Danica Patrick was at the center of attention again Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, but this time it wasn't for a GoDaddy.com commercial or something that she said.
It was, believe it or not, because she finished second in Saturday's Firestone 550K.
"The car was really good today I think -- you know -- gosh at Kansas we were a little shy on downforce and here we kind of were like 'Hey we better make sure we've got have enough' and so that maybe played into Briscoe going around the outside," Patrick said. "Because, gosh, I couldn't go around the outside of anybody -- those lead cars, they can run the white line anytime."
See that, Danica has learned her lesson! She talked about how great her car was first!
In all seriousness, it was a great race for Patrick, and also a great way to silence, at least somewhat, those that she made mad with her comments at Indianapolis on Pole Day.
[Photos: See photos of Danica Patrick in action.]
She fell back a bit at the start, but about 30 laps into the first fuel run she made her way to the front with ease and hung around the top five all night. And in fact, it looked like she even had a shot at a win after the final round of pit stops.
Patrick pitted just before Ryan Briscoe, who she had been chasing for the lead, and passed Briscoe as he was exiting the pits. However, Briscoe got around Patrick the next lap -- that outside pass that she mentioned -- and he pulled away to a two second victory.
[Photos: See photos of Ryan Briscoe in action.]
"Gosh, it was so great to get into the lead again, and thank you so much to all the guys," Patrick said. "They had great stops. My engineer Eddie did a great job with the car. We hit it this weekend and I'm just really happy to put the GoDaddy car into a position where people are watching it and noticing it and everyone did a really good job tonight."
Don't worry Danica, even when you were struggling, people saw and noticed the GoDaddy car. It's almost impossible not to with all of the advertisements during IndyCar races.
But the reception that Patrick received from other drivers and the Versus crew covering the race smacks of the double standard that Jay discussed on Twitter this week. Why should Patrick be praised any differently than other drivers for a second-place finish just because she's a woman?
However, one driver who wasn't too happy with Danica, was her teammate Tony Kanaan, who suggested that Patrick needed to change her attitude after her comments at Indy.
"It was just crazy out there at some points," Kanaan said. "I got some unexpected moves from some people and some of the dirtiest moves I've ever seen in my life. But what goes around comes around."
One of those dirty moves was probably in reference to Patrick's block of Kanaan as they were racing down the backstretch. Kanaan went to move low on Patrick but she forced him below the white line on the bottom, and Kanaan had to back off to risk not crashing the car.
"You may ask her, but like I said, what goes around comes around," Kanaan said. "When your best finish is a second place and you try to take it like a victory, that's what happens. I've won 13 races, I'm pretty confident in what I can do. You want to pull moves like that, that's fine. We have plenty of ovals left."
Hmmm... sounds like Danica, at least in the minds of some, hasn't learned after all.
- Ryan Briscoe