USA TODAY US Edition
Danica Patrick says the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series would be better with fewer races,
Danica Patrick has raced in both NASCAR and IndyCar. But if all things were equal about the two series — money, prestige, etc. — which one would she prefer?
That’s what Denny Hamlin wanted to know, so he asked Patrick as part of USA TODAY Sports’ weekly interviews with NASCAR drivers.
Patrick had a split answer: She said she preferred IndyCar for the shorter schedule and the cars themselves while she preferred NASCAR for the racing and the people.
If only she could combine the best of both worlds, right?
“I think if you reduced the schedule, it would make a big difference,” she said of NASCAR. “We just don’t have any lives. This is it. Which is OK — I mean, it’s only for a certain amount of time.
“But I’d imagine there are some people where the schedule becomes more exhausting than the effort they’re willing to put in anymore. So instead of retiring at 42, it might be 38 because they’re just like, ‘ I’m done.’ You just get tired. I think NASCAR would be more appealing by reducing the schedule.”
On the other hand, Patrick said she had found it hard to replicate the “pure, out-of-this-world sensation of speed” that IndyCar offered.
The cornering ability of an In- dy car is something a stock car will never have, she added.
IndyCar drivers used to race wide open around 0.75-mile Richmond International Raceway, where NASCAR raced last weekend.
“I remember I went out to qualify at Richmond, and we had been tight a lot of times in qualifying, so my engineer ... put a turn of front wing in,” she said. “So I go out, and it turned so much and got so loose that I had complete opposite lock in Turns 1 and 2, and I caught it and kept going.
“I hung that one on the wall of my bus for the rest of the year.”