Patrick, Gilliland discuss disagreement

Zack Albert

RICHMOND, Va. -- Danica Patrick said Friday that her radio outburst at David Gilliland last weekend had deep roots, but the two discussed their issue before practice began at Richmond International Raceway and seem to be on the same page.

Patrick blasted Gilliland's driving last weekend at Kansas Speedway, saying that the journeyman driver failed to cut her any slack and issuing a warning if it continued. Gilliland's post-race response through a team spokesman was a curt "shut up and race."

Patrick -- who wound up 25th, two spots behind Gilliland at Kansas -- was still simmering over the perceived slight early Friday in the Richmond media center.

"I was mad. I've felt like he drives very aggressively against me from Darlington last year on," Patrick said. "There was just a lot more of it last weekend, and I was frustrated. But, I think in general it was a frustrating race, and that was just one of the elements."

Reached after first practice Friday, Gilliland said the two had spoken at the track and considered the matter closed.

"I talked to her a little bit this morning and we're all good," Gilliland said. "Everything's good. The problem is, racing in that 25th- to 30th-place spot is really the hardest race on the race track. The top-10 guys, they can let people go and they're not going to risk going a lap down. I feel like it's maybe just a respect thing between the two of us, and we talked about it and feel like we're on track to race each other the way we need to."

-- News of another closed matter for Patrick came to light this week -- her divorce from Paul Hospenthal was made final April 17. Asked for her thoughts on the marriage's conclusion, Patrick said, "No, it's just the end."

-- Patrick's Wednesday appearance on "The Colbert Report" carried over to the race track Friday. She plans to carry decals of the comedian/anchorman's smiling face on her car's C-pillars throughout the weekend. "I didn't make the joke on TV, but I would have said I will try and keep his face off the wall. We'll have to see."



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