven laps down in 32nd.
“That’s what she’s got to do,” crew chief Tony Eury Jr. said afterward. “It’s a give-and-take out there and the only way she’s going to get respect from other guys is [for them] to know she’s going to retaliate and she’s not going to take it.
“She did the right thing. She got her point across. She’ll have to do more of it.”
The 28-year-old IndyCar Series star has competed in 12 Nationwide Series races this year and is still looking for her first top-20 finish.
Before the contact with other drivers, Patrick ran between 22nd and 27th much of the day.
“I was pretty happy with the way the day was going,” Eury Jr. said. “We were sitting there running 23rd, 22nd – that was the best we’ve been on a short track all year. We made some gains there. We’ve got a long way to go.
“She’s just learning the ropes of short-track racing, people leaning on each other, being aggressive on the race track, on restarts. That’s stuff she’s not used to. She’ll eventually get it.”
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