Tag:Danica Patrick
Posted on: February 29, 2012 1:00 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 1:18 pm
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TV reporter suspended for Danica comments

By Pete Pistone

Remember Fox 5 San Diego sports anchor Ross Shimabuku, who implied a sexist slur about Danica Patrick on air last week?



He'll have an early spring break after being suspended for a week without pay by the station.

One of Shimabuku's on air reports last week made it clear he was no fan of Patrick calling "sexy and she knows it."

After cutting to a clip of the NASCAR star lamenting how sexy often seems to be the default description for female athletes, Shimabuku quipped that he had another word to describe her, one that "starts with a 'B'...and it's not 'beautiful.'"

Shimabuku's chaser to the piece was that Patrick "always has a chip on her shoulder, trying to prove something." 

About 24 hours after the video of his report went viral, Shimabuku released a statement of apology which read:

“I truly apologize if I offended anyone by those comments. They were not meant to be an attack on Danica.”

But by then the damage had already been done and managment chose to suspend the anchor.

Stay classy San Diego.

 
More NASCAR coverage

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:10 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 12:18 pm
 

Daytona a rough debut for many drivers

By Pete Pistone

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(Patrick and Busch got wadded up early in Monday night's Daytona 500 - Getty Images)


Monday's "Great American Race" was anything but great for a number of drivers making their Sprint Cup debuts with new race teams.

Danica Patrick, Kurt Busch, A.J. Allmendinger and Kasey Kahne made up one quartet that opened the season with disappointing results.

Patrick was swept up into her third crash of Speedweeks when she got clipped by Jimmie Johnson in the lap two melee that broke out on the frontstretch. She was credited with a finish in position 38even after coming back on track later with a severely damaged car to make some extra laps.

“Any lap that I turn is progression, that’s for sure,” Patrick said. “That’s why I was so proud of everyone working so hard. They were working hard to get me back on the track. Was there much to gain as far as position? No. What there was to gain was for me to get the experience of running out there. We ran in packs for a while. The car is a little bent up. Honestly, it didn’t feel perfect. So as it got later and later in the race, I didn’t want to have an influence on it. I didn’t want something to happen to it or break and shoot across the track."

Busch was also swept up in that early race altercation and like Patrick soldiered on later with a battered Phoenix Racing Chevrolet trying to make at least a statement for his new organization.

"It was important to not get a DNF for this team to show how much we're all in this together," said Busch. "Not what we wanted for sure but still proud of the effort."

Allmendinger capped a rough Speedweeks that included a crash with his teammate Brad Keselowski earlier in the week with a tough official debut for Penske Racing. Allmendinger's problems took place on pit road in one of the race's many bizarre twists.

“A tire fell off a car that was struggling in front of us on pit road, he stopped – and I ran into him,” a disappointed Allmendinger said.  “Our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger ran well and it was fast, but we have a 34th-place finish to show for it.  It (stinks) because the guys did a good job.  It was a just a frustrating night for us, but we’ll bounce back strong at Phoenix.”

Kahne is also hoping to have a better weekend in Phoenix, where he won last year for Red Bull Racing, than he did in Daytona. He too had issues on pit road when he sustain damage in an incident that was compounded when Kahne got involved in one of the two late race multi-car accidents.

"Disappointed for sure," said Kahne after finishing in position 29. "Still excited about this team though but ready to head to Phoenix."

 
Daytona Speedweeks
Posted on: February 27, 2012 8:07 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 1:26 am
 

Video: Johnson, Patrick involved in Lap 2 crash

Posted by Brian De Los Santos

Well it didn't take long for the first wreck of the rain-delayed Daytona 500. On the second lap, Jimmie Johnson got loose after a tap from behind by Elliott Sadler. Johnson slammed the wall and David Ragan, Trevor Bayne, Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch were collected in the aftermath.

Patrick was involved in a wreck in every race she was entered during Daytona Speedweeks.



Jimmie Johnson

LOOKED LIKE A HARD HIT. FIRST ARE YOU OK? WHAT HAPPENED?

"Yes, I'm ok. That side hit was hard. We were all just trying to make our lane work. A lot of energy in the lane. I was kind of pushing the No. 78 (Regan Smith) a little bit. I could feel some help from behind. Just turned me around. Sent me down to the inside lane and back up to the outside lane. When I was l sitting in the middle of the race track, I knew at some point someone was going to come along unfortunately. David Ragan had nowhere to go. I unfortunately got drilled by him pretty hard.

