Patrick focusing on keeping it simple at Toronto street race
TORONTO — Danica Patrick is going back to basics in the Honda Indy Toronto.
“I’m going to really try to come at it with a slightly different approach and stop chasing every little thing that I feel and just start focusing on my driving and really just try to keep it really simple,” Patrick said Friday.
“There’s a lot to be said for being able to know what you have when you go out on a street course, especially because it’s, as an old driving coach from Atlantics said, ‘It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be fast.’”
The race Sunday is the second of five straight street or road races before the season ends with four oval events. In the first five street and road events of the year, Patrick finished 15th, seventh, 19th, 16th and 20th. She was second at Texas Motor Speedway and 11th, sixth and 10th in the other oval races.
Last year, Patrick started 18th and finished sixth in the first IndyCar Series race on the 1.755-mile, 11-turn street course at Exhibition Place. She also raced at the track in Formula Atlantic in 2003 and 2004.
“I love coming to Toronto,” Patrick said. “It’s a great city and a great racetrack. I know street courses are a little notorious for being hard to pass and being a lot of follow the leader, but I was really impressed last year, seeing just how we were able to get runs on the back straight and make things happen.
“It’s a little bumpy and feels a little narrow, but it has passing, something that doesn’t always happen on a street course.”
She was 24th last week in the Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway, her best finish in five starts for owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. in NASCAR’s second-tier series.
She struggled in the first practice session Friday morning, finishing 22nd among the 26 drivers with a fast lap Danica Patrick finished 11th out of 26 drivers in Friday afternoon’s practice session. of 95.471 mph. She was 11th in the afternoon session at 100.452 in her No. 7 Andretti Autosport entry.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon led the first practice session at 98.850 mph, and Andretti’s Ryan Hunter-Reay topped the chart in the second at 101.668.
Series leader Will Power has a 32-point lead over Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti.