Getty Images

Danica Patrick on social media negativity and that President-elect Trump tweet

3 Comments

Danica Patrick’s Twitter feed usually showcases a cheerful cornucopia of the most uncontroversial elements in the NASCAR driver’s off-track life.

There are her devotion to healthy food, fitness and yoga, the cute photos of her dogs, Dallas and Ella, and the loyal support of sponsors and pro sporting interests (her beloved Chicago Cubs lately).

Which made the appearance of this tweet on the morning of Nov. 9 quite striking:

During this week’s NASCAR on NBC podcast, Patrick playfully tried to parry a question about her brief and sudden turn into politics.

“I’m a race car driver,” she said.

Yes, but you tweeted this.

“You’re right,” Patrick said. “It’s public then.”

So what was the impetus?

“Well, really what I was intending was there’s so much negativity, and it just doesn’t need to happen,” she said. “The point of me tweeting about ‘Let’s Make America Great Again’ … Doesn’t everyone want America to be great? If he says that’s what’s going to happen, then I’m excited! Let’s have some faith! Stay positive.”

The tweet seemed to draw a mostly negative response, which didn’t surprise Patrick.

“Usually, those who are the most negative are the most loud,” she said. “I don’t feel I’m out of line in saying that. Usually the people that are the most negative, opinionated, most extreme a lot of times, also are the loudest. You have to take social media with a grain of salt. The easiest way for me to handle it is to post something and not look at anything.”

But she doesn’t stay completely out of her replies.

“I might (look) a little bit,” she said. “It is the heartbeat and pulse of what stories can develop. But at the same time, I didn’t get where I am today because I try to appease everyone and try to make sure everyone liked everything I said and did.

“All I ever hoped is that people would respect my honesty. They didn’t have to like what I said and did, but at least they can respect my honesty, and that I don’t back down from something or anything I’ve said and done. It’s all been done because I’ve decided that was OK for me, and that’s all that should matter.”

During the podcast, Patrick also discussed:

–Her new Warrior clothing line, which will make its debut in January, and a book (Pretty Intense) that is slated for 2018;

–How new sponsor Nature’s Bakery has made it easier to align her personal and professional branding (and her hopes of one day creating her own fig bar for the sponsor);

–Her disappointing 2016 Sprint Cup season and her expectations for 2017;

–What it’s like hanging out around friends with kids;

–How Tony Stewart’s transition from driver to owner might return him to being a mentor.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone. It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

Kyle Larson fastest in final practice for Coca-Cola 600

Getty Images
Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Larson topped the final practice session for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 with a speed at 186.400 mph.

The Cup points leader, Larson will start 39th in the race because his No. 42 Chevrolet didn’t clear inspection in time to qualify.

Ryan Blaney (185.861), Matt Kenseth (185.046), Kurt Busch (184.856) and Erik Jones (184.818) rounded out the top five.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seventh fastest at 184.433 mph. Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was 20th fastest at 182.648 mph.

Jimmie Johnson recorded the most laps in the session with 47.

Jamie McMurray had the best 10-lap average at 180.914 mph.

The session was stopped for a caution once after Brad Keselowski spun exiting Turn 4.

Click here for the full practice report.

Justin Allgaier wins pole for Charlotte Xfinity race

Getty Images
Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier won the pole for the Xfinity Series’ Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

With a speed at 182.488 mph, Allgaier earned his fifth Xfinity pole and his first since the March 2013 race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Allgaier is joined on the front row by Austin Dillon (181.519).

The top five was completed by Ryan Blaney (181.378), Daniel Hemric (181.324) and Kevin Harvick (181.245).

Christopher Bell will start seventh in his first Xfinity race.

Brad Keselowski and Dakoda Armstrong will start from the rear after not passing inspection in time to qualify.

Click here for full qualifying results.

Ryan Blaney leads second Coke 600 practice

Getty Images
Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — Ryan Blaney posted the top speed in the second practice session for the Coca-Cola 600.

Blaney’s No. 21 Ford produced a speed of 188.055 mph Saturday morning around Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The top five was filled out by Erik Jones (187.598 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (187.084), Daniel Suarez (186.838) and Trevor Bayne (186.239).

Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was ninth fastest at 185.567 mph. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 14th quickest at 185.141 mph.

Kyle Busch recorded the most laps in the session with 48.

Click here for the full practice report.

Eight teams lose 15 minutes of Coke 600 practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection

Getty Images
Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — Eight Cup teams were held 15 minutes during Coca-Cola 600 practice today for failing pre-qualifying inspection on Thursday

Drivers include Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Corey LaJoie and Chris Buescher.

Buescher’s team also loses pit selection for Sunday’s race because it failed inspection three times.

Larson and LaJoie’s loss of practice time comes after neither qualified Thuraday because their cars didn’t clear inspection in time.