"I'm just really, really bummed to start the season this way. For all the hard work that has gone into getting this Lowe's Chevrolet ready for tonight; we didn't get to complete two-and-a-half miles of green flag racing. So, I’m pretty bummed."



Daytona Speedweeks
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:30 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 3:07 pm
 

San Diego TV anchor slams Danica Patrick

By Pete Pistone

Forget Ron Burgundy in the movie "Anchorman." San Diego now has a real life television reporter bringing embarrassment to the city.

USA Today reports Fox 5 San Diego's Ross Shimabuku slammed Danica Patrick last week stopping just short of calling her - well a word also meaning female dog.

Shimabuku started his sportscast last Monday calling Patrick a "pretty girl" who makes a lot of "money in sponsorships because of it. But what's not attractive is that she's sexy and she knows it."

The report then cut to a video of Patrick's appearance at NASCAR media day and her discussion of how the media always describe female athletes such as herself as "sexy."

"Is there any other word that you can use to describe me?" she asks, while a Fox headline underneath reads: "Danica Patrick. I'm sexy and I know it!"

Shimabuku returns on camera to say "Oh, I've got a few words… Starts with a 'B', and it's not 'beautiful."

The sports anchor closes by saying Patrick "always has a chip on her shoulder, trying to prove something."

No word yet on whether Shimabuku also plays Jazz Flute like Burgundy. 
 



Daytona Speedweeks


Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 25, 2012 2:49 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 5:01 pm
 

Video: Danica Patrick Nationwide Series crash

Posted by Brian De Los Santos

Danica Patrick hasn't had much luck finishing races at Daytona this year. She wrecked on the final lap in her Gatorade Duel qualifier on Thursday.

During Saturday's Nationwide race, however, she didn't even make it halfway, wrecking on Lap 50 with a bit of assistance from her JR Motorsports teammate Cole Whitt.

Patrick wound up finishing in position 38 after her pole-winning run and was understandably disappointed with the outing, the first of her full-time Nationwide Series schedule.

“The bummer of it is not only is it the start to the championship and I’m in the championship and every point matters, which is why we went back out there again, but there are so many other days when your car isn’t perfect, isn’t super fast and nothing happens to you,” Patrick said. “And you think why on the days when I have a really fast car it has to happen today. But it did and we’ll move on.”

As for making contact with her teammate Whitt, Patrick said she’ll talk with the young driver on how to work together better in the future.

“I don’t think it’s ever great when teammates come together,” Patrick said. “We’ll have to figure out what happened and move forward.”





Daytona Speedweeks
Posted on: February 25, 2012 1:04 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 1:23 pm
 

Race Preview: Daytona 500

By Pete Pistone




(Danica Patrick hopes to have a much better day Sunday at Daytona than she did in Thursday's qualifying race)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the 54th time NASCAR begins its season with the biggest race of the year. 

For the first time since 1992 a woman will be in the field. 

Danica Patrick has that honor coming twenty years after Shawna Robinson’s start in “The Great American race.” 

But Patrick says her celebrated start in Sunday’s Daytona 500, which has already generated more attention for the race than in recent years, shouldn’t be looked upon as any type of historical significance. 

“I’ve always been geared to just try and be the best driver I can be, not the best female driver,” said Patrick, who starts 29th on Sunday afternoon. “That’s been my approach from the day I first started in go-karts and it’s how I feel today as I get ready for Daytona.” 

Patrick’s week in Daytona has been eventful with a high-speed crash in her Gatorade Duel qualifying race and a pole position for Saturday’s Nationwide Series opener.

But despite her limited experience at NASCAR’s most famous track, Patrick is relatively comfortable at Daytona. 

“Well, with Daytona, it is a big track,” Patrick said. “It’s an easy track to drive. If you have a fast car, you’re going to probably go to the front. I think my inexperience is less of an issue because the car is easy to drive. For me, at a place like Daytona, it reminds me of racing in Indy Car. It reminds me of our mile-and-a-half racing where we would always be in a pack. There was no bump drafting in Indy Car, like there is in NASCAR. That too some getting used to a little bit.” 

Patrick’s teammate Tony Stewart may have more experience at Daytona but he has the same number of Daytona 500 victories. The defending series champion has won 17 times at the track, including his Thursday Duel, but has not yet won the most prestigious race. 

The three-time champion is well aware of the stat as he enters Sunday’s race. 

“I wouldn’t trade three championship to win Daytona,” he said. “It’s not a good feeling to not have that tally in the win column. Realistically, we have two tracks we haven’t won at; and the Daytona 500 we haven’t won. 

