By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
Distributed by The Sports Xchange
CONCORD, N.C. -- Danica Patrick will be too busy during Coca-Cola 600 weekend to pine for Indianapolis.
True, Patrick's streak of seven straight Indianapolis 500s ends this year. True, in rare idle moments she may think about the vaunted Brickyard.
But Patrick is at peace with her decision to come to NASCAR racing, so much so that absence from Indy won't bother her as she moves through a hectic schedule at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Patrick will run 300 miles in Saturday's History 300 Nationwide Series race. On Sunday, 36 years after Janet Guthrie debuted in what was then the World 600 (now Coca-Cola 600), Patrick will become the second woman to compete in NASCAR's longest race.
"The reason why I came to race NASCAR was to do all of these things," Patrick said Thursday at CMS. "I was ready to leave IndyCar. I wanted to be here. When you are not missing something, longing for something, you don't really think about it that much.
"It's like that girlfriend you didn't want to have anymore. You don't think about her anymore. Or ex-husband -- we all seem old enough to be at that point. You just don't."
Besides, Patrick has abandoned hope of racing at Indy in the future.
"Indy, I have lots of great memories from there, and probably the part of me that doesn't feel quite as longing for it is that there is still a chance that I could do it again," she said. "It's not gone."
JEFF GORDON IS CONTAGIOUS?
Given Jeff Gordon's abysmal run of luck this season, Sprint Cup points leader Greg Biffle wants to steer the widest possible berth around the four-time champion.
Gordon is 24th in the standings, 170 points behind Biffle and 96 points out of 10th place, the last guaranteed position in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Biffle can feel Gordon's pain.
The driver of the No. 16 Ford had his share of misery in 2011, when he missed the Chase and finished 16th in the final standings.
Though Biffle can sympathize with Gordon, he doesn't want to get close enough for any of the bad luck to rub off.
"It's like he's got a cold right now, and I don't want to get sick," Biffle said. "I'll tell you, Jeff Gordon's season is exactly the season we had last year. That was the 16 team's season to a 'T.'
"It was just one thing after another -- not the same thing. One thing after another happened to us, and that's what has happened to Jeff."
A BETTER BULLET?
Jimmie Johnson said his team considered bringing the car that won last Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte back for the Coke 600.
Logistically, that would have been difficult, given that the 48 team didn't get the car back from NASCAR's tech center in Concord, N.C., until Tuesday afternoon.
But Johnson added something that should be of great concern to his rivals -- he thinks the 600 car is better than the one that dominated the All-Star Race.
"We talked about trying to bring the (All-Star) car back when we selected our cars," Johnson told the NASCAR Wire Service on Thursday. "We felt like the car for the 600 was better, and it's more important, being a points race. It's not like we have bad cars, but the way we measure things in the wind tunnel and other variables was to have the best car for the 600 and took the other car to the All-Star race.
"You will spend some time your first run (with a new car), maybe even second run, trying to get your ride heights set just right, the packer gaps right so that the splitter doesn't drag and that kind of thing.
"Bringing a car back that you raced, you know right where those heights are and you can save a step or two. That's kind of a nice thing. It's hard to not bring back a car you just won with, (but) with the short time frame and checking in (Thursday) and getting the car back on Tuesday afternoon, it just wasn't possible."