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Nick Bromberg

Danica promises to lay the smackdown if she's pushed around

A NASCAR driver's career really isn't baptized until his or her first feud, and it seems that Danica Patrick's NASCAR baptism may be happening as we speak.

It almost happened in June at New Hampshire when Patrick made contact with Morgan Shepherd, but that quickly fizzled out. Now, Patrick's comments about James Buescher may mean that this one lasts a little bit longer.

Patrick still feels wronged by the crash that happened when she and Buescher made contact on the backstretch at Auto Club Speedway, and Patrick says that if she and Buescher can't get along on the track, she'll have to act accordingly.

"It's pretty sure to say that at this point in time I'm not going to make it my mission to go out there and take him out because I don't want anything to take away from my race," Patrick said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "But if he any way starts to act up out there, yeah, I'm going to do something about it.

"I hope he thinks about what he did last weekend and if he plays well with others, then we’ll be able to carry on. But if he doesn't, then there is going to be a need for something to happen because you can't get pushed around out there."

Patrick said that she and Buescher haven't spoken since the incident, even though they were together in the rookie meeting at Charlotte.

For his part, Buescher said that he feels he doesn't owe Patrick an apology. He denied that the wreck was intentional, saying that Patrick pinned him into the wall leaving him nowhere else to go but straight into her left side.

We'll see how this one plays out, and my guess is that this may be more smoke than fire. Patrick's never been shy to the media, so this could be all talk. But it's also a sign that she's fully invested in her commitment to NASCAR and may not be leaving any time soon.

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