FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — While bummed about having to write a $50,000 check for her penalty, Danica Patrick says she was doing what she felt she had to do when she wrecked another driver in retaliation.
“(NASCAR) felt like they needed to do what they did, and as drivers out there, we do what we feel like we need to do,” Patrick said Saturday, when Cup practices were canceled and the only high-speed driving she did was when helping present the first customer-purchased sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.
Patrick was fined and docked 25 points but not suspended after intentionally wrecking David Gilliland last weekend at Martinsville.
“When you’re racing, and you have to demand respect from somebody based on actions on track, I think that no matter what as a driver, you’re going to find yourself in a position to defend yourself,” she said. “It’s racing. You’ve seen wrecks and retribution throughout all of history of racing.”
It was also at Martinsville when Matt Kenseth intentionally wrecked race-leading Chase contender Joey Logano. Kenseth was suspended for two races, and his appeals were denied.
Patrick said nobody knew what to expect from NASCAR.
“That’s probably why there was so much news about it all week, is that you weren’t really sure what NASCAR was going to do,” she said.
After Cup practice was called off because of a wet track, Patrick was sitting in the driver’s seat of the new 2016 Camaro SS when Alican “Turk” Boyacioglu of Wichita, Kansas, first saw his new car.
Patrick then took the Boyacioglu for a few high-speed drags in the Texas Motor Speedway parking lot, though she “didn’t want to be too hard” on the $47,000 car with 455 horsepower since it wasn’t hers. She said the car accelerated and drove smoothly.