Danica Patrick (girl racer creates history)is being criticised by some of her fellow drivers because of what they call her "aggressive" driving style.
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After last week's race in Iowa, Scott Dixon called her "a menace," and Ed Carpenter referred to her "normal supreme block job" in suggesting that Patrick's blocking style hampered his finish. "I don't really know where those comments came from," Patrick said during a meeting with reporters Thursday at Richmond International Raceway, the site of Saturday night's SunTrust 300 IndyCar race.
Patrick's style was further brought under scrutiny Wednesday when Brian Barnhart, the IndyCar Series' president of competition and operations, said she needs to continue treating her fellow competitors with respect or risk losing their respect because of her driving style. Asked to respond to competitors' objections to her aggressive style and unwillingness to give up track position, she said she's doing her job.
"All I can say is with the words you used - aggressive and giving up spots - those are things that drivers never do," Danica said. "You should never give up spots and you ideally don't want to be someone that's just passive out there. As a driver, I'm always trying to be aggressive and I think, if anything, last weekend I maybe wasn't aggressive enough on the restarts. That's where I lost my spots."
"One thing I've worked really hard on ever since I entered the series was earning that respect, and walking that fine line between being too passive and getting pushed around and being too aggressive," Patrick said. Danica Patrick finished sixth at Iowa, two spots behind Dixon, and said she was particularly perplexed by his remarks since she was only aware of him being behind her on the last restart, "and he flew by me," she said.
Dressed in black on a blistering day, Patrick said she's not out to become the IRL's answer to NASCAR bad boys Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart. "I don't think that's ever a route that you ever choose," she said. "I think that in an ideal world, I would win over everyone's heart and be a sweetheart and be tough on the track and have good finishes."