‘Auntie Danica’ enjoys spoiling new niece: She even changes diapers!

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INDIANAPOLIS – Danica Patrick doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty with a race car, but diapers?

Who knew?

Now before the world explodes into a “Danica is pregnant” frenzy, put that to a rest right now.

She’s NOT pregnant.

But Danica most definitely is enjoying being a doting aunt to her younger sister Brooke’s infant daughter, Reese, born this past January.

“Do I change diapers? Heck yeah, yeah, I do, I don’t mind,” Patrick said in a Saturday press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I was changing a diaper, and I had a new one ready to go, and all of a sudden I looked down, and I’m like, ‘Gosh, girl, you were sweating, weren’t you?’

“And I’m like, ‘No, you peed again.’ So then I went for another diaper.”

And then in a wry tone with a slight smile on her face, Patrick even found an upside to what can be a dirty job: “At least it wasn’t a boy, right? That would have been in my face.”

Patrick, who is going strong into a second year in a relationship with fellow Sprint Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., likes to play dress-up with Reese.

Make that dressing up Reese.

“Yeah, Reese is really cute, my sister’s little girl,” Patrick said. “She was here today and she was dressed in one of the, as you said it, expensive gifts in one of those expensive outfits that I found for her downtown Chicago and she looked very cute.

“But I do my best, yes (as an aunt). I try. I also try and take care of my sister and my parents and everybody else, too. But it’s impossible when you have a little niece to be able to walk by a little girls’ clothing and not go, ‘Oh, my God, look at that, I have to buy it!’ So I do.”

Patrick even got playful with reporters about her niece. When she was first asked about Reese, Patrick wistfully talked about her own new “kid,” a miniature Siberian Husky puppy named Dallas.

“Those blue eyes, that soft hair, those sharp teeth,” Patrick said near-wistfully before correcting herself. “Oh, I was talking about Dallas. Were you talking about Dallas?”

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Alonso enjoys maiden Toyota LMP1 test, ends as second-fastest rookie

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Fernando Alonso took his first step towards a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 by testing an LMP1 car for the first time with Toyota in Bahrain on Sunday.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso has made no secret of his desire to race at Le Mans, having signed a deal to race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January as preparation for a possible entry at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Toyota confirmed after Saturday’s FIA World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain that Alonso would be testing its TS050 Hybrid LMP1 car in the traditional rookie test on Sunday.

Alonso was given the car for the bulk of the five-hour test day following an initial shakedown by Sebastien Buemi, completing 113 laps in total – more than any other driver – and posting a best lap time of 1:43.013.

“It was a great day,” Alonso said. “Testing an LMP1 car is always a nice thing for any racing driver because these cars are amazing to drive. They are very consistent throughout a stint which is a positive thing.

“I have wanted to test a car like this for a long time now and today I could achieve that, so I am happy.”

However, Alonso did not finish as the fastest rookie, with that honor instead going to Pietro Fittipaldi, who was the final driver to drive the Porsche 919 Hybrid ahead of the closure of the German marque’s LMP1 program.

Alonso is now set to head back to Europe before a test in United Autosports’ LMP2 car on Tuesday as part of his Daytona preparation, before then returning to the Middle East for the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi next weekend.