Published September 09, 2011
MotoGP postponed its April race until October because of concerns stemming from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country earlier this year. But IndyCar is going forward with its event and Patrick questioned the wisdom of that decision.
"I don't want to make anyone mad, but heck yeah, I'm concerned," Patrick said at Richmond International Raceway. "MotoGP has made a big fuss about going there, and their race got delayed, and is still after ours next weekend. They had a study done that seemed it was relatively safe. The radiation seems OK."
But Patrick said she is concerned about the food and water, as well as the earthquakes that have occurred since the March disaster. She and her husband plan to pack as much food and water as possible.
"They say don't eat beef, which probably means don't eat vegetables and fruit," she said. "I read something about nine times the radiation in mushrooms so far out of Fukushima in that area. And there's earthquakes every week. It seems every other week there's a pretty big one."
Patrick has just three IndyCar races remaining before she makes a full-time move to NASCAR next season. She's scheduled to drive a full Nationwide Series schedule with JR Motorsports, and up to 10 Sprint Cup races with Stewart-Haas Racing.
Her only victory in the IndyCar Series came at Japan, in 2008, on the oval track. IndyCar can't run next week's race on the oval because of safety concerns, so the race was shifted to a road course.
"I think there's a general concern for the safety of being over there," she said. "I'm told IndyCar has an emergency plan if something happens and we need to all get out. Which is terrible to think about it. I guess it's that we've compromised on the track, (and) IndyCar isn't going back after this year anyway.
"It just seems like a lot of forced things to make it happen. I'm just a driver and I show up where I have to show up."