Everything else we have pretty much accomplished in this sport that we want to accomplish. 

“It’s the biggest race of the year; everyone wants to win that race. I won’t say that it is not a complete career if you don’t win it, but there is a lot of priority on winning it. Darrell Waltrip and Dale (Earnhardt) Sr. both had to go a long time before they got it.” 

It’s been a relatively long time since Dale Earnhardt Jr. actually won a Sprint Cup race at all. June of 2008 at Michigan International Speedway to be exact was the last time Junior went to victory lane. 

He won the 2004 “Great American Race” and would like nothing more than to finally end his more than three-year winless drought with a second win at Daytona. 

“You want to win any week you can but obviously Daytona is special,” said Earnhardt. “I’ve won this race before and it meant a lot then and to win it again this year would be a great way to continue the progress we’ve shown as a team over the last year or so.”

  

Daytona International Speedway 

Track Size: 2.5-mile

Race Length: 200 laps/500 miles 

Banking/Corners: 31 degrees 

Banking/Straights: 3 degrees 

Banking/Tri-Oval: 18 degrees 

Frontstretch: 1,760 feet 

Backstretch: 1,760 feet

   

Qualifying/Race Data 

2011 pole winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (186.089 mph, 48.364 seconds) 

2011 race winner: Trevor Bayne (130.326 mph, 2-20-11) 

Qualifying record: Bill Elliott (210.364 mph, 42.783 secs., 2-9-87) 

Race record: Buddy Baker (177.602 mph, 2-17-80)

  

Race Facts 

There have been 129 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 53 have been 500 miles, 49 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races. 

Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona. 

Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, the 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500. 

Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959. 

Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400. 

53 drivers have posted poles at Daytona. 

Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles at Daytona. 

Bill Elliott leads all active drivers with five poles at Daytona. 

54 drivers have won at Daytona. 

Richard Petty leads all drivers in victories at Daytona with 10. 

Jeff Gordon has six victories at Daytona, more than any other active driver. 

The Wood Brothers have won 15 races at Daytona, more than any other car owner. 

17 full-length races at Daytona have been won from the pole; the last to do it was Kevin Harvick in last year’s Coke Zero 400. 

A driver has swept both races at Daytona only four times, most recently by Bobby Allison in 1982.
 

Who’s Hot at Daytona 

Kyle Busch – Daytona is still buzzing from Busch’s scintillating performance in the Budweiser Shootout and at this point his controversial ending to the 2011 season is a distant memory. Busch has comes to the 500 with three straight top five finishes at the track and has the look of a driver determined to make 2012 his season. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – The return of pack drafting has been music to Earnhardt’s ears, who is much more comfortable in the old style of restrictor plate racing than in the tandem draft of recent years. There’s a confidence in the Earnhardt camp that has carried over from last season, which could help propel Junior to a second Daytona 500 victory.

Carl Edwards – The pole sitter brings a sense of determination into 2012 after coming up just short of last year’s championship. The Ford camp has had a stellar Speedweeks from a speed perspective and Edwards will have plenty of teammates to work with in the draft. Had four straight top five finishes at Daytona until problems handed him thirty-seventh place finish last July.
  

Who’s Not 

Denny Hamlin – Hamlin’s already ahead of where he was at last year’s Speedweeks when his week in Daytona was marred by engine problems and a myriad of other woes. But he has a 22.1 average finish at Daytona for a reason.

Paul Menard – Has been very outspoken about NASCAR’s new restrictor plate rules package and the return of pack drafting. Not surprisingly Menard is on his third car of Speedweeks 

Brad Keselowski – Five starts at Daytona have added up to a 26.8 average finish. Has not had the best Speedweeks so far and has a learning curve ahead working with new teammate A.J. Allmendinger.

 

Notebook 

Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd. 

The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959. 

Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona. 

Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the July race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under the lights ever.

Although the first Daytona 500 was held in 1959, it has been the season-opener only since 1982.

518 drivers have competed in at least one Daytona 500; 306 in more than one. 

35 drivers have won a Daytona 500. 

Youngest Daytona 500 winner: Trevor Bayne (02/20/2011 - 20 years, 0 months, 1 days) 

Oldest Daytona 500 winner: Bobby Allison (02/14/1988 - 50 years, 2 months, 11 days) 

Eight drivers have won more than one Daytona 500, led by Richard Petty with seven victories. 

The eight drivers who have won the Daytona 500 more than once: Richard Petty (seven), Cale Yarborough(four), Bobby Allison (three), Dale Jarrett (three), Jeff Gordon (three), Bill Elliott (two), Sterling Marlin(two) and Michael Waltrip (two). 

