Danica Patrick responds – again – to Petty dig

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Houston, we have a rebuttal.

Danica Patrick has, again, needed to respond to comments made by a member of the Petty family slighting her talent or ability level. Last year, she needed to respond to Kyle Petty’s remarks that she was a “fast driver” but “not a race car driver.”

And now, Thursday at NASCAR Media Day in Daytona, Patrick has had to respond after “King” Richard Petty said she’d never win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race unless she was the only driver on track.

“Everybody is entitled to their own opinion,’’ she said, via Dustin Long of MRN Radio. “I still believe that. That’s what makes sports and journalism great is that everybody has their own opinion. The things that I focus on is when a young kid runs up to you and wants to hug you or the ones that are so shy that don’t know what to say or the ones who say they want to grow up and be like you. I feed off that.’’

The biggest response the Stewart-Haas Racing driver could make, even more with than words, would be a win on track. And her best chances to do so are at Daytona or Talladega, which may be a lottery, but where she has excelled more thus far in her NASCAR career.

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

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Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

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