Race car driver Danica Patrick sat down with Sports Illustrated to discuss the newest phase of her career, summing her direction up in a single sentence: “Starting Tuesday morning it’s all NASCAR, all day.”
29-year-old Patrick spoke with the mag Friday, just before the racing death of fellow driver Dan Wheldon and had not commented on the tragedy. But she did have a lot to say about her move from IndyCar to NASCAR, beginning with a response to IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti’s comments that Patrick’s NASCAR switch “wasn’t doing either side justice.” Patrick countered:
“First and foremost I wouldn’t say that doing both ever interfered with IndyCar because I still had 100 percent dedication for all the things that I needed to do with IndyCar. Anything that wasn’t expected wasn’t because of NASCAR, that’s for sure. In fact, I think NASCAR helped me break down the elements of IndyCar easier because an IndyCar has so much grip you have to think about the corner in its right order to make changes.”
On the subject of getting a place in North Carolina like other NASCAR racers, Patrick says she plans to plane-it to her races. She adds:
“I’m happy to fly wherever I need to go. I don’t need any more houses than I already have. Tony Stewart lives in Indiana and his shop is in North Carolina. I will see the team 34 weekends a year. I’ll see them more than my own houses.”
Of revised goals, the racer says:
“My goal is to win in Nationwide. Top-five in the championship would really be good. Of course, I would really like to win it. With my style of consistency that could help out. The longer the season, the more that will help.”
Patrick added that she also hopes to return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2012, but that there was no deal in place for her to do so as of yet.