Dale Earnhardt leads the series in runner-up finishes in the Daytona 500 with five; Kurt Busch leads all active drivers in Daytona 500 second-place finishes with three. 

Dale Earnhardt finished in the top 10 in 16 of his 23 Daytona 500s. 

Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty each had 16 top 10s in the Daytona 500, more than any other driver. 

Dale Earnhardt had 12 top fives in the Daytona 500, more than any other driver. 

Only 13 drivers have an average finish of 10th or better in the Daytona 500, six of those competed in the Daytona 500 only once. 

Clint Bowyer has a 12.2 average finish in six appearances, the best of the active drivers who have competed in more than one Daytona 500. 

Lee Petty, who won the inaugural Daytona 500, and Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 champion, are the only two drivers to win the Daytona 500 in their first appearance. 

28 of the 35 drivers who have won, participated in at least two Daytona 500s before visiting Victory Lane. 

Dale Earnhardt competed 19 times before winning his only Daytona 500 (1998), the longest span of any of the 35 race winners. 

Six drivers made 10 or more attempts before their first Daytona 500 victory: Dale Earnhardt (19), Buddy Baker(18), Darrell Waltrip (16), Bobby Allison (14), Michael Waltrip (14) and Sterling Marlin 12). 

The most Daytona 500s all-time without a victory was Dave Marcis (33 races). 

Mark Martin (27) leads active drivers without a victory. 

Six drivers posted their career-first victory with a win in the Daytona 500: Tiny Lund (1963), Mario Andretti(1967), Pete Hamilton (1970), Derrike Cope (1990), Sterling Marlin (1994), Michael Waltrip (2001) andTrevor Bayne (2011). 

Three other drivers posted their career-first victory in (point-paying) qualifying races: Johnny Rutherford (1963),Bobby Isaac (1964) and Earl Balmer (1966). 

A driver has won back-to-back Daytona 500s three times. Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84) and Sterling Marlin (1994-95) 

Kevin Harvick’s 0.020-second margin of victory over Mark Martin in the 2007 Daytona 500 is the 12th-closest overall since the advent of electronic timing in 1993, and the closest in a Daytona 500. 

26 of the 53 Daytona 500s have been won from a top-five starting position. 

Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500 from the 39th starting position in 2009, the deepest a race winner has started.

Nine have been won from the pole. The last to do so was Dale Jarrett in 2000.

16 Daytona 500s have been won from the front row.

Danica Patrick will become the third female driver to compete in a Daytona 500 joining Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson.

Daytona Speedweeks
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:57 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 7:39 pm
 

Danica Patrick takes Daytona Nationwide pole



By Pete Pistone


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Danica Patrick rebounded from her Gatorade Duel crash on Thursday in a big way by winning the pole for the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Patriuck turned a lap of 182.741 mph in her JR Motorsports Chevrolet to top the 50 car field in Friday's qualifying session.

It was her first career NASCAR pole. Patrick became the first female to win a NASCAR pole since Shawna Robinson in 1994 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“I am happy with Tony, Jr. (Eury, crew chief),” Patrick said. “Since the first time we came here, he has put so much effort into it and all the times he’s come here, he never had a pole at Daytona, so it was something he’s never done and I was glad to be the one to push the pedal down and turn the wheel.

"It has a lot of pressure and I'm now nervous ... everyone who sits on the pole is going to be expected to do well." 

Trevor Bayne, Elliott Sadler, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five.

Saturday's race begins Patrick's first full season in the Nationwide Series.

