Danica Patrick’s feud with David Gilliland may be over — at least for now. The two NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers spoke before Friday’s practice at Richmond International Raceway on Friday.
Patrick’s intention in visiting her fellow driver was to set the record straight on how she felt he was racing her during last week’s race at Kansas.
When she was on the radio with her team, the Sprint Cup’s only woman driver commented, “He tries to take me our every time.” After the race, Gilliland released a very short statement through his public relations representative. He told Patrick plainly to “shut up and drive.”
The comment received national attention as race fans wondered if the pair were going to have an even bigger altercation during the Richmond race. Gilliland apparently made the comment after concerned texts he received from his wife and 13-year-old son, who heard Danica’s comments on the radio.
The No. 10 driver also stated of Gilliland, “Tell his spotter that I’m coming after him if he does it again. In fact I might just do it right now.” On Friday, Danica acknowledged that she was upset. She added that she believes there has been a recurring pattern with her and Gilliland since the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway last May. The Go Daddy driver explained:
“I’ve felt like he drives very aggressively against me from Darlington last year on. It was just a lot more of it last weekend. He was just driving in a way that I didn’t think was appropriate and I haven’t thought it was appropriate for a long time.”
Gilliland has agreed with Patrick’s assessment that he races her differently than he races other drivers. He added, however, that no one gave him a free pass when he was a rookie. Gilliland explained:
“We talked this morning and feel like we’re on track to race each other the way we feel like we want to be raced. That’s just it — a mutual respect thing that hopefully we got figured out. I think we’re on the same page.”
We’ll see during Saturday night’s Richmond race whether Danica Patrick’s feud with David Gilliland has really ended.