Quick Q&A With Danica Patrick
One of the most successful women in the history of racing, Patrick returns to Indy on July 23 for the Brickyard 400. We pulled her over for a quick chat.
I hear you’re into yoga. Does that help your driving?
I don’t think I drive any faster because I do yoga, but it gives me tools to use in certain situations. It helps with breathing and focus. And I think that in accident scenarios, flexibility has to be good. If you bend, you don’t break.
What’s tougher to handle, Indy Cars or stock cars?
They’re both difficult, but for different reasons. In an Indy car, if you get loose and you save it, it’s a miracle. They usually crash. In a stock car, they slide all the time, but you can catch it. You can crash both of them, but there’s a little more room for error in a stock car.
Where do you like to visit when you’re in Indy?
My parents’ house and my sister’s house. They’re in Zionsville and Brownsburg.
Do you have any pre-race rituals?
Not really. But I do have a race-day routine. I get up, take the dogs out, have coffee, make breakfast, go to a meet-and-greet with fans, go to the drivers’ meeting, go to chapel, go back to the bus, eat lunch, change, brush my teeth, go to driver intros, then do the race. In Indy, instead of immediately jumping on a plane, we usually stay at my parents’ house for another night.
What’s your most indelible Indy race memory?
Probably 2009, when I finished third. Toward the end of the race, there was a big accident in Turn One, and we spent like 14 laps under yellow. Helio Castroneves came in first, and Dan Wheldon second. I’m pretty sure that neither of them would have made it on fuel if it had gone all the way on green.
Is there any part of your career you’d like to do over?
I wouldn’t change a thing, because what happened put me where I am today.
Well, you only get so many chances to win the Indianapolis 500. That first one in 2005, I really wish I had not been so conservative with the fuel, and just hit the gas. No, actually, I wouldn’t do that, either. I always go back to the fact that Dan Wheldon [the 2005 winner, who also won in 2011 before dying a few months later in a racing accident] wanted two trophies for his two kids, and one of those came from that year. So I guess it happened the way it did for a reason.