Start No. Driver Make Speed (mph)
1 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 182.741
2 60 Trevor Bayne Ford 182.715
3 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet 182.671
4 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 182.593
5 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 182.411
6 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge 182.308
7 33 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 182.249
8 88 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 182.109
9 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge 182.094
10 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 181.829
11 38 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 181.635
12 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 181.496
13 44 Mike Bliss Toyota 181.43
14 1 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 181.327
15 30 James Buescher Chevrolet 181.2
16 43 Michael Annett Ford 181.057
17 18 Denny Hamlin Toyota 180.966
18 36 Ryan Truex Chevrolet 180.93
19 11 Brian Scott Toyota 180.886
20 14 Eric McClure Toyota 180.737
21 70 Johanna Long Chevrolet 180.61
22 20 Joey Logano Toyota 180.578
23 27 David Ragan Ford 180.332
24 54 Kyle Busch Toyota 179.917
25 19 Tayler Malsam Toyota 179.655
26 09 Kenny Wallace Toyota 179.594
27 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 179.251
28 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet 179.072
29 15 Timmy Hill Ford 178.816
30 97 Johnny Sauter Toyota 178.664
31 41 Blake Koch Ford 178.501
32 08 Casey Roderick Ford 178.105
33 24 Benny Gordon Toyota 178.08
34 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Chevrolet 178.01
35 39 Joey Gase Ford 177.641
36 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 177.235
37 40 Josh Wise Chevrolet 177.19
38 28 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 177.099
39 50 T.J. Bell Chevrolet Owner Points
40 81 Jason Bowles Dodge Owner Points
41 4 Danny Efland Chevrolet Owner Points
42 52 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Owner Points
43 10 Jeff Green Toyota Past Champion
Failed to Qualify
44 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet 177.809
45 73 Derrike Cope Chevrolet 177.103
46 42 Erik Darnell Chevrolet 176.967
47 47 Scott Speed Chevrolet 176.208
48 74 Mike Harmon Chevrolet 175.898
49 76 Donnie Neuenberger Ford 173.742
50 46 Chase Miller Chevrolet 175.002


 
Daytona Speedweeks



Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:36 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 1:42 pm
 

Crash hasn't shaken Danica Patrick

By Pete Pistone


  Danica Patrick, Driver Of The #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, Speaks
(Patrick and crew chief Greg Zipadelli discuss the plan to run the No. 10 back-up car in the Daytona 500)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Danica Patrick's violent crash in Thursday's Gatorade Duel qualifying race hasn't dampened her NASCAR spirits.

Patrick was fortunate to climb uninjured from her battered Chevrolet after the hard impact she made to the backstratech inside wall in Thursday's wreck. While she'll be forced to go to a back-up car in her first Daytona 500 on Sunday, Patrick won't let the accident change her approach to what she does for a living.

“We are not average people," Patrick said during her media availability at Daytona on Friday.  "We are not average to drivers on the road.  We race, I’m not saying we crash for a living, but it is part of racing for a living.  I feel fine.  I feel good.  I’m ready to go.  We are not going to go out for the first practice in the Cup car. So the guys get a chance to make sure everything is perfect and make sure the car is ready to go because it will be the last opportunity before Sunday.

"I would be ready to go if they said we are heading out in the first green flag.  I feel good.  Do I like crashing? Of course not. I don’t think anybody likes crashing, but it’s part of the business and it’s part of big pack racing like this. So many more cars in a close quarter and while the accident started on the outside you don’t even have to take part in it, you just have to be there.  As the first car hits the second car, as the second car hits the third car and then you know I was the third car.  Sometimes there is just nothing you can do.”

Patrick has seen the replay and run the incident over in her mind in the last 24 hours but says she still can't completely comprehend what happened. She can explain the move she made just before the impact that was caught on her in-car television camera when she put her hands on top of her helmet just before the car slammed into the wall.

“I would be happy to clear that up," she said.  "In Indy cars we learn to take the hands off the wheel because the holes for your hand are even smaller and we have dashes and the wheel flips.  I’ve had plenty of times where I have bruised my thumb, my bones, on the wheel.  I was trained to, when there is no saving it and no hope, you let go.  That is what I did yesterday.  Was I covering my eyes? I honestly felt like my hands were down here (places hands near her chest) but they were higher than that I guess. 

"I did watch it.  I watched the second race and then I went back and watched the accident.  No, I wasn’t covering my eyes, but yes I did close them as I got to the wall.  I didn’t want my eyes to pop out of my head.  Obviously, I tried to save it and thought there is nothing happening here so I might as well let go.  Again, that is an IndyCar thing.  I don’t see any point in keeping my hands tangled up with anything that is going to be moving.   I was just talking to medical on the way in here actually and he was giving me some ‘at a girl’ on doing that because all kinds of things can happen the more you connect yourself with stuff."

So both mentally and physically Patrick is ready to chalk up her adventure to the nature of being an auto racer and set to put it in the rear view mirror.

"Everything feels pretty good," Patrick said.  "I hit my foot on the clutch, which is my fault because I moved the clutch pedal towards me.  I hit my arm on the side of the seat because of the angle I went in on the right front.  We are just going to trim the seat up a little bit.  I actually feel better today.  That is a really good thing because last night it was starting to get sore. My husband is a physical therapist so he’s got a lot of good tricks and we’ve got a lot of good tricks on the bus to take care of things that don’t feel right.  That is why I feel better today.”


Daytona Speedweeks

 
 
 